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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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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.

Sounds cool, but it just isn't true. The fact that some ultra-weird things are known to happen at the subatomic levels of matter does not at all support the conclusion that there is no objectivity or objective reality.

Some people who make this mistake are conflating the uncertainty principle, a very bizarre but well-documented phenomenon in quantum physics, with the observer effect, the fact that observing someone or something is likely to affect its behavior for physical (but not quantum mechanical) and/or (in the case of humans or animals) psychological reasons. These are not the same thing.
The summary is good; most people will be happy it's short and sweet. The rest of us can wait for your longer version. I thought this was your disertation?

In regards to your response to RP in Colorado, many therapists think of MT as a healing art and a scientific approach to treating muscle tension. I like to think it's both; or better yet, a whole system CAM approach to healing.

Christopher A. Moyer said:
Robin Byler Thomas said:


Christopher actually has done research on the MT/client relationship; please share dude, when you get a chance.

Well, there is just the summary that I sent to you via email. One of my goals for the winter break is to get that study written up! I"m ashamed that I have let it go so long without doing that.
Hi Robin.

I'm not able to get at the article. But I'm familiar with articles like it, which maintain that RCTs are somehow invalid for CAM. I've seen about two dozen of that type of article, and they never make their case. Why would RCTs somehow not work for CAM practices but work well for all other treatments?

Blinding - a common feature of RCTs in which we try to keep patients and researchers from knowing who is in the treatment group and who is in the control group - is impossible with certain therapies, but this is not limited to CAM treatments. Psychotherapy is a good example - how would we conduct sham psychotherapy without instructing the therapist that (s)he is performing sham psychotherapy? It is impossible, and so blinding at that level cannot be done. The same is true with massage therapy - the therapist has to know what they are doing.

Apart from this, which is not limited to CAM practices, there is no reason at all that RCTs cannot be validly applied to CAM.

Robin Byler Thomas said:
I agree with Bert; a skilled therapist with experience can use energy modalities well. Maybe the real issue is energy work might not be a good idea for student curriculum and should be provided as a CEU only.

Also, the article Bodhi posted has no citations so does one no good in checking the studies mentioned.

Here's an article that identifies the problems with applying RCT's to whole systems of CAM research study; with citations. It's a must read for energy workers who'd like a research voice and for skeptics as well.

I consider MT a whole system CAM approach to health care. The term massage is well defined as a manual manupulation of soft tisses for healing purposes, however, massage therapy addresses many levels. These levels may include psychological, social, environmental, physical, and spiritual/cultural.
Bert: Chris, have you seen this paper? I would like to hear your take.

If someone can provide a link that works for me, or can send it to me as an attachment, I'll have a look at it (as time permits - busy end of semester).
Vlad said:
Do Squirrels have QI? Course we do! We've got more qi than humans. You humans are virtually qi-less compared to us!

Squirrels have many fine qualities.

They're also nuts. :)
No doubt - I've enjoyed conversing with her very much.

Bert Davich said:
Well Chris,
As I mentioned to you in another conversation "I am thinking that Robin may be an intellectual force that has yet to reveal it's true depth"

Thanx again Robin!

Christopher A. Moyer said:
Robin Byler Thomas said:


Christopher actually has done research on the MT/client relationship; please share dude, when you get a chance.

Well, there is just the summary that I sent to you via email. One of my goals for the winter break is to get that study written up! I"m ashamed that I have let it go so long without doing that.
Will do; it should be in you inbox shortly.

Christopher A. Moyer said:
Bert: Chris, have you seen this paper? I would like to hear your take.

If someone can provide a link that works for me, or can send it to me as an attachment, I'll have a look at it (as time permits - busy end of semester).
I had difficulties using the file format Robin initially provided, but have since obtained a pdf copy of the "whole systems" article from Marja Verhoef, the first author. I post it here for anyone's interest and convenience.

I haven't read the article yet but intend to soon.

-CM

Robin Byler Thomas said:
Will do; it should be in you inbox shortly.

