The purpose of this blog is purely educational. It does not advise any reader to forgo medical treatment for any condition. It describes methods that have not yet been proven effective through widespread scientific testing. Readers who are concerned about their health are advised to contact their physician.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Post-script to "Bladder Stone Dissolved"

In my previous post I mentioned that M.'s bladder stone was dissolved through a combination of potassium citrate and energy healing treatments. This may lead people to ask whether in fact it was the potassium citrate alone that dissolved the stone. I found a 2009 PubMed paper about the use of potassium citrate for kidney stones that might help to answer this question.

Eight patients were enrolled in the study. Each had at least one kidney stone sized 15 mm or less. The study was divided into two 6-week periods. In the first 6-week period the subjects were told to drink 1500 ml of water a day. In the second 6-week period, they were given potassium citrate and potassium bicarbonate. These were the results:
During the first period of treatment stone burden remained unchanged in all patients. On the contrary after 6 weeks of potassium citrate/bicarbonate treatment, complete stone dissolution was found in three of the patients. In the other five cases a partial dissolution was observed and in two of them complete dissolution of the stone was achieved after prolongation of the treatment for 4 and 6 month[s] respectively.
M., in comparison, had a 25 mm stone, which dissolved in 21 days.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Bladder stone dissolved

A client I will call M. was diagnosed with 2.5 cm (1 inch) bladder stone that was causing him intermittent pain and difficulty in urinating. He was scheduled to have a medical procedure called "transurethral cystolitholapaxy" in January to break up the stone. This procedure consists of
the surgeon insert[ing] a small, rigid tube with a camera at the end (a cystoscope) into your urethra and up into your bladder. The camera is used to help locate the bladder stones. A crushing device, lasers or ultrasound waves transmitted from the cystoscope can be used to break up the stones into smaller fragments, which can be washed out of your bladder with fluids.
The procedure is usually done under local anesthetic and is not painful at the time, but patients can experience discomfort afterwards, and there is also a small risk of infection or injury to the bladder.[source]

Needless to say M. was not keen on having this done. Aside from the issues of physical risk and discomfort, there was also a substantial cost involved. So he scoured the internet for natural solutions, and found a compound called potassium citrate which can help prevent and over time dissolve bladder stones. His doctor advised him, however, that for a stone as large as his, it would take a long time to work, if it worked at all.

M. decided to try the potassium citrate along with energy healing. We did 12 bioenergy sessions in two blocks of six with a break of 10 days in between. Right after the first session he reported easier urination and increased flow, which made him feel a lot better. This continued right up until the ninth session, when he once again began to experience difficulty and complained of frequent, painful urination which produced small amounts of sand residue. After the 12th session he returned to the urologist and asked for an ultrasound.

I will quote the urologist's comment on the ultrasound verbatim. This is what the urologist said:
I am sorry to tell you that there is no bladder stone.
M. was quite pleased and astonished by this, as was I. He has experienced no pain or difficulty urinating since. He is now trying to address the possible underlying causes of his bladder stone through lifestyle changes, so it does not return.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Let's get some clarity on the Bengston Method

Every once in a while I run across a forum discussion on the Bengston Method. The latest one is here. There is usually a predictable pattern as the discussion polarizes between a group of enthusiastic supporters who know next to nothing about the method except what they can find on the internet, and another group that is on principle opposed to anything "woo-woo" and calls Dr. William Bengston, the founder of the method, a charlatan.

So backed by my experiences with both Dr. Bengston and the method, I would like to offer some clarification.

Is he a charlatan?

In response to Dr. Bengston's detractors I will say that I do not believe he is a "charlatan". His mouse experiments are quite convincing, and there have been enough of them to show that there is indeed something anomalous going on. As far as mice go, it's all well and good: Dr. Bengston can demonstrably cure them. He also has visual proof of at least one human cure and might be able to produce testimonials of others. He is, however, very uninterested in treating people, so the claims he makes are not designed to make sick people flock to him as his critics charge.

Propagation, not enrichment?

What Dr. Bengston seems to be focused on is the propagation of his method and this is where things get interesting. Unlike some other teachers of bioenergy healing, he does not appear to be doing what he does to enrich himself. There are no weekly or monthly workshops of hundreds of students paying large sums to attend. He seems to be teaching mainly to see what will happen when people learn the method, and he claims, anecdotally, that some of his students are doing "amazing things".

The key word here is "some". Obviously Dr. Bengston can't keep track of all his students, but because the mouse experiments resulted in near-100% cures, the received wisdom on the internet is that the method is 100% successful. But not so fast: it's only 100% successful if you are a mouse. The track record for human beings is entirely different, because human beings are far more complex than mice. This is also true with conventional treatment: many promising anti-cancer agents that work on mice fail when applied to people. The other issue is transmission: Dr. Bengston may indeed be able to cure people of cancer, but that is no guarantee that the people he teaches will be able to do likewise.

