Researching Energy Medicine
Posted: 20 October 2011 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I posted this letter to introduce myself - I’m hoping to meet with sincere researchers.


Greetings,

I deeply respect honest inquiry regardless of where it takes us.  This takes a good deal of courage, especially if what we are seeing does not fit our expectations.

Without robust and repeatable empirical evidence, as well as properly conducted scientific studies, there is little reason to accept “energy medicine” as more than a popular belief based on anecdotal reports. 

I’ve been in this “fringe” field for 35 years and have written books on the subject.  If anyone in Los Angeles would like to see a clear, empirically obvious, visible, measurable, repeatable, and teachable demonstration that consciousness affects the outer world, I’d be happy to present this.  It is easy to allow suggestion to influence people, but a good experiment must remove psychological factors.

I could easily demonstrate pain reduction, but those experiments take a lot of time to set up properly and establish adequate controls.  Consider a completely different test:

Professionals who do postural analysis agree that the vast majority of people have a moderate to dramatic twist in their pelvis.  That is, when standing, most people have their left hip higher than their right in the front, and their right higher than their left in the back.  This can be seen in seconds by trained professionals, noticing roughly a 6 to 14 degree tilt.  (At first glance this seems impossible when considering the pelvic girdle.  However, there is a certain amount of freedom or swing between left and right sides of the pelvic bones that allow us to walk.) 

The way this pelvic twist is addressed by chiropractors is to lay a person on their side and apply force in two directions.  Unfortunately this twist almost always returns in a few days.  There is no evidence that this twist ever corrects itself over time or especially while a person is standing. 

I’d like to demonstrate that this twist can be removed when I simply meditate for about 10 seconds without touching the person, and without the use of suggestion.  People can be as skeptical or hostile as they like, and it still works.  From my experience, the phenomenon works close to 100% of the time; however there are a few exceptions were people only improve about 50%.  Unlike a chiropractic adjustment, this change appears to last months or years in most cases.  To remove the possibility of suggestion, I ask the subjects if I can study them before I work.  I’ll have already done the adjustment while I’m looking at them.  To further remove the possibility of suggestion, I’m happy to do the sessions over Skype, so I can see the subject, but they don’t need to know I’m there.

When I do this kind of demonstration, I’d require experienced professionals who know how to measure posture, since inexperienced or hostile witnesses will bias their observations.

Please suggest people I might contact.  I’m finding it difficult to show this to scientists who “know” how truly stupid this sounds.  As Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”  What I’m showing is not magic, but a basic human skill that I’ve already taught thousands of people to do by shifting the focus of their awareness.


Sincerely,

Richard Gordon

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Posted: 20 October 2011 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I certainly agree about seeing this pelvic twist.  I enjoy observing it most when I’m behind a young woman in tight jeans or slacks who is showing that twist as it rotates while she walks.  I’ve never heard any of them complain about it, however.  smile

Occam

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Posted: 20 October 2011 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Occam. - 20 October 2011 06:31 PM

I certainly agree about seeing this pelvic twist.  I enjoy observing it most when I’m behind a young woman in tight jeans or slacks who is showing that twist as it rotates while she walks.  I’ve never heard any of them complain about it, however.  smile

Occam

  LOL You always have the best responses!!!

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Posted: 20 October 2011 10:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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>>>I certainly agree about seeing this pelvic twist.  I enjoy observing it most when I’m behind a young woman in tight jeans or slacks who is showing that twist as it rotates while she walks.  I’ve never heard any of them complain about it, however. 

Occam<<<


Few people notice it, but it can be a factor in back pain and possibly other conditions.

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Posted: 21 October 2011 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Occam you crack me up.

But seriously Rich, this is a forum of skeptics so you have to expect a bit of skepticism. As has often been said.. extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and you have provided none. To prove this claim you would have to do the following.

