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Therapeutic Touch: Quackery?

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  • Therapeutic Touch: Quackery?

    Originally posted by Siggie View Post
    TT is not about that. C'mon. This was tested and their claims were disproved.
    The point is about false claims. If these people were honest about what they do then I wouldn't have a problem with it. But they are conning uninformed people out of their money.
    I'm not sure who those con artists are, but the touch therapy you mention is referred to as REIKI. They don't claim anything but the following:

    REIKI is NOT:
    a religion/cult
    a cure-all or panacea
    positive nor negative
    dependent upon your belief in it
    a replacement for medical care
    an alternative form of therapy
    Reiki does not work on the physical body only

    REIKI:
    is the acceptance of your spiritual-self
    enhances the body's natural ability to heal
    is dual: It provides the proper energy needed
    works on plants, animals and planet
    enhances the acceptance of medical care
    is the next step in the total healing process
    heals the spirit-body

    Now would I waste money for someone to wave their hands over me... certainly not. However, they don't claim that is anything but a form of relaxation.
    "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

  • #2
    Re: Homeopathic medicines are JUST WATER!

    *sighs* Again you narrow your focus and ignore the rest.

    Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post
    I'm not sure who those con artists are, but the touch therapy you mention is referred to as REIKI. They don't claim anything but the following:

    ...
    Now would I waste money for someone to wave their hands over me... certainly not. However, they don't claim that is anything but a form of relaxation.
    They don't claim anything but that? Like it's nothing? They're claiming they can HEAL!
    They claim to manipulate energy fields/aura, thus promoting healing. You found the most understated list of their claims.

    Here are a serious of descriptions of TT taken from TT sites... I didn't pick and choose these. These are the sites that came up on first page when I googled "therapeutic touch" which don't call it quakery (since you would dismiss those as being biased).

    The purpose of therapeutic touch, then, is to remove the irregularities of the energy field which cause dis-ease, both as a preventative mechanism and as a treatment for manifested illness. Therapeutic touch practitioners attempt to smooth out irregularities in the human energy field and attempt to center the energies of the individual, diverting excess energies back into the environment. Alternatively, the therapist may channel some of the limitless energy of the environment through themselves to "jump start" the weakened energies of the individual. It is this recentering and smoothing that is the operative technique of therapeutic touch; the practitioner is not actually healing the patient, but instead orienting the patient's body correctly so that it operates at peak levels of efficiency.

    One of the most interesting claims of therapeutic touch practitioners is that the therapy can work on ailments which neither the therapist or patient are conciously aware of. This statement has two interesting implications. First, it removes the need for diagnositic training of the part of the practitioner, as the energy knows exactly where it should go without being guided. Thus, therapeutic touch may be learned and used outside of the professional health care arena. Second, it removes the onus of curing any particular ailment from the patient. A patient may go into a session hoping for a cure for a persistent backache and instead come out of the session with a more positive outlook on life in general.

    In addition to claims of increased healing, some schools of therapeutic touch claim an ability to heal others from great distances, and particularly to center areas of negative emotional energy from a great distance. In addition to providing healing services for the local community, practioners of Reiki and Pranic healing attempt to better the world at large by projecting positive energies into areas international conflict and turmoil, attempting to quell violence and promote peace. While this seems like a radical and completely insupportable idea, a 1976 study discovered a statistically significant lowering of rates for crime, accidents, and illness in areas in which at least one percent of the population practices transcendental meditation, a school of meditation dedicated to bringing the mind and body into balance and attaining inner harmony and quiet. While similar studies have not been conducted on the effect of distance reiki, the transcendental meditation study must be taken seriously as a reminder that logical skepticism, while vital for scientific inquiry, must never rule out any claim as impossible without testing. source
    What is therapeutic touch?

    Therapeutic touch is a form of healing that uses a practice called "laying on of hands" to correct or balance energy fields. The word "touch" is misleading because physical touch is generally not involved. Instead, the hands hover over the body. Therapeutic touch is based on the theory that the body, mind, and emotions form a complex energy field. According to therapeutic touch, health is an indication of a balanced energy field, and illness represents imbalance. Studies suggest that therapeutic touch can help to heal wounds, reduce pain, and promote relaxation.

    What is the energy field?