Dr. Bengston claims in his experiments to have successfully taught the method to skeptical volunteers, who then went on to cure mice. He offers a caveat, which is that because of the way the method worked in the experiments (through something he calls "resonant bonding") he could not be sure that it was the volunteers who cured the mice rather than he himself using them as proxies. He will also say that those volunteers never tried their hand at curing humans. But in the rhetoric around the workshops these volunteers are being used as proof that the method can be taught, even though early on Dr. Bengston himself expressed some skepticism about actually "teaching" them.

An on-going sociological experiment?

So in effect Dr. Bengston's workshops seem to be an on-going sociological experiment around healing, belief, and transmission (which is fitting, because Dr. Bengston is a sociologist). The problem is that the people who attend are not going to them in this spirit but with the intent to learn a healing method that they believe is 100% successful in curing cancer. And the result is that we have graduates of these weekend workshops who then go home and post on their websites that they have learned this method, and offer treatments with the statement that Dr. Bengston says eight weekly sessions are sufficient to deal with stage-4 cancer. It's when I see these claims that I begin to see red, because I think they are firmly in the realm of snake oil. We have gone from someone curing mice in the lab over 40 years to someone who took a single weekend workshop and now believes they can reliably cure people, without ever necessarily having cured a single person.

Somewhere in the middle

Attending a workshop, however, is not a waste of time and neither is practicing the method. We found that it had a lot to offer in terms of palliation: patients treated with it had less pain and a much better quality of life, and they also (anecdotally) seemed to live longer than their doctors predicted. But I think it's less than ethical for a student of the method to offer it as something that cures and ditto to use the success of the mouse experiments as proof of efficacy in humans. Call it what it is: something experimental. Tell the truth: the 100% success rate applies to mice, not to people. Don't claim anything you cannot back up: don't say you can cure stage-4 cancer in eight weekly treatments unless you have done it, repeatedly, yourself.

So, as always, the path of truth lies somewhere between the cheerleaders and the detractors. To say that the method is 100% effective without adding "in mice" is to promote a lie; to say that it's worthless is to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The best way to describe it is as something potentially helpful, a work in progress, and an intriguing glimpse of what one day might be absolutely possible.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Healing cancer in the lab - can it be done without a healer?

This talk was recorded for the 2015 Conference on the Physics, Chemistry, and Biology of water. Dr. Bengston talks about in vivo experiments using mice and a variety of cancers and an in vitro experiment with leukemia cells.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A note on Dr. Wayne Dyer's passing

The last couple of days my stats have been through the roof with people landing on my blog after searching for Dr. Wayne Dyer on Google. What seemed to arouse the most interest in relation to this blog was whether Dr. Dyer had died of leukemia. As a result of a Facebook posting I was directed to, I am now able to relay that his death was related to something to do with his heart and that he did not have leukemia at the time of his death.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In memoriam Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez

Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, the controversial cancer doctor who appeared in Suzanne Somers' book, Knockout, has died of an apparent heart attack in his home on July 21st. A full obituary, with details of his life and career, is given here. The site also contains a comprehensive video interview, in which Dr. Gonzalez talks about his training, his mentors and his work, and describes in detail what inspired him to treat cancer as an alternative physician.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Making assumptions - Part 2 (also continues the theme of cats and energy healing)

In "Making assumptions" we visited with Truffle, an elderly feline whose newly developed habit of not finding the litter box was attributed to old age and decline, instead of a bladder infection that needed medical attention.

More recently Truffle experienced breathing difficulties. The next morning her owner took her to the vet, and the vet said "your cat is dying" and offered to euthanize Truffle right on the spot. He detected a heart murmur and diagnosed heart and lung insufficiency, and essentially predicted progressive organ failure. He warned Truffle's owner that if she had to rely on an emergency vet for euthanasia over the weekend, she'd be paying upwards of $800. If she availed herself of his services, however, while he was available, she'd be paying a lot less.

Truffle's owner declined, mostly because she wanted to consult with her husband. So she made an appointment for Truffle's final visit with the vet for the next morning. This would allow Truffle's "family and friends" to say the appropriate goodbyes.

Truffle's admiring circle of family and friends, however, includes some enthusiastic energy healers. Over the course of the afternoon she received plenty of tearful goodbyes as well as Reiki and applications of the Domancic Method. The next morning her owners took her to the vet -- and then brought her home, very much alive still.

The Truffle is still with us. Her breathing difficulties appear to have resolved. She can now find the litter box, at least most of the time. She can climb up to her favourite sleeping spot on the third floor and jump up on the bed to claim it. She is thoroughly enjoying her new geriatric cat food. She may be old and declining, but she is still enjoying life.

Postscript January 4, 2016: the old girl is still trundling along six months later, looking forward to celebrating her 19th birthday.

Postscript April 26, 2016: Still trundling along.

Postscript May 10, 2016: Rest in peace, Truffle.