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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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Deborah - you caught my post before I deleted it!
Ha!

I thought about it for a couple of minutes then decided that references to God wasn't such a good idea.

You should be aware that the rat studies are taken very seriously. Also, people should ask themselves what these studies are the basis for. Is this what people might be told when we hear "Research has shown that Reiki reduces heart rate...." in classes? It shows that we need to ask "What research?". How often does that happen in classes?

What are your views on the E.Coli testing though? THAT'S the one that made me go "I don't believe they're doing that".
It made me wonder if I showed enough empathy to my yogurt, would it make it taste better?
Vlad - my laughter shouldn't be seen as directed at you personally, just at my own mindplay after reading the Reiki on Rats study. I have a kind of twisted sense of humor.

Yeah, I found it a bit odd that someone would connect to a bacteria. After thinking about it though, I remembered there are good bacteria and bad bacteria, as in, we need the good bacteria in our stomachs to interact with the digestive process. So, your yogurt has the good bacteria. While bacteria can be energy, is all energy good? We don't need science to prove that it is not, as in cases where psychotherapy can only identify a set of behaviors as a control group to give evidence to theory. For the sake of demonstration, take a psychopath. Would you consider the energy of a person diagnosed as such as negative or positive? Is their energy usually destructive? From our social constructs, yes. What if that energy were addressed differently than from a medical standpoint. Could we perhaps change it in a positive way with Reiki or other touch-based therapies? Drugs have proven ineffective in treating psychopaths.

Consider autism, ADD, ADHD, bi-polarism, and other related symptomatic conditions and ask the question, if science cannot find evidence of causes to these conditions, why? Science has only enabled us to exercise some control with pharmaceutical drugs tailored to adjust the nervous system for this control, so why not use the nervous system as the basis for study of energy and then how massage comes in as a tool that can affect that energy . . . instead of rats?

Vlad said:
Deborah - you caught my post before I deleted it!
Ha!

I thought about it for a couple of minutes then decided that references to God wasn't such a good idea.

You should be aware that the rat studies are taken very seriously. Also, people should ask themselves what these studies are the basis for. Is this what people might be told when we hear "Research has shown that Reiki reduces heart rate...." in classes? It shows that we need to ask "What research?". How often does that happen in classes?

What are your views on the E.Coli testing though? THAT'S the one that made me go "I don't believe they're doing that".
It made me wonder if I showed enough empathy to my yogurt, would it make it taste better?
Deborah - I know it wasn't meant as personal. As far as the rat studies go, I find the methodology interesting (and I think others might find it interesting too) and since the one I was looking at states that it's the most rigorous test for the efficacy of Reiki, then it should be looked at and critiqued. IF the methodology was good, then that's a good thing. Everyone should be able to recognize the good from the bad, that's all I'm interested in.

As for science and ADD/bipolar disorders etc. I think we've come a long way with those in the past 20 years through research and "good" scientific investigation, though, right? Science only allows us to exercise some control? Well, thank goodness for that, eh? Oh, and don't take that personally either- I know you were highlighting the limitations of science, it's just that since I know a lot of people that benefit from those drugs, I'm kind of glad they exist :)

Your nervous system idea is interesting though, for sure. Mr. Quantifiable might have some thoughts on that.
Where is he anyway?
I wanna know about the methodology in the (Spartan) rat study.

(Incidentally, Spartan rats could never have been used in any rat study because they would have fought TO THE DEATH before being caught by humans, and then they would have been carried home on top of their wee rat-sized shields).
Mr. Quantifiable might have some thoughts on that.
Where is he anyway?


You know, that really oughta be Dr. Quantifiable.

It's the first day of the semester today, so it's a little crazy for me as I try to line up all my ducks for the next 15 weeks. In addition, I had to help a friend get some emergency medical care this weekend, so I'm a little behind. Please don't wait for me! Carry on. I appoint Vlad as the thread's Tsarina of Continuity, Order, and Rationality.

I'll try to catch up in a couple of days, or maybe sooner.
Vlad said:
Deborah - I know it wasn't meant as personal. As far as the rat studies go, I find the methodology interesting (and I think others might find it interesting too) and since the one I was looking at states that it's the most rigorous test for the efficacy of Reiki, then it should be looked at and critiqued. IF the methodology was good, then that's a good thing. Everyone should be able to recognize the good from the bad, that's all I'm interested in.

Question: Were Reiki Masters employed for the administration of Reiki?

As for science and ADD/bipolar disorders etc. I think we've come a long way with those in the past 20 years through research and "good" scientific investigation, though, right? Science only allows us to exercise some control? Well, thank goodness for that, eh? Oh, and don't take that personally either- I know you were highlighting the limitations of science, it's just that since I know a lot of people that benefit from those drugs, I'm kind of glad they exist :)

I agree.
Your nervous system idea is interesting though, for sure. Mr. Quantifiable might have some thoughts on that.
Where is he anyway?
I wanna know about the methodology in the (Spartan) rat study.

(Incidentally, Spartan rats could never have been used in any rat study because they would have fought TO THE DEATH before being caught by humans, and then they would have been carried home on top of their wee rat-sized shields).

