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Folks -

There previously was a discussion on this site in which a skeptical attitude toward energy work was being discussed, but that discussion eventually got deleted. The reason seems to be that it was judged not to belong in the location where it was taking place, which was inside one of the energy work groups.

I was the person who introduced the skepticism to the discussion. Some people did not appreciate that, but others did. Given how many participants there are on this site, and how many threads and groups are dedicated to discussing energy work with no skepticism, I thought maybe it was time to open a discussion where such skepticism is invited and welcomed.

I look forward to seeing how this discussion might develop. Is there interest?

-CM

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Have you personally tried energy work?
RE: Julianna's post
(great post by the way).

He can’t explain why the energy work is effective and in fact, doesn’t call what I do energy work to keep it in line with his own beliefs. He says that science just hasn’t discovered how it works – yet. I have healthy debates with him, about how that won’t ever happen. It’s too big of a leap, but he disagrees. =)

I find it very interesting that you are married to a scientist who believes that science just hasn't discovered how it works YET and yet you say that it will never happen. I want to know why you believe that. Why can it's mystery never be unveiled?

It always amazes me when people stress the limitiations of science on the internet which was put together by a bunch of computer scientists. Would you ever have thought that the communications we have today would have existed 20 years ago? Would you have ever dreamed that you can play chess wirelssly with some dude in China? Granted that this type of science is in creation and not unveiling, but how much has science unveiled in our everyday lives?

If the mysteries of energy work are unveiled by scientific means, I will be the first to be doing a Julie Andrews impersonation in the local park and scare some dogs. I just don't understand why so many have made up their mind that this will never happen. Is the negativity towards science not a form of lack of open-mindedness too?
Regardless of the validity of this post, Bodhi has a habit of posting articles from various sources that seem to have an anti-alternative medicine agenda without vetting the content information himself. I challenged one of his article "reprints" in the science-site on one particular "reprint" from an anti alternative medicine crusader who flat out wrote inaccurate information on Kava and some other things.

If Bodhi wants to make an assertion, he should do it himself with documentation or offer it as his experience based opinion. If he is going to post an assertion from another source, he owes it to his readers to properly vett it before republishing or linking to it.

I wouldn't again dignify his un-vetted 3rd party posts.


Denea said:
In respnse to-
Bodhi shared this on the science-site, just thought I'd post it here- comments? Agree? Disagree? General thoughts? Might provide more good discussion.

Alternative Therapies Debunked or Denounced in 2009
http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20091212/sc_livescience/alterna...

If there's a silver lining in the continued popularity of non-scientific healing techniques, it's the fact that the scientific community is at long last putting these so-called treatments and potions through vigorous testing. And one by one they fail to live up to their purported benefits.


Here are five alternative therapies that were debunked or denounced in 2009.
Love that quote. =)

Laura Allen said:
I found this quote from Albert Einstein the other day and I'm spreading it around on several of these discussions:

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
Vlad said:
RE: Julianna's post
(great post by the way).


I find it very interesting that you are married to a scientist who believes that science just hasn't discovered how it works YET and yet you say that it will never happen. I want to know why you believe that. Why can it's mystery never be unveiled?

Vlad, if it's any consolation, he asks me the same thing. A few years ago, I wrote to a scientific research group in Japan about their research on something they said they discovered - light emitting photons that emanate from the hands. They claimed to have measured it. It really peaked my interest as scientific validation of energy work. They sent me the entire paper, which I was unable to decipher alone. My husband reviewed it and said some of it was fluff. But still, there was something to it. I've since lost the hard drive that I stored the paper, otherwise I'd find a way to post it.

The reason I think it's not possible to measure is that it's like proving the existence of a force, call it God (or not). Reminds me of that Star Trek movie. Or articles about the God particle. It's not that my mind is closed. I'm willing to be part of experiments and validating it has some interest to me. If you talk to many physicists, most believe there's something about a magnificent mind that created all this, that wasn't human. They simply call it nature instead of God. They say it's natural. But once you start talking about energy work, metaphysics (my husband jokes no such thing exists, but he's serious in his outlook). He says nothing exists outside of nature. I appreciate differing viewpoints than mine. I love getting together with a group of physicists and bringing up some of these topics. They're entertained by muddy thinking like mine, and assuredly think I'm a bit naive. But I still challenge their thinking. It's one reason my husband said he fell in love with me.

