Feeling Healing Energy: Hoax or True?

Reference:Rosa L, et al A close look at therapeutic touch. JAMA. 1998 Apr 1;279(13):1005-10.

In 1996 a young scientist investigated the abilities of 21 energy healers. Each healer placed both hands through two holes in a screen. Then the investigator (Emily Rosa) randomly placed her own hand close to the healer’s right or left hand. The healers then had to sense the ‘energy field’ and guess whether Emily?s unseen hand hovered above their right hand or their left hand.

The study involved a total of 280 attempts. If the healers could actually feel ‘energy’ as they claimed to feel, they should have been able to sense the investigator’s hand close to 100% of the time. A score of 50% would be expected through chance alone.

The Not Surprising Result: The energy healers identified the correct hand in 44% of the trials, which is pretty much what is expected by random chance.

Conclusion: The energy field ‘felt’ by healers is nothing more than a figment of their imagination.

Here is the shocker; the primary investigator of this paper was Emily Rosa, aged 9 who did this study for her school science project. Emily is the youngest person to have a paper published in a peer-reviewed medical journal …Journal of the American Medical Association!

Although healers have criticized Emily?s study, 14 years later, no one has yet to come up with an experiment to contradict or disprove her findings.

Personal Comment: I’m not here to debate the efficacy of energy healing, as I appreciate that many swear by it. I simply cannot endorse it.

It’s sad that PTs also claim to feel tiny PIVMs and subtle rib or sacral movements, despite repeated studies providing evidence that they can’t, anymore than healers can feel ‘energy’!

Posted on: December 16, 2012

Categories: Fascinating Pain Studies

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