a community of practitioners
Julianna Holden Mohler said:
There was no mention that it was to be kept strictly to a scientific discussion and exploration of ideas.
That is true. Chris left the discussion open to its own development.
Then you say we must keep discussions in line with what you want it to be.
The discussion evolved to one about how to prove, scientifically and with repeatable results, the existence and/or efficacy of energy work. Bringing "I feel" and "I've seen" anecdotes into it are anecdotal evidence; they are not scientific, nor can the results be reliably repeated under the same circumstances. This discussion has already had several sub-branches of "but I/others feel it, so it must be so," which keeps leading back to trying to find a scientific reason why.
Personally, I think we've had a fine, interesting discussion going, and I too would like to see it continue along the same vein, rather than be derailed into a philosophical discussion. Nothing stopping anyone from starting such a discussion, but I, for one, would prefer it be in a different thread.
There has been no interest on his part to engage in questioning his own premise, only in asserting his own flawed conclusion.
Actually, it's the other way around. The burden of proof is on energy work, to prove its existence and efficacy as a treatment on its own with effects that can be replicated under the same conditions--and with those effects being a clear and direct result of such work. Saying "the sun comes up in the north and you can't prove it doesn't" doesn't hold a lot of water when all evidence points to it continually coming up in the east.
I have seen no shred of evidence on his part to support his conclusions.
Have you been missing the discussions wherein alternative options for results attributed to energy work have been brought up? There've been some rather civil ones. Again, he doesn't have to prove the sun doesn't come up in the north; burden of proof is on the proponents who do.
Therefore, he brought on what evolved.
You mean the repeated personal attacks made upon Chris, his profession, and his motives? I call shenanigans. I could enjoy violating pictures of Al Franken while I was dressed as a cocker spaniel in the privacy of my own home, but it still wouldn't negate the validity of my questions.
You may not take seriously what someone says because you don't like their viewpoint. But that's irrelevant.
Hmmm. Et tu, Brute? From what I've seen, it's not the viewpoint resulting in someone not being taken seriously so much as lack of a cohesive argument. One made entirely of logical fallacies doesn't help, either.
Researching something as a hobby or interest is not the same as being a scientist.
Very true. However, Chris and a number of other participants in the discussion are scientists. For real and for true. Labs and medical devices and research citations and all.
Let's just be clear: not one person in this discussion has thoroughly backed up anything they've said "scientifically."
Actually, there have been quite a few.
And the most important thing is the condescending attitude, as if science holds a superior place in the realm of bodywork.
As opposed to the one that only massage therapists can ask for scientific proof about things that may (or may not) be related to massage? I see that one around here a lot.
I give up.
I was one of the first posters on this and in it I basically was telling Chris off for challenging people's beliefs. I didn't think it was the way to go. Now I'm finding that I'm challenging people and I don't like it in myself. Also, in the original thread (which was pretty darn interesting), Chris had it a nerve because he jumped in on something and people thought it was just wrong.
Now what's happening?
People are attacking Chris.
I'm not going to defend Chris or anything. In fact, I might even presume that maybe he gets a kick out of the whole "oh they're ganging up on me" thing.
But here's the thing:
It's a massage therapy forum. It's not a "energy workers united" forum
Energy work is usually just an add on to what most people do - we're massage therapists first. Energy work is just a modality, isn't it? Or am I wrong in thinking that? Should this site be renamed energyworkersunited.com?
Is everyone so sure on what is going on when energy work is being done? Is everyone just OK with it? Are they not really curious on what people think about it?
His thread was to invite skeptics in on the discussion. He got a whole 9 or 10 on the thread and the rest were jumping on him. Now, maybe it's just me, but I'm presuming that there are more than two sides to this. On the one side there might be the "I'm a believer, I don't care what anyone says" and I bet a lot of those people don't even read this thread. On the other there's the sciencey peeps in their wee white jackets singing the logical song. But is there not another group? Is there not a "well, maybe there is, but it hasn't been researched enough' group? I'm starting to come to the conclusion there isn't. Has everyone picked a side? I know Chris has, but he's a scientist - what do people expect?
