Energy Medicine

"The bioenergetic field plays no role in the theory or practice of biology or scientific medicine. Vitalism, and bioenergetic fields remain mere speculation — speculation that is not even needed to explain what is happening. If bioenergetic fields exist, then some two hundred years of physics, chemistry, and biology has to be re-evaluated." Quantum healing is also examined. Article by Victor Stenger, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawaii, and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado, USA

Energy Healing and other Quackery

An examination of different forms of energy healing and the evidence behind them, including reiki, therapeutic touch, vibrational medicine, crystals, tuning forks, charmstones, energy pendants, and hologram bracelets. Dr Robert, Skeptical Health (13th January 2012)

NCCAM Studies of "Energy Medicine" Are a Waste of Money

“Some CAM practices involve manipulation of various energy fields to affect health. Such fields may be characterized as veritable (measurable) or putative (yet to be measured). Practices based on veritable forms of energy include those involving electromagnetic fields (e.g., magnet therapy and light therapy). Practices based on putative energy fields (also called biofields) generally reflect the concept that human beings are infused with subtle forms of energy; qi gong, Reiki, and healing touch are examples of such practices [2]. NCCAM's description of nonmeasurable "energy fields" is interesting. Various dictionaries define putative as "commonly regarded as such," "reputed," "supposed," "considered to exist," and/or "assumed to be such or to exist." [3] I believe that "putative" implies general acceptance. Most dictionaries do not include the word biofield. The most accurate way to characterize the "energy fields" of qi gong, reiki, and healing touch is that they do not exist and that belief in them is delusional, and therefore that tax dollars should not be spent studying them. But NCCAM prefers language that suggests that they might be real and therefore worthy of government-funded study.” Barrett S. NCCAM Watch (28th July 2011)

Energy healing for cancer: a critical review

The existing research does not allow conclusions regarding the efficacy or effectiveness of energy healing. Agdal R, v B Hjelmborg J, Johannessen H,, Forsch Komplementmed. (June 2011)

Unbalancing the power

“…E.U.T.S. (Energies Unknown to Science). We have such wonderful devices as FusionExcel’s Quantum Pendant “...produces scalar energy that helps to enhance the body’s biofield.” (Demo Video); EFX Embedded Wearable Holographic Technology “...is energetic technology designed to instantly increse power, balance and flexibility by stabilizing and harmonizing the body's bioelectric current.” (Demo Video); EQ “When an EQUILIBRIUM hologram sits within your aura its coded frequencies clear the electrical pathways of negative energy. Your performance will be closer to fulfilling its highest potential.” (Demo Video); EKEN Powerbands “nFIT (nano Frequency Infusion Technology) is our proprietary system for programming the EKEN holograms. This method ensures that each hologram receives a highly concentrated dose of the frequencies required to produce the highest potency and longest lasting product on the market.” (Demo Video); Bionic Band “...which use[s] Proton Alignment Resonance Technology (P.A.R.T.™) to counteract the effects of EMF pollution and allow the body’s cells to “resonate” on the same frequency at once.” (Demo Video); iRenew “iRenew® Energy Balance System™ products with BioField Technology™ harness the natural frequencies which are everpresent in our environment and use them to tune and rebalance your biofield back to a more natural, coherent state.” (Demo Video); Phiten “Phiten Technology is based around the different applications of our high-intensity Phild Process. Titanium has been found by our scientists to be particularly responsive to the Phild Process; meaning, it is consistently effective in emitting, or "passing on" the stabilizing effect of the Phild Process.” (Demo Video); Power Balance “The hologram in Power Balance is designed to respond to the natural energy field of the body. The Mylar material at the core of Power Balance has been treated with energy waves at specific frequencies. The resulting Mylar is believed to resonate and work with your body's natural energy flow to help enable you to perform at the best of your ability.” (Demo Video)  

What a pity that science has not yet caught up with all these "bio-energy fields!" As you can see from the linked videos, all these companies use the same balance, flexibility and strength “tests” to convince their customers of the instant and profound effects of their products…Let’s take a closer look at the so-called “tests” that help sell all of these magical products. What is going on? To put it simply, the person carrying out the “tests” slightly changes the direction of applied force so as to either tip the subject off balance or to reinforce the subject’s own balance. Look again at some of the videos and you’ll see that is exactly what is going on. In order to illustrate this point, I produced this video to clearly demonstrate the tricks. It also show how you too can invent your own science.” Richard Saunder, Vice President of Australian Skeptics and producer of The Skeptic Zone podcasts, James Randi Educational Foundation (5th October 2010)

Research into energy healing: parlour tricks or rigorous testing?