    Although scientists differ on the nature and relevance of the human energy field, the concept of an energy field is also a part of other types of healing. In the ancient medical systems of India and China, the energy field is described as life energy. It is thought to exist throughout the body and is responsible for maintaining normal physiological, psychological, and spiritual functions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this energy is called qi (pronounced "chee"); in India's ayurvedic medicine it is called prana.
    More generally, therapeutic touch is based on the idea that optimal health requires a balanced flow of life energy. Practitioners of therapeutic touch, by their own description, sense your energy through their hands and then send healthy energy back to you. When receiving therapeutic touch you usually feel such things as warmth, relaxation, and pain relief. The practitioner describes your energy as hot or cold, active or passive, blocked or free. There are eight general regions of the body above which energy is sensed -- head, throat, heart, stomach, lower abdomen, sacral region, knees, and feet. Ultimately, you, the recipient of therapeutic touch are the healer. The practitioner simply allows your body's own healing mechanisms to emerge. The role of the practitioner is to facilitate this process. source
    Therapeutic Touch is a contemporary healing modality drawn from ancient practices and developed by Dora Kunz and Dolores Krieger. The practice is based on the assumptions that human beings are complex fields of energy, and that the ability to enhance healing in another is a natural potential.

    Therapeutic Touch (TT) is used to balance and promote the flow of human energy. It is taught in colleges around the world and has a substantial base of formal and clinical research. This research has shown that TT is useful in reducing pain, improving wound healing, aiding relaxation, and easing the dying process. It can be learned by anyone with a sincere interest and motivation towards helping others. source
    Even in your quote there, it has the claim to promote healing. When tested, they can't even detect an aura, let alone manipulate it.

    Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post
    REIKI:
    is the acceptance of your spiritual-self
    enhances the body's natural ability to heal
    is dual: It provides the proper energy needed
    works on plants, animals and planet
    enhances the acceptance of medical care
    is the next step in the total healing process
    heals the spirit-body
    [COLOR=#4b0082][B][SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]“If you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
    -Henry Ford[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Therapeutic Touch: Quackery?

      .


      And now the criticism

      Originally posted by Quakwatch.com
      Why Therapeutic Touch Should Be Considered Quackery

      [TT] is a method in which the hands are said to "direct human energies to help or heal someone who is ill." Proponents claim that the patient's "energy field" can be detected and intentionally manipulated by the therapist. They theorize that healing results from a transfer of "excess energy" from healer to patient. Their reports claim that TT is effective against scores of diseases and conditions.

      [TT] was conceived in the early 1970s by Dolores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N., a faculty member at New York University's Division of Nursing. The "human energy field" TT theorists postulate resembles the "magnetic fluid" or "magnetic force" hypothesized during the 18th century by Anton Mesmer and his followers [1]. Mesmerism held that illnesses are caused by obstacles to the free flow of this fluid and that skilled healers ("sensitives") could remove these obstacles by making passes with their hands. Some aspects of mesmerism were revived in the nineteenth century by Theosophy, an occult religion that incorporated Eastern metaphysical concepts and underlies many current "New Age" ideas. Dora Kunz, who is considered TT's co-developer... collaborated with Krieger on the early TT studies and claims to be a fifth-generation "sensitive" and a "gifted healer."

      In the late 1990s, proponents stated that more than 100,000 people worldwide had been trained in TT technique, including at least 43,000 health care professionals, and that about half of those trained actually practiced it. TT generally involves four steps:

      "Centering," a meditative process said to align the healer with the patent's energy level
      "Assessment," said to be performed by using one's hands to detect forces emanating from the patient.
      "Unruffling the field," (or"clearing"), said to involve sweeping "stagnant energy" downward to prepare for energy transfer,
      "Transfer of "energy" from practitioner to patient.
      The most common form of TT is "non-contact therapeutic touch," which is done with the "healer's" hands held a few inches away from the patient's body. TT is sometimes used together with massage.

      There is no scientific evidence or logical reason to believe that the "energy transfer" postulated by proponents actually occurs. It is safe to assume that any reactions to the procedure are psychological responses to the "laying on of hands."

