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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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So who takes on them chiro's to stop them messin about with needles ? power and the money, yes?

Laura Allen said:
No joke. I think it's awful.

Bert Davich said:
Wow Laura,
100 to 250 hours? That's not even 6 months of training. I am surprised considering the potential for harm with acupuncture is greater than massage therapy.
What does it mean to say we are "energy beings"? All kinds of things use energy, after all. I have a Honda parked in my garage, and everything that it does requires energy - is it an energy being? Are there any animals that aren't energy beings?

Energy, Qi or heat if you will- is caused by the movement of things, be it blood, water, clouds, or the leaves on a tree. A car is not a "being" but a vessel that a person can channel energy through by filling it full of the necessary fluids and manipulating those fluids so that they flow or move through the system SO a car can be thought of as an energy 'vessel' because it does not continuously pump the fluids by its own accord - one must have the intention to make this happen. In my opinion intention is 80% of energy work and the other 20% we do it with out even knowing it. Think about heat radiation, if you are standing next to a recently parked vehicle you will feel the heat created by all of the motion that it just performed but now nothing is moving so the energy or heat is dissipating or leaving and if you were to touch the car the heat would transfer from the hood to your hand and you hand would be warm, thus holding that heat or energy.This is exactly like people- except people have constant motion or heat or energy so the transfer is constant.
I found that analyzing energy from a more scientific perspective helped- think about all of the inventions that where powered by heat such as a candle- it is all motion.
When you massage a person and only think about how hungry you are or how your spouse ruined your sleep last night the person can tell that there is a difference in the effect- most will say you were not present/focused- OR your intention to heal the person or relieve them of their current pain was non-existent, you really could have cared less if they felt better at that moment in time you are just going through the motions, your energy was low and you and little offer those outside of you. This happens to even the best therapists from time to time but if left unattended and it leads to burn out.

As you can probably tell I am a strong supporter of energy work but I love a good challenge so I bet I will be on this thread quite a bit, thanks for making me think, but I really can go on and on and on about it so I will save some for next time. I know tons of exercises and experiments you can do to feel energy
~DENEA
Welcome to the party. We are after all, electro-chemical machines and internal heat is created by molecular "excitement", one way or another. I would like to hear about the exercises and experiments you referred to.

Denea said:
What does it mean to say we are "energy beings"? All kinds of things use energy, after all. I have a Honda parked in my garage, and everything that it does requires energy - is it an energy being?.... As you can probably tell I am a strong supporter of energy work but I love a good challenge so I bet I will be on this thread quite a bit, thanks for making me think, but I really can go on and on and on about it so I will save some for next time. I know tons of exercises and experiments you can do to feel energy
~DENEA
That's a good question, and I'm afraid my answer won't be very direct. Over the past few months, I have been undergoing a bit of a transition period with my knowledge, things I am learning, and ways of thinking. In a nutshell, I'm a first-year graduate student working on my Master's :) (in Applied Psychology- a more applied, research-based program- not clinical psych at all). I came to school to work with Chris (Moyer)in his massage research lab and it's been a great opportunity to learn and conduct research.

Am I biased against energy and associated work? I don't think I would describe it as biased..more just that, since coming here I've learned that it is OK to question things and to not always take things for face value- and not just relating to massage and alternative medicine, but in all aspects of life and research. I guess more than getting biased, I've just adopted a new way of thinking and questioning things and not being satisfied with answers based on opinion or tradition and instead to look for facts and to take time to really think about things rather than just believing or accepting everything.

My knowledge of energy work, both in practice and in research, is not extensive, though I have done some searching of the literature (mostly for Reiki, just to narrow down a field) and have yet to see any well-designed studies that show real positive results. I know a lot of people say the energy can't be measured etc...but even if that is true, results should still be measurable and from what I've seen, they are not there (if anyone has examples of good studies showing results, please point me in the right direction!). I am not as well versed in research on other types of work, such as maybe shiatsu or acupuncture, but I hope to do more reading on these in the future. And I hope it doesn't sound like I'm just picking on energy work, there are things about massage that I used to believe and tell people as fact that I have since found out are not accurate.

Does this sort of answer your question??

RP in CO said:
Thank you for sharing your experience. While I direct my questions to Chris to keep a focus, I certainly want to hear about anyone's experience and opinion in this discussion.

