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.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some thoughts on healing for the New Year

Here is a thought to ponder for the New Year from Michael Talbot's Holographic Universe (p. 30):
Just as every portion of a hologram contains the image of the whole, every portion of the universe enfolds the whole. This means that if we knew how to access it we could find the Andromeda galaxy in the thumbnail of our left hand. We could also find Cleopatra meeting Caesar for the first time, for in principle the whole past and implications for the whole future are also enfolded in each small region of space and time. Every cell in our body enfolds the entire cosmos. So does every leaf, every raindrop, and every dust mote ...
This has profound implications for healing. If we can theoretically find the Andromeda galaxy in a thumbnail, or Cleopatra meeting Caesar, we can also find the seed moment when that first cell mutated and became cancerous, and affect it to make it reverse its course.

I invite you to read an article by William Braund, Phd, entitled "Wellness Implications of Retroactive Influence: Exploring an Outrageous Hypothesis". Here is a quote:
Consider another simple system — a small group of cancerous or precancerous cells at a certain location within the body and a natural killer (NK) cell that is roaming near those cells in a random or freely variable course. It is conceivable that there exists a point at which a random "choice" or "decision" occurs, and the NK cells could move, with 50-50 probability, either toward or away from those cancerous cells (seed moments of disease). In principle, PK or intentional influences could bias the probabilities of action of the NK cell sufficiently to promote movement toward and subsequent destruction of the small group of cancerous or precancerous cells, thereby terminating a seed moment that otherwise might have eventuated in illness or even death (several "linkages" down the line — through probability-pyramiding or snowballing effects).

When a patient appears in our office with a particular malady, we tend to think that the curing or beating of this condition involves using our armamentarium of conventional and unconventional treatments and interventions to slowly and progressively correct that malady in the present. We believe we should use our tools to chop away and gradually destroy an undesired condition that is already well established — working on what now exists, a system with great momentum and inertia. In addition to such real-time therapeutic influences, the findings reviewed in this article suggest an alternative healing pathway. Along with such real-time effects that are often taken for granted, it is possible that our healing intentions may be acting "backward in time" to influence the initial seed moments of the development of the malady that confronts us today. Such an alternative healing pathway or process might be a more effective and efficient one — an "easier" one, because it would be influencing a system at a more labile, flexible, sensitive, and susceptible stage in its development and progression. If such a process could act early and thoroughly enough, it might actually prevent the development of harmful physical or psychological processes. This would constitute an instance of true preventive medicine. Time-displaced healing modalities might actually have important advantages over real-time healing modalities.
These things might be impossible in Newton's universe, but not in Neils Bohr's. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dr. Oz "gets it" from a colleague for promoting reiki

Dr. Oz gets it from a colleague in a blog chronicling "the miscellaneous ramblings of a surgeon/scientist on medicine, quackery, science, pseudoscience, history, and pseudohistory (and anything else that interests him)". I am including this for comic relief. The title is "Dr. Mehmet Oz: Gone completely over to the Dark Side". Here is a quote:
Dr. Oz's number one favorite "alternative medicine" treatment is reiki. That's right, reiki, which is at its core nothing more than faith healing without Christianity. It's the laying on of hands, nothing more, the only difference between reiki masters and Hinn or Popoff being that reiki is based on Eastern mysticism rather than Christian beliefs. Indeed, the founder of reiki, Dr. Usui, even "discovered" reiki after fasting and meditating on a mountain for 21 days in a story a lot like that of Jesus going into the wilderness for 40 days to pray and face temptation before coming back to start his ministry. Reiki is every bit as much quackery as the faith healing of Benny Hinn and Peter Popoff.

And Dr. Oz names it as his favorite alt-med modality. He even uses reiki masters in the operating room for his patients. Of course, I can't help but wonder where Dr. Oz gets the time to keep his operative skills up doing an hour long show five days a week or where he finds time even to see patients and operate any more. I also can't help but think he must have the most understanding surgical partners in the world, given that they must have to cover for him almost constantly while he's away doing shows, public appearances, and such.

