"Whilst part of what we
perceive comes through our senses from the object before us,
another part (and it may be the larger part) always comes out of our
own mind." - William James
(Investigator 152, 2013
(TT) is one of many forms of alternative therapies; a non-contact, form
of treatment, described by Krieger (1986) as, "…a healing meditation;"
(p. 35). She also claims it is a "natural human potential" which, "…elicits
a generalized relaxation response, …" (Krieger, 1986, p. 16), that
it reduces pain, (Krieger, 1993, p. 13), accelerates healing (pp.
13-14) and is helpful in alleviating psychosomatic disorders such as
asthma, (p. 14).
Wager (1996) and
other followers of TT encourage its wider use, as, "… an adjunct to
conventional medical care," (p. 3), there remains a great deal of
uncertainty about alternative therapies amongst the more orthodox
medical professionals. Many, as Maddocks (1985) indicated, are
undecided whether to, "…reject it, ignore it, or employ it more often".
(p. 547). In part, the hesitancy of orthodox practitioners is due to
their general uneasiness concerning therapies that are based upon, "…numerous
forms of energy alien to physics…" (Raso, 1995, p. 33)
are remnants of a time before the appearance of scientifically based
concepts of medicine; a time when, without understanding the actual
causes of infection and illness, alternative theories, based upon
religion, superstition and pseudo-science, offered the only
explanations. While one would expect that, with the emergence of
scientific medicine and an understanding of the causes of disease, such
primitive theories would have been discarded, unfortunately this is not
what has happened! Not only have these alternative, non-scientific
therapies persisted, but regrettably, in our present era, they have
become increasingly more popular; approximately 50% of Americans now
consult alternative therapists for health problems, (Greenwald, 2001).
Even more disturbing is that, despite their lack of scientific
validity, some forms of alternative therapy are now being taught at
tertiary institutions, sadly, TT has infiltrated the nursing profession
and is now so widely accepted, it is included in the teaching syllabus
of many nursing colleges.
Given the widespread acceptance of TT It seems appropriate to examine
the origins and basis of TT with the objectives of determining: -
If the claims made about TT are valid?
the principles claimed to be the basis of TT are realistic and
factually based; and
TT meet the levels of objective criteria required of modern health
better appreciate the
fundamental principles that are the basis of TT one must first abandon
all modern and orthodox scientific ideas in favour of a world-view
where the fundamental forces driving the universe beliefs are
metaphysical and vitalistic.
including TT, are based upon vitalistic principles. An ancient,
pre-scientific concept Vitalism attributed all "life" to a metaphysical
origin, usually to a supernatural or divine force. A later Hellenic
model proposed a spontaneously creative "life-force" that permeated the
universe and had, by creating order out of the primeval chaos, began
the process of "creation". Vitalism proposes that all living organisms
in the cosmos, including humans, are a product of this, "…
non-physical inner force or energy…" (Carroll, 2003, p.402)
claims that the human
body is not really a physical organism, rather it is a collection of
energy fields; it comprises, "… a localized dynamic interaction of
several principal force fields that span a spectrum of vitality,
life-force and creative living energies." (Krieger, 1997, p. 36)
Furthermore, these "energies" it claims, are "celestial" in origin, "…the
energies "out there" in the universe become a human being." (p. 49)
Not only that, but these mysterious energies, "…are held together by
the collective prana…" (p. 53)
important aspect of
vitalistic theories was that the individual life-process can only
persist while this ethereal energy flows into, and throughout the body,
and that health disorders were due to interference in this vital flow,
an "internal blockages", which, if severe enough, could even cause
death. Such ideas are fundamental components of TT which claims it is
the "dynamic interaction" of these various energies which ensure
that the organism maintains a healthy positive "balance"; occasionally
however, if certain negative factors cause an energy imbalance, "…the
person becomes ill." (Krieger, 1993, p. 46), and, at such times, "…it
becomes the healer's charge to rebalance the healee's energies."