I'm sorry you had such a horrible experience with acupuncture! I suppose hating needles would certainly put a damper on the experience, and that it isn't for everyone, regardless. My understanding of acupuncture is, however, that it is for specific treatment. But I could be way off, because I only know basic information about the practice.

So do you now have a bias against these forms of bodywork or do you still just see it as something that is not your "thing"?

Kim Goral said:
RP in CO-"Do you know anyone who has undergone acupuncture treatment? Was it effective for them?"

I know this wasn't directed at me just just thought I'd give my 1 and only personal experience recieving acupunture- it was terrible. I hated every minute of it (all 15 that I could force myself to tolerate before making her pull out the needles lol) and the only difference I felt after was high anxiety.

Now granted, I will freely admit that I was not intending to "treat" any problems, it was more of a networking and curiosity thing (the acupuncturist and I were trading work and agreed to help promote each others' businesses, and I had always heard about it but never tried it so I wanted to see what it was like). And, I hate needles. HATE needles. But I wanted to try it myself since everyone told me I would love it. ;) So, maybe my opinion doesn't count given at how biased it was...and my bias was not based on anything related to its efficacy. Just thought I'd share my story!

I guess while I'm sharing stories, since other people have shared their experiences with energy work I will share mine. First, I am not a trained energy worker, nor do I desire to be. However, For the first few years after school I didn't really have a bias against it, it just wasn't my "thing". But, I have received many different types from different people- Reiki, Polarity, Shiatsu, CST, Zero Balancing (granted the ZB was just a 10 minute experience at an expo). The only thing I have ever felt from any of those is relaxation, but no more so than lying on a soft, warm table in a dimly lit room with quiet music playing would have done on its own. And each experience was with a very open mind, and even hope/belief that I would feel something. But I didn't. So, that is my own personal experience with it, since other people are sharing theirs.
98% of the time, acupuncture is rather uncomfortable for me; I've done fairly regular trade with an acupuncturist for the last 3-4 years or so. The needles often range anywhere from "ook" to "OW" when they go in, but I feel better after a few minutes, and then even more later on. It's also helped me immensely when my Crohn's has tried to flare. My sweetie has severe gastric reflux and ridiculous levels of stress, and acupuncture has benefited him greatly. He used to receive weekly, and called it, "the greatest nap I get all week."

My father, however, Does Not Believe in acupuncture. He once quoted a CAM study that indicated that acupuncture was the most effective treatment for low back pain . . . followed immediately by sham acupuncture.

My dad was an engineer. We don't talk much about my career or what I do in continuing ed. He also refuses to do any further research, such as looking on PubMed for info on clinical trials. This annoys me to no end.

RP in CO said:
I'm sorry you had such a horrible experience with acupuncture! I suppose hating needles would certainly put a damper on the experience, and that it isn't for everyone, regardless. My understanding of acupuncture is, however, that it is for specific treatment. But I could be way off, because I only know basic information about the practice.
The acupuncturist that I do trade with has told me about a guy in the field who started out in Western medicine--as an osteopath?--before studying acupuncture. He found that a lot of the acupuncture "nodes" had some interesting physiological correlations--nerves and connective tissue paths--that might explain its benefits/efficacy. If anyone's interested, I'll see if I can dig up his name and some more info about this guy.

Kim Goral said:
I am not as well versed in research on other types of work, such as maybe shiatsu or acupuncture, but I hope to do more reading on these in the future. And I hope it doesn't sound like I'm just picking on energy work, there are things about massage that I used to believe and tell people as fact that I have since found out are not accurate.
Marilyn,

Thank you for the recommendations. I just found the other thread, where you had also listed Barbara Brennan and David Hawkins and will start following that discussion as well.

While not quite in the same category, I want to mention a book called "The Dancing Wu-Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics" by Gary Zukov. I read it many years ago and do not remember all the points, but one that fascinated it me was that one of the revelations of quantum theory is that there is no such thing as objectivity. That is true whether looking at photons, conducting experiments, or looking at life events - we tend to see what we want to see.

That point I think is relevant to this discussion because although skeptics may appear as objective observers, their personal beliefs and perspectives are part of the picture they see. The same could be true in a discussion thread titled "skeptical about clinical research", where skeptics could sort through millions of research items to determine if research works.

