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, I may 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 reading. Enough that I don't chalk it up to coincidence, though I'm not always accurate and I can blame that on my laziness - i.e. not doing a full meditation before doing my practice readings etc.

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

It wasn’t obvious to me from the name, but the forum is dedicated to debunking complementary and alternative therapies. The first post I commented on was about the danger of patients rejecting cancer treatment for natural and alternative therapies, which would be upsetting on so many levels. More on that below. 

I joined the conversation, saying that complementary therapies can help people relax, face their fears and cope with the disease. It is not an either-or case with medical care and energy healing. 

I made the mistake of introducing myself as a Reiki practitioner. 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 do 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 healthcare 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; and testing any course of treatment is expensive, complex, and requires monitoring huge groups of people. Alternative therapies are not likely to go through the rigorous testing that doctors look for.  

In my corporate days I also 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. 2023 Update: Some oncology hospitals do assess natural remedies💜
  • The same is true for efficacy tests, which tell us if the treatment does what it says. 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 for a trial with people, tens of thousands ($) will have been spent. A trial on patients will also be expensive; research objectives have to be refined. 
  • A lot of money and brainpower goes into designing these studies; doctors use the data to make decisions on what to include in their treatment plans. Most holistic practitioners won’t have the funds or know-how to create a useful study. This can lead people to make decisions based on what they would like to be true. 

It's totally fine by me if these doctors don't believe in Reiki and 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 than 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 Energy 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 is 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 energy healing to science. 

Reiki hugs,



Regina Chouza is an Energy Healer, Angel Medium and author of A Personal Guide to Self-Healing, Cancer & Love and Chakra Healing & Magick. She studied angel intuition and astrology at The College of Psychic Studies in London, and qualified as a healer at the School of Intuition & Healing UK. Her passion is bringing the qualities of self-love, joy and empowerment to healing pursuitsRead her books to heal yourself.  

Image: (2023)

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