claims that these animating energies generate a field of invisible
light, known as the Aura or the human energy field (HEF). Paracelsus
(1493-1541) described this as a luminous sphere of multicoloured lights
and that brightly glowing colours in the HEF indicated good health,
while dark colours, (which, it was claimed, were usually located
directly over the affected area), indicated ill-health. It was claimed
that not only could this energy field be "seen" by those with special
abilities, but they could also use it to interpret the individual's
state of health by examining these various colours within the HEF; this
then is the basis of TT.
is an essential
component of TT; it was described by the Theosophist Blavatsky, (1889)
as a form of "psychic effluvium", produced by the intense energies
radiating out from the body, and, that displayed within the HEF, are
detectable patterns of both mental and physical energy! Kunz and Peper
(1995) claim these patterns are reflections of our individual thoughts
and emotions, while the patterns of physical energy reflect the
function and operation of every body organ.
then is the basis of
TT; Krieger (1993) claims that TT involves, "…the knowledgeable use
of the therapeutic functions of the human energy field" (p. 16) and
that TT is, "…concerned with the mechanisms by which utilizable
energy is generated, transferred and manipulated to do work in
biological systems." (Krieger, 1997, p. 11)
claims that therapeutic
touch practitioners, (TTP) are not only able to use their special
abilities to "perceive" signs within the invisible HEF that indicate
whether the individual is healthy or not, but even more extraordinarily
they are able to manipulate "…the human body's energy fields: the
external etheric body or aura and the chain of internal energy centres
or chakras" (Rubens, Gyurkovics and Hornacek, 1995, p. 1262) to
restore the sick to good health! According to Krieger, when therapeutic
touch practitioners (TTP) move their hands within the invisible HEF,
(but without actually touching the body), they are able to detect and
interpret the subtle energy patterns within the HEF. Autonomous,
(balanced) patterns, indicate good health while "dysrhythmic" (out of
balance) patterns, indicate the presence of illness. If they "perceive"
signs which indicate the individual is unhealthy, then they are able to
manipulate the HEF restoring balance and stability to the HEF, which
produces a condition of good health in the patient!
if the patient
is suffering a "depletion" in vital energy, the TTP can transfer some
of their own life-force energy, (via their hand chakras), into the
patient's HEF, boosting the patient's own healing system, and
accelerating the speed of their recovery!
in the West the
vitalistic energy had been principally perceived as a form of spiritual
form of energy, from the 16th century onwards, especially after 1600
when William Gilbert published his De Magnete, Magneticisque
Corporibus, et de Magno Magnete Tellure ("On the Magnet and
Magnetic Bodies, and on That Great Magnet the Earth"), this force was
increasingly perceived to be a form of magnetism, or a magnetic fluid.
Although the concept of the form of the energy changed, the
essential belief remained that human illness was due to either
depletion or imbalance of this energy remained. Principal advocates of
the magnetism theory were Jan van Helmont, (1580-1644) and Mesmer,
(1734-1815), and their ideas that were to form the basis of the many
"bioenergetic" theories that would emerge in the following centuries.
individuals could "discharge" their own "magnetic fluid" into other,
weaker individuals, overwhelming their will. Mesmer, who combined
astrology, mysticism and vitalism with some of Helmont's ideas, claimed
the universe was filled with a mysterious cosmic energy, a gravitas
universalis, (Zweig 1932, p. 19). He called this substance ‘animal
magnetism' and he believed that humans, were especially susceptible to
the actions of the, "… earthly and celestial magnetic forces"
(Oldfield and Coghill, 1988, p. 45), and that, "…an imbalance of the
universal fluid within the body produced illness." (Wolberg,
1948, p. 2) He believed that magnetism could be used by healers to cure
the sick and he began to use magnets, waving them over and around
patients, believing this would restore the internal balance of their
animal magnetism, and so would cure them. He "progressed" to having
patients sit around tubs of "magnetized water" holding metal rods
immersed in the water so as to receive the magnetic energy. Later, he
adopted Helmont's practice of discharging his own "healthy" animal
magnetism into patients by, "…passing his hands up and down the
length of the patient's body without actually touching the surface."
