bowen technique

Bowen Technique? What the heck is that?

What is the Bowen Technique?

The Bowen technique also called the Neurostructural Integration Technique uses a combination of soft tissue manipulation and energy work. Supposedly through a series of gentle movements at precise points the therapist promotes the flow of energy and creates vibrations throughout the body. This modality utilizes a variety of gentle strokes that may be applied through clothing. Within a typical session there will be many breaks, practitioners claim this is because the body needs to assimilate the new energy and vibrations.

The practitioners claim this modality will help treat the symptoms of asthma, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, infertility and other reproductive problems.

With bold claims like these there is no wonder the scientific medical community looks down on massage. How in the world would a massage have any effect on asthma, IBS and infertility? This pseudoscience is equally ineffective as its snake oil cousins of acupuncture meridians and the Inate vitalism of chiropractics. This modality just like all pseudomedicines are placebos wrapped in a complex web of ritualism.

If you are suffering with infertility, asthma or migraines I strongly suggest you save your money, time and health by seeing a medical doctor specialized in these kinds of issues. A massage therapist rubbing on your body zones may feel great but it will do very little to treat serious health conditions.


Research

Shawn White Blog

Clinical Massage

What is Rolfing?

Massage is Amazing!

Looyen Work

Looyen Work? That’s a strange name! What does it have to do with Adhesions?

What is Looyen Work?

This modality may be described as a combination of physical therapy and psychoanalysis.

Looyen Work practitioners claim to have the ability to penetrate deep into a muscle to reduce tension, remove adhesions and improve range of motion. This modality uses a variety of techniques and pressure levels, from mild traditional Swedish strokes to brutally painful Rolfing techniques.

Massage therapists who claim the ability to detect and break apart adhesions with their hands are woefully mistaken. Massage therapists do not have the ability to affect an adhesion in any meaningful way.

So then, what is an adhesion? Adhesions are fibrous bands of scar tissue that form between internal organs and tissues, joining them together abnormally. An example of an adhesion would be Endometriosis, which is a condition in which the endometrial tissue that lines the uterus begins to invade other parts of the body.

How is an adhesion actually removed? Adhesions are permanent without a surgical procedure called adhesion lysis or Laparoscopic Lysis, this procedure is used to disrupt or remove the tissue. Here is a great video that explains adhesions in greater detail and how to treat them.

Practitioners of this modality are also known for attempting to council their clients through any emotional release that may occur during a massage session. This is outside of a massage therapist’s scope of practice. As soft tissue manipulators we are not allowed to treat your mental health issues. Be wary of any massage therapist who attempts to diagnose or treat any mental health issues you may have.


Research

Shawn White Blog

Clinical Massage

What is Rolfing?

Massage is Amazing!

Cancer coach

Cancer Coach: Treating Cancer with Nutrition, Reiki and Meditation?

Cancer coach  Kathy Bero claims that she was able to cure her cancer using  anti-angiogenic foods, reiki and meditation.

There is real science that is going to be there” This woman says, as she makes it clear there is no science-based evidence supporting her claim that diet alone can cure cancer. She is giving advice to people based on her anecdotal evidence, which is the lowest form of evidence. This is extremely dangerous. These kinds of activities put the lives of sick people at risk, leading them down ineffective treatment options and horrific agony. Unfortunately when the blind lead the blind, people get hurt. This is a perfect example of this. The advice given to these people  might lead them to refuse science-based treatment options to pursue the untested anecdotal testimony of one person.  A testimony that ignored all the prior treatment she received.

Kathy Bero underwent extensive chemotherapy and paid the price in pain for its healing properties. Once the pain became too much she stopped taking it.  I can empathize, when I was going through chemotherapy it was one of the most horrific experiences of my life. I would rather die than do it again, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.  When it comes to our life it is up to us to determine how much we are willing to pay.  When it comes to cancer we aren’t paying in money, we are paying in pain, how much pain are we willing to pay to live.

In her situation there are two likely explanations for her current health. We could say it was the reiki, meditation and nutrition, or it was the invasive and scientifically tested chemotherapy medicine.

I have never read or heard of any scientific studies with controls that support reiki, meditation or nutrition as a means of curing cancer. On the other hand, I have read the science-based evidence supporting the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

If we apply Occam’s Razor to this situation, which is a problem-solving principle that, when presented with competing hypothetical answers to a problem, one should select the answer that makes the fewest assumptions. Chemotherapy and its effects can be measured. Its benefits can be compared against placebo and it has been proven under rigorous testing to have a benefit to people with cancer. On the other hand, practices like reiki have never been proven to have any effectiveness greater than placebo when controls are applied. Nutrition may improve wellness, but it does not have the ability to eliminate tumors and no amount of meditation will cure your cancer.

