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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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OK, OK, I'll poke my furry head up again for a bit.

The squirrel is knackered since I've been massaging all day.
BUT I will start off a "rat reiki" discussion tomorrow since it's interesting. There's just a ton to write about it and I want to veg for a bit.

Here's another wee thing to think about.
Here's a snippet from a book written by Schwartz
It's from his book "The Energy healing Experiments" (round about page 146)

"Probably my favorite finding from our Reiki E. Coli experiments was that among fourteen practitioners, one practitioner had a perfect five out of five record. For her, the treated test tubes always had greater cell growth than the untreated control test tubes. What was unique about this healer?
It turned out that her specialty was using Reiki to treat animals. Indeed, she is a professional, full time animal healer. This practitioner deeply identified with the bacteria. In fact, she felt compassion for the bacteria that had to be sacrificed after each run in order to make the measurements. Her love of animals, great and small, including cells and her connection to life and its energies is profound. Did this allow her to consistently provide healing for the E. Coli?"

Yo , Moyer, remember way back in the thread you asked the question does the qi apply to yeast cell? If it applies to E. Coli, then it should apply to yeast cells too, right? We're adding qi to our bread and beer mixtures. Who knew?

Yep. This fella Schwartz apparently is also really into studying mediums .

Are people impressed with that?

I've a question. Does he believe in rat mediums? Bacteria mediums? Squirrel mediums? Here's why. My Aunt Phyliis was turned into road pizza last year and I want to know why she didn't leave me her tree in the will. I want to know who the Jon Edwards of the squirrel world is.

But we'll look at the rat study more tomorrow.......hec..........It COULD have been a great study. It COULD have been brilliant.
OK Squirrel,
I smell a rat, or at least I think the squirrel smells a rat by the last sentence in the post.....

"But we'll look at the rat study more tomorrow.......hec..........It COULD have been a great study. It COULD have been brilliant."

Oh, and the medium thing is something I believe to be absurd. I'll have to go with Houdini's successor, James Randi on that one.

Energy is neither created or destroyed, it just changes form, but that cannot be presumed of consciousness. What would be the cohesive element? Well maybe if we really are sophisticated "Borg" and just are not aware of the 'continuum'....?
Bert,
You and I need to have a pint sometime (we could even make it a homeopathic one). You're coming out with Borg-talk and that's my bag. Are you the real world version of Locutus? I'd actually be quite happy if we are the Collective. I think it would be cooler than Picard's head. When I was young I used to think that's what "heaven" would be like - open thoughts, no lying, everyone accepting of the thoughts of everyone else and every thought was out there.
(I can't believe I'm putting that on a public board, but what the hec....)


The squirrel digresses........on to the studies on my rodent cousins.
Seems this board has become interesting again. I have even done my own mini-research with energy & rats!
Pints? Borgs? You're speaking my language. Can I come too (pretty please?)

Vlad said:
Bert,
You and I need to have a pint sometime (we could even make it a homeopathic one). You're coming out with Borg-talk and that's my bag. Are you the real world version of Locutus? I'd actually be quite happy if we are the Collective. I think it would be cooler than Picard's head. When I was young I used to think that's what "heaven" would be like - open thoughts, no lying, everyone accepting of the thoughts of everyone else and every thought was out there.
(I can't believe I'm putting that on a public board, but what the hec....)


The squirrel digresses........on to the studies on my rodent cousins.
Yes Marilyn, you are welcome to join the continuum, in fact, should you change your mind, remember.... "Resistance Is Futile!"
I'll kick off the discussion on the rat study.
Since Chris was interested in it and Robin put up the full study, maybe others will find a discussion on it interesting. Since the thread switched over to Schwartz, I'm hoping Chris is OK with going ahead with discussing one of the Schwartz studies.

I'll start off with a snippet from the study itself that made me say "Whoa - that's a statement!"