(Miller, 1997, p. 5) Later this technique came to be known as
"magnetic" or "mesmeric passes".
these alternative "therapies" including TT would follow the basic
pseudo-scientific ideas of Helmont and Mesmer in claiming to be able to
identify depletions or imbalances of the "vital" fluid and to be able
to restore the normal flow and balance of the internal energy.
centuries the West was exposed to many Asian philosophies, and, in
particular a number of Indian religious and philosophical ideas were
widely promoted by the Theosophical movement. One particular concept
concerned the vitalistic theory of the Etheric Body, (Aura) which came
to represent an important component in many Western alternative health
theories. As Guiley (1991) noted in 1845 Baron von Reichenbach claimed
that this vital energy, ("Od" or the "Odic force) could be seen, "…by
clairvoyants as luminous radiations similar to an aurora borealis, and
can be sensed as hot or cold." (p. 629)
widely promoted the Etheric Body and a number of other Indian religious
concepts, introducing to the West such esoteric concepts as prana, a
cosmic life-giving energy, and chakras, (Leadbeater, 1927), body
centres that, according to Feuerstein, (1987), collect and concentrate
prana. A number of concepts that were later to become prominent
features of TT were originally popularised in the West by Leadbeater;
these were that: -
The prana was manifested as an HEF;
although the HEF was Invisible it could be "detected" by those who are
specially trained, who could also detect subtle imbalances in the field;
the chakras were important components in that they could be used to
transmit "healing" energy from healers into patients.
appear to have been introduced into TT via Dora Kunz, a student and
associate of Leadbeater, who was later to be the teacher and colleague
of Krieger. Strangely, although Krieger incorporated many of the
metaphysical teachings of Leadbeater into TT, virtually unchanged,
their actual origins remain unacknowledged. While Krieger (1997)
acknowledged she used material from Kunz, whom she described as "…an
acknowledged contemporary authority on the clinical aspects of chakra
dynamics" (p. 50), no mention is made of Leadbeater. Yet his ideas
are constantly referred to, such as when Krieger (1997) emphasizes the
role of the chakras, as being, "…of major importance at the
supraphysical level, where they act as the principal agents for
focusing energy to the physical body." (p. 58) Interestingly,
Krieger initially referred to the vital energy component of TT as
prana, (the term used by Leadbeater); however, according to Glickman
(1987), after some criticism of her work, she "…dropped the prana
explanation and embraced the human energy field (HEF) concept then
being developed by Rogers." (p. 15)
by Krieger that TT
is a new, scientific development are totally incorrect; TT is nothing
more than a New Age update of a number of ancient forms of what Raso
(1996) referred to as "touch therapy" or the "laying-on-of-hands". In
particular, TT appears to have extensively purloined many ideas from Rei'ki
and Pranic Healing, adding its own raggle-taggle collection of
obscure non-scientific Eastern and Theosophical philosophies. Overall
it appears to be primarily a synthesis of two principal metaphysical
concepts, namely: -
there exists a mystical energy that can be utilized by TTP's for
healing purposes; and,
all humans possess certain latent psychic powers that, with proper
psychic training, are capable of being greatly developed. (Oltramere,
while TT must stand or
fall on the validity of the existence of the metaphysical healing
energy, and the claimed ability of TTP's to manipulate these energies,
the supporters of TT are not only unable to provide any empirical
evidence of the existence of these energies, but even more damaging,
they are themselves, when properly tested, unable to detect the
so-called energy flows, despite the claims by supporters of TT that the
energy flow of the HEF is, "…fairly easy to feel." (Wager, 1996,
Rosa, Sarner and
Barrett (1998) tested twenty-one TTP's in a situation whereby the TTP's
were unable to see the subjects. Depending on the toss of a coin, the
subjects would place their right hand directly above either the TTP's
right or left hand. Required to identify which hand was being tested,
the TTP's were correct in only 44% of the tests, a rate which as Rosa
et al. (1998) observed, "…is close to what would be expected for
random chance." (p. 1005), clearly suggesting the TTP's were unable
to "feel" the HEF of the test subjects.
alternative therapies, TT appears to be little more than an elaborate
charade; however, to be fair, it does seem that TT can actually produce
relaxation, reduce pain, accelerate healing and is useful in treating
psychosomatic disorders; however, while Krieger attributes these
effects directly to the TT process, it appears that she has either
little understanding of, or has chosen to overlook the fact that there
are other well-known psychological principles that are capable of
producing such physical responses in patients.
that the responses of TT patients are not, "…solely or overtly due
to suggestion or persuasion." (p. 11), and, that the process
does not involve, "…a passive, trancelike, or hypnagogic state."