Yeah, again, I laughed to myself, but out loud, and I apologize to scientists. I just have a hard time finding Reiki on Rats as sophisticated science, which might be that I'm saying perhaps scientists could find better ways of testing? I dunno. I will defer to them on this point.
You've got a PhD in Psychology and you're giving the Tsarina appointment to me?
I'm a wee bit crazy, but hey, Doc.....whatever.

Hope your friend is doing OK.
Tsars and Tsarinas? Really? Uh-oh, I'm in trouble then. LOL.

Vlad said:
You've got a PhD in Psychology and you're giving the Tsarina appointment to me?
I'm a wee bit crazy, but hey, Doc.....whatever.

Hope your friend is doing OK.
Question: Were Reiki Masters employed for the administration of Reiki?

Sorry I missed that earlier - here's the study again that I was referring to (just in case people got confused) and they say Reiki practitioners were used.

Also, Deborah, you hit on a big point with "which might be that I'm saying perhaps scientists could find better ways of testing? I dunno. I will defer to them on this point."
I think a lot of us have a habit of leaving everything in the hands of scientists and then trusting them to do it right.
I doubt that many of us are taught how to evaluate scientific studies, but I just happen to think there's a certain amount of empowerment from learning about it. I'm not talking about empowerment JUST for massage therapists - although I'm in in favor of that most of all. IF there was a wave of research literacy knowledge (and more to the point - high levels in the ability to critique an individual study) in the massage community then it would mean that we would see better studies being done - the massage community would demand quality studies, no matter what aspect of our work is being studied.

So maybe we can defer to the scientists, but we can also say "Hey, you guys in the wee white jackets singing the logical song - we're keeping an eye on you and we know enough to know when you're giving us bad doo-doo and bad doo-doo is unacceptable"
Bert, your avatar needs to be shown here - POST, please!
Yes, man, is there some reference to three blind mice coming up? What about three "blind" rats?
It seems pointless for me to post anything, but I wanted to agree with some things Deborah mentions.

Rats? Do rats have a will? What is their level of cognizance? Or e-coli for that matter? They're living things, yes. Hindus believe all life evolves and don't eat a cow because it might've been an ancestor. But even though I believe in reincarnation, that just seems silly to me. Anyway, I think energy work is a dance. It's not something performed on some helpless, brainless mass of cells. Of course, we could argue if rats are brainless or not. =) Intelligent on the level of survival, but...survival seems to be the lowest possible form of living.

I don't think there's "good" or "bad" living organisms. They can be perceived as bad if they cause death or destruction. But we need those as part of living too.
Vlad said:
Yep. This fella Schwartz apparently is also really into studying mediums .

Are people impressed with that?


I'm not impressed with that, but is there a problem with it? It's interesting that someone would put their reputation on the line to write more than 250 papers on such subjects. In the discussion on Wikipedia, it says that Dr. Schwartz's research garnered him much criticism from skeptics such as James Randi, Robert Todd Carroll, Paul Kurtz and Ray Hyman. None of the people quoted above with the exception of Hyman are scientists, nor do any of them conduct their own experiments or research. Anyone can criticize any research based on a prior beliefs, but I'm not sure why this is worthy of inclusion just because they consider themselves 'skeptics' and have managed to attract publicity in this (non-scientific) capacity.

I've a question. Does he believe in rat mediums? Bacteria mediums? Squirrel mediums?

Well that would come down to the question, do they have a soul, their own volition, or purpose in life - the ability to reason. If they did, maybe they would have such things. Near as I can tell, the only living organism on the planet that would even ask why we're here would be humans. But of course, that's completely unscientific on my part. =)

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.

Because you don't believe in mediums? =)

I dunno, I guess when I told someone (whom I knew nothing about prior to talking to her), the place in her house that her dog used to sleep and greet her, that the dog was covered in tumors and died from cancer, and was 100% accurate has no validity in the world of dog mediums. =)

Schwartz was criticized for using subjects that were already interested in psychic phenomena. But I can tell you, this actually has to be some sort of requirement because the will of the person cannot be violated. If a person doesn't want you to know anything about them, and they want to prove you know nothing, you can't get a reading on them, or it tends to be far less accurate. Simple as that. It's part of honoring the will of others. It's one reason I think remote viewing, without someone's consent, is unethical too. If you don't think our US government doesn't employ such things as remote viewing, or that police don't use psychics to solve crimes, then maybe it's a good time to do some research on why they employ such people.
Hi Juliana,

I don't see your posts as pointless at all. You have some extremely important insights and knowledge. Thank you. As far as I can see, this is a discussion and the argument serves as a vehicle through this journey of discovery Christopher has opened. We might not all agree all the time, but coming to some common ground would be step in the right direction, - so keep contributing if you can.

Julianna Holden Mohler said:
It seems pointless for me to post anything, but I wanted to agree with some things Deborah mentions.

Rats? Do rats have a will? What is their level of cognizance? Or e-coli for that matter? They're living things, yes. Hindus believe all life evolves and don't eat a cow because it might've been an ancestor. But even though I believe in reincarnation, that just seems silly to me. Anyway, I think energy work is a dance. It's not something performed on some helpless, brainless mass of cells. Of course, we could argue if rats are brainless or not. =) Intelligent on the level of survival, but...survival seems to be the lowest possible form of living.

I don't think there's "good" or "bad" living organisms. They can be perceived as bad if they cause death or destruction. But we need those as part of living too.

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