"This study is among the most rigorous tests of the efficacy of Reiki that has been performed. First because the Reiki groups were compared with sham Reiki controls and second because and animal model was used, thus removing problems with variations in diet and lifestyle and complications with attitude that are encountered when using human subjects."

OK. So this should grab everyone that might be on the fence and make believers, right? Well, maybe. To tell you the truth when I first looked for a rat study I said "Brilliant! Cool!". Changed my mind after a bit though.......but maybe that's just me.

Firstly, I'm going to say what I liked about the study. I really liked that rats were used. It takes the whole question of the receivers thoughts and attitudes out of the picture. Also, it also highlights the fact that we now know how people view Reiki in so far as work on animals. On this thread people have been asking "what do you mean by "living thing"". Well, now at least we know that we're not just talking about energy work on humans. It also means a LOT of control over the environment and subjects, as stated, the "lifestyle" of the rats. The rats aren't likely to be thinking of an Austin Powers movie that they saw the night before and have their endorphin levels rise or heartbeat lowered from that alone during the treatment. I like this aspect of the study.

The other thing that I thought of is the whole argument against reductionism. This study shows reductionism to an extremely high level. It takes human thoughts and lifestyle out of the picture and it attempts to involve only Reiki - no other work. No massage, no client/therapist relationship (although if one of the practitioners had compassion for the E. Coli in previous studies ran by the same researcher there may have been something going on there), no massage, no customization of work - nothing.

OK, so what were the glaring red lights about the study to me. Even before you read the guts of it, you can see one in the abstract.
Three rats. Not thirty. Not 300 Spartan rats. No. Just three.
Now, in the study they did say that this was a drawback, but you'll also notice that they attempt to throw a lot of statistics into the study too. The quality of the stats is one huge blob of questions that needs a big post in itself (Mr. Quantifiable?) Three rats is enough to go on? Really?

OK, so then lets look at what was going with the actual study itself.

STILL just looking at the abstract. Look at the synopsis of the design. Sham Reiki is given AFTER all the testing and monitoring is done with the real Reiki. I don't know about you, but I have a problem with that. Should the Sham AND the real Reiki not be done in parallel? The researchers can keep me right on this one. I'm not an expert, but from the wee bit I've been reading about research designs, this is a big no-no. It's a "time" thing, right?

So then looking at the methodology in more detail we can see that there is also a "huh?" factor with the application of the Reiki/sham Reiki itself. The practitioners would give a 15 minute treatment to a rat, then two of them would give an application to the third rat. So one of the three got 2 x Reiki?
Is one of the objective in testing anything not in the standardization of whatever it is you're supposed to be testing? Where, in the name of E. Coli, is the standardization in that?

I had other comments in here that I ripped out because I want others to comment instead - I hope people will.

OK, so anyone want to comment some more on the method? What about the actual testing method itself using the white noise and heart rate monitor?

Anyone want to dig into the stats?
Anyone want to say more on what they liked about it?

Here's a question - what about the journal it was published in? Any thoughts on it?
Marilyn, woman, you should know you're already on my pint list - and there'll be NO homeopathic ones involved that day, I can tell ye. I might even wear my Borg outfit.

Here's a thought from a squirrel that I'm putting out into the Collective.
Wouldn't it be lovely if ALL methodology for research were put out for the whole scientific community (and yes, even Joe Public) to comment on and review before the experiment is done? Think of how cool that would be.
AND what would make it even better would be if EVERY STUDY was published with ALL it's data, even if it showed nothing at all.
That would be a great world.
Bert, you are so right about that. So...Just to be sure I'm looking at the right rat study, is this the one that pertains to noise & microvascular damage? I just glanced through... What I didn't like about that one jumped out right at the beginning. I would need to know what kind of cages these rats were housed in...huge red flag...so I'll boldly go where no (wo)man has gone before:

In normal lab conditions rats are housed either in "rat racks" made of metal or in plastic bins, and only occasionally in small metal cages. In my personal experience, any kind of metal disperses and mutes the effects of Reiki and I believe the type of enclosure would make a difference in the outcome. Experienced Reiki practitioners usually remove their jewelry for that reason. I hope I'm not talking out of turn here, I'm pretty sure this isn't the type of discussion you're looking for, and I haven't read the study in depth yet, but I just had to put this out there. The lab rats I once worked with at Wayne State in Detroit (I was a veterinary tech. with the Division of Lab Animal Resources) were certainly friendly enough to handle, as most rats are. I'm not saying hands-on Reiki is better than distance, but the possible presence of a lot of metal surround would certainly affect the outcome.

Vlad ~ Great! I'll wear mine, too! Save me a seat.
Marilyn,
Your type of discussion is welcome as far as I am concerned.

Regarding the full report, Robin posted a link to the full report on her last post I think this will get you to her post where you can follow the link... http://www.massageprofessionals.com/xn/detail/2887274:Comment:60463...
When I originally posted I only had the summary so did not have pertinent information, some of which is still not on the full report in my opinion.

Use the link on Robins post..... 19859450.pdf. The adobe file at the bottom is an evaluation of several studies.

Marilyn St.John said:
Bert, you are so right about that. So...Just to be sure I'm looking at the right rat study, is this the one that pertains to noise & microvascular damage? I just glanced through... What I didn't like about that one jumped out right at the beginning. I would need to know what kind of cages these rats were housed in...huge red flag...so I'll boldly go where no (wo)man has gone before:

In normal lab conditions rats are housed either in "rat racks" made of metal or in plastic bins, and only occasionally in small metal cages. In my personal experience, any kind of metal disperses and mutes the effects of Reiki and I believe the type of enclosure would make a difference in the outcome. Experienced Reiki practitioners usually remove their jewelry for that reason. I hope I'm not talking out of turn here, I'm pretty sure this isn't the type of discussion you're looking for, and I haven't read the study in depth yet, but I just had to put this out there. The lab rats I once worked with at Wayne State in Detroit (I was a veterinary tech. with the Division of Lab Animal Resources) were certainly friendly enough to handle, as most rats are. I'm not saying hands-on Reiki is better than distance, but the possible presence of a lot of metal surround would certainly affect the outcome.

Vlad ~ Great! I'll wear mine, too! Save me a seat.
OOPS! Nope - I was referring to my first post about rat reiki - I should have checked the post that Robin put up to make sure it was the same study, but it's not. I presumed too much! Sorry about that.......
Here is the full study that I'm referring to.

And sorry if people got confused in the 2 studies. It's this one that I'm referring to, so apologies again - I should have checked the study attached that Robin gave.
Hi Christopher,

My name is Shane. I just signed up here, and was immediately directed by your quandry. I didn't really know anything about the inside of my body before I signed up for Massage School. Growing up with a 'western mind', I had no understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine or other energetic theories. I had just finished a tour in Iraq, and was still broken inside. I couldn't meditate, and didn't know anything about my own emotions. I had only heard scoffs of something called an Aura that surrounds the body, but i hadn't consciously seen anything like that, and of course we're all skeptical when we hear things that don't make sense. I will say that I had to think millions of thoughts in millions of new directions to get an understanding of what body energetics really are. I got involved in meditation and 'soul searching' as it were, and after a lot of practice (sitting while doing absolutely nothing), practice (sitting there while breathing), practice (sitting while pondering the universe), what I found is so amazingly deep that it can be explained in simple words, but can take lifetimes to actually understand... hence the human drama. Here's the catch; it can be explained and gotten simply, but a true understanding comes with SELF discovery, and objective thoughts.

