Energy Healing

dassercha
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Energy Healing

Just wanted to get folks' opinion on this.

I've had several experiences w/ practitioners that were undeniable, but then they started on their beliefs about aliens, auras, blah blah, and they just lose me (typical woo-woo stuff).

Anybody else had healing from physical pain etc? Guess I'm trying to make sense out of such a promising personal experience countered by the weird woo-woo stuff.

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QuasarX
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How do you distinguish

How do you distinguish between physical pain and non-physical pain?

I have been able to get some help from alternative medicine (which I was able to verify with quite a bit of certainty through experimentation) after going to doctors let me down, but I also got some seemingly useless recommendations from the same person (which, through experimentation, didn't seem to do a damn thing).

I will say that I think that in general people are more likely to look for answers outside of what is generally considered to be accepted by related scientific communities if they have had some success doing so in the past.  That is to say, if person A tries method X at the advice of person B, and method X proves to be useful, person A is more likely to accept method Y from person B.  Of course, there are also more skeptical people who would apply the same critical scrutiny towards anything they try, but such critical scrutiny is not really required to be successful at using method X if it genuinely works.  So, my experience is that it can be worth trying alternative medicine, but don't assume that there's is or is not any validity to it.  Frankly, though, there are plenty of practices in modern medicine (doctors, drugs) that I find to be misguided at best and outright stupid at worst.

As an aside, how do you know that they're not right about the aliens and auras you mentioned?  Do you know what their beliefs are based on?  Mind you, I'm not claiming that those beliefs are true... I'm just wondering if you have a good reason to dismiss them.


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QuasarX wrote:How do you

QuasarX wrote:

How do you distinguish between physical pain and non-physical pain?

I have been able to get some help from alternative medicine (which I was able to verify with quite a bit of certainty through experimentation) after going to doctors let me down, but I also got some seemingly useless recommendations from the same person (which, through experimentation, didn't seem to do a damn thing).

I will say that I think that in general people are more likely to look for answers outside of what is generally considered to be accepted by related scientific communities if they have had some success doing so in the past.  That is to say, if person A tries method X at the advice of person B, and method X proves to be useful, person A is more likely to accept method Y from person B.  Of course, there are also more skeptical people who would apply the same critical scrutiny towards anything they try, but such critical scrutiny is not really required to be successful at using method X if it genuinely works.  So, my experience is that it can be worth trying alternative medicine, but don't assume that there's is or is not any validity to it.  Frankly, though, there are plenty of practices in modern medicine (doctors, drugs) that I find to be misguided at best and outright stupid at worst.

As an aside, how do you know that they're not right about the aliens and auras you mentioned?  Do you know what their beliefs are based on?  Mind you, I'm not claiming that those beliefs are true... I'm just wondering if you have a good reason to dismiss them.

 

WOW!!!

Thanx for your response. I posted this months ago & thought it was a "forgotten post."

I have developed RSI/carpals in "me armz," so my typed response is gonna be shorter than desired.

In short, I have witnessed events that I cannot explain, but do not attribute, "God, spirits, etc." automatically to said events.

I seek. i wanna know. I think the field of neurology is in its infancy. We know next to nothing.

Just bugs me that we have all such disparate views: on the one hand the "aliens done it" to the "No! No! It's Satan!" to the "Ah, heck! Come on people! Natural Science!"

Will the "realz real" please stand up, please stand up!?!?! Smiling

In short, I'm always questioning. I wanna know 'bout the aliens, the auras: tell me more...

[edited for clarification]

 

 

 

 

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I think a lot of aches and

I think a lot of aches and pains can be relieved by sitting still and relaxing, or being distracted by something long enough that the tension in that part of your body subsides and stops overcompensating for the injury. Do you ever have a headache, or some other kind of pain, and you get engaged in a task, and "forget" that you're in pain? I'd imagine a person talking continuously, waving their hands around, referring to all kinds of metaphors and confusing concepts, might have the same effect.

There's also the placebo effect. If you believe something will help you, it will, to some extent.

I allow for a third option, which is that they're actually helping by some mechanism. If this is so, I'd say this mystery mechanism is also unknown to the practitioners, as they've yet to substantiate their claims about how it works, or even develop a consistent story.

