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alternative therapy | The Real Twilight Zone

Posts Tagged alternative therapy

TRTZ 30th November Announcement..

Despite the snow and the wind and the ice…

We will be here tomorrow, acts of  “Mother Nature” permitting.

The theme of the show is Alternative Medicine…

Only join  in if you want to engage in debate, consideration…

If you want to simply disrespect and ‘flame others’ then please stay away!

Join us 10pm – Midnight on Tuesday 30th November.

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Healing Debate – Haunted Cornwall 21st Nov

Haunted Cornwall FM tonight (21st November) featured two different topics.

The first, sacred sites, allowed us to hear from Magister who shared some of his thinking about the nature and purpose of sites he had visited and researched.

The second, and the one that has inspired this reflective blog, was about ‘healing’.

From the outset I wanted to make the point that for those who have personal or family healing stories any of the debate on the show was not about devaluing their personal experience – in terms of it’s reality or it’s results.

The questions that we were trying to address were about the nature of ‘healing’, the claims made by SOME healers and the scientific basis behind the notion of healing.

Through the tangle of comments made on the programme and in the studio I have become more of the opinion that informed debate is difficult to have when emotions are fully in play.

As I have said repeatedly in various blogs, on the radio shows and in my workshops Belief and Scientific enquiry are not the best of bed fellows.

Belief is about a personally constructed framework about the way the world works. This framework defines emotional and behavioural responses and can lie at the core of an individuals personal identity.

Scientific enquiry, and debate in general, is about questions. Those questions may strike at the heart of a particular debate, but are often more to do with the evidence behind personal opinions.

So let’s think about opinions…

This week on the show, as is the case every week, there were people making the very fair, and reasonable statement that they had a ‘right to their opinion’ – and that is something I would wholeheartedly support…. That is until that opinion impacts on the rights and freedoms of others.

If, however, you are choosing to take part in a debate then surely there is the expectation that your opinions could be challenged or at least questioned. 

Now before you read further let’s see what others have said about “opinion” …..
Stephen Colbert is quoted as saying…

‘I am not a fan of facts. You see facts can change, but my opinion will never change, no matter what the facts are.”

Voltaire suggested ….

“Prejudice is an opinion without judgement”

Hippocrates maintained ….

“Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance”.

Surely a debate is about evidence, the basis of personal opinions, the way’s in which we can learn and grow from reflecting upon what we know, what we think we know in relation to what others know, and think they know.

If you come to a debate with an entrenched opinion that you’ve no wish to explore why be there?

Learning comes from sharing the truths of others and bathing in the light of their experience,

It requires the willingness to change ideas (and opinions) if new evidence and ideas bring knowledge that changes what we thought we knew.

All science and scientific statements are ‘tentative’ – they are summaries of what we conclude from what we have researched.

Beliefs, particularly spiritual ones, are usually based on certainties and statements about how things are!

It is my contention that the former is likely to be the more ‘open minded’ than the latter.

Now all of this is said with my ‘Rational Head’ on.

In a debate ……

My Rational Head requires opinions to be supported; evidence offered and where necessary referenced.

Personal anecdotes of course have a value and set the scene as it were; but there may well come the point where those anecdotes – if offered as evidence – need to be questioned.

In the healing debate it didn’t take long for phrases like “quantum healing” , “zero point energies”, “tachyon fields” to be offered as “reasons” as to why healing works.

References to scientific principles by those who often choose to vilify science because it may support their own ‘belief’ are at best misinformed and at worst being intellectually dishonest.

As Feynman, a leader in the field of theoretical physics, said that “anyone who claims to understand quantum physics does not understand quantum physics”

Even Deepak Chopra, the MD who has made a nice living from his books and programmes on alternative healing modalities (Quantum Healing) when pressed by a scientist admitted that he was not using the word “quantum” in the same way as physicists use the word “Quantum”, but as a ‘metaphor’.

Surely this is an admission that he is using pseudo-science to promote his work!

It is my contention that any healing alternative modality that all alludes to an exotic scientific principle needs to treated sceptically.

Sceptical questions also need to be asked by any “healing” modality that asserts that it is based upon bio-energy, natural energy fields, chi, ki and so on.

Are the proponents of these healing systems using the word energy to allude to energy defined by science and if so what kind of energy exactly?

OR, and this is my personal opinion (at the moment and open to revision), is the word used in a metaphorical sense to allude to something as yet inexplicable which may or may not exist in the world ‘out there’.

So, and finally for the moment, the statement that seemed to come from some folks that ‘even if the healing was in the mind’ then it was OK to promote a modality as being effective.

There is a charm to this idea, it’s kind of like “if it works what the hell”?

But now we are into a serious question of ethics,

Healer A believes that kazoo therapy works and gets ‘results’.

Healer B is aware that the Kazoo therapy is nonsense but relies upon the ‘placebo effect’ for it to work.

One may have chosen not to ask questions about the therapy they are promoting as effective and the other is simply lying about the therapy they are promoting!

Both, are perhaps acting in an unprofessional and questionable way,

Here’s the final bit ….

The key questions that are worth asking in a debate about healing, assuming you want to engage in a debate, are….

What claims are the healers making?

What is their explanation of how their particular modality works?

What is demonstrable in terms of the claims they make?

What is the evidence base for these claims?

Conclusion – My Opinion as it stands right now ..,,,

Most healing works best on non-specific illnesses that have a subjective component.

Many of the non-specific illnesses healing works well with are conditions that improve themselves in the course of a few days even if there has been no therapeutic intervention,

Spontaneous remission and recovery from more serious illnesses is not unknown in the medical literature.

And, for me the key to my mystical understanding of healing…..
Emotional and Psychological well-being can be correlated to physical health and recovery from illness.

Alternative Health Practitioners have a ‘death count’ that needs to be considered. True, so does allopathic approaches.  

One, however, is based upon opinions and behaviours which change when new discoveries are made – the other does not….

One, in terms of percentages of those treated with serious illness, has a more consistent and reliable success rate – the other when used in isolation appears not to ….

Take a look at…


For some insights into sceptical issues…

If you want to find medical research that may have been conducted on alternative, healing therapies, search PUB MED and PLAS on google.




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