A debate article summarising (mostly verbatim) a correspondence that Professor Edzard Ernst had about the possibility of conducting research into a form of 'energy healing'. Professor Ernst concluded: "This debate would be largely irrelevant if it were not such a typical example of its kind. I am regularly approached by people who invite me to conduct research. If I then try to direct them towards a rigorous test of their basic hypothesis, it turns out they have very little interest in doing science. My explanations usually fall on deaf ears and I am left with the impression that there never was any will to conduct research in the first place. The motivation to approach me, it seems, was not research but promotion. And there is another feature that makes this debate typical: the strength of the assertion that the phenomena to be investigated are real is inversely proportional to the plausibility of the claims that are being made." Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies [FACT] (March 2009)

Gary Schwartz's Energy Healing Experiments: The Emperor's New Clothes?

""Energy medicine" is an emperor whose new clothes still look awfully transparent to critical thinkers and to the scientific community no matter what glorious colors and fabrics Schwartz and his colleagues imagine they are seeing." Book review by Harriet Hall MD, Skeptical Inquirer (March/April 2008)

New Age Energy

"There's a good reason why you don't hear medical doctors or pharmacists talking about energy fields: it's meaningless." Skeptoid Podcast transcript (3rd October 2006)

A review of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis

Harriet Hall, MD, reviews 'Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis' by James L. Oschman: "Oschman concludes that energy medicine was discovered before its time, but now the time has come to integrate it into scientific knowledge. There is probably no single "life force" or "healing energy." Instead, there is an interaction of many electrical, magnetic, elastic, acoustic, thermal, gravitational, and photonic energies, and possibly other subtle energies that remain to be discovered. He claims that there is a growing body of evidence for energy healing, but that even carefully controlled studies have been dismissed, simply because science does not recognize their rationale. This is not true; the positive evidence is of poor quality and is outweighed by the negative evidence that this book consistently refuses to acknowledge." Skeptic Magazine, Vol 11, Nr.3 (2005)

The Skeptics of 'Energy' Therapies

Skeptics and scientists speak out on the growth of 'energy' treatments that tout success stories over hard science. This article includes details of the headlong conversion from skeptic to true believer (and back to skeptic) of the former TFT (Thought Field Therapy) therapist, Monica Pignotti. She believes that her experience should serve as a cautionary lesson to therapists and clients alike. Matthew Robb, MSW, LCSW-C, social worker and freelance writer. Social Work Today (2004)

Hands Off, Doctor

"Doctors and nurses should focus on medicine rather than playing with their patients' energy fields." Article by Howard Fienberg, STATS (2000) [The Statistical Assessment Service is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation which monitors the media to expose the abuse of science and statistics before people are misled and public policy is distorted]

Energy

"The New Age is about enhancing your energy, tapping into the energy of the universe, manipulating energy so that you can be happy, fulfilled, successful, and lovable, so life can be meaningful, significant, and endless….. New Age Energy isn't measurable by any known scientific instrument and is believed to be not only the source of life, but of health as well. There are no ergs, joules, electron-volts, calories, or foot-pounds of New Age energy. This energy is outside the bounds of scientific control or study. Only healers with special powers at "unblocking," "harmonizing," "unifying," "tuning," aligning," "balancing," "channeling," or otherwise manipulating New Age energy, can measure this energy. How? They measure it by feeling it. Energy medicines are based upon variants of the metaphysical theory known as vitalism, a theory that has been dead in the West for over a century. New Age quackery often maintains that the older a theory is the more one should have faith in it." (The Skeptic's Dictionary)