Christopher A. Moyer said:
Bert: Chris, have you seen this paper? I would like to hear your take.

If someone can provide a link that works for me, or can send it to me as an attachment, I'll have a look at it (as time permits - busy end of semester).
Attachments:
Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't :)

Christopher A. Moyer said:
Vlad said:
Do Squirrels have QI? Course we do! We've got more qi than humans. You humans are virtually qi-less compared to us!

Squirrels have many fine qualities.

They're also nuts. :)
Hey you, yea it's effective.... what did you think we all walk around and don't effect anything. I know that is the simple way of thinking about it. And yes, the reason you probably have an incredible abilty is you are aware of energy due to martial arts. I first learned in Thai Chi that being aware of energy and where your body was in space was actually Key.
In Miami I did alot more energy work because people were more open to the idea. Here in Lousiana I have to just kinda sneek it in sometimes. And during a research study in the burn unit where touching someone is actually too painful, I used energy work to help the healing process of graphs. Also over Knee's that had been cut on. It's an incredible gift... Keep on trucking.
Even if there is an objective reality independent of our experience, as I also believe there is, we can only speak of our experience of it. We can try to create a model or representation of it but it will not be the 'reality', and any explanation that uses logic, belief system, or even language is prone to skew it. Objective reality just is. Our interpretation of it is just that, an interpretation.

The labeling of those subatomic events as 'ultra-weird' or 'bizarre' makes precisely the point I was trying to make about objectivity. If you were a photon your viewpoint may be different. Similarly, if you were a massage therapist or energy worker your viewpoint in this discussion would be different as well.




Christopher A. Moyer said:
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.
Sounds cool, but it just isn't true. The fact that some ultra-weird things are known to happen at the subatomic levels of matter does not at all support the conclusion that there is no objectivity or objective reality.
Some people who make this mistake are conflating the uncertainty principle, a very bizarre but well-documented phenomenon in quantum physics, with the observer effect, the fact that observing someone or something is likely to affect its behavior for physical (but not quantum mechanical) and/or (in the case of humans or animals) psychological reasons. These are not the same thing.
Rick - Thanks for the interesting and detailed account of your experiences with energy. Though not trained in martial arts myself, I have spent some time thinking about the importance of "chi" in the martial arts. My own opinion is that the concept probably works quite well as a way to help the martial artist concentrate, develop the right level of self-awareness and physiological arousal, and optimize strength, speed, and accuracy. I don't, however, think that there really is such a thing as "chi."

kept her trousers on and at some point in the examination I passed my right hand from her ankle to her knee (not in contact); as I did this I clearly felt 'something' about half-way up her shin. It was like one of those metal detectors going 'beep' when the security uard finds loose change in your pocket. It was so clear and I was surprised. I tried passing my hand up and down about an inch above the tibia and the next time i felt the 'beep' there was shape to it.. it was 3D. Hmm... i clearly remember thinking... what is this?

Well, I slid the trouser leg up and there in exactly the spot I had felt the 'beep' was a violet-blue bruise right on the tibia. It was obvious that this was not a recent injury... and the lady said 'oh, yes, I bashed my leg (on something metal i dont recall precisely) about 3 weeks ago and this bruise won't go...'


This is interesting. I wonder, though - is there any chance that this was a coincidence? How often have you felt the 'beep' when there was no underlying injury? If we had ten patients, only five of whom had such a bruise, and asked you to detect the bruises by the same technique, what do you think your success rate would be?

To a scientist, your anecdote is interesting, but still pretty far from being evidence of biofield energy detection. We would need to rule out some other more likely possibilities. Don't you agree?

the spooky thing was, the next morning the client phoned the clinic and left a message at reception saying 'please pass on my thanks, the bruise on my shin has completely gone...'. I was gobsmacked.


But bruises do go away.

Whatever the reason, I am a believer now.

A hypothetical question - what if we conducted the test I described above, in which there are five injuries among ten patients, and you were unable to detect the injuries better than randomness would predict? Would you continue to believe in your biofield energy detection abilities, or would you begin to doubt them?

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