1) Come up with an objective way of measuring the tilt you claim exists in the vast majority of people. It would have to be reproducible and verifiable by multiple independant observers and it should stand up to scrutiny by people who are experts in anatomy. To be honest, my skepticism is raising a red flag right here. First of all I find it hard to believe that natural selection has selected for a population where the “vast majority” of individuals are all tilted to one side in a way that is harmful to them. That just doesnt make any sense. Secondly, the measurement you are talking about is very subjective. Human beings are not made of steel and glass. The human body is very plastic and its extremely easy to shift one way or the other to change the position of the pelvis. Any measurement would have to stringently control the geometry of the skeleton so as to prevent any hanky panky intended or accidental by the person being measured or the person doing the measuring.

2) You would have to randomly select individuals with no prior knowledge of the experiment or it underlying objectives to act as subjects

3) The individuals would have to be measured by several independent observers unknown to you who had no knowledge of each others results and no knowledge of the experiments objectives.

4) The individuals would then be randomly divided into two groups. You could then work your mental magic on one group from afar and leave the other group “untouched”. Neither group would be informed of what was happening.

5) Next, the same group of independant observers would again measure the subjects.

6) Finally, the measurements would be compared and we would see if there was any difference between the group you ‘treated’ and the group you had not. If there is a statistically significant difference between the two groups we then run a bigger study to see if its reproducible. If it is then you may have something there. If not then you don’t. I’m betting on don’t

Let me know when you’ve done all of that and then we can have a discussion. Otherwise you’re just wasting everyone’s time

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Posted: 22 October 2011 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks for your well thought out reply. 

>>>But seriously Rich, this is a forum of skeptics so you have to expect a bit of skepticism. As has often been said.. extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and you have provided none. To prove this claim you would have to do the following.<<<

Of course I expect skepticism, this is CFI. 

>>>Come up with an objective way of measuring the tilt you claim exists in the vast majority of people. It would have to be reproducible and verifiable by multiple independent observers and it should stand up to scrutiny by people who are experts in anatomy. <<<

There are three good ways of doing this.  The first is have professionals who measure structural alignment use their fingers and eyeballs - this works great, second place a clinometer on the top of the left and right sides of the pelvic girdle and see the exact angle, and third, take x-rays.  Experienced professionals can independently reach consensus.

>>>To be honest, my skepticism is raising a red flag right here. First of all I find it hard to believe that natural selection has selected for a population where the “vast majority” of individuals are all tilted to one side in a way that is harmful to them. That just doesn’t make any sense.<<<

Point taken, however when you speak to most chiropractors, physical therapists, postural analysts and kinesiologists, this pelvic twist is common knowledge.  As a side note, there are many things in science that “don’t make sense”... like dark matter and dark energy - the universe expanding ever faster…

>>>Secondly, the measurement you are talking about is very subjective. Human beings are not made of steel and glass. The human body is very plastic and its extremely easy to shift one way or the other to change the position of the pelvis. Any measurement would have to stringently control the geometry of the skeleton so as to prevent any hanky panky intended or accidental by the person being measured or the person doing the measuring.<<<

I disagree - the hip measurement in the hands of professionals is not subjective.  When you are standing with weight balanced between your feet it is impossible to raise one hip.  Measurements need to be done accurately and independently. 

>>>2) You would have to randomly select individuals with no prior knowledge of the experiment or it underlying objectives to act as subjects
The individuals would have to be measured by several independent observers unknown to you who had no knowledge of each others results and no knowledge of the experiments objectives.<<<

Of course.

>>>The individuals would then be randomly divided into two groups. You could then work your mental magic on one group from afar and leave the other group “untouched”. Neither group would be informed of what was happening.<<<

I agree.

>>>Next, the same group of independent observers would again measure the subjects.<<<

I agree.

>>>6) Finally, the measurements would be compared and we would see if there was any difference between the group you ‘treated’ and the group you had not. If there is a statistically significant difference between the two groups we then run a bigger study to see if its reproducible. If it is then you may have something there. If not then you don’t. I’m betting on don’t
Let me know when you’ve done all of that and then we can have a discussion. Otherwise you’re just wasting everyone’s time.<<<

As I stated above, this can be done with hands and eyes by a trained professional (it is actually quite easy to see) or it can be done with a clinometer used by trained professionals for a digital readout.