Whatever the case, this sealed it for me. Dr. Oz is completely over on the Dark Side. I realize that he went over to the Dark Side a long time ago; I simply hadn't noticed that his journey to the Dark Side was complete. I thought there was still hope. Another thing that sealed it for me was a little discovery I made while researching this post. That discovery? Dr. Oz is married to a reiki master.

Sleeping with the enemy indeed.

I'm finding it highly amusing that while the Vatican disapproves of reiki because it's "superstition" and could expose people to "malevolent" forces (as if being afraid of exposure to malevolent forces were not superstition par excellence), medicine from the other end disapproves of it because it defines it as Christian faith healing (= "quackery") without Christ. Kudos to Dr. Oz for being willing to stick his neck out and basing his opinion on reiki on what he sees with his own two eyes instead of ignorant, baseless prejudice.

Happy holidays, everyone.

Postscript: This one is funny too: "Oprah and Dr. Oz and spreading superstition at the speed of night".

Monday, December 13, 2010

Walking Through Walls

A reader of this blog alerted me to a book entitled Walking Through Walls by Philip Smith, a memoir of the author's childhood growing up with his psychic/healer father, Lew Smith. What caught this reader's attention and prompted her to write to me was the multitude of similarities between Lew Smith, and Bill Bengston's teacher, Bennett Mayrick.

Lew Smith was an interior decorator in Miami who in the 1960s became interested in esoteric subjects such as macrobiotic food, meditation, and yoga. As he delved more and more deeply into this arcane world, he suddenly discovered a talent for healing (among other things). The memoir mostly focuses on young Philip's reaction to the changes in his life caused by his father's newfound obsessions, but it also provides considerable detail about Lew Smith's healing work.

Bennett Mayrick in turn was a man of many trades who lived in New York state, who one day also came to realize he had unusual psychic talents, which included healing. What is fascinating to me is that the two men, living half a continent apart, discovered, within a couple of years of each other, the same psychic abilities. They could both dissolve clouds, diagnose the sick with 100% accuracy, read minds, do token object reading, and heal serious disease. Both men had wives and families, but their inability to reconcile their newfound talents with any kind of "normalcy" broke up both their marriages.

Here is a very brief excerpt from Bill Bengston's The Energy Cure:
Without the slightest embarrassment, he made the most absurd claim I’d ever heard. "I can dissolve clouds. If I stare through them for a few seconds they dissipate. Here, I'll show you ... Pick a cloud."

I pointed directly overhead. "That one."

As I watched him, his eyes took on that same unfocused look I’d noticed before. After 15 or 20 seconds, he announced with satisfaction, "There it goes."

I looked up. The cloud was gone...

Now here is Philip Smith in Walking Through Walls:
I scanned the horizon and found the biggest, puffiest cumulus hanging low on the horizon. "That one," I said, pointing. "Do something to that one." ...

"The one with the gray spots at the end?"

"Yeah, that one."

"Okay. I'm going to punch a big hole right in the middle of the cloud and make it look just like a donut." ...

Minutes passed .... My father just stood there staring at the cloud. His eyes squinted, his jaw tight... I turned to walk back in the house, but when I took a second glance at the sky, I noticed a small indentation -- a soft, shadowy area -- in the middle of the cloud. It definitely had not been there before. Wispy strands of cloud started to emerge from the center like a trail of smoke. After these first few strands floated away, the center of the cloud began to open wide as if it were yawning. Slowly the entire central core of the cloud disappeared, revealing a round window onto pure blue sky.

Here is Bill Bengston on how Bennett Mayrick perfomed healings:
Ben would place his hands on a client’s shoulders or, occasionally, the solar plexus. After a few minutes, he would search for hot spots. Most often, but not always, they coincided with the area of complaint. Wherever they were, Ben concentrated on them.

Now Philip Smith on Lew Smith:
Generally, Pop would have the patient sit in one of our white wicker chairs. Without saying a word, he would begin running his hands over the top of the person's head and then slowly over the front and back of his or her body as he intuitively searched for hot spots of disease that needed his healing energy. He looked like one of today's airport screeners "wanding" a passenger for metal items. Like a Geiger counter, his hands would suddenly react to a weak spot or a diseased area. It was at this particular spot that he would let his hands pause to pour forth the healing energy.