I long for the "mature science of the mind" eluded to by Sam Harris: a field in which we could, for instance, take advantage of a thinglike the placebo effect, and turn it into a consistent and reliable remedy for minor pains. Or we could figure out a deliberate and non-oogie-boogie way to inspire euphoria through mental practices, or any number of things where the direct manipulation of mental states might be desired.

 


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magilum wrote:I think a lot

magilum wrote:

I think a lot of aches and pains can be relieved by sitting still and relaxing, or being distracted by something long enough that the tension in that part of your body subsides and stops overcompensating for the injury. Do you ever have a headache, or some other kind of pain, and you get engaged in a task, and "forget" that you're in pain?

Actually, one of my college professors said that there was research to show that the brain has a mechanism for blocking pain, and that people could actually choose to stop feeling pain.  Intrigued, I practiced at it for a while, and now I've gotten pretty good at blocking any pain I'm feeling.  Just one example: After having my wisdom teeth removed, I didn't take any pain killers and didn't feel any pain.

However, the specific help that I was referring to in my post was not dealing with pain, but rather an actual physical problem with observable physical symptoms.

magilum wrote:

There's also the placebo effect. If you believe something will help you, it will, to some extent.

Actually, this is in dispute:

http://www.slate.com/id/2176465/fr/rss/

Personally, I don't see believing you're getting help as a plausible cause of actually improving.  I find it much more likely that people improve for other reasons and then attribute the results to the placebo.  Granted, if people feel more relaxed and less stressed as a result of expecting their problem to go away, that's a physical difference in the body that could very well make it easier for the body to heal itself in situations where the body is naturally able to do so.  However, I would say that the actual cause of getting better is the body's natural ability to heal itself, and that the placebo effect is, at best, an indirect cause of removing an obstacle from that natural process thereby allowing it to happen faster, where the direct cause is feeling more relaxed and less stressed (which could be accomplished by other means).

magilum wrote:

I allow for a third option, which is that they're actually helping by some mechanism. If this is so, I'd say this mystery mechanism is also unknown to the practitioners, as they've yet to substantiate their claims about how it works, or even develop a consistent story.

A very interesting point.  I think that if alternative medicine practices arise from trial and error, the underlying mechanisms would, by necessity, be unknown.  However, I would expect that at least in some cases, whatever explanation is derived could still be useful for the practice in the same way that it's useful for me to think of a brick as a hard solid object when it's actually just a bunch of subatomic particles and forces.

magilum wrote:

I long for the "mature science of the mind" eluded to by Sam Harris: a field in which we could, for instance, take advantage of a thinglike the placebo effect, and turn it into a consistent and reliable remedy for minor pains. Or we could figure out a deliberate and non-oogie-boogie way to inspire euphoria through mental practices, or any number of things where the direct manipulation of mental states might be desired.

Also very intriguing.  However, this seems unlikely to happen in our current money-driven society.  What company is going to offer research grants to help people learn how to treat themselves without having to buy any product or service?


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Well, for specifics, I've

Well, for specifics, I've had two separate people on different occasions not even touch my body, but I felt immediate relief from "energy manipulation." It was great.

Again, the questioning mind wants to know: HOW IN THE HELL?????? Smiling

Just so there's no question, Person A actually told me she didn't think I'd feel relief, & that I'd have to probably come back, to which I thought: QUACK!!!! But lo & behold...

[edited: clarification, again]

 

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QuasarX wrote:Actually, one

QuasarX wrote:

Actually, one of my college professors said that there was research to show that the brain has a mechanism for blocking pain, and that people could actually choose to stop feeling pain.  Intrigued, I practiced at it for a while, and now I've gotten pretty good at blocking any pain I'm feeling.  Just one example: After having my wisdom teeth removed, I didn't take any pain killers and didn't feel any pain.

I have a similiar idea based on something I read once. When I feel pain,instead of ignoring it, I focus on it and try to enjoy it.As perverse and macho-sadist as it may sound, it does seem to have some affect. People sometimes seem puzzled when they try to hurt me(in friendly situations) and it doesn't really faze me.