To believe nutrition, meditation and reiki cured this woman’s cancer requires a lot of assumptions. Simply put we must ignore the fact there is no evidence these practices have the ability to destroy cancer cells, especially metastatic cancer. She admits in her own interview that she believes her beliefs will be validated by science.

So which treatment option was responsible? The answer is simple, her chemotherapy. Had she not of underwent the terrible journey of chemotherapy, she wouldn’t be alive today. She can pretend her recipes and pseudo-medicine diet cured her cancer, but at the end of the day there is no science-based evidence to support her claims.


Discovering Hope

Shawn White Blog

Orthomolecular What?

 

 

 

Rolfing

What is Rolfing? Its Painful!

What is Rolfing? This modality uses unproven techniques that claim to restructure fascia, muscles and other soft tissue to make improvements to a client’s posture. The techniques used in this modality are often very painful. Massage therapists implementing this modality use a considerable amount of force, enlisting knuckles, fists and elbows to dig deep into ligaments and tendons. In some instances a practitioner will place a client into a number of uncomfortable poses similar to assisted yoga.

The practitioners of Rolfing claim this modality may be used to treat a number of health conditions, such as: loss of balance, back pain, stress, anxiety, respiratory issues, decreased mobility, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and limited range of motion.

Unfortunately structural integration is still practiced. The no pain, no gain philosophy is an ineffective treatment option. Your massage should feel good during and after the session. If your massage therapist or health care provider is leaving your with bruises, consider letting this sadist go to seek out someone who actually has the education to help you.


Research

Shawn White Blog

Clinical Massage

alkaline diet

How effective is the Alkaline Diet? Should I have any concerns?

Do you believe an alkaline diet or a sodium bicarbonate infusion is an effective way to treat cancer? Are you considering an alkaline diet? Are you doing it because you want to live a healthy life, perhaps to fight and prevent disease? If that is the case then adopting the alkaline diet would be a step in the wrong direction. It does not cure, treat or affect disease in any positive way.

If you’ve read any of the pH Miracle books or are considering adopting an alkaline diet, I strongly suggest researching its inventor.

The Father of the Alkaline Diet, Robert O. Young and author of the “pH Miracle” books claims acid is responsible for all disease and the cure is alkalinization. Preying on the fear and desperation of the terminally ill he made millions of dollars with his diet plans, books and treatments. In 2014 he was charged with conspiring to practice medicine without a license and multiple counts of grand theft. As of 2017 he was found guilty of practicing medicine without a license and was sentenced to over three years in prison.[1]

Taking calcium has no effect on blood acidity. You could pour an entire bottle of calcium pills down your gullet and it would have no effect what-so-ever on your blood acidity. Sure it may neutralize some of the acidity of your stomach, but homeostasis would revert it back within a few minutes.[2]

Robert O Young “treated” seriously ill people with unproven and potentially dangerous procedures without a medical licence. Under his “care” many have paid the price of their life in addition to thousands of dollars for ineffective treatments.

In 2012 Naima Houder-Mohammed paid Young $77,000 for treatment, where he infused sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) into her blood stream. She was treated by him for three months, during which her health worsened until she died. [3]

When we are desperate we often take great leaps of faith in the pursuit of survival. It is important we are armed with the right information to protect ourselves from charlatans and snake oil salesmen.

If it is too good to be true, it probably is, the alkaline diet and the treatments of Robert O Young is a great example of this. Unfortunately, some believe the alkaline diet is the magical cure for everything. Like any magical cure, its effects are placebo at best. Its a nonsense idea created by the convicted felon Robert O Young. This supposed expert on biology and diet is not a microbiologist, hematologist, medical doctor, naturopathic doctor or trained scientist. In fact he doesn’t have any post high-school degrees what-so-ever[4].

Many seriously ill people have lost thousands of dollars and their lives due to Young’s pseudo-science treatments. If you are considering a new diet, consult your licensed health care provider and thoroughly research your options before committing to a new lifestyle.


Research

Shawn White Blog

The Placebo

Orthomolecular What?

NET Cancer

Caught in a Net? Research your way out!

When it comes to our health and especially neuroendocrine cancer, the best thing we can do is research. Our health care providers may be educated and valuable, but they are not always educated in the ways we value. The NET community has amassed a collection of valuable resources. These hardworking souls have built a framework for the rest of us to survive. In this article I will be sharing many of the resources available to us. Its easy to get lost when we are in the thick of the storm, but we must be vigilant, work hard and press our force of will to become the eye within the whirlwind.