Bennett Mayrick could provide 100% accurate diagnoses of people's ailments given nothing more than their signature in an envelope, while Lew Smith favoured using a pendulum for the same purpose:
[He] liked to say that he had a complete hospital in the pendulum. With the pendulum, he didn't need a stethoscope, a pathology lab, or an X-ray machine; he could diagnose quicker and more accurately than all the MDs and their fancy machines combined. He would astonish patients and doctors by describing to them in accurate detail the exact nature of their illness.

Neither of these two men knew that the other existed. They both believed that they were unique, and that they had to save the world. They both turned their living rooms into clinics. They both could cure cancer. Both had "guides". In Bill Bengston's book they are referred to only as "the Fellows", but Lew Smith's guides had names, like Arthur Ford and Chander Sen.

Now here comes what for me is the best part. Both Lew Smith and Bennett Mayrick began by doing straight "energy" healing. But Lew Smith over time branched out and the book describes a rich array of methods he developed with the help of his guides. We have no way of knowing whether Bennett Mayrick did the same, because his association with Bill Bengston only covered the early years of his healing work.

These two books, the one by the disciple of one healer and the other by the son of another, are best read side by side for full effect. The Energy Cure brings Walking Through Walls down to earth by taking a skeptical view and moving the healing into the laboratory. But Walking Through Walls complements The Energy Cure by giving the reader a son's detailed, rich, and loving close-up of his psychic/healer father at work.

Click here for an interesting interview with Philip Smith.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In tribute to my father

In tribute to my father, who recently passed away.

He wouldn't have understood the words, but what the words express applies in every language.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bill Bengston on "What is Energy Medicine?"

... and other related topics: KMVR interview with Michael Stone, Nov. 30, 2010. This one is fun, and quite comprehensive. It contains a good description of "image cycling".

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The mind is a powerful thing - part 4

This posting may be the one you have been waiting for through parts 1 to 3, although it could be more appropriately be entitled "The brain is a powerful thing", and it is also quite esoteric. Simply put (or not so simply put), it turns out that the brain engages in some very specific brainwave activity during healing, and that that brainwave activity is somehow connected to "electromagnetic micropulsations" in the earth's atmosphere, the so-called "Schumann resonance", which one could more poetically refer to as the heartbeat of the planet.

James Oschman, author of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis, cites experiments in which a certain Robert C. Beck "used EEG recordings to study brain wave activity in ‘healers’ from all over the world: psychics, shamans, faith healers, a Hawaiian kahuna, practitioners of wicca, etc." and found that "all these healers produced similar brain wave patterns when they were … performing a healing… register[ing] brain wave activity averaging about 7.8-8.0 cycles/second… Beck performed additional studies on some of the subjects and found that during healing moments their brain waves became phase and frequency synchronized with the earth’s geoelectric micropulsations – the Schumann resonance.”

More recent experiments by Bill Bengston and Luke Hendricks showed "high amplitudes at about 8 hertz" in the healer's brain, also echoing the Schumann resonance. Healer and healee then came to share the same brainwave frequency during sustained periods of high amplitudes at this level, meaning that entrainment had been produced. Entrainment occurs when two separate objects share the same rate of activity, as when two hearts beat together, or two pendulums swing in synchrony.

The way it seems to work is that the healer produces this brainwave activity first, and then entrains the healee, and the two of them might rest there together briefly. According to Bill Bengston, healing happens in such bursts.

In his recent book, Spontaneous Evolution, Bruce Lipton tells us that trained healers are not the only ones able to produce entrainment. Experiments have shown that the same kind of entrainment occurs with people who simply love one another. The mechanism is in place for each and every one of us to become a healer; we just have to access the right frequency.

What is the Schumann resonance?
The Schumann resonance is an electromagnetic "standing wave" caused by electrical activity in the atmosphere that "readily penetrates the body" and has "considerable overlap with the biomagnetic fields such as those produced by the heart and brain" (Oschmann). Experiments have shown that subjects experience the best reaction times when the Schumann resonance is at 7-10 hertz, and that physiological disorientation can occur when subjects are magnetically shielded from it. The optimum resonance of ca 7.8 hertz is in the alpha state of brainwave activity associated with "body/mind integration, present during meditation and states of relaxation."