You may wonder why people get so defensive... sorry, I haven't read many of your entries, but I believe energy, and whatever we each believe to be 'God', are one in the same, inextricably linked. So many people are conditioned to react with fear and anger when they are challenged, but the goal is to be at peace from within at all times. One who is at peace with themselves at all times has found mastery of not only their physical body, but also their emotional, and energetic body. We as individuals will probably misunderstand the energetic body until we come to know and feel our physical body, and learn to interpret our confused emotional body. I promise you all three of these bodies can occupy this same physical space... but it takes a lot of practice to be able to CONSCIOUSLY perceive them.

I believe that as a civilization, human's education is limited at best, and this limited education blinds us to possibilities that are beyond the spectrum of what we 'know' and what we 'see'. Human language is not supportive enough for me to tell you exactly what it is. All anybody can attempt is to describe it.

I've felt it's pulse, I've felt/seen it's color, I've been a party to it's success, and it's succeeded even when I thought I didn't do the treatment correctly. I've been warmed by it, relaxed by it, enlightened by it's simplicity, and also at times darkened by my own ambitions to attain it's calm too quickly. It's raw, perfect, balance. It's neither good nor bad; at the same time it's both, and far beyond these simple human judgements. It operates independently of our conscious knowledge of it, all animals are operating within it (that includes the human animal). All matter, organic and inorganic, operates according to it's blueprint, and for it, time, distance and gravity have no meaning. It's the same energy... nothing is ever lost, only redistributed. It works better with simple positive intentions than under an individual's 'educated oppinion'... there is no concrete knowledge, no concrete description, there's nothing I can tell you that won't change tomorrow. It doesn't work when we try to make it work therefore, it's not ours to control, but it is still ours. We individually are not the energy, but through the energy, we are one with all existence at our deepest intangible inner core. With enough work and dedication, meditation can help us discover our deepest intangible inner core.

The only body we are truly able to affect is our own. If I did structural integration (and education) to bring my client into balance, and they decided to keep being a couch potato instead of working on themselves, they're right back where they started each time for treatment. It's similar with energy work in that I can do my best to balance a person's energy, but if they don't believe it's real, it goes away 3 minutes after they get out of my energetic field. Their overriding mental projection is that this stuff isn't real so that becomes their reality. If I have an energetic client who's all about the mysteries and why, and how this works, they stay balanced for a longer period of time because energy work is real in their reality. What do I think it is then? Well, I think it's up to you... not me.

Am I talking about energy work or God? kinda both, and neither individually... get what I mean? I feel that they are so linked. And keep in mind that everybody has a different idea what God is... "god" is only a word humans have used to describe that common supreme being. Please understand this writing is in peace and is not intended to challenge anybody's beliefs. These just happen to be my own beliefs, and also keep in mind my limited human language has done the best it could to convey my inner vision to you, but the inner visions we each have cannot be entirely explained with words... so know that in all conversations, there's so much more to the picture than we can simply describe.

Thanks for the opportunity to write some good stuff... hope it helps your 'thread' = )
Sincerely,
-Shane
Does this mean that no further research should be carried out on energy work since there will never be any point in trying to show that God exists? No more tax dollars put into it. No more E. Coli testing or rat testing. Nothing.

Keep testing of course. We need science. We also need science to be more objective. Lab testing is rather limited. I'm not a scientist, so please humor me while I laugh at the idea of performing Reiki on a rat. I mean, I can't even begin to imagine how that is done. I'm trying to envision a rat lying down and telling me about his or her sluggish digestion, or . . what? a racing heart? Wow, let's see if we can change that energy. "Lie back and take some deep relaxing breathes . . ."

Ok, done laughing.

For the sake of discussions past, can we say, for the record that it has been established that science, while valid and sometimes very necessary, is also not the end all be all for all things not seen?

How can we, both skeptical and non-skeptical find some middle ground without scientists/non-scientists forever reaching in the ultimate direction of proof? Why can't we continue onward and upward with investigation and not treat this question as a national pasttime sport?

Vlad said:

Does this mean that no further research should be carried out on energy work since there will never be any point in trying to show that God exists? No more tax dollars put into it. No more E. Coli testing or rat testing. Nothing.

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