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.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The practical challenges of working with Bengston Bioenergy

So here you are: you've taken your first Bill Bengston workshop, you had a great time, you're raring to go, but you have no clue whether you actually "got it".

You have been taught an energy healing method that purports to fix cancer. Not just headaches and wonky knees, but cancer. Are you going to run out there and put your hands on the next person you find who says they have the big "C"?

Judging by our experiences here over five newbie workshops, the answer is "no". There are very few of us who have taken the workshops who have also had the temerity to offer treatments -- I am one of the few. My two posts below describe some outcomes; and the post below them discusses the effectiveness of the method in our hands to date. I remain hopeful about the method's long-term prospects. We are not yet where Bill is -- I hope that someday we'll get there, in fact I hope for the sake of all present and future cancer sufferers of the world that a lot of us get there fairly soon.

For those of you who are considering trying to treat others, here is my "treatise" on the practical difficulties.

When to treat?
The method is contraindicated while the patient is receiving radiation or chemo, as the two treatments, Bill's and the allopathic one, the one designed to energize and the other to kill, could cancel each other out. But Bill also says that it has been his experience that after someone has received radiation or chemo the technique is no longer as effective as before, and will not bring the patient to full remission. So that leaves one option: to treat the person before conventional treatment is employed. That's all fine and well, but you can't very well tell someone not to have conventional treatment. That would be highly irresponsible. So that leaves you the window between diagnosis and treatment, which is not a very long time.

How long will it take?
Dilemma number two: we have no clue. It could be quick or it could be slow. In our experience the time between diagnosis and treatment has not been long enough. It could work in that short a time, but going by our current experience chances are it won't.

How do I know it's working?
There's another rub. According to Bill in some cases the tumour will shrink, but in others it will grow to a critical mass before it "implodes". Some people feel the energy during treatment, others don't. Some people feel energized by the energy, others feel exhausted. Some people bounce off the walls, others develop cold symptoms. Some have pain during treatment or after. Some experience all of the above at various points. Blood test results can be all over the map too: sometimes they get worse, sometimes they get better (though the overall trajectory should point towards "better"). So everything is "good". Tumour getting smaller? That's good. Tumour's getting bigger? That's good too: it's getting ready to implode. You have pain? That's good. No pain? That's good too. Cold symptoms? That's excellent: that sounds like a healing crisis! It's not difficult to see why it's hard to get credibility as an energy healer.

So how do you know it's working? The answer is you don't. Not really, not until something actually changes for the better. People will often have an increased sense of well being and will, based on that, be willing to trust you. But what if the next time they go for a check-up, they find out the tumour is bigger? That's when trust flies out the window, and that's when you begin to doubt yourself. In fact it has been known to happen that trust flies out the window even when the next test shows the tumour is better. Just by getting into an allopathic environment the patient can begin to doubt you, as it is perfectly their right and prerogative to do.

This is the problem with energy therapies of all stripes: there just hasn't been enough research to know what's going on.

So how do we get around these challenges?
One way to get around these challenges is to start with animals. One of my first patients was a cat with brain cancer. The cancer had invaded its nasal passages, so the poor thing sounded like Darth Vader. After I treated it, it breathed normally for about three days, so clearly something had happened. Cats have no preconceptions; the treatment will work or not work on its own merits. I didn't get to treat the cat often enough, only about once every two weeks, and eventually it died. But the last time I treated it, it jumped up on the sofa and put its paw on my arm as if to say "thank you". That was nice.

Another patient was a dog, a big white mutt called Bo. When I saw Bo in the springtime, he was clearly on his last legs. His owners thought he had some kind of cancer but didn't have money for the vet. I briefly treated Bo. In the middle of the summer his owners told me that after I treated him he bled from the nose for two days, then started eating again. The second time I saw Bo was in the fall, and this time he was really on his last legs, not even getting up from his doggie bed. Another treatment, and he was better again. I last spoke to the owners New Year's Day, 2009, and Bo was at that point a happy, healthy mutt.

Another way, and you have to be brave for this one, is to take on the incurable cancers, the ones where the conventional treatments are known not to work. But that makes for a steep learning curve, and you could find yourself attending funerals. You also have to be willing to put in the time. Serious cancers take daily treatment. And there is no way you can charge for your time, not if you can't guarantee that you know what you are doing. These are the cases where it's impossible not to get emotionally involved. You feel for the patient, you feel for the family; you root for them, you grieve with them, you share their joys and their despair. You have to have some ability to establish professional distance, otherwise you could become a basket case -- and I speak from personal experience here.

If you are going to take on these difficult cases, we advise you to work in a team. It's good to have buddies to keep you sane. It's also good to be able to rotate if the patient needs treatment every day. Adding a "Greek chorus" of distance treaters is a great help. This is how I envisage the future of the method: groups treating individuals in a web of shared responsibility.

By the way this is also where the method could most clearly shine. It's with the serious cancers that you can see if it's working most clearly: if the white blood cell count starts dropping, though there is no way it should; if the jaundice reverses; if the person who needed morphine every four hours no longer needs any painkillers at all; if instead of dying, the patient gets out of bed and begins walking again; if the doctor has reason to say "there has been a miracle". This is why we are doing this. We are looking for that miracle.

A third way, if you just want to get your toes wet, but still do some good, is to join or create a group that offers distance healing. I suspect distance healing groups are quite potent. When we were treating our pancreatic cancer patient we had a "standing date" to offer distance healing at 10 p.m. every day. One day I started at 9:52 and then felt a remarkable jump in energy when everyone else came online. The people we treat tell us that they feel the treatment. They feel more peaceful and sleep better, or they feel more calm and energized. Sometimes incredible healings can happen, as with a little boy I will call James, who was in the hospital with severe burns from a household accident. He was supposed to be in the hospital for weeks and weeks but the day after we sent him a distance treatment from one of the workshops he was released to go home, because his burn had unexpectedly scabbed over overnight. An added bonus to doing distance healing is that it feels really, really good.

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