No one entirely knows why this happens, but we do know that non-waking states in which brainwaves are slowed down and become synchronous are necessary for the body to repair itself (as Shakespeare said, sleep does "knit up the ravelled sleeve of care"). Oschman theorizes that when when the mind is calmed, the Schumann resonance "can take over as the pacemaker" and "regulate the overall tone of the nervous system".

Oschmann also mentions that studies have shown pulsations emanating from the hands of healers sweeping through the range of 0.3 to 30 hertz, with most of the activity centering around 7.8 hertz -- again the Schumann resonance. Why that would produce healing is anyone's guess, but being entrained to the "heartbeat" of Gaia might have something do with it.

Finally, to add another piece to the mystery, the EEG study cited in the video excerpt above also showed occasional peaks during which a doubling or a tripling of the Schumann resonance occurred in the healer's brain during healing. This took brainwaves into the high beta range, speeding up rather than slowing down activity.

As best as I can figure, what we call energy healing is based on the reality of us being electromagnetic creatures, while medicine as it is practiced today is mostly based on our chemistry and biology. Energy healing is just a different way of approaching the complex creature that is a human being, but may turn out to be more-user friendly and less complex in the long run than the orthodox biochemical approaches have been.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The mind is a powerful thing - part 3

And the evidence for the connection of the psychological to the physical and its effect on cancer sufferers just keeps mounting ... The latest is a study that shows that stress undermines the effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Patients are advised to avoid stress for two days prior their cancer treatment:
[C]ancer cell survival can be traced to the presence of heat shock factor-1, which previous research has linked to stress. Ohio State University researchers first noticed that this common protein can help heart tissue survive in a toxic environment, leading the scientists to suspect that in cancer, this phenomenon could have serious consequences.

A series of experiments using breast cancer cells showed that a protein activated by the presence of heat shock factor-1 could block the process that kills cancer cells even after the cells’ DNA was damaged by radiation. The same was true when the cells were subjected to a common chemotherapy drug.

The researchers hope to develop a drug that could suppress heat shock factor-1 as a supplement to cancer therapy, but in the meantime, they recommend that patients avoid both psychological and physical stress in the days leading up to a cancer treatment.
I will have to hazard a guess here, not having had any personal experience in the matter, but I would think that one of the greatest stresses one could possibly have is living with a cancer diagnosis, and that the days leading up to one's treatment, in which one expects to be injected with deadly poisons or bombarded by deadly X-rays, are not likely to be stress-free either. It is very difficult to be equanimous when one is living in fear of losing one's life or in fear of significant and impending discomfort or pain.

And leaving conventional cancer treatments aside, I would also wonder what kind of effect this same stress would have on alternative cancer treatments, whatever they may be, and what kind of effect removing stress from one's life would have on one's survival from cancer, with or without treatment.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"What is Cancer and Why Do You Have It?"

Now there's an eye-catching title. It's a Lynn McTaggart teleconference with a Dr. Patrick Kingsley, who has cured over 3000 people of cancer. When you click on the "Order Now" button, you get three pricing options, $117 for the 90-minute conference call, the mp3 recording, and the transcript; $107 for the call and the transcript; and $87 for the conference call alone. The friend who forwarded it to me also enclosed a comment asking me whether she was alone in thinking that these prices were a bit high for a 90-minute conference call, particularly one with that title, and on that topic. She felt that giving people vital information about cancer was more in the order of public service than a business proposition. Ms. McTaggart is the highly successful author of The Field and The Intention Experiment and publisher of the internet journal What Doctors Don't Tell You. Click here if you would like to inquire about the pricing of this teleconference. Both mailing address and an e-mail address are provided.

Update Jan. 2011: Here is a short summary on some of what Dr. Kingsley does.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The mind is a powerful thing - part 2

I ran across an article entitled Cancer in the Mind's Eye written by Margaret Philp in 2006 and published in the Globe and Mail. The article illuminates a number of interesting points on the relationship of stress and cancer, and also on the power of the mind to lengthen survival and produce healing.