(p. 13) However, the facts clearly contradict these claims. Indeed,
when one examines the instructions given by Krieger, (1993, pp. 22-31),
to enable the TTP to assess the HEF it is quite clearly a hypnotic
induction combining both autohypnosis and heterohypnosis techniques,
one that relies primarily upon the power of suggestion for both the TTP
and the patient.
suggestion as "…the uncritical acceptance of an idea … the process
by which sensory impressions are conveyed in a meaningful manner to
evoke altered psychophysiologic responses." (p. 7). Suggestions can
be verbal, nonverbal, direct or indirect, and can even involve such
innocuous factors as the appearance, behaviour, gestures and facial
expressions of others, especially the therapist. Suggestion is
particularly powerful when specific social and cultural expectations of
an individual are utilized. Thus, a witch doctor shaking his rattle and
uttering magical spells, a Christian priest sprinkling holy water and
praying, a magnetizer making "magnetic passes", or a TTP waving their
hands around a subject are all creating powerful suggestions attuned to
the particular beliefs and expectations of their subjects.
the subject is not
a believer, there are still powerful underlying influences that can
influence behaviour and produce a psychosomatic response in subject. As
Hebb (1955) indicated, when an individual experiences a reduction in
sensory input, or they are subjected to a monotonous or unchanging
condition, the sensory system of the brain tends to shift its focus,
and subjects can experience altered states of consciousness (ASC) which
can be manifested as imaginary visual, auditory or kinetic sensations.
Given that the TTP would likely have a strong belief in the
effectiveness of the TT process, and their clients would probably have
similar opinions, it should not come as a surprise to find that both
the TTP and the subject would experience certain psychosomatic
"metaphysical" aspects of TT, Krieger unintentionally revealed that,
during the Centring Phase, the TTP enters, and remains in, an
autohypnotic condition. This is evident from Krieger's own descriptions
of Centring, she describes the process as, "…an act of
self-searching, a going within to explore the deep levels of yourself"
(Krieger, 1993, p. 17) and elsewhere as a, "…qualitatively different
state of consciousness and quietude." (Krieger, 1995, p. 265) Such
descriptions are clearly indicative of an ASC.
fact that this "centered
state of consciousness" must be maintained throughout the entire TT
healing process (Krieger, 1986, p. 37; 1993, p. 18; 1995, p. 265)
reinforces the impression that the TTP is actually in an ASC, and, in
such a condition, would be particularly sensitive to any impressions,
real or imaginary, that might occur to them during the time they are
sweeping their hands around the patient.
claims that, during
this time, TTP's are able to perceive "variations of energy" within the
HEF, are easily explained, for if the hands and arms are held upright
or waved around for a period of time, in the manner recommended for the
TTP, definite physical sensations do appear in the arms, however, these
feelings are nothing more than the sensation of muscle fatigue.
However, while only muscle fatigue, these feelings would have a
powerful effect on someone expecting to receive definite "impressions"
from the HEF, and would serve to reinforce their belief of anyone using
this technique that they had actually experienced some form of
hand-waving process serves another purpose; to hypnotize the patient.