      In 1996, Linda Rosa, R.N., published a critique of all of the studies related to TT she could locate in nursing journals and elsewhere. She concluded: "The more rigorous the research design, the more detailed the statistical analysis, the less evidence that there is any observed—or observable—phenomenon." [2]

      TT advocates state that, "Baseline assessment of the energy field is necessary in order to intervene effectively during the TT intervention." [3] At age 9, Rosa's daughter Emily figured out a way to test whether practitioners could detect her alleged "energy field." During the next two years, she tested whether 21 of them could detect one of her hands near theirs if they couldn't see it. Each subject was tested 10 or 20 times.
      During the tests, the practitioners rested their forearms and hands, palms up, on a flat surface, approximately 10 to 12 inches apart. Emily then hovered her hand, palm down, a few inches above one of the subject's palms. A cardboard screen approximately 3 feet high and 1/8th of an inch thick was used to prevent the subjects from seeing which of their hands was selected. The practitioners correctly located Emily's hand only 122 (44%) out of 280 trials, which is no better than would be expected by guessing [4]. A score of 50% would be expected through chance alone. The study was reported in 1998 in the Journal of the American Medical Association whose editor, George D. Lundberg, M.D., commented that: (a) TT practitioners hencforth had an ethical duty to disclose its results to potential patients, (b) third-party payers should question whether they should pay for TT procedures, and (c) patients should refuse to pay for TT "until or unless additional honest experimentation demonstrates an actual effect." [5].


      In 1996, the James Randi Educational Foundation offered $742,000 to anyone who could demonstrate an ability to detect a "human energy field" under conditions similar to those of our study. Although more than 80,000 American practitioners claim to have such ability, only one person attempted to demonstrate it. She failed, and the offer, now at $1 million, has had no further takers despite extensive recruiting efforts, including a direct appeal to Dr. Krieger. That's not surprising, of course, because TT's proponents have nothing to gain by submitting to honest testing of their most basic assumption.

      References

      Ball TS, Alexander DD. Catching up with eighteenth century science in the evaluation of therapeutic touch. Skeptical Inquirer 22(4):31-34, 1998.
      Rosa L. Survey of Therapeutic Touch "Research." Loveland, Colorado: Front Range Skeptics, 1996.
      Therapeutic touch policy and procedure for health care professionals. Nurse Healers-Professional Associates International Web site, accessed Feb 3, 2008.
      Rosa L, Rosa E, Sarner L, Barrett S. A Close Look at Therapeutic Touch. JAMA 279:1005-1010, 1998.
      Lundberg GD. Editor's note. JAMA 279:1040, 1998.
      Here's the link to a pdf of that JAMA article by Rosa et al.

      Originally posted by Skepdic
      therapeutic touch

      [TT] is a type of energy medicine whereby the therapist moves his or her hands over the patient’s “energy field,” allegedly directing the flow of chi or prana so the patient can heal. TT is based on the belief that each living thing has a “life energy field” which extends beyond the surface of the body and generates an aura. This energy field can become unbalanced, misaligned, obstructed, or out of tune. Energy healers think they can feel and manipulate this energy field by making movements that resemble massaging the air a few inches above the surface of the patient’s body. Energy healers also think that they can transfer some of their own life energy to the patient. These airy manipulations allegedly restore the energy field to a state of balance or harmony, to a proper alignment, or they unblock a clog in the field or transfer life energy from healer to patient. This restoration of integrity to the field is thought to make it possible for the body to heal itself.

      TT has no scientific basis but it does have a history. It was created by a nurse ... Dolores Krieger, Ph.D, R.N...began TT in the early 1970s. She was convinced that the palms are chakras and can channel healing energy. She is the author of Therapeutic Touch: How to Use Your Hands to Help and to Heal (1979) and several other books on TT. Dora Kunz, president of the Theosophical Society of America, was her mentor and an intuitive healer. TT is practiced primarily by nurses, though TT is apparently being practiced worldwide by all kinds of “alternative” healers and laypersons.

      Practitioners admit that there has never been any scientific detection of a human energy field. This, they say, is because of the inadequacies of our present technology. One with a trained sense, however, is allegedly able to detect the human energy field and assess its integrity. Despite the obvious metaphysical basis for this quackery, defenders of TT claim it is scientific because it is based on quantum physics. A grant proposal to study therapeutic touch on burn victims asserts: “Quantum theory states that all of reality is made up of energy fields and that over 99% of the universe is simply space.” Another defender claims

      The underlying principles upon which this technique is based include acceptance of the Einstein paradigm of a complex, energetic field-like universe (i.e., the existence of a Life energy flowing through and around all of us). Further, if life is characterized by an interchange of various qualities of energy, it can be assumed that any form of obstruction -- either within the organism or between the organism and the environment -- is contrary to Nature's tendencies and therefore unhealthy. In practicing Therapeutic Touch, one attempts to influence this energy imbalance towards health to restore the integrity of this field. In this way the TT practitioner does not so much "heal" the patient as facilitate the patient's own healing processes, by gently manipulating the body's energy flow and adjusting it as a whole. With the achievement of balance in mind, body and spirit, we have a truly holistic approach (Rebecca Witmer, “Hands that Heal: The Art of Therapeutic Touch,” Healing Arts, 1995).

