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.

Monday, December 22, 2008

So how can you learn Bill's method?

If you are new to this blog: Bill Bengston's claim to fame is a series of experiments with laboratory mice in which he cured a significantly large percentage of the mice of a normally fatal form of cancer using a new method of bioenergy healing. In some of the experiments he used "skeptical volunteers" to whom he taught the method to do the healing. The question is whether the technique can be taught to be successfully applied to people as well. There have been a number of workshops to teach the method. For the results, see my post below, entitled "So how effective is Bengston Bioenergy?"

Can you learn Bill's method by reading about it?

When Bill published his "Resonance" article in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in the spring of 2007, he also published a companion article describing how he taught his "skeptical volunteers" to heal the mice. His detailed instructions are sandwiched between a caveat that says that it is logically possible that the healing the students produced had nothing to do with the techniques described and another that states that no one he knows of has actually learned the technique from written instructions. He ends by inviting readers to reproduce his experiments with mice to see if his results can be replicated and offering to go teach them in person.

There is a reason for Bill's caution. He doesn't yet know exactly what part the technique plays in the actual healing. Following the instructions might not in itself be sufficient to produce a healing effect. There might actually be an energy transfer, as there is in Reiki and Buddhism, that opens up a necessary pathway in the student and that requires some form of mental contact between teacher and student. The technique might simply be a tool to allow this energy transfer to take place and an anchor (in the NLP sense of the word) to help the student practice.

Can you learn Bill's method in a workshop?

Maybe. We've certainly been trying to teach people. Bill says in the workshops that the technique is complex enough that it would be arrogant of him to assume that you'll be able to get it all in one go. His "skeptical volunteers" needed six sessions spaced out over six weeks to "get it". A workshop followed by practice sessions (as we've been doing) or taking several workshops might do the trick. I would think that the learning progresses by degrees. As you get more exposure to Bill and the technique, your knowledge and your ability to heal would deepen. This is not unique to Bill's method -- it's true of anything you're trying to learn.

There are some people who already have an ability to heal that they may or may not be aware of. Such people would either discover their ability or find it enhanced just by attending a single workshop and by being exposed to the energy Bill carries and learning his method. One such person recently said that learning the technique has allowed her to be able to do healing work even when she wasn't "in the mood".

So what's the best way to learn?

Here is what Bill writes in the "Methods" article:

Finally, it must be emphasized once again that all training of the volunteer healers in these experiments took place in group settings and lasted for an average of 6 weeks. Furthermore, the techniques were molded to the idiosyncrasies of each of volunteer. However simple the techniques appear to be, every individual misinterpreted the instructions and needed correction and much practice.

I note that this generous 6-week format would also allow for repeated energy transfers along with a good deal of individual attention that is difficult to arrange in a weekend workshop involving dozens of people.

Clearly a longer course or a mentorship program would be the best way to go. It would be grand to get funding for an institute where on-going teaching and experimentation could be carried out. In the meantime other formats could be tried, such as courses lasting perhaps four or five days or mentoring via computer link-up.

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