On the correlation between stress and the spread of cancer Ms. Philp wrote:
A recent study from the University of Texas that is turning heads injected mice with ovarian-cancer tumour cells. When the animals were tightly confined in plastic chambers for several hours at a time — causing a surge in their stress hormones — the tumours multiplied in size and number and were far more likely to metastasize. But blocking the stress hormones stalled the spread of the cancer...

And just last month, a study published in the medical journal Cancer Research by prominent PNI researcher Ronald Glaser showed that stress hormones increased the growth and spread of an incurable head-and-neck cancer called nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The hormone, norepinephrine, stimulated the tumour cell to produce two chemicals, one that spurs the growth of new blood vessels nourishing the cancer and another that breaks down healthy tissue allowing the tumour to spread more easily.
The article then goes on to describe Alastair Cunningham's Healing Journey, a program that uses meditation, introspection and visualization to help people cope with cancer. After working with thousands of cancer patients, Dr. Cunningham -- an immunologist turned psychologist who is also a cancer survivor -- has come to believe that the techniques taught in the program add not only quality but also quantity of life. And when oncologists reviewed the participants' files, they found that the ones who lived the longest, with a few exceptions, were the ones who practiced the techniques most diligently.

Dr. Cunningham also observed that longterm survivors tended to exhibit definite psychological shifts. He found that
the long[term] survivors all shared a clear sense of what was important in their lives, felt the freedom to shape their lives according to those priorities and were more accepting of themselves, others and their lot in life. For these people, cancer was perceived as a motivation for change rather than a life-destroying illness.
When I speak to energy healers across the board, most feel that cancer can be healed, but that unless the survivor changes his or her life to remove or deal with the stressors that contributed to the initial bout of illness, it will return. I have often thought of this as "blaming the patient", but I now have had cause to wonder if there is not something to it. Something caused the cancer in the first place. If it were all caused by environmental pollutants or mutant genes, we would all likely get it. In fact, we do, but our bodies are most of the time effectively dealing with it -- until one day, for some unknown reason, they don't. The million dollar question is why?

The article also mentions research that has shown the existence of a type-C personality, which can predispose one to cancer just as a type-A personality predisposes one to heart attacks or strokes. Type-C personalities are
too nice — prone to repressing their feelings and stoically appeasing others at the expense of their own needs. They have been described as unassertive, unable to express emotions and feeling hopeless, helpless and unloved. In some cases, they had also suffered the loss of a close relationship within a few years before their diagnosis.
Of course not all type-As get heart attacks, and likely not all type-Cs get cancer. But it does jump out that Type-Cs seem to live to make other people happy and are dependent for their own happiness on the happiness of others. Their reasons to live are other- rather than self-directed. When my own mother, a classic type-C, died of complications of her cancer treatment (which her oncologist had described as "prophylactic"), I strongly wished she had been more selfish about her own needs and her own survival. I would have rather had her around a few more years being "ornery" and difficult than not have her around at all.

Ms. Philp herself died in 2009 when her cancer returned. I found the last few paragraphs of her article quite thought-provoking. She wrote:
Some insist that the alluring promise of a cure with a mind-body approach strikes false hope in cancer patients with advanced disease. Others, Dr. Fortin among them, warn that the prospect can be subtly twisted to make people feel guilty that if their cancer comes back, it will be because they didn't work hard enough at healing.

But all I can do is what I can do. My life is joyfully consumed by the busyness of four children, their homework and school lunches, hockey games, swimming lessons, piano practising and Christmas parties, never mind my job at The Globe and Mail.

I am fastidious about diet and exercise. I faithfully visit a naturopath. But between bedtime stories and dinner dishes, I find little spare time to plunk down on the floor in a lotus position to meditate.