As previously mentioned, the technique known as magnetic, mesmeric or
hypnotic passes, was once used by Mesmer and his disciples, (Moss
1979), who erroneously believed it enabled them to transmit "magnetic
energy" into their subjects.
described the "passes" as, "…hand gestures made by the hypnotist
over the subject's body with or without contact." (p. 295) Bernheim
(1886), referred to this same technique in a report to the French
Academy of Science in 1831, describing, "…certain movements called
passes, which are made a short distance from the body…" (p. 107)
Weitzenhoffer (1957) provide descriptions of two different
"magnetizing" techniques, both remarkably similar to the TT process. In
Moss's version Jack, the hypnotist, "… would wave his hands a slight
distance from the body, starting above the top of the head and
gradually moving down around the arms and torso, all the way to the feet…
"(p. 100). The method described by Weitzenhoffer was slightly different
in that the hypnotist instructed the patient to become passive (to
relax), then, after "fixating" them with his eyes, would touch the
shoulders and run his hands down the patient's arms; then, placing his
hands several inches above the patient's head would make downward
passes until he reached the "pit of the stomach" then, after a short
delay, the passes continued downwards from the stomach to the knees. To
end the session, passes were made in front of the face and over the
chest "… at a distance of three to four inches." (p. 280) While
one might doubt the possible effectiveness of such a simple technique
as Moss (1979) indicated he would test subject's who had been induced
in this manner "by sticking a needle or pin a good half-inch into
the flesh …and there would be no reaction…" (p. 100)
same process was
widely used in the past as an effective form of anaesthesia. During the
1840's, English surgeon James Esdaile, who worked for the East India
Company, had his Indian assistants relax company labourers with a
combination of mesmeric passes and by gently breathing upon them while
he operated. Using this as the sole form of anaesthesia he successfully
conducted hundreds of "painless" operations, including more than 200
major operations involving the removal of scrotal tumours.
Esdaile believed that this technique, based as it was upon mesmerism,
was a relatively new process, but later, as Edmonston (1981) noted, he
discovered that a similar method, known as jar-phoonk (from the
Hindu Jarna – "to stroke" and phoonka – "to breathe"), had been
widely used by Indian conjurors and holy-men for hundreds of years.
past it was widely
believed that during mesmerism passes, "…a vital force or
fluid…passed from the operator to the patient, affecting the latter's
nervous system." (Edmonston, 1981, p. 12) This erroneous belief
persists, not only in many primitive cultures, but also amongst many
advocates of alternative therapies. Thus Kurtz, Alcock, Frazier, Karr
et al. (1988), found similar claims being made about the abilities of
Chinese Qigong Masters, who, like TTP's, claim to be able to project
healing energy into patients, but over much greater distances. However,
in tests, with the QM hidden from view, it was found that the patient
reacted even when the QM was not transmitting "energy", clearly
revealing that the primary agent involved was simply suggestion.
are a number of other
common correlations between TT and hypnosis:
Krieger (1995) indicated that during TT patients may, "…become less
reactive to the external environment" (p. 266), while also
experiencing heightened sensory perceptions, feelings of peace,
relaxation, heat, cold, tingling sensations, (Krieger, 1986, pp. 25 and
44); they lose their perception of time, or else time simply becomes
unimportant, (Macrae, 1995, p. 280). These experiences, all common
aspects of ASC, particularly hypnotic trances. They were observed in
subjects in the very earliest investigation of mesmerism,
conducted by Benjamin Franklin and a scientific committee
appointed by Louis XVI in 1784, (McConkey and Barnier, 1991, p. 80);
2. Wager (1996) reported evidence of "…high
amplitude alpha waves," (p. 68), during TT, such waves are commonly
associated with relaxation, and are a common aspect of most forms of
3. Krieger (1993) mentioned that TT is extremely
effective in producing, "…a rather profound, generalized relaxation
response…" (Krieger, 1986, p. 17) and that this process can
contribute to the, "…amelioration or eradication of pain." (p. 20) She
indicated this effect was most useful before such procedures as, "…spinal
taps or the administration of intravenous fluids or other infusions.