If you have NET cancer you know how hard this journey can be.   Ignorance is shoveled into our ears time and again. To make the most of our moments we must muster the energy to purge our lives of this BS.  We must overcome the misinformation of unqualified doctors, charlatans and alternative medicine gurus.

What is the value of research? How does it help me?

The more we know, the better off we are. Throughout our lives we’ve been told ignorance is bliss, but you and I know this to be false. Imagine how many lives could be saved if others with this terrible disease knew more about their cancer at the start of this journey? If I had even a fraction of my knowledge when first diagnosed I would have walked a completely different path. I would have understood why a NET specialist was essential, I would’ve been more powerful and demanded excellence from my health care providers. Clearly, I cannot travel back in time to change the events in my life, and even if I could, I wouldn’t. It sounds utterly insane, but getting cancer was the best thing to ever happen to me. Since I was a youngster I have been searching for a purpose, and now I have one. My purpose is to help you avoid the pitfalls in this terrible journey, by casting a light on the many holes to reduce the horrors you must face. If I get to help just one person, then my pain had a purpose, and that gives me peace.

So what role does research have in all of this?

Research has been the eternal flame in my terrible journey. Knowledge is the true guiding light in life. If we want to make the most of our moments, we must have the tools to make it terrific. It can be daunting, learning more about our agony can be incapacitating, but if we don’t face the facts we will never have the life we want to live.

Are you going to teach me how to research?

No, that is beyond the scope of this article. I will leave that to people more qualified than I. However, I will guide you in the direction of collecting the science-based data you deserve. First, we are going to navigate some interesting waters. Once you get passed the perils of pseudoscience and propaganda we can begin delving deeper.

What do I mean by pseudoscience and propaganda? The alternative medicine movement is mostly based on superstition and prescientific ideas. If we want quantifiable and healthy results from the treatment options we select, we must choose the ones proven to be repeatable with the scrutiny of double-blind testing.  We must learn how the scientific method functions and apply it to how we interact with our doctors and those who are seeking to make money from our misfortune.

I want you to live the highest quality of life you can, the best way to do that is through the continual pursuit of science-based knowledge.

Cure for Cancer?

Why isn’t there a cure for cancer? I bet Big Pharma has the cure, but they don’t want to share it with us cause there is no money in it!

If a pharmaceutical company was able to develop a single cure for cancer they would be so rich, they would become a world power. The idea of a company having the cure for cancer and not releasing it is ludicrous. Lets start with the most basic point: Cancer is complicated, we need to stop talking about cancer like there could be a single cure for it.  There is no one cure for cancer, because there is more than one cancer.

Now lets address this big pharma term. Some time ago I ran across a special little MEME that read:

a patient cured is a customer lost – Big Pharma

Critical thought teaches us to acknowledge our bias, to set it aside, to be fair and treat others for their qualities, rather than the actions of people unrelated to them. It is unfair to apply blanket opinions on groups of people. When these blanket opinions are applied they create a stereotype which sets an atmosphere of unfairness.

Each pharmaceutical company is an organization comprised of dozens, hundreds, even thousands of employees. There are dozens of pharmaceutical companies, how fair is it to say these people are concerned only with making money? Not all people are the same, and not all companies are the same.

Instead of making blanket statements about groups of people we don’t know,  we need to research each company and judge them individually. Just like people, the ideology of one pharmaceutical company will change, one to the next.

Curing a disease is a lot more complicated than simply waving money at it. However, without money research doesn’t happen. People need money to live, and if they aren’t being paid to do the research, the research isn’t being done. Cancer treatment often hurts a lot, some treatment options can have terrible side effects on the body, so we need to test it over long periods of time to make sure it doesn’t horrifically hurt or kill people before the cancer does. I know it can be frustrating waiting for a cure, we feel hopeless, but if we invite every miracle cure into our lives, we won’t have a life to live.

There are potential cures ready to be shared, why wont they share them with the public? People are dying, some chance is better than no chance right?

No,  if every supposed discovery is made available to the public, there wouldn’t be significant advancements in medicine.  Lots of resources would be wasted implementing worthless and dangerous measures.  Just because an idea is proven to work once in vitro, doesn’t mean in is going to work in real life.  The idea needs to tested time and again to make sure it is safe and helps treat the disease or its symptoms.

But some life is better than no life, a terminally ill person is going to die anyways, why deny them an opportunity to live?