So... I have a question: if an energy worker and a client share an experience, and they both agree about what goes on in that experience, and they call it 'energy', and they both agree that the experience has value for the client... does it matter what anyone else thinks? When does it matter what someone else thinks?

Emmanuel








Marilyn St.John said:
Emmanuel,
I have read The Field a couple of times and totally agree, it has been an excellent resource in my humble opinion. I also follow Lynne McTaggart's Intention Experiment and am familiar with her work. Another researcher to look at is Valerie Hunt, and maybe Joan Boryshenko. I did mention these exact resources & bibliographies early-on (maybe on another thread) but nobody voiced any interest so I assumed that people researching this might just be more interested in reading more current independent studies.

Bert, thank you so much for bringing up the therapist/client relationship issue...to my way of thinking, that would be the dynamic to study! Good stuff.
Thanks Emmanuel .....=

So... I have a question: if an energy worker and a client share an experience, and they both agree about what goes on in that experience, and they call it 'energy', and they both agree that the experience has value for the client... does it matter what anyone else thinks? When does it matter what someone else thinks?


To most MTs and many others who would learn of this shared experience a certain amount of enjoyment no doubt !

To certain individuals within the scientific community the experience is to be laughed at, toyed with, explained away, treated contemptuously.
I am still a skeptic about energy work , even though I have done training myself and not only seen but documented my own results .I ask myself was it something else that caused the positive results or was it really the energy work.
I have an internal fight with myself every time I have true wonderful results after giving a treatment . My clients know how I feel about it but the results bring them back over and over again bringing friends with them . Being in the main stream medical field as well as a Massage and Bodywork Therapist I suppose adds to the way I think but there is no doubt that weather it is mind over matter , pure coincidence or energy work WORKS I will continue to do research as I use it .

I am really glad you decided to approach this subject I am curious to find out if anyone else has the same dilemma as I do and practices because of valid results.
I think a lot of energy workers ask themselves the same things. Keep doing what you have found successful Beulah!

Beulah said:
I am still a skeptic about energy work , even though I have done training myself and not only seen but documented my own results .I ask myself was it something else that caused the positive results or was it really the energy work.
I have an internal fight with myself every time I have true wonderful results after giving a treatment . My clients know how I feel about it but the results bring them back over and over again bringing friends with them . Being in the main stream medical field as well as a Massage and Bodywork Therapist I suppose adds to the way I think but there is no doubt that weather it is mind over matter , pure coincidence or energy work WORKS I will continue to do research as I use it .

I am really glad you decided to approach this subject I am curious to find out if anyone else has the same dilemma as I do and practices because of valid results.
Yes Beulah, with my physiology background I most times find a systems explanation for what others call energy work; ie increased circulation, lymphatic production, nervous and endocrine stimulation, muscle tension release, joint lubrication, etc). I also see a large psychological element at work as the client connects with me and themselves through increased awareness of their bodies healing potential and the empowerment they feel from having contributed to their own well being.

I still would never invalidate someone else's experience of what is happening.


Beulah said:
I am still a skeptic about energy work , even though I have done training myself and not only seen but documented my own results .I ask myself was it something else that caused the positive results or was it really the energy work.
I have an internal fight with myself every time I have true wonderful results after giving a treatment . My clients know how I feel about it but the results bring them back over and over again bringing friends with them . Being in the main stream medical field as well as a Massage and Bodywork Therapist I suppose adds to the way I think but there is no doubt that weather it is mind over matter , pure coincidence or energy work WORKS I will continue to do research as I use it .

I am really glad you decided to approach this subject I am curious to find out if anyone else has the same dilemma as I do and practices because of valid results.
I missed the first discussion on this but have to say that I am not a believer in energy work like Reiki but do believe in energy medicine in that healing is about raising your vibrational level and that is done in many ways such as eating better foods, thinking better thoughts.

I just have never felt anything when people were doing so called energy work and I really dislike it when people say things like they are clearing someone elses energy from across the street which to me is a big boundary violation if they didn't ask you to do it for them and can you really do that for someone without them knowing it or participating in it or is it all just in your imagination that you did do it...

I actually think when someone says something like ' that persons energy needs work' that it is really a reflection of the person who is saying it rather than the person they are saying it about. Also picking up others energy is also about your own energy and emotions that come up during the work.

just my .o2

Julie
www.thebodyworker.com
www.massagecareerguides.com

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