I do feel a little remiss at times for the healing work I'm not doing. And yet I am mindful of my abundant blessings in a way I never was before cancer. Not a day passes that I don't thrill at being alive to be a mother to my children. And maybe this is a healing meditation all its own.
Read also Part 1, Part 3, Anatomy of a miracle, Why is meditation a good prescription for cancer patients?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Emperor of All Maladies

I was listening to the CBC one morning this week and my attention was caught by an interview with a doctor by the name of Siddharta Mukherjee, who had written a book on cancer entitled The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.

As Dr. Mukherjee sounded like a caring and knowledgeable physician whom one facing cancer might very well want to have as an oncologist, and also had interesting things to say, I next looked the book up on Amazon. Its Amazon ranking was #27 (anything under 100 is a best-seller) and it had nine 5-star reader reviews. One reader called it a "tour de force" and compared its author to Melville (of Moby Dick fame) for the scope and artistry of his writing; he also said that had he read this book in his teens, it might have inspired him to become a cancer researcher.

Publisher's Weekly described the book as "a sweeping epic of obsession, brilliant researchers, dramatic new treatments, euphoric success and tragic failure, and the relentless battle by scientists and patients alike against an equally relentless, wily, and elusive enemy." Clearly a book well worth reading, and one that readers are gravitating to in large numbers, judging by its popularity.

But now I would like you to take a step back and pretend that you are an alien and you have never heard of cancer, and look at the words that are being used to describe it. "The emperor of all maladies, the king of our terrors"; a "relentless, wily, and elusive enemy"; and from reader Kenneth E. MacWilliams this:

Siddhartha Mukherjee ... almost parentally takes us by the hand to give us the courage to open with him the door to that dark and foreboding closet in order to see what is really lurking inside. Since eventually most of us are going to have to wrestle with this monster anyway -- either as a victim or as a loved one of a victim -- looking intelligently and closely into that dark closet does diminish fear and enhance wise perspective. And on this incredible journey into the depths of that darkness, what an absolutely marvelous guide is this modern day Virgil called Siddharta Mukherjee as he leads us on this long and often harrowing journey through the swarth (sic) that cancer has cut through mankind throughout time. (my emphasis)
Do you feel the foreboding and the power of that language? Can you visualize, as an alien, the terrifying creature that is being described here, lurking in the darkness of that closet? What you are seeing is not the thing itself but what Richard Bartlett calls the "consensus reality" view of cancer, a morphic field that has been created by us through centuries of fear and not-knowing. We are afraid of it because for all our science and all our effort we have not been able to understand it or master it. The moment we understand it, it will lose its power and its terror, and it will be revealed, like the wizard of Oz, to have been much smaller and less frightening than we had believed it to be.

The face of any monster can change. The energy healing community has been saying with a quiet voice for years now that cancer can be treated and even healed without drastic and damaging interventions. Did you know that over 200 mice have now been cured of deadly cancers using energy healing in experiments that took place in accredited university laboratories and showed near-100% or 100% success rates? Or that the first series of these experiments took place over three decades ago, yet few people have heard of it? The results were so strange, so inexplicable, that no one wanted to know anything more. But the observed reality has been that, when energy healing works, cancer simply becomes a non-event. There is no monster, no monster-slayer, no heroes, no victims, no drama, no pain. Is this not something worth looking into for further research and development, for all our sakes?

A few years ago I read a small, insignicant article in the Globe and Mail that said that a few people in the American Southwest had contracted bubonic plague. Bubonic plague, the article went on to say, is easily treatable with erythromicin. Six hundred and fifty years ago bubonic plague wiped out half of Europe, an estimated 75 million people. Back then it, not cancer, was the "the emperor of all maladies, the king of our terrors." When new discoveries are made, things change -- sometimes faster than we can imagine.

Postscript, Feb. 25: I find it fascinating to see how well this book is doing. Everyone seems to be interested in cancer. It's almost like people slowing down to gawk at an accident scene on the highway. Yet few people, it seems, are interested in possible non-medical solutions to cancer. I wonder why that is. Here is another book to read alongside Emperor of All Maladies.

Postscript, May 14: It is now three months later, and the book is still at #107. People seem to be flocking to it almost the way they would slow down to view a road accident. For an antidote to the pessimism of the Emperor of All Maladies, read Embrace, Release, Heal by Leigh Fortson, now available from Sounds True. It's a paradigm changing book, sitting around #48,000. For my part I would rather have people reading Embrace, Release, Heal, but it seems that people prefer doom and gloom to hope.