" (Krieger, 1993, p. 83) Significantly, hypnosis is also widely
recognized as a most effective drug-free methods of producing
relaxation, and has been successfully used as an effective anaesthetic
in a wide range of surgical procedures;
4. Claims by Krieger (1993) that TT accelerates
healing is similar to the findings of Margolis, Domangue, Ehleben, and
Schrier, (1983), Golan (1986) and Barber (1978) who all noted that
hypnosis could increase blood flow throughout the body, helping to
repair tissue and speeding up overall recovery. Similarly, Hart (1980),
Enqvist, von Konow, and Bystedt (1995), reported that hypnosis reduced
blood loss and improved blood pressure, not only during surgery, but
also during the post-surgical recovery phase, factors that generally
assisted the overall healing process reducing the recovery period.
Haskins (2001) noted that hypnosis improved, "…patient outcomes
and…overall patient satisfaction." (p. 160). Hypnotic relaxation is
also extremely effective in reducing post-surgical recovery time,
post-operational pain, reducing levels of patient distress and anxiety.
Finkelstein (1991) and Kessler and Dane (1996) noted its effectiveness
as a "preparation strategy" reducing premedication levels;
anaesthetics; post-surgical pain; post-operative medication; and that
it decreased the period of recuperation by an average of 2.4 days.
5. Just as Krieger (1993) claimed TT alleviates
psychosomatic disorders, so too there are extensive reports on the
effectiveness of hypnosis in treating psychosomatic disorders; indeed,
it is widely acknowledged that, "Hypnotic conditioning…modifies or
ameliorates organic conditions having a large psychogenic component;"
(Kroger, 1977, p. 191)
6. Reflecting the claimed effectiveness of TT in
treating asthma, (Krieger, 1986), it is widely acknowledged that
hypnosis is a most effective treatment for many examples of asthma. As
Gardner and Olness (1981) observed, hypnotherapy is an extremely
effective treatment for some types of asthma, especially the intrinsic
variety, which is primarily psychosomatic in origin, (p. 19).
from TT literature is that the entire process is really nothing more
than a form of hypnotic induction involving a light trance level in
both the subject, and the TTP.
not an uncommon
phenomenon; many "alternative therapies" employ light hypnosis to
produce various forms of ASC. For subjects, usually unaware of the true
nature of the hypnotic process, entering into an ASC can often appear
to be a rather mysterious, other-worldly experience. At the same time
the TTP, with their own specific behavioural expectations, appear to
erroneously interpret the physical sensations they experience, (along
with the responses of patients), as evidence supporting their own
beliefs, a combination which further reinforces their beliefs and
with hypnosis is that it can be easily produced, even by inexperienced
operators who are unaware of what they are doing!
to common belief,
hypnosis does not require a complex induction process or a deep level
of trance to be effective. In reality, most induction techniques are
extremely subtle and produce only light trance levels, nevertheless
these can still be extremely effective in triggering suggestions.
Hilgard and Tart (1966) even demonstrated that subtle hypnotic
techniques used on wide-awake subjects were just as effective in
producing high levels of response to suggestions as were techniques
using deep trance inductions, (p.207). These facts help to explain why
it is that so many alternative therapists, who are generally totally
ignorant that their treatments involve hypnotic techniques, can often
inadvertently produce hypnotic conditions in their patients.
of the TT
process suggests that it is neither new nor original, and merely
presents such well-established psychological strategies as relaxation
and suggestion in the form of a fanciful, pseudo-scientific charade.
the fact that the
basis of TT is the detection and transmission of certain mysterious
life energies which, as previously mentioned, Wager (1996)
claimed were easily detected, (p. 49), one would expect a willingness
on the part of advocates of TT to demonstrate; however, the situation
is quite the opposite. Since Rosa, et al (1998) revealed that,
when properly tested, TTP's were completely unable to detect the
so-called energy fields, the proponents of TT have retreated and
absolutely refuse to be tested. As a result, as Glickman (1997)
observed, the current situation is that, "…no one has as yet been
able to prove the most basic tenet of TT: Can anyone actually feel a
the entire TT
process appears to be established upon rather imprecise, non-scientific
first step in the TT process, assessing the HEF, is based upon rather
imprecise principles; rather than empirical observations the TTP is
encouraged to make a diagnosis on the basis of, "…vague
hunches, passing impressions, flights of fancy… " (Krieger, 1993, p.
29); they are encouraged to, "Accept whatever impressions arise…"
(p. 29). Krieger claims that impressions simply "pop" into her head, "…thoughts
about patient's conditions … They come seemingly from nowhere
–"(Krieger, 1995, p. 268).
• Strangely while possessing a legitimate scientific
background, when it comes to glorifying TT, she uses irrational logic,
admitting that her belief in the existence of the various components of
TT are based entirely upon faith; "Although until this day I do not
"see" either the human energy fields of the personal self or the
chakras embedded within them, I believe…" (Krieger, 1997, p.
• In his early days Mesmer, "…magnetized water and
caused his patients to bathe therein, and to drink of it; he magnetized
porcelain cups and plates, clothes, beds and mirrors," (Zweig,
1932, p. 22); he even "magnetized" cats, dogs and trees. Ridiculous as
these actions appear in hindsight, we find a similar incredible process
being used as part of TT. Krieger (1986) mentions how Oskar Estebany, "…a
world renowned healer." (p. 4) "magnetized" cotton batting, and,
later, she herself describes how to "energize" pieces of absorbent
cotton. (pp. 27-28)
Krieger is a
health professional, her metaphysical mind-set appears to have led her
into the "dark-side" of health-therapy. Her writings are filled with
pseudo-scientific jargon, and, in her attempts to legitimize her
theories and beliefs, she invokes numerous obscure Theosophical and
Eastern vitalistic concepts such as: -
Chakras, (Krieger, 1997, Chapters 3-4, 37-72), "The chakras are centers
of consciousness" (1997, p. 50); they are, "…of major importance at
the supraphysical level, where they act as the principal agents for
focusing energy to the physical body." (p. 58)
• Prana, (Krieger, 1997, Chapter 5, 73-94), "The
vital-energy field is therefore the interactive medium for the body's
access to prana, which actually activates and vitalizes it."
(1997, p. 57)
• Energy flows (Krieger, 1986, p. 49); overflows
(1995, p. 263); and universal forces, all of which she identifies as
key factors of TT, and herself she
perceives as "a healer of
universal mind-energy" (Krieger, 1995, p. 267).
concepts have no place
in legitimate scientific research! It is most unfortunate that Krieger
has allowed her beliefs in bogus energies to overwhelm her legitimate
medical training. In adopting such arcane ideas, she has totally
ignored the possibility that there might be other explanations for the
phenomena associated with the TT process. Her attempts to present TT as
a legitimate, alternative form of "healing" is largely reminiscent of
the practice of Mesmerism in its earliest stage; as Bowers (1976)
observed, "Until the psychological character of mesmerism was
fully recognized, it was widely believed that Mesmer and his followers
had special (and secret) magnetic powers." (p. 61)
popularity of TT within
the nursing profession appears to be an example of "collective
wish-fulfillment" to possess what Bartholomew, (1997) referred to as, "Transcendence
and magical or supernatural powers…" (p. 32). TT provides its users
with special status as practitioners of an acceptable, alternative form
of "medical" intervention, and accentuates the role of women as the
carers and "healers". In past ages it was the "wise-women" who were
revered and respected by villagers, partly for their supposed
relationship to the natural world and for their arcane wisdom, but
principally for their role as the principal healers of the common folk.
Eventually, they were usurped by university trained physicians, and
they became outmoded relics of an archaic past, overlooked and
forgotten, accused of being witches.
however, at least in
the field of male dominated secular medicine, it may be that TT
provides women with an opportunity to regain some of their former
status as the natural, mystical healers. Driven predominantly by
professional female nursing acolytes, TT utilizes a body of
quasi-medical wisdom that not only fulfils certain psychological and
spiritual needs, but provides women with a degree of authority and
socio-political needs, TT lacks any credible scientific evidence to
support its fanciful claims. Based as it is upon subjective,
non-scientific metaphysical and philosophical belief systems, rather
than solid empirical evidence, TT fails to meet the objective criteria
required of modern health therapies.
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From: Eddie, L.
2008 A Skeptical Look At Alternative
Therapies And Beliefs, Digital