EvolvMe Blogs

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Let's Go, Quackers!

Let's Go, Quackers!: image

I’m a licensed acupuncturist in the State of New York.  Which, according to the Wikipedia page on acupuncture, makes me a quack.  Well, it doesn’t say that exactly, but the second sentence on the page reads, “Acupuncture is a pseudoscience; the theories and practices of TCM are not based on scientific knowledge, and it has been characterized as quackery.”  

So, yeah, I practice quackery, which makes we…well, a quack.  Which had me thinking of a new line of t-shirts. “I’m a Quack.  Ask me how!”  Or, “Got Quack?”  “I Love Quacks”....you with me?!

The Constellations sessions I'm offering on EvolvMe with my partner, Charity Rae, are even quackier.  But who's counting?!

Science, the Greek word for “knowledge”, as in the pursuit of knowledge, has been pigeon-holed into a corner that doesn’t allow for anything it can’t measure.  In fact, it has a tendency to disparage or dismiss what it can’t explain.  Like Jumping DNA, the majority share of our DNA that was previously dismissed as Junk DNA.  

Junk, as in worthless, because we couldn’t figure out what it was.  It so turns out that Jumping DNA has been symbiotically incorporated into our genome from viral infections over millions of years.  And that this once useless kind of DNA is what makes us so adaptable to our environments, to the point where our ability to proliferate is threatening our Mother Earth like, well, a virus.

Modern science can’t explain why acupuncture works; the default explanation for its success is the placebo effect.  As in, “it’s all in your head.”  To which I might reply, what isn’t?

Don’t get me wrong, the broken bones and other acute physical traumas that modern medicine can heal are real and extraordinary.  But what about all the unanswered mysteries that are marginalized, like 4th stage cancers that go into remission overnight.  Or memories that are transferred from donor to recipient, in liver and heart transplants?  Or folks with multiple, distinct personalities who manifest full blown diabetes in one personality and no signs of it in another?  These phenomena are pushed to the side of science funding, and hence scientific research, because they make the standard bearers of reductive materialist (mainstream) science go bonkers.  Their mantra, after all is:

The view that only the material world (matter) is truly real, and that all processes and realities observed in the universe can be explained by reducing them down to their most basic scientific components, e.g., atoms, molecules, and everything else thought to make up what we know as "matter." For example, a reductive materialist would view the miraculous and unexpected healing of a supposedly terminal cancer patient as a random coincidence of solely biological and physiological processes in the person's body.  PBS Glossary for Faith and Reason

Placebo medicine is very real.  And we need look no further than new research at Harvard that is showing that the placebo “effect” is essential to all medicine, pharmaceutical and energetic, modern and ancient.  Harvard’s Program in Placebo Studies is headed up by Ted Kaptchuk, the only non-MD on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.  Research studies under his guidance are showing that placebos ARE in our heads. AND that they do affect the chemistry in our bodies.  Our heads are connected to our bodies after all.  

Rather than being a magician’s trick, placebos are literally the relationship and ritual of any medicine.  During one of my favorite studies at the aforementioned Harvard program, a well-established migraine medicine, Maxalt, was given to three different groups of participants.  Three different categories of envelopes were used, one for each group.  

The first envelope had the word “placebo” written on the outside, and contained an actual dose of Maxalt.  The second envelope had the words “Maxalt” written on the outside, but contained a placebo.  Only the third envelope actually contained what was written on the outside.  One pill of Maxalt on the inside, and “Maxalt” written on the outside.  And it is only this third group that received significant relief.  The group that took Maxalt that had been labeled “placebo” did no better, statistically, than those who took the placbo labelled “Maxalt.”

In a sentence, the real medicine, Maxalt, was effective, but ONLY if the participant believed it to be Maxalt.

In another study from the same program, severe IBS sufferers were also split into three groups.  No medicine, or physical medicine that is, was administered.

Group 1: filled out a simple intake form.

Group 2: filled out the same form and had their vitals taken (blood pressure, pulse, etc.)

Group 3: filled out the same form, had their vitals taken, and then spent 45 minutes talking with a doctor, who at some point made physical contact (safe touch)…like a hand on the top of the outside shoulder).

Group 3, again, without any physical medication, experienced a very high rate of relief from their IBS symptoms.  Group 2 did ok.  Group 1 saw no change.

That’s what I’d call…mmmm….energetic healing.  Person to person connection (relationship).  Hands on healing (ritual), in its simplest form.

Placebo is the relationship and ritual of any medicine.

Does that make this Harvard study pseudoscience?  I don’t think so, but there is obviously no mechanical, physically measurable reason for why healing occurred in both studies.  

The mainstream view of modern science is that modern medicine is the only real, genuine medicine.  Because modern science believes that something doesn’t exist if it can’t be measured by a machine or a machined tool.  And if it can’t be measured by a machine, then it’s not real.  Call it the “seeing is believing” dogma.

And I don’t disagree.  Seeing is believing.  But these aforementioned placebo studies show that there is another, simultaneous, reality going on.  Namely, some things need to be believed in order for their effects to be seen.  Why can’t we recognize and work with both of these ways of perceiving?

One last point, one that is essential to the role of EvolvMe in our world, is that each of us is mind, body and spirit.  And the main difference between “alternative” healing modalities like Chinese medicine and our modern medicine is that the former recognizes that all diseases are spiritual in origin.  And the latter, modern science/medicine, says that anything we call spirit is an illusion created by our brains.

Most of us know little to nothing about the science behind the modern medicine we use, if and when we use it.  We’ve all been indoctrinated into the medicine we trust.  All of us.  Whether it’s the medicine we were raised with or one that we’ve adopted, or a combination of the two or more lenses.  And that’s not a bad thing.  It just is.  It’s inescapable.  And we ought to, each of us, be allowed to choose the medicine that resonates with our belief systems.  

I feel like the tide of perception is shifting and EvolvMe is a mover and a shaker (I like "resonator") in this respect.

We’re Quacks.  Quack-a-doodles.  Own it.  

If you truly believe in the goodness of your intention to heal and can make room to hold a healing space in your special way (ritual) for others (relationship), you’re a healer.