What’s wrong with “anomalous” healing?

If you look up “anomalous healing” on Google, you will find, among other things, a video on Youtube by Dr. Bengston and the PEAR report on intentional healing which I excerpted in my previous post. If you look up the meaning of the word “anomalous” in a dictionary, you will find the definition “deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected”. In short, something “anomalous” is also something “weird” or “strange”.

The problem with “anomalous healing” is the use of the word “anomalous”. “Anomalous” healing is also considered to be something “paranormal”, which is why it was studied by PEAR, the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research lab (there is that word again!). And “paranormal” in turn conjures up things like ESP, remote viewing, and strange CIA experiments (like the men who stared at goats in the recent reality-based movie of the same name).

In short, it’s all something strange and somehow not quite respectable, at least not to rational-minded people.

Part of Bill Bengston’s book The Energy Cure features Bennett Mayrick, his mentor, who among other talents developed an impressive ability to heal cancer. Because his other talents were token-object reading (psychometry) and cloud-busting, he is described in the book as a “psychic”. Rational-minded readers who might otherwise be impressed with the results of Bill’s experiments may run for the hills when they read about the “psychic” from whom he had learned to heal, a jack-of-all-trades who lived on the fringes of society, never quite able to fit in.

But in fact it is quite likely that these “paranormal” abilities are nothing more than abilities that will become "normal" as we evolve, and that people like Bennett Mayrick are just precursors of a future iteration of humanity, reluctantly pointing the way. The rest of us, stuck in our 3-D boxes, may consider their abilities weird and worrisome, but that’s not their fault, but ours.

Consider this: today a man healing someone of cancer through bioenergy healing is considered to be doing something strange and “anomalous”. But a nurse wearing a facemask and rubber gloves putting -- at doctors' orders -- a poisonous substance into a patient which if spilled could cause serious burns and would be considered a biohazard is doing something acceptable and “normal”. Which scenario would you rather see as anomalous?

Postscript: An alert reader directed me to a book entitled Walking Through Walls about Lew Smith, a successful Miami interior decorator who seemingly overnight developed abilities very similar to Bennett Mayrick's, including cloud busting and healing, at more or less the same time. Some of his experiences echo those described by Bill Bengston in The Energy Cure, as for instance the disbelief of the medical establishment resulting in cured patients undergoing dangerous procedures, and patients in treatment, like Bill's mice, feeling healthy and energetic while their cancer was apparently still strongly viable. The book was written by Mr. Smith's son, Philip Smith, who is planning a second book more focused on his father's healings. It would be interesting to read Walking Through Walls (and its successor) side by side with The Energy Cure.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How "energy healing" works

This is how "energy healing" works, according to the PEAR lab. I put "energy healing" in quotes because what is being suggested here is clearly not based on energy, but information:
Taking consciousness as a form or manifestation of information, Jahn and Dunne suggest a metaphoric extension of quantum mechanical principles into the consciousness domain (3, 36). Consciousness is regarded as both particulate and wavelike, in analogy with quantum mechanical descriptions of matter and energy. In its nonlocalized, wavelike manifestation, it is unbounded and can penetrate barriers and resonate with other consciousnesses and the environment, thereby acquiring or inserting information that is unique to the interacting system. Based on this metaphor, Jahn and Dunne suggest possible mechanisms for anomalous influence. For example, they invoke the quantum mechanical principle of indistinguishability to help understand bonding. When molecules are formed from atoms, the constituent elements lose their identity and from this loss a classically anomalous "exchange force" results, producing a strong covalent bond. Analogously, through a sacrifice of conscious individuality, a unifying resonant bond may be established with another consciousness or a physical system, allowing the acquisition or insertion of information. Viewed as an influence of one system on another, this would be anomalous, but in a coherent, unified system, information is distributed throughout. The merging of subjective identities with each other, or with the environment, enables the transfer of objective information manifesting as coherence between previously separable constituents, yielding a total system within which entropy is reduced (37). While these suggestions may seem abstruse, the fundamental principles are parallel to those involved in common interactive experiences such as falling in love, or creating a work of art, or enjoying the beauty of a sunset.