The reason I wrote the letter is to find people I can work with to this end.  If I had already done the research I’d be publishing in a journal not posting here.  Frankly I have a love of skepticism (not cynicism or bigotry).  We want to know the truth and not be deceived by faith, sloppy thinking, to be fooled.

If exploring new ideas is wasting people’s time, then I don’t understand the concept of a Center for Inquiry unless it is a place for people to agree with one another on the stupidity of pseudo-science.

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Posted: 22 October 2011 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Maybe women stop to twist their pelvis around you because your meditation scares the hell out of them.

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Posted: 22 October 2011 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Being you have to understand something. What you are proposing has no basis in science. It contradicts everything we know about the physical world. Thats not to say you can’t challenge the prevailing view of the world around us but to do so you have to have extremely strong evidence since there’s lots of evidence to say that your theory is completely wrong.

I have to correct you on a couple of things.

First, It is not up to us to help every person with a crazy theory prove that the theory is wrong. If you have an idea that flies in the face of all prevailing evidence its up to you to provide enough evidence to the contrary so that skeptical minds will have a reason to take notice

Second, on a minor note concerning the measurements we are talking about I have to say that you are not correct. Eyeballs and fingers would not meet the criteria for an accurate and reliable method of measuring, and as I said you need to find a way to anchor or fix the body in some fashion that would make it difficult for the subject or the observer to shift their position and throw off the measurement. Please forgive me if I scoff at the notion that Chiropractors and kinesiologists lend their expert opinion to the idea that these methods are reliable or accurate. These two practitioners are not exactly known for their respect of the scientific method.

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Posted: 23 October 2011 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Ok - I’m investigating ways of improving measurements that others have pioneered and will start by doing some preliminary research.  Thanks for your time.  I can see that this forum is clearly not the place to explore this work and I’ll continue the conversation elsewhere.

BTW, placebos work about one third of the time at best (like a ball player batting 333).  Placebos require suggestion or other psychological cues.  I find that I’m seeing results better than 90% of the time and a recent study of my work conducted by a grad student on chronic musculoskeletal pain found no change in the control group, and 100% of the people in the test group responded favorably with about a 50% improvement in their symptoms.  That study will be published soon.

If you’re curious, the following videos are not being offered as any sort of proof, but rather as a window into what I see when I go out and approach strangers in public.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXwNkMaA6fw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az9G77ldFSI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIIzaR7ZC8E

Take care,
Richard

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Posted: 25 October 2011 07:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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One final note…  Having taught thousands of people to do this, I have no doubt that the effects are not due to a psychological mechanisms since it works equally well on infants and animals.  Further, I’m not teaching people to use any suggestion in the workshops.  And Macgyver, you are correct in that what I’m proposing has no basis in science… at least known science.  We all know how dangerous assumptions are.  Well, the scientific method makes a massive assumption, that you will not be able to affect a test group with your thoughts. 

So in conclusion, there are three possibilities—- I’m either a fool, a fraud, or actually have something.  Time will tell.

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Posted: 04 November 2011 10:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I hope that you are able to do a well designed double blind empirical study on this phenomena that you are so convinced of.
If you find there is something to it, I would be happy to think there is something new to explain.  I expect however, that what you will find is that like all humans you are subject to seeing what you want to see, and that the phenomena is not objectively occuring at all.  I would hope that when you find this, you do not think of yourself as a “fool”, only as another member of the human race who is subject to the tendency to see and believe what is most reinforcing for you to see and believe.  And having done the empirical research to show this to yourself, you will have gone beyond what most human beings would ever do.

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Posted: 04 November 2011 10:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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TimB - I appreciate the tone of your message.  At this time I’m designing an experiment with two PhDs for a crossover blind study and I’ll let you know what happens.  As far as self deception goes, I pride myself on being honest about what I observe and am very quick to say something I’m doing is not working if that is the case.  I have friends who are scientists and consider myself a closet scientist at heart.  It’s hard to think I’m deceiving myself when the effect I’m working on happens virtually 100% of the time - and I’m letting hostile people do the measuring.

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