To put it simply, quality of life is more important than quantity. What if this untested cancer treatment has the side effect of permanent blindness, deafness, paralysis and chronic pain? Would the trade off  be worth  living the rest of your life in a horrific prison that is your body?

I don’t think so. Scientific discoveries must be proven to work. This is for our protection. It is not so they can squeeze more money out of the public. Testing their drugs takes even more money, and these pharmaceutical companies have already spent a fortune developing the drug in the first place. They have to pay another fortune to prove it is a benefit to their target population.

Well this drug had an informative video showing it can blow up cancer cells with bubbles. It said it could save lives, we need to be saving lives!

Absolutely, but we can’t save lives by getting people to drink mystery cool aid. Recently I had a  conversation with someone  about this situation. They read an article about how a treatment could kill cancer in vitro by blowing it up with bubbles. Immediately my mind when to work to see what they were talking about. I found this article at first and read it. I wasn’t satisfied though, I wanted to see if this was real and if so where the research was now.  In July of 2017 it was retracted.  Imagine if we spent the resources to implement this discovery, only to find out the result could not be replicated? Imagine if your mother, father, son or daughter sought out this treatment and died because it had no effect on their cancer? Willful ignorance and desperation kills people. Testing the efficacy of a drug is how we ensure the best medicine is made available to the public.

Net Resources

 


Discovering Hope

Shawn White Blog

Caught in a Net 5

 

Essential Oils

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Recently I was involved in a conversation with someone claiming essential oils could be used to help induce labor. I was interested in hearing more, because a scientific mind is creative and open. In my research I have never read any science-based evidence supporting this claim, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If someone has data supporting essential oils can help induce labor I want to read it. If they can’t provide science-based evidence, then my opinion will most likely remain the same. Those who don’t question the science or effectiveness of their ideas are pseudo-scientists and are a part of the problem in society. If we want to remain forward thinkers working hard to improve our lives we must engage in critical thought, debate and research.

Others participating in the conversation claimed there were no studies on aroma therapy and pregnancy. It was as if they were so locked in their beliefs they were unwilling to check PubMed to see if their claims had any weight. With a five second search I found an article on  labor pain management and aroma therapy. It wasn’t directly related to the labor inducing claim, but it did show research existed.

Essential oils are discussed a lot in my professional circles, that is because I am a massage therapist. Unfortunately, with essential oils we are visited by the local parasite, the MLM. Shawn White, why do you speak so negatively about this type of business? The answer is simple, if a company is an MLM it is operating with an inherently unethical and unsustainable business model. MLMs, like cancer are bad for society, they destroy hopes and dreams, empty savings accounts and push people to desperate lengths, often leading them to terminate longstanding and healthy relationships. If you find yourself invited to an MLM, take this fancy test to see what kind of pyramid presence they are presenting.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy proponents describe this modality as “the therapeutic use of the essential oils of plants.” The term was coined by Rene Maurice Gattefosse, a French chemist in the 1920’s. When the term essential is used it is not describing the nutritional value of these plants. Instead it is the volatile, aromatic components that are the “essence” of the plant. This essence is believed to embody the plant’s life force and contains hormones, vitamins, antibiotics, and antiseptics. These oils are supposed to be administered in small quantities via inhalation and massage, though occasionally they are taken internally. [1]

Aromatherapists claim essential oils have the benefits of [2]:

  • They are convenient, quick and easy to use. – You can wear them during the day, diffuse them in your home or work place, or simply keep them in your pocket.
  • Are organic substances from the volatile liquid of plants. – The essential oils support healthy body functions such as healthy immune system function.
  • They can penetrate the skin and affect the emotional center. – Oils cross the brain-blood barrier and reach the amygdala and other limbic parts of the brain that control our mood, emotions and beliefs. So they can help us with our ability to handle stress, anger or any other emotion.
  • Soothes muscle discomfort after exercise. 
  • Helps animals.
  • Support healthy digestion.

What are my thoughts on Aromatherapy and Essential Oils?

Convenience is great, Americans love getting stuff right now, we are obsessed with fast food and instant gratification. Its fair to want medicine we can easily take, fortunately most simply require a small cup of water and the ability to swallow. The more important subject to discuss is aromatherapy’s claims involving the immune system. What do they mean by “The essential oils support healthy body functions such as healthy immune system function. [2]

What part of the immune system are they supporting and in what way? What research has been done and where can I find evidence supporting these claims? Are these studies only in vitro or have they been performed on animals and humans? Are these results meaningful, have the researchers proven the outcome was statistically significant? This article presented by Mark Crislip at Science Based Medicine, is an in depth critical analysis of products and procedures claiming to support the immune system.