...The research on anomalous interactions provides intriguing evidence that a nonlocal intervention such as intentional healing may contribute similarly to the continuing exchange of information that is essential to maintaining the integrity of living systems... Living bodies, with homeostatic, immune, and nervous systems that epitomize the realm of applied nonlinear dynamics are intrinsically susceptible to influence from small inputs and are able to identify and amplify the most subtle of inchoate patterns and information. Biological systems utilize random processes and uncertainty to maintain the highest level of sensitivity to subtle changes in the environment. They are reactive on the finest scale to information that reduces entropic disorder and provides an increment of structure and predictability, yielding a stable internal milieu and successful interaction with the environment. In this context, we see that healing a wound or recovering from an illness is dependent upon the generation or addition of appropriate information to help restore order and structure.

... An injury or disease manifests as a disturbance or disorder in a system that, when healthy, is magnificently structured and orderly. It is, on the other hand, so complex that its function at the fine scale is beyond our full scientific understanding, as in the extraordinarily precise homeostatic control of the body, or in the exact mechanisms of mending and regeneration when we are injured, or in the creation of ideas. When there is a disruption, and healing is required, the need is for additional order, the infusion of information. Of course consciousness is nothing if not a manifestation of information, and in its creative and structuring capacities, it is ideally suited as a reservoir for the processes that sustain and restore health and wellbeing.

This is just a small excerpt from an article entitled "The Physical Basis of Intentional Healing Systems" written by Roger D. Nelson for the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab and published in 1999. To read the full document, click here. The PEAR lab itself closed in 2007.

If I understand the excerpt correctly, it says that based on the principles of quantum physics one consciousness can affect another consciousness and help it return to healthy homeostasis. The effect observed at PEAR was not very strong, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it has been getting stronger, and that the ability can be developed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The mind is a powerful thing

I had a discussion with a patient today that helped me crystalize some of my ideas about the contribution of patients to the success of their treatment. As we were speaking it suddenly came to me that no form of treatment, allopathic or alternative, actually heals anyone. What all forms of treatment do is help create conditions favourable to healing. The final step -- the actual healing -- comes from the patient himself.

We have all heard stories where healing occurred against impossible odds -- and also stories where people who should not have died did. At one end is the almost unbelievable Krebiozen story, described in Michael Talbot's Holographic Universe, in which a man riddled with tumours and expected to die was given an experimental drug called Krebiozen by his physician (see embedded video below). The tumours practically melted away and the man was discharged from the hospital to resume his normal life. Then he read in the paper that Krebiozen was shown to be less effective than expected -- and his tumours returned with a vengeance. The second time his curious physician gave him nothing more than a saline injection, and told him that it was a new, improved form of Krebiozen. Again the tumours melted "like snowballs on a hot stove", but the patient died after reading in the paper that Krebiozen had been definitively discredited.

At the other end of the spectrum are the victims of voodoo curses who die because they believe they have been mortally hexed, or patients whose lives are shortened by negative prognoses. Larry Dossey wrote an entire book on this subject entitled Be Careful What You Pray For: You Just Might Get It. He calls it the "nocebo" effect, which is the opposite of the placebo effect. The doctor, who is seen as a powerful and knowledgeable authority figure, pronounces that the patient has 3 months to live. The patient believes this, and obediently dies in the allotted time. Dossey cites a case where the patient had in fact been misdiagnosed and did not have the condition that was supposed to kill him. He died anyway because his doctor told him he would. The mind is an incredibly powerful thing, far more powerful than we give it credit for, for better or for worse.

The question then is, how can the mind's power for healing be engaged? The general pattern for cancer patients -- in fact, patients in general -- is to go to a practitioner (doctor, naturopath, chiropractor, homeopath, energy healer) and ask to be healed of an ailment. The patient expects that the practitioner will use some outside agency (chemotherapy, radiation, chelation, intravenous vitamin