      Let's carefully examine these claims and the inferences drawn from them. Einstein did not have a paradigm which included the notion of “a Life energy flowing through and around all of us.” He may have written of interchanges of quantities of energy. Many physicists have written of such things as transforming mechanical energy into electrical energy, for example, but would the typical physicist understand the expression “life is an interchange of qualities of energy”? From this notion Ms. Witmer infers that any form of obstruction within the organism or between the organism and the environment is contrary to Nature's tendencies and therefore unhealthy. This seems like a non sequitur, but she goes on: “if life is characterized by an interchange of various qualities of energy, it can be assumed that any form of obstruction -- either within the organism or between the organism and the environment -- is contrary to Nature's tendencies and therefore unhealthy.” This seems like an “alternative” logic using an “alternative” science to support an “alternative” therapy.

      It might be true that an obstruction within an organism is contrary to Nature's tendencies, if by that we mean such things as: blockage of an air passage is unhealthy or blocked arteries are unhealthy. Yet, most rational patients with such blockages would probably want someone to physically unblock the passageway. A rational person would not think that a mystic waving her hands over one’s energy field would ever remove any such blockage. On the other hand, for most organisms the environment is mostly obstructions. This may not be healthy, but it is certainly natural. In any case, what does it mean to say that it is unhealthy to go contrary to Nature's tendencies? Are the hurricane, the tornado, the volcano, the flood, the lightning bolt and the earthquake contrary to Nature's tendencies? How could they be, since they are part of Nature. Is the lion eating the gazelle contrary to Nature's tendencies?

      Why so many believers?

      One might wonder why a group of otherwise intelligent, highly trained professionals such as nurses would be attracted to something like TT. Ms. Witmer might have the answer. She writes

      Those who practice TT often report reaping benefits for themselves. For example, the ability of TT to reduce burnout in health care professionals has been well-documented.

      The TT therapist has powers physicians don't have: secret, mystical powers which only the practitioner can measure. You get a lot of positive feedback. You can’t hurt anyone because you’re not even touching them, much less invading their body with drugs or surgical instruments. You network and those in your network feed off of each other's enthusiasm. There is a great deal of communal reinforcement. Many patients swear they can feel your good work. You feel revitalized, empowered.

      Why do so many patients testify to the benefits of therapeutic touch or other bogus therapies such as homeopathy and magnet therapy? Some commit the regressive fallacy. Most testimonials are not followed up. They are based on immediate or early impressions. Both therapist and patient are deceived into thinking a temporary lift, which may be due to expectation, is significant and will last. Or, credit is given to TT when the real causative agent was a concurrent treatment (drugs or surgery, for example). Also, the feelings associated with illness or injury can be quite complex, involving not just pain but various emotions and desires. The patient may be anxious and fearful, or hopeful and optimistic. The intervention of any caring therapist--and those who practice TT are universally admired for their caring attitude--can profoundly affect these feelings. The patient may feel better, but the feeling may have nothing to do with being cured or healed. There is scientific evidence that supportive therapy of breast cancer patients improves mood and pain control, but not longevity (Goodwin 2001; Spiegel 2007). It may be that therapies such as TT have a similar effect on mood, though they do nothing to curtail the illness or disease itself. Elevated mood may be misinterpreted as improved health. The same improvement might have been induced by watching a Buster Keaton movie.

      New Age spiritualism has co-opted some of the language of physics, including the language of quantum mechanics, in its quest to make ancient metaphysics sound like respectable science. The New Age preaches enhancing your vital energy, tapping into the subtle energy of the universe, or manipulating your biofield so that you can be happy, fulfilled, successful, and lovable, and so life can be meaningful, significant, and endless. The New Age promises you the power to heal the sick and create reality according to your will, as if you were a god.