I am completely amazed at the polarization with people on this thread.
This is reminding me of politics and you know what? Politics makes me puke.
Vlad is going back to lurkdom.
Maybe this is a good time to take stock of the thread as a whole. It's interesting to me that when I posted this thread, I suspected it might consist of four or five posts and then fade into obscurity. Instead, it appears to be the single largest and most active thread on the whole site. Almost 400 posts!
That alone does not mean it has been a good discussion; if it produced all heat and no light, I would see it as a waste of time. But from my perspective, it hasn't done that. In fact, I think it has been well worth while. I have made several acquaintances as a result of this discussion. I have learned more about the ways in which therapists view their own work, their field, and the modalities that are associated with their field. And, it has helped me organize my thinking for some of the projects I have on my drawing board, one of which is likely to be an editorial on the topic of energy work's inclusion under the heading of massage therapy. These have been some of the benefits from my perspective.
I have also had several people write to me directly to tell me that they have enjoyed reading this discussion and have liked the way that it challenged their assumptions; several of you have also said that publicly here in the discussion itself. I think this is good evidence that the discussion has benefited several of the participants.
Some will ask if anyone's mind has been changed. I'm not sure that is essential to justify this discussion as valuable, but it is still a question worth asking. I'm not aware of any single person who has made a 180 degree change of position on the topic, but I have heard from several people who have said that the discussion has caused them to examine their position more carefully, or to change it subtly. It seems some minds have been changed, at least a little. When you consider how hard it can be to change a human mind, perhaps that is quite a development.
The discussion has definitely devolved recently. Perhaps it has run its course; I know I have found myself feeling that I am repeating certain things that were said 200 posts ago. And if so, that's fine. Another possibility is that one of the more recent participants radically changed the tone of the discussion, as evidenced by several of you who have requested an end to ad hominems. My own strategy in the face of such nonsense, generally, is to ignore it, and I recommend the same to you. To do otherwise just takes everyone off track. Ignore it, and it probably goes away. A person who is engaged with the discussion at that level is unlikely to have anything substantive to add.
Here are some articles Barrett has written on the subject:
"The Analgesia of Movement" is a good article that describes how societal pressures force isotonic contractions that natural movement which creates mechanical deformity, then pain. Ideomotion (I call it natural movement) as a therapy reduces pain.
"Body Counseling" is the best article to get a brief overview. It's a little further down the page. It states "the patient already knows precisely what to do, and that all you have to do is provide a safe place for them to do it."
The technique may look a lot like energy work, but it's based on scientific principles and draws on the client's own natural healing processes, not energy. The scientific research he draws from and his conclusions make the most sense to me.
A late reply here (off doing other things), but what you've put out is much along my own thoughts--that there are simple interactions that are consistent with known physical laws and that produce positive effects.
Barrett Dorko, some years back, used to be on an email bodywork list that I'm on. So I'd had some discussions with him and ended up buying his book "Shallow Dive" years back
To me, as a physicist, this is a lot more of a satisfactory answer than the idea that "science hasn't caught up" or that observations are being "ignored". Science, these days, is not all that conservative and not tending to ignore convincing observations. It also has tracked down interactions in energy and particles down to very fine levels. One place to get an idea of this is at the website for New Scientist, under their Cosmology topic guide. An example would be a recent article on Our world may be a giant hologram. It would be extremely hard to hide any form of unaccounted for energy field and resulting inconsistencies in explaining measurements. Given the level of creativity I'm seeing, it's also pretty absurd to think that scientists are stuck in a static model of a single universe. One of the telltale signs of psuedoscience in energy work is the thought that there's a form of energy that does this one thing, accessed by these given techniques, and that it has no other interactions, impacts, or consequences on the world around us. That simply isn't how the universe works. And to note Laura Allen's remarks, there is still plenty of room for wonder, as in A universe like no other..