It always amazes me when people stress the limitiations of science on the internet which was put together by a bunch of computer scientists. Would you ever have thought that the communications we have today would have existed 20 years ago? Would you have ever dreamed that you can play chess wirelssly with some dude in China? Granted that this type of science is in creation and not unveiling, but how much has science unveiled in our everyday lives?

Remember, I said surely science has brought many good things. I think science has a good and valid place. I even met my husband through the Internet - he in Germany and me in the US. But sometimes I have to question if some things we consider a step forward are in actuality keeping us from human contact, connections, and humanity in general. We sit inside our isolated boxes we call home, in front of boxes we call TV or the computer - and yes we communicate like this but it's not the same as in person. Technology is most often abused by governments for the purpose of war. After all, they're the main ones funding science.

Is the negativity towards science not a form of lack of open-mindedness too?

I don't consider what I see as negativity towards science per se. But just as a scientist can be skeptical of what I do, I'm surely skeptical of science and the true, alleged "benefits."
Here's the original article that interested me, so I wrote to Misuo Hiramatsu in Japan to send me the entire research paper.

A study by Misuo Hiramatsu at Hamamatsu Photonics in Japan discovered that human hands emit light all the time, in particular the fingernails. Other parts of the body that emit light are the forehead and bottoms of our feet.

http://handlines.blogspot.com/2005/10/human-hands-emit-light.html
Thanks Julianna,

The findings are published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology (For a price)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleListURL&_method...

More free info:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/health/HealthRepublish_1455010.htm
http://www.lifescientists.de/members/hiramatsu.htm

Julianna Holden Mohler said:
Here's the original article that interested me, so I wrote to Misuo Hiramatsu in Japan to send me the entire research paper.

A study by Misuo Hiramatsu at Hamamatsu Photonics in Japan discovered that human hands emit light all the time, in particular the fingernails. Other parts of the body that emit light are the forehead and bottoms of our feet.

http://handlines.blogspot.com/2005/10/human-hands-emit-light.html
Julianna Holden Mohler said:
Here's the original article that interested me, so I wrote to Misuo Hiramatsu in Japan to send me the entire research paper.

The link from the website to the study didn't work. Finding the paper, however, in PubMed (15935689) indicates the it is among papers measuring oxidative skin stress via observing ultra-weak photon emissions from the chemical reactions. I also found another paper (18211608) with an abstract giving further background on what's being measured. Chemiluminescence is a pretty well-know phenomena, witness the light-sticks in use at Halloween.
I also found it was only available for a fee through PubMed, so I wrote to him directly. He sent it the next day. Researchers are only too willing to get their papers into others' hands, so don't be shy to email them. They almost sit by their email constantly.

Bert Davich said:
Thanks Julianna,

The findings are published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology (For a price)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleListURL&_method...

More free info:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/health/HealthRepublish_1455010.htm
http://www.lifescientists.de/members/hiramatsu.htm

Julianna Holden Mohler said:
Here's the original article that interested me, so I wrote to Misuo Hiramatsu in Japan to send me the entire research paper.

A study by Misuo Hiramatsu at Hamamatsu Photonics in Japan discovered that human hands emit light all the time, in particular the fingernails. Other parts of the body that emit light are the forehead and bottoms of our feet.

http://handlines.blogspot.com/2005/10/human-hands-emit-light.html
Julianna:

But overall, it doesn’t matter to me. If it helps the person, that’s all that matters. I have no need to scientifically validate my profession.

Why even look at the Japan studies if you don't need validation?
Is curiosity not a signal of some need for validation?
On break while the tech folks update my other computer...

I have read this paper (I may have a copy of it on my computer). It is exactly as Keith describes. We're talking about a ridiculously small number of photons - like 20 or something like that, if memory serves.

Keith, tell us how many photons are hitting us every minute when we sit beneath a 100 W light bulb. :)

The Hiramatsu paper has no relevance to massage therapy in any way.

Keith Eric Grant said:
Julianna Holden Mohler said:
Here's the original article that interested me, so I wrote to Misuo Hiramatsu in Japan to send me the entire research paper.