      Some healers claim they can feel the energy of these elusive and ineluctable biofields, vibrations, auras, or rays. TT practitioners make this claim. Twenty-one practitioners, who knew from much experience that they could feel the energy around the bodies of patients, were tested. They had never been tested, however, in a situation where they could not see the source of the alleged "energy field." Nine-year-old Emily Rosa tested these energy healers to see if they could feel her life energy when they could not see its source. The test was very simple and seems to clearly indicate that the subjects could not detect the life energy of the little girl’s hands when placed near theirs. They had a 50% chance of being right in each test, yet they correctly located Emily's hand only 44% of the time in 280 trials. If they can’t detect the energy, how can they manipulate or transfer it? What are they detecting? Most likely they are detecting what has been suggested to them by those who taught them this practice. Their feelings of energy detection appear to be manufactured in their own minds. Krieger has been offered $1,000,000 by James Randi to demonstrate that she, or anyone else for that matter, can detect the human energy field. So far, Krieger has not been tested. source
      [COLOR=#4b0082][B][SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]“If you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
      -Henry Ford[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Homeopathic medicines are JUST WATER!

        Originally posted by Siggie View Post
        *sighs* Again you narrow your focus and ignore the rest.

        Even in your quote there, it has the claim to promote healing. When tested, they can't even detect an aura, let alone manipulate it.
        Womaaaaaaaaan. Who taught you how to read good? lol. It all depends on how your interpret it and your understanding of the wording.

        "enhances the body's natural ability to heal"
        - your body is constantly healing and is at its most capable state when you are resting/relaxing

        "heals the spirit-body"
        - translation.... puts you in a better mood or different state of mind

        There is not a single wrong claim of what it does for someone. Infact, I might just hire some attractive women to operate some REIKI therapy centres. Thanks for the business idea, LOL.
        "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Homeopathic medicines are JUST WATER!

          Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post
          Womaaaaaaaaan. Who taught you how to read good? lol. It all depends on how your interpret it and your understanding of the wording.

          "enhances the body's natural ability to heal"
          - your body is constantly healing and is at its most capable state when you are resting/relaxing

          "heals the spirit-body"
          - translation.... puts you in a better mood or different state of mind

          There is not a single wrong claim of what it does for someone. Infact, I might just hire some attractive women to operate some REIKI therapy centres. Thanks for the business idea, LOL.
          Oh you're really stretching. Regardless, the end result is enhanced healing, but the research doesn't support that. Did you read what I posted at all? You replied so quickly, I doubt you did.
          Dodge and joke... Classic KanadaHye.
          As they say, "There is none so blind..."
          [COLOR=#4b0082][B][SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]“If you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
          -Henry Ford[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Homeopathic medicines are JUST WATER!

            Originally posted by Siggie View Post
            Oh you're really stretching. Regardless, the end result is enhanced healing, but the research doesn't support that. Did you read what I posted at all? You replied so quickly, I doubt you did.
            Dodge and joke... Classic KanadaHye.
            As they say, "There is none so blind..."
            I read the source names "quakwatch.com" and "Skepdic" and figured the information I had read on REIKI was more reliable. Business is business... if you can fool people out of their money then all is fair in love and war in a Capitalistic society. This method of deception is used in everything from hi-tech equipment to the clothing/fashion industry, automotive, pharmaceutical and medical....and even the marriage industry. Nothing is ever quite what is advertised

            On a serious note, here is what I'm wondering... if there is a bad product on the market, word of mouth spreads pretty fast. If this doesn't work or the people who undergo the Theraputic Touch experience think it's a scam, you would think word of mouth would take care of the problem no? Maybe they see some benefit in it.... or are just quacks themselves.

            I know your psycho babble explains this phenomenon, but it's just a shot in the dark by someone who thinks higher of themselves and doesn't realize that they are also merely justifying their own existence.
            Last edited by KanadaHye; 02-04-2010, 06:07 AM.
            "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Therapeutic Touch: Quackery?

              I went to one of these healers once. I had a lot of constant pain and i went there because modern medicine could not help me. The practitioner was a short asian man in his upper 30s. He told me upfront that his technique was more effective in healing certain kinds of diseases and pains and that my case was not one of them but it may help somewhat. I was not expecting much anyways but went ahead with it. He applied his hands along some lines on my back and i could feel a great deal of heat from his hands as he was doing it. I wondered what caused his hands to warm up that much. There was no chemical being used and hardly any friction in the process plus i shook his hand before we started and it was warm but nothing like the heat he was generating during the procedure. After about 10 minutes he declared the procedure finished and i went home. Did it help? I simply do not know. I did not feel less pain nor did i feel more pain but that doesnt mean necesserily it did not help because perhaps you can argue it prevented it from getting worst but again no way of knowing. He did handled himself in a professional manner and right at the start told me it probably wont work for me. I am not trying to prove or disprove anything here but i did want to share this experience since it seems relavent to the topic.
              Hayastan or Bust.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Therapeutic Touch: Quackery?

                Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post
                I read the source names "quakwatch.com" and "Skepdic" and figured the information I had read on REIKI was more reliable. Business is business... if you can fool people out of their money then all is fair in love and war in a Capitalistic society. This method of deception is used in everything from hi-tech equipment to the clothing/fashion industry, automotive, pharmaceutical and medical....and even the marriage industry. Nothing is ever quite what is advertised

                On a serious note, here is what I'm wondering... if there is a bad product on the market, word of mouth spreads pretty fast. If this doesn't work or the people who undergo the Theraputic Touch experience think it's a scam, you would think word of mouth would take care of the problem no? Maybe they see some benefit in it.... or are just quacks themselves.

                I know your psycho babble explains this phenomenon, but it's just a shot in the dark by someone who thinks higher of themselves and doesn't realize that they are also merely justifying their own existence.
                Well yeah, there's lots of deceptive advertising out there, but there are avenues to deal with that. We don't just say yeah that's how it is and throw up our hands. Particularly when it's not just about buying one product over another, but rather concerns public health.

                As for word of mouth problems, see comment below which also applies to Haykakan's comments please.

                Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                I went to one of these healers once. I had a lot of constant pain and i went there because modern medicine could not help me. The practitioner was a short asian man in his upper 30s. He told me upfront that his technique was more effective in healing certain kinds of diseases and pains and that my case was not one of them but it may help somewhat. I was not expecting much anyways but went ahead with it. He applied his hands along some lines on my back and i could feel a great deal of heat from his hands as he was doing it. I wondered what caused his hands to warm up that much. There was no chemical being used and hardly any friction in the process plus i shook his hand before we started and it was warm but nothing like the heat he was generating during the procedure. After about 10 minutes he declared the procedure finished and i went home. Did it help? I simply do not know. I did not feel less pain nor did i feel more pain but that doesnt mean necesserily it did not help because perhaps you can argue it prevented it from getting worst but again no way of knowing. He did handled himself in a professional manner and right at the start told me it probably wont work for me. I am not trying to prove or disprove anything here but i did want to share this experience since it seems relavent to the topic.
                You know how science works. The plural of personal anecdote is not data. We have to have a control group. An individual's experience is not informative because there are all kinds of confounds.
                E.g. If I have a headache at noon, around 2 pm I trip and fall, and at 6pm my headache is gone, does that mean my fall relieved my headache? No, right? Because headaches as pain and some illnesses can go away on their own. This is called "regression to the mean."

                Beyond this, we also know that when people think they are getting treatment they tend to report changes. The placebo effect is powerful and well documented and when dealing with a single person, we cannot account for it. We must have a control/comparison group! This is very basic right? If someone says X works, the critical thinker must ask "compared to what?"

                In the above criticism it summarizes a lot of the research. One of the TT experiments found that on subjective reports of pain, the TT group reported greater relief than did the control group, but on an objective measure, how much pain medication they took, the TT group actually took MORE. So, this objective (and thus more reliable measure; the problems will self-report measures are also well-known) measure demonstrates that TT did not help. This is why we need a control! Even if we only used the subjective self report numbers you can't just say on average they reported less pain so it works. You have to see if the relief they reported was significantly greater (than chance variation) compared to the control group.
                [COLOR=#4b0082][B][SIZE=4][FONT=trebuchet ms]“If you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
                -Henry Ford[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

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                • #9
                  Re: Therapeutic Touch: Quackery?

                  I know all that Siggie. I just wanted to share my experience regarding the matter. A control group is a must in most experiments.
                  Hayastan or Bust.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Therapeutic Touch: Quackery?

                    Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                    I know all that Siggie. I just wanted to share my experience regarding the matter. A control group is a must in most experiments.

                    Alright Haykakan, here is the experiment.

                    I'm gonna send an email off to the Hawaiin Tropic and request their assistance in providing our test subjects.

                    We need... 3 of each Brunettes, Blondes, Red Heads

                    From each group, we take 1 and test

                    a) tissue formation/wound healing rates prior to and after Therapeutic Touch

                    b) tissue formation/wound healing rates prior to and after Full Body Massage

                    c) tissue formation/wound healing rates prior to and after 1 hour of Nude Sunbathing (no human energy transfer)
                    "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

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