I read and hear a lot about the benefits essential oils have on mood, but where is the science-based evidence? If you have access to a double-blind study observing the effects essential oils have on mental illness I would love to read it. As of yet I have not found any evidence except anecdotal testimonies.

When someone says their product soothes muscle discomfort after exercise they referring to a condition called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, aka DOMS.  People have tried many methods to eliminate DOMS. Massage, ultrasound, light exercise, glutamine, stretching, icing, electrical nerve stimulation, Epsom salts, drinking water, cherry juice, compression garments and vitamin D have been used to combat DOMS. Unfortunately, these methods just like Aromatherapy are ineffective [4]. “To date, a sound and consistent treatment for DOMS has not been established. Although multiple practices exist for the treatment of DOMS, few have scientific support. [5]” 


Research

Shawn White Blog

Clinical Massage


 

[1] <https://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/aroma.html>

[2] <http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/essential-oil-benefits.html>

[3] <https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/boost-your-immune-system/>

[4] <https://www.painscience.com/articles/delayed-onset-muscle-soreness.php>

[5] <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12580677>

 

Applied Kinesiology

Applied Kinesiology

Knowledge is the greatest light of life. Put on your head lamp and crawl with me into the subterranean depths of applied kinesiology. This venom is the snake oil of life coaches and charlatans, seeking to steal control of your life and livelihood. Traveling deep into this rabbit hole we will discover the strange methods they employ to confuse and manipulate.

What is the medical definition of applied? To put to practical use; especially applying general principles to solve definite problems.[1]

What is kinesiology? It is the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement. [2]

If we combine applied and kinesiology together what does it produce? In the hands of pseudoscience, an unethical gold mine named applied kinesiology (AK).

What is applied kinesiology?

In summary AK requires the practitioner to press down on a patient’s outstretched arm. When doing so the test reveals the patient’s muscle resistance. A strong resistance indicates “yes” or “that’s fine” while weak resistance means “no” or “that’s bad.” [3]

Supposedly tests like these identify pathologies, nutritional deficiencies and the general health of patients. Additionally, some practitioners like David Hawkins believe AK may be used to detect lies, determine motive and identify how enlightened someone is.

To perfect one’s ability to diagnose they must have a working knowledge of chi, acupuncture meridians and the universal intelligence of the body.

 

How effective is AK as a diagnostic tool?

A systematic review of AK published in 2008 concluded: “There is insufficient evidence for diagnostic accuracy within kinesiology, the validity of muscle response and the effectiveness of kinesiology for any condition.” [4]

A double-blind randomized study in 2014 assessed the validity of AK and concluded: “The research published by the Applied Kinesiology field itself is not to be relied upon, and in the experimental studies that do meet accepted standards of science, Applied Kinesiology has not demonstrated that it is a useful or reliable diagnostic tool upon which health decisions can be based.” [5]

Edzard Ernst MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd, in his article: Applied Kinesiology: implausible, unproven, and yet incredibly popular; described AK as: “it is utterly implausible” and “there is no good evidence that it works” [6]

What danger does AK pose?

Like any pseudoscience it steers people with serious illness away from effective treatment. In this instance patients literally fall into the unqualified hands of practitioners using a subjective diagnostic tool to diagnose and treat illness.

This subjective diagnostic tool is the Ouija board approach to medicine. It is equally effective as locating water with dowsing rods or helping disabled people talk with Facilitated Communication. It is an abusive practice exploiting people with ideomotor effects.

Let’s imagine your dream is buying a plot of land far from society. You’ve spent countless hours learning how to cultivate the land, raise and slaughter livestock and live a completely self-sufficient life. You need a well and you don’t know how to find water. You have two choices, and both cost the same amount of money. The first choice is to put faith in a dowser, a person who waves two sticks in front of them to detect water. The second choice is to hire a hydrologist. This person is trained “in all of the physical, chemical and biological processes involving water as it travels its various paths in the atmosphere, over and beneath the earth’s surface and through growing plants…”[7].

Are you going to put your life savings and dreams in the hands of someone literally wiggling two sticks in the air to find water? Or, would you hire someone with an advanced education with access to satellite imaging and technology specifically designed to find water?

Using a practitioner of AK to diagnose and treat your illness is equally foolhardy. Especially when this diagnostic tool is used to identify and treat pain, cancer, diabetes, headaches, learning disabilities, osteoporosis, vertigo and Parkinson’s disease. [8]

Tools & Treatment of applied kinesiology

Our head lamps lit the twisting tunnels showing us the way through this shadowy cave. As we stepped around the corner of this twisting tunnel we learned things weren’t going to be ok. It was then, at that moment, we saw our hole was not burrowed by a bunny, but instead a hungry slithery snake.

