Monday, November 4, 2013

Integrative Medicine, Skeptics and Angry MDs

Last year I went looking for a scientific explanation of energy healing. On some level maybe I still doubt myself, but more than anything I wonder how it works. There have been too many times when I clairvoyantly saw something and then had it confirmed by the person I was tuning into (so I don't chalk it up to coincidence, though I'm not always accurate and I can blame that on my own laziness - i.e. not doing a meditation before my Angel Reading Hour, etc). 

So I went looking for a real-world way to explain my hobbies and stumbled upon a group of skeptical and sometimes angry MD's. 

The forum is dedicated to debunking complementary and alternative therapies. The first post I commented on was about the dangers of rejecting cancer treatment for alternative therapies (which I can relate to). I replied to the post saying that complementary therapies can help people relax, face their fears and cope with the disease. It's not an either-or case when it comes to conventional medical care and healing. 

I made the mistake of introducing myself as a Reiki healer. I tried to highlight the complementary side, there was a bit of back and forth which led to me being told: 1) No machine or test has ever been able to detect these energies, 2) I had to be delusional or a victim of my mind and "wishing to believe" if I thought I sensed something, 3) I was wasting my time, the client's time, and their money if I was charging them. 4) Some name calling ensued, and these MD's used words that I haven't heard since the third grade. 

That made me wonder: 

  • Why were they so angry? They don't talk to their patients like that (I hope), so they must have been taking their frustrations out on me. Many alternative medicine practitioners often recommend experimental, natural or less invasive therapies in lieu of conventional medical care, without having the science to back it up. Having spent years in the health care industry (yes it's true! And btw, not all corporate cats are greedy or out to get us), I know a bit about efficacy studies, safety tests and the placebo effect. Proven treatments outperform the placebo effect; and testing any course of treatment is very expensive, complex, and requires monitoring huge groups of people.  
Natural and alternative therapies have not always been through the rigorous, clinical testing that is needed. 

Also, I learned that: 

  • Just because something is natural, doesn't mean it is safe. If a natural ingredient is strong enough to have an effect, that effect can be positive or negative. Safety tests are expensive and unfortunately, if a natural supplement or treatment is created by a small business, they may not have the funds to carry out safety tests that are statistically significant. 
  • The same is true for efficacy tests, which tell us if the treatment does what it means to do. Drugs and treatments are usually tested at various stages of development before they are ever tested on humans (and those stages can involve petri dishes, so not necessarily animals). By the time a treatment is ready to be included in a trial on patients, tens of thousands will have been spent. The patient trial will also be very pricey. 
  • This leads to people making decisions based on what they would very much like to be true: for example, that a simple nutritional change will cure cancer. And maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But are you willing to take the gamble? Or will you do both - medical care & a holistic approach to healing. 

It's totally fine by me if they don't believe in Reiki and even scoff at the thought of healing energies. It isn't for everyone, and if you don't want to see it, you won't. But I do think it would be incredibly beneficial for mankind if this massive gap between conventional doctors and Natural/Holistic Approaches was bridged. 

If for no other reason, because the public asks for it. When people have concerns, fears and desires, those need to be addressed. Otherwise they look for answers elsewhere. Integrative Medicine is something we hear a lot about these days. I like the sound of it. We need to pay more attention to the mental, spiritual and emotional aspects, without diminishing the medical side. 

With regards to Healing and Reiki: there are things we haven't been able to test or understand, and denying their existence until we see it in a lab would be a limiting move. Especially when our body is equipped with the means to detect this energy (the Chakras!) 

But that is a whole other story ... 

... My inner skeptic is making an appearance, with a view to see how I can bring healing to science. =) 

Regina Chouza is a qualified Energy Healer, Angel Medium and author of Self-Healing, Cancer & Love and Chakra Healing & Magick. A graduate of the School of Intuition & Healing in London, she is developing a new technique that combines astrology, energy healing and crystals. Download an introduction to grounding, clearing and shielding your personal energy HERE

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