The link from the website to the study didn't work. Finding the paper, however, in PubMed (15935689) indicates the it is among papers measuring oxidative skin stress via observing ultra-weak photon emissions from the chemical reactions. I also found another paper (18211608) with an abstract giving further background on what's being measured. Chemiluminescence is a pretty well-know phenomena, witness the light-sticks in use at Halloween.
So now that I've hit this thread with my own type of big bang, I'd like to state my stance on energy work.

I do think most of what's called "energy work" is hooey, imagined or wished for by many practitioners who want to feel "powerful." But I can't isolate the profession of massage. It exists in virtually all helping professions to some degree.

I believe that unseen forces are always at work, though. But I think they're natural and everybody's experience, whether they push it from their consciousness or not.

When my son was 3 years old, he was at a neighbor's house for the day to play with their son. After he left, and without any discussion, I took some chicken out of the freezer to thaw. When he returned home hours later, I was in the kitchen loading the dishwasher and hadn't started dinner (no smell in other words). He couldn't see me, and the moment he entered the front door, he hollered, "So mom, when's the chicken going to be ready?" I was pretty dumbstruck, but looked at it as natural and made no big deal of it.

Back in the mid-80s, I found a book with the title something like "Your Healing Hands" (can't remember exactly, don't have it anymore) and it was on polarity therapy. It described how you can move energy with simple motions of the body. My daughter was 5 at the time, so I thought I'd try some of the holding patterns with her. I didn't tell her anything other than it might make her feel relaxed. She was a willing participant. As I was performing one of the hand holds, she suddenly asked, "Mom, what's that pink light?" I looked all around the room and saw no such thing. I said, "What pink light are you talking about?" She said, "You know, the one moving up and down my spine."

My point being, that children don't question these experiences. If a parent is negative or telling a child they're imagining something, the child may start to tune out. Many people have either had these experiences or known their own children to have them. When we don't understand it, we tend to think it's fantasy or a coincidence.

I've had the experience of being under anesthesia for a surgical procedure and hovering close by a monitor to watch what the doctor was doing and listening to her telling someone there what she was doing. I wondered at the time if they could see me doing that. When I awakened, she explained what she found, but I already knew it because I was witnessing it.

I could literally write a book about such things, but leave it to say I think there's so much we don't understand about the world and ourselves, science has a long way to catch up to discover some of these things, if at all.

I don't think we need to believe in magic to take something at face value, or rather, to trust that our senses are intact. To make a big hoopla out of something is part of the problem. I also find that those who wish for such magic are the ones making the biggest hoopla.

I've literally walked out of workshops that were disgusting to me. I attended a Matrix Energetics workshop by the "founder" in Seattle. What a scam. He had a handout notebook that attempted to explain all he did with quantum physics. When I read it, I rolled my eyes. I couldn't believe people were buying this stuff. They simply didn't understand it, so they thought it was over their head and must be true. Anytime "quantum" anything is mentioned in the field of massage therapy or healing, I immediately hit the "here we go again with jumping to conclusions" button. When I read some of this stuff to my husband, he can't stomach it either - he tells me not to continue. If the basis is wrong, everything that follows will be as well. I used to think he was opinionated but when he carefully explained the problems, it made sense and gave me a huge respect for science.

I can't find a physicist who thinks the movie, "What the Bleep Do We Know?" is worth watching. It's riddled with inaccuracies and conclusions - massive jumps in them. Movies like "The Secret" seem scammy to me too. It's no secret that our thinking influences our environment. And there's sure a lot more to life than wanting luxury yachts and homes!

So I also have a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to energy work. Though some of my work involves moving, unblocking or releasing energy, I don't know much about how it works. And if someone has some explanations, I'm open to hearing them or participating. But if you tell me energy doesn't exist, all I can do is laugh. We can't see the wind blow but we can feel it. That's how tangible it is, and if someone wants to explain how they think I sense it, I'm all ears but not if they say I've created it in my imagination.

As for the different modalities of energy work, I haven't taken very many CEs in them, such as craniosacral. The pulse thing eludes me. But just as musicians choose different instruments, we each find the right one that works for us.

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