We must keep our eyes open, always looking at where we are going, to ensure we are hoping into a healthy hole. By staring at the snake of AK we have already witnessed how illogical this viper can be, but we have yet to taste its venom. To truly understand the poison of the applied kinesiology snake oil we need to study how they claim to help others.

AK uses a variety of techniques to treat illness, here are a few:

  • Quantum Pendants
  • Counseling
  • Chiropractics
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Myofascial release
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Nutritional therapies
  • Homeopathy

 

Treatment of Quantum Pendants

Ernest the life coach and other charlatans love to twist and misinterpret placebo. They conceal their unethical practices with its warm wrappings. Perhaps these snake oil salesmen use the benefit of placebo to soothe their guilt for taking advantage of desperate souls.

This video shares the pseudoscience of AK and quantum pendants.

Treatment of Counseling

Sometimes Ak is used to counsel and advise patients on their personal lives. The very same muscle test used to determine the patient’s health is utilized to assess personalities of people they have never met. Imagine someone testing our worth, deciding whether we are a good person, if our spouse should leave us or if we should see our child, all by pushing or pulling on our significant other’s arm.

According to Rabbi Yair Hoffman, AK practitioners in his community have told their patients:

I am sorry, Mrs. Ploni, but the muscle testing we performed on you indicates that your compatibility with your spouse is a 1 out of a possible 10 on the scale.”

Your son being around his father is bad for his energy levels. You should seek to minimize it.”

Your husband was born normal, but something happened to his energy levels on account of the vaccinations he received as a child. It is not really his fault, but he is not good for you.”  [9]

In the following video we will observe how AK may be used to treat mental health issues.

While watching this video and others like it, notice how they call themselves kinesiologists. They do this to hide behind the veil of an actual scientific field. They falsely call themselves kinesiologists hoping to improve their credibility in the scientific community. If a practitioner doesn’t have the confidence to call their profession its actual name, how can we have confidence in their profession?

Lets look at AK in action.

There is an emotional thing that’s in here as well that’s connected itself, if you like, to the cheese. Lets just have a look at what that is.” She performed her diagnostic examination using her AK muscle testing.

“We’re looking on the five-element chart in fire, there’s metal, lung, large intestine, looking from the top to bottom. So, the emotions could be powerless, powerful, toxic shame, sadness.”

“Are there any issues at home that might be causing some sadness at the moment?”

The patient replied, “Oh well recently my grandfather passed and there’s been a lot of sadness home from that.”

Ok. So, your actually storing it in your body, actually in your digestive system. That emotion and that’s actually got itself connected to the food cheese, so when you’re actually ingesting it its like your body’s taking on board that sadness over and over and over again. So, I’m just going to give you a few drops of this virus essence under your tongue.” She drips some liquid into her mouth.

Let’s have another look and see how it is.” The practitioner returns to performing muscle testing and the patient expresses she feels better.

And how are you feeling about the issue with your grandfather now and the sadness we talked about?” The practitioner asked.

I feel lots more, light and a lot more calm.” Her patient replied.

That’s excellent, fantastic…” the practitioner replies.

A couple drops of water, some fidgeting hands and a few arm movements and this person is no longer sad about the passing of their father. Wow, they must not have been very close.

Treatment of Chiropractics

Applied Kinesiology often employs the pre-scientific belief of chiropractics. This practice claims to treat an array of illnesses by adjusting  subluxations, curing nerve impairment and innate.

Treatment of Craniosacral therapy

AK practitioners also use craniosacral therapy to treat their patients.

“A bump or other type of strain to the head can jam the skull bones, causing abnormal movement.  Improper nerve function may result that can cause problems in remote organs or other body structures. There are several methods for evaluating skull function that have been developed in AK examination. The doctor may test a muscle, apply a challenge to bones of the skull, and then re-test the muscle. The patient may be asked to take a deep breath and hold it, and then a muscle is re-tested to determine any change.  The doctor may have the patient touch various areas of their skull while a muscle is tested. Dysfunction of the skull is called a cranial fault.  If one is found, a specific gentle pressure, the direction of which is determined by the MMT examination, will be applied to the skull, usually with a specific phase of respiration.  If the correction is successful, there will be an immediate improvement of the MMT.” [10]

Here is an example of it in use:

 

Treatment of Nutritional therapies

Like most pseudoscience the best way to test their venom is to see how they spit their snake oil. So, how do practitioners of AK describe the tools of their trade?

According to Dr. Laura Sleggs, ND  she describes AK as “a non-invasive technique, it can help to identify nutritional deficiencies or excesses, imbalances in the body.”  She specializes in using AK to “test for bacteria, virus, yeast and parasites that may be affecting your body, food sensitivities and heavy metal toxicity.” [13]

How does Dr. Laura Sleggs discover harmful pathologies throughout the body with AK? I imagine the same way practitioners like Kamilla Harra does in the following clip.

She claims the nutritional methods of applied kinesiology are “extremely accurate at diagnosing food sensitives, even very, very mild and minor ones.”

When asked to describe the principles of AK she stated: “Every single particle in the universe, including yours cells, they consist of molecules and they consist of particles, they all have their own unique vibration and they have an electromagnetic field around it, and that’s pure science. So, when you take an essence of a food. Every vial has a particular electromagnetic field and when you place it on your body your brain would react to it, because everything that happens to us is registered by the brain. Then because the brain communicates with the muscles, the muscles will also react.”

In an article written by Dr. Stephen Barrett titled Applied Kinesiology: Muscle-Testing for “Allergies” and “Nutrient Deficiencies” he directs the reader to the bizarre claims of AK. Some of these include:

AK proponents claim that nutritional deficiencies, allergies, and other adverse reactions to foods or nutrients can be detected by having the patient chew or suck on them or by placing them on the tongue so that the patient salivates. Some practitioners advise that the test material merely be held in the patient’s hand or placed on another part of the body. A few even perform “surrogate testing” in which the arm strength of a parent is tested to determine problems in a child held by the parent. [11]

Many muscle-testing proponents assert that nutrients tested in these various ways will have an immediate effect: “good” substances will make specific muscles stronger, whereas “bad” substances will cause weaknesses that “indicate trouble with the organ or other tissue on the same nerve, vascular, nutrition, etc., grouping.” A leading AK text, for example, states:”If a patient is diagnosed as having a liver disturbance and the associated pectoralis major [chest muscle] tests weak, have the patient chew a substance that may help the liver, such as vitamin A. If . . . the vitamin A is appropriate treatment, the muscle will test strong”  [11]

Dr Barrett concludes his article by stating: The concepts of applied kinesiology do not conform to scientific facts about the causes or treatment of disease. Controlled studies have found no difference between the results with test substances and with placebos. Differences from one test to another may be due to suggestibility, distraction, variations in the amount of force or leverage involved, and/or muscle fatigue. If you encounter a practitioner who relies on AK muscle-testing for diagnosis, head for the nearest exit.

AK practitioners employ orthomolecular medicine to treat nutrient deficiencies and other ailments. This is not a type of medicine but a set of beliefs regarding the role of nutrition and supplements in human health and disease… not accepted by the majority in the scientific community. [12]

 

Conclusion

We have crawled down this dangerous snake hole to test the venom of applied kinesiology. I hope this journey has shown you the dangers of this poisonous practice and hope it will be enough for you to vaccinate against the harmful effects of pseudoscience.

 

The Placebo of Ernest the Life Coach

Sitting beside my friend Ernest we chatted the lazy morning away. We were in old town Saint Charles enjoying delicious coffee. Little birds scurried along begging for bread crumbs. Golden rays slipped through the fluffy cloud blankets creating kaleidoscope lightshows in the street.

Beside me was Ernest, he had a lean build halfway between a runner and a weekend warrior. His intensely bored eyes stared into the distance. He was tense and taut as a bow. “What did you think about the book I suggested?”

Watching the steam rise from my cup of coffee I placed my hand over the delightful heat of the freshly brewed deliciousness. Raising my eyes to his. “Oh yeah, the Mind Matter, You Are the Placebo book? It was boring with very little substance.”

Crossing his arms, Ernest’s face reddened as his brow furrowed.

I took a deep breath and continued speaking. “It was like four-hundred pages of pseudoscience garbage.  I get what the intent of the book is, but it’s the kind of message that can lead seriously ill people astray.”

Ernest shifted in his seat, his body movements sharpened, and began speaking faster. “I can’t fucking stand people like you. How can you just discount and dismiss what you read?” His words boiled with anger.

My eyebrow raised, I assumed he took my review as a criticism of him. I was kind of weirded out by his reaction. To ease the discomfort of the scene I raised the mug to my lips and took a sip; it was my favorite, highlander grog. Thankfully it had cooled enough for me to enjoy its exquisite flavor.

I looked at him, then back at the birds and the dark river in the distance. It took a few minutes of silence for his agitation to subside. As the air cleared his grimace lowered and his arms uncrossed.

You know I could’ve charged you when we first met?” He said with a stern face. “But, I value our time too much, so I didn’t…” Slowly he twisted his face into a half smile.  “…and I know you need our meetings.”

I shrugged and took a sip of my coffee. “I wouldn’t have hired you, so it wouldn’t have mattered.”

His half smile curled into a full fake smile.

Watching his reaction, I continued. “I’m sorry… I don’t pay for advice or for people to be my friend.” I said holding my hands on the sides of my warm mug.

A few moments passed. Ernest stretched his leg out, then sat back in his chair. The pallor of his face started to redden again as he pressed his lips together and narrowed his eyes. “So, what’s up, how are things?”

Eh, pretty rough, recovering from chemotherapy has been slow and hard.”

He stared off into space then back at me. “You know, the only reason you haven’t recovered is because you choose to stay sick. Right?”

Excuse me?” I could feel a warm anger in my stomach.

You’re choosing to be sick. As soon as you want to get better you will.” He paused for a moment. “That’s what Joe Dispenza is talking about right? This is all mind over matter.”

That’s not how it works, that’s not how chemotherapy or cancer works.” I was getting angry, but I was doing my best to remain calm.

That is how it works; if you tell your cells what to do they heal. If you chose to be sick, you stay sick. You have chosen to stay sick. Right? It is your decision; all of this is your decision. You’ve chosen to stay sick, just like you chose to get cancer.” His tone grated on my soul, like being stabbed by the splintered uneven edge of a broken spear.

My blood began to boil. How could this mother fucker actually believe this garbage? No one chooses to get cancer; no one wants to be sick.

He continued to explain. “I only get sick when I want to. I’ve been telling my wife and daughter this a long time. To prove it I told my wife I was choosing to get sick and I got sick. She used to have headaches all the time, now I’ve taught her how to choose not to have them, she doesn’t get them anymore. My daughter doesn’t listen though; she’s stuck like you and won’t accept she is in control of her health.”  Ernest’s smile and eyes became wide for a moment before continuing. “You are the placebo, if you want it hard enough, you can have anything you want.” He paused for a moment and looked at his phone. “I have an appointment, give me a hug brother, I’ll see you next week.”

I don’t like to see bridges burned, but I do like see boundaries enforced. To have a relationship with someone we must build a bridge from our island to theirs. It requires upkeep and understanding built from a foundation of empathy and respect. That day he was in the business of setting fires. There are certain things we don’t burn, just like there are certain things we don’t say. It felt like he was in the mood to set my island on fire, so I turned him toward the bridge. He first started by melting and discarding all his understanding, then set flame to empathy, and at the very end, once the bridge began to crumble and fall all my respect for him was gone. I could have stopped the conversation, told him how offensive his statements were, but why put out a flame when the arsonist is just going to set it ablaze again anyways?

Tell me about this book.

In the book: You are the Placebo, by Joe Dispenza he shared how he willed his vertebrae to regenerate after being crushed[1]. Where is the evidence? His followers claim things like x-rays and documentation aren’t needed to prove their prophet’s powers.

How did he heal his bones? Dispenza claims it was by becoming the placebo. In his words “The key is making your inner thoughts more real than the outer environment, because then the brain won’t know the difference between the two and will change to look as if the event has taken place. If you’re able to do this successfully enough times, you’ll transform your body and begin to signal new genes in new ways, producing epigenetic changes—just as though the imagined future event were real. And then you can walk right into that new reality and become the placebo.”[2

I have no clue what that meant, and I am sure he didn’t either. This is a common trait of followers and practitioners of pseudo-medicine, they love stringing together long unintelligible sentences.

Can we use the placebo effect to heal our body?

Harriet Hall, MD wrote: “Placebos are widely misunderstood. They don’t have any objective healing powers. Placebos have never been shown to change the course of any kind of illness; they have only been shown to temporarily improve subjective complaints like pain and nausea. You have a misconception about placebo surgery; no, it does nothing to activate the self-healing powers of the body. Placebo surgery is never used clinically for treatment. It has only been used as a placebo control in scientific studies, where it has been useful in demonstrating that a particular surgical procedure was ineffective and should be abandoned.”[3]

Harriet A. Hall is a retired family physician, former U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, and health advocate who writes about alternative medicine and quackery for Skeptic magazine, Skeptical Inquirer and Science-based Medicine.