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interesting concept of the therapist picking up clues from the client in order to detect lesions. For this to be the case the client has to be aware of the existence of the injury site.
I can tell you with certainty that I very often pick up areas of pain in the body that my client is completely unaware of; I will often pass my hands over the skin feeling the bio-energy field then stop and place my finger/hand on something that turns out to be sore. How much of this is due to experience is open to debate yet it is clear that I am not picking up clues from the client... precisely because they are unaware themselves.
How could this phenomenon be investigated?
Can you rationalise how I detect these lesions?
Do I in fact pick up something else (visual clue in skin tension, lines of strain, colour)?
Would you agree if the same test were given and 'several' of the 'bruised' subjects were identified and none of the 'non bruised' subjects were identified as being bruised that it would be more than random chance?
Hi Bert. Glad you are jumping in.
The answer to your question - It depends, and this is what inferential statistics were created for. (I'm pretty sure you know about that, but I put it here for the benefit of anyone else who may not.) Typically, in such tests, we need to see the test subject do well enough that their pattern of results would only occur by chance alone (in other words, by a strictly random process) 5% of the time. That 5% is arbitrary, though, and in some specific cases we may wish to tighten it or relax it.
May I skip over the math for now? (I'm happy to go back to it if you or someone else would prefer me to.) Let's assume that we test someone and they do exceedingly well. They correctly "hit" all five injuries and correctly "reject" all five noninjuries! Your question to me is would I see that pattern as due to something other than chance. I would say yes, almost certainly, though I am obligated to point out that we can only reduce chance, we can never eliminate it altogether.
If our test subject did this well, I can see at least four possible explanations.
1. The person got extremely lucky. (Very unlikely, but not mathematically impossible. Note that we can quantify how likely this is.)
2. The person can actually detect injury by means of biofields or some similar mechanism unknown to science. (I find this to be very, very unlikely, but as with #1, it cannot be considered mathematically impossible. Unlike #1, though, we cannot quantify how likely this is.)
3. The person is duping us. They cannot detect biofields and they know it, but they have found a way to make it look like they can, and we haven't caught on to the trick. (This seems unlikely to me, but I think it is much more likely than #1 or #2. It must be considered a possibility, though I myself do not suspect that this is what energy workers are doing or would do.)
4. The person is correctly detecting the presence of injury, but is doing so by cues they may not be consciously aware of. Perhaps the injured people make slightly different facial expressions when they are being 'scanned' by the test subject, and the test subject picks up on this; (s)he only perceives it as a 'gut feeling' which (s)he interprets as 'energy.' (This, to me, seems like the most likely explanation for the four.)
Number four might seem very unlikely to some folks reading such an interpretation for the first time, but such effects have been known to exist for quite some time. The true story of Clever Hans is one of the earliest and best examples of this type of effect, but there are many others.
Given that I find the fourth explanation to be the most likely, I would want to do subsequent testing (as they did with Clever Hans). Can the test subject get similar results when the patients' faces are not visible? Can (s)he do it with his ears plugged? And so on. If (s)he can do it under some conditions but not others, that will likely give us the information we need to figure out how the nonrandom results are being achieved.