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dassercha wrote:Well, for

dassercha wrote:

Well, for specifics, I've had two separate people on different occasions not even touch my body, but I felt immediate relief from "energy manipulation." It was great.

Again, the questioning mind wants to know: HOW IN THE HELL?????? Smiling

That's the kind of thing I'm talking about when I say that some alternative medicine practices probably have useful but incomplete explanations.  The perception of the practitioner, in this case, would be an awareness of energy in your body... but in order for that perception to be accurate and useful, there has to be some corresponding, objective property there... and not only that, but there also has to be some mechanism by which the practitioner is able to detect and manipulate it without mechanical aid or physical contact.  I would also expect any such property to be necessarily observable with the right equipment... whether or not such equipment exists at present is a question I'm not qualified to address.

But really, in this case, the question "How?" can mean 2 different things... how is the skill performed (practically) and what is the underlying explanation in terms of modern scientific understanding that makes the skill possible.  You might be able to get the answer to the former by going through the same training she did, but the answer to the latter could prove quite a bit more difficult to find....  If you do manage to find an answer to that 2nd question, though, I'd be very interested to hear it.


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QuasarX wrote:magilum

QuasarX wrote:

magilum wrote:

I think a lot of aches and pains can be relieved by sitting still and relaxing, or being distracted by something long enough that the tension in that part of your body subsides and stops overcompensating for the injury. Do you ever have a headache, or some other kind of pain, and you get engaged in a task, and "forget" that you're in pain?

Actually, one of my college professors said that there was research to show that the brain has a mechanism for blocking pain, and that people could actually choose to stop feeling pain.  Intrigued, I practiced at it for a while, and now I've gotten pretty good at blocking any pain I'm feeling.  Just one example: After having my wisdom teeth removed, I didn't take any pain killers and didn't feel any pain.

However, the specific help that I was referring to in my post was not dealing with pain, but rather an actual physical problem with observable physical symptoms.

Would you happen to have a link or reference for this? It's interesting, plus I anticipate getting extensive dental work done this year or the next.

QuasarX wrote:

magilum wrote:

There's also the placebo effect. If you believe something will help you, it will, to some extent.

Actually, this is in dispute:

http://www.slate.com/id/2176465/fr/rss/

Personally, I don't see believing you're getting help as a plausible cause of actually improving.  I find it much more likely that people improve for other reasons and then attribute the results to the placebo.  Granted, if people feel more relaxed and less stressed as a result of expecting their problem to go away, that's a physical difference in the body that could very well make it easier for the body to heal itself in situations where the body is naturally able to do so.  However, I would say that the actual cause of getting better is the body's natural ability to heal itself, and that the placebo effect is, at best, an indirect cause of removing an obstacle from that natural process thereby allowing it to happen faster, where the direct cause is feeling more relaxed and less stressed (which could be accomplished by other means).

Agreed. I think relaxation and distraction are huge factors in dealing with things like minor injuries. Full disclosure: my dad is a self-styled healer-type, so I've seen both the apparent efficacy of what he does (which includes massage, and a steady stream of gobbledegook), and also his complete inability to formulate what he's supposedly doing with regard to the supernatural. I have no doubt massage can help a person, that distraction can help a person, but without isolating it, I have no reason to suspect the nebulous and supposed supernatural aspect is something.

QuasarX wrote:

magilum wrote:

I allow for a third option, which is that they're actually helping by some mechanism. If this is so, I'd say this mystery mechanism is also unknown to the practitioners, as they've yet to substantiate their claims about how it works, or even develop a consistent story.

A very interesting point.  I think that if alternative medicine practices arise from trial and error, the underlying mechanisms would, by necessity, be unknown.  However, I would expect that at least in some cases, whatever explanation is derived could still be useful for the practice in the same way that it's useful for me to think of a brick as a hard solid object when it's actually just a bunch of subatomic particles and forces.

magilum wrote:

I long for the "mature science of the mind" eluded to by Sam Harris: a field in which we could, for instance, take advantage of a thinglike the placebo effect, and turn it into a consistent and reliable remedy for minor pains. Or we could figure out a deliberate and non-oogie-boogie way to inspire euphoria through mental practices, or any number of things where the direct manipulation of mental states might be desired.

Also very intriguing.  However, this seems unlikely to happen in our current money-driven society.  What company is going to offer research grants to help people learn how to treat themselves without having to buy any product or service?

These last two paragraphs sum up my complaint against the western medical profession. I don't see compassionate detachment as often as I see inefficiency, disorganization and ass-covering.


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dassercha wrote:Just wanted

dassercha wrote:

Just wanted to get folks' opinion on this.

I've had several experiences w/ practitioners that were undeniable, but then they started on their beliefs about aliens, auras, blah blah, and they just lose me (typical woo-woo stuff).

Anybody else had healing from physical pain etc? Guess I'm trying to make sense out of such a promising personal experience countered by the weird woo-woo stuff.

I suffer from a lot of chronic ailments and have come to the conclusion that most alternative medicine is bullshit.  Of course, I'm not terribly impressed by pharmaceutical "cures" either.  Most of the medications I'm on only partially alleviate my symptoms, but I'll take "partial" over nothing.

My ex-voice teacher was into wacky cures like Reiki and actually bawled me out for 1) getting sick and 2) not listening to her suggestions.  Of course, she also believes in reincarnation and that she "levitated" while meditating.

Is there no end to the insanity?  Am I cursed to live around these crazy people for the rest of my life?

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magilum wrote:These last two

magilum wrote:

These last two paragraphs sum up my complaint against the western medical profession. I don't see compassionate detachment as often as I see inefficiency, disorganization and ass-covering.

Amen.  I've seen the entire cornucopia of doctors in my community and I've come away VERY unimpressed.  I'm not allowed to go outside the community for one of my ailments and there aren't any specialists here that don't suck.  So for all intents an purposes, I'm without health care in this area.  My primary health care provider decided to try to help me, but he's flying by the seat of his pants.  My cousin is dating the kind of specialist I need, so I brought in an e-mail he sent me and we're changing my meds by proxy.  I had bad withdrawal symptoms for a day and a half because we tried quitting one drug cold turkey.

The American "health care" system sucks.  Lack of insurance is the tip of the iceberg.

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magilum wrote:QuasarX

magilum wrote:

QuasarX wrote:

Actually, one of my college professors said that there was research to show that the brain has a mechanism for blocking pain, and that people could actually choose to stop feeling pain.  Intrigued, I practiced at it for a while, and now I've gotten pretty good at blocking any pain I'm feeling.  Just one example: After having my wisdom teeth removed, I didn't take any pain killers and didn't feel any pain.

However, the specific help that I was referring to in my post was not dealing with pain, but rather an actual physical problem with observable physical symptoms.

Would you happen to have a link or reference for this? It's interesting, plus I anticipate getting extensive dental work done this year or the next.

Um... actually, you're quoting me on 2 unrelated experiences.  But, I assume you're asking about the pain blocking thing?  In that case, unfortunately, I don't.  I don't even remember which of my professors mentioned it, or what my professors' names were.  Also, I never bothered tracking down the research (s)he mentioned, or even looking for any online resources on the subject.  All I did was, whenever I happened to injure myself, make a conscious attempt to block the pain.  I mean, what did I have to lose?  At first I didn't have any noticeable success, but after a while I started to notice that the pain seemed to subside more quickly than I would have expected, until eventually I could get rid of it immediately.

It's worth mentioning, though, that I haven't yet had any success whatsoever at preventing pain from injuries as those injuries are occurring... I've only been able to block lingering pain from injuries that have already occurred.  So, I don't think it would be a viable substitute for an anesthetic during a surgical operation.  I'll also mention that I still had the prescription for the painkiller my oral surgeon gave me filled... I just didn't end up needing it.  I'd heard that the pain people typically experience after wisdom tooth removal is very intense, and I wasn't sure if I would be able to block it or not, having previously only tried it with relatively minor injuries, so I wanted to be prepared.


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QuasarX wrote:Actually, one

QuasarX wrote:
Actually, one of my college professors said that there was research to show that the brain has a mechanism for blocking pain, and that people could actually choose to stop feeling pain.  Intrigued, I practiced at it for a while, and now I've gotten pretty good at blocking any pain I'm feeling.  Just one example: After having my wisdom teeth removed, I didn't take any pain killers and didn't feel any pain.

However, the specific help that I was referring to in my post was not dealing with pain, but rather an actual physical problem with observable physical symptoms.

Wow, I'm impressed.  My method for blocking pain actually came about from something I learnt in 5th grade (iirc), about how pain is nothing more than nerve receptors in your skin sending a message to your brain saying "Hey, there's something wrong down here!".  I've slowly learnt to treat pain as nothing more than that, messages.  If I don't know there's something wrong then I appreciate being told that.  Once I know there's something more, I don't need the message anymore.  It's easier to ignore it if you just think of it as a message and nothing more, with the bonus that it goes away sooner.

As I said though, I am very impressed.  Pain in that area is something I wouldn't be able to block out.  I couldn't when I had my wisdom's removed.  The pain was still there, but it wasn't bad for me fortunately.

magilum wrote:
Would you happen to have a link or reference for this? It's interesting, plus I anticipate getting extensive dental work done this year or the next.

I would love to read this too.  In the meantime, here's my take on it.  It's all about your mindset, it's all about how you think.  Change the way you think, change your mindset and that's it. 

Think about it this way.  Something hits you in the forearm, what do you do?  Most people would scream in pain, wave their arm around, grasp it where it hurts, and wince/whine for a bit.  Those are the typical expected reactions, but what is the purpose of those reactions?  How do they help?

1) Scream in pain: Animal instinct.  Make a loud noise to scare your attacker and make them hesitate.  Does nothing to help with the pain, useless.

2) Wave the arm around: This is more likely to make it worse by putting pressures on the affected muscles/bones.  Useless at best.  Detrimental at worst.

3) Grasp where it hurts: Unless it's a cut that requires pressure to stop the bleeding, this again is useless at best.  At worst you're putting more pressure on the muscles/bones and causing more pain.  Useless at best.  Detrimental at worst.

4) Wince/whine for a bit: Animal instinct.  Get sympathy from the rest of the pack to look after you.  We're no longer pack animals, we can communicate and seek help through other more practical methods.  Useless.

So, everything you do naturally is either useless or detrimental.  All four of those combines just focuses your mind on the pain and the area making you more receptive to it and it last longer.  It's like the watched pot taking 3.2 minutes longer to boil.  So why do it?  Next time you get hurt, stop yourself from doing any of these things.  That's the first step.  The less time you do these reactions for the less it's on your mind, the less you think about it, the faster it goes away.  After that, just try to think about the pain as being all it biologically is.  That is, nothing other than messages from that part of your body to inform you something is wrong.  You already know something is wrong.  You don't need the messages any longer.  Baby the affected area as you normally would (limping, cradling, or taking it easy etc), but that's it.  Tell the messages "Yeah yeah yeah, shut up already.  I know that spot's injured", and get on with what you were doing.

About the only thing this method doesn't help me with is the migraines I get sometimes.  Due to the timings of these migraines (when they kick in/disappear), I can almost always put them down to simply having a bad nights sleep and tight neck muscles when I wake up the next morning.  Live through the next day or two of migraine headache, and just make sure I get a better sleep in a better sleeping position the next few nights until it's gone.

QuasarX wrote:
Actually, this is in dispute:

http://www.slate.com/id/2176465/fr/rss/

Personally, I don't see believing you're getting help as a plausible cause of actually improving.  I find it much more likely that people improve for other reasons and then attribute the results to the placebo.  Granted, if people feel more relaxed and less stressed as a result of expecting their problem to go away, that's a physical difference in the body that could very well make it easier for the body to heal itself in situations where the body is naturally able to do so.  However, I would say that the actual cause of getting better is the body's natural ability to heal itself, and that the placebo effect is, at best, an indirect cause of removing an obstacle from that natural process thereby allowing it to happen faster, where the direct cause is feeling more relaxed and less stressed (which could be accomplished by other means).

When I think of a placebo, I think of something that acts as a catalyst to the body's normal healing procedure.  That's essentially how it's always been described to me.  Something that directly does bugger all, but tricks the body indirectly in to thinking it is helping.  I may have the wrong definition in my head, but what you're talking about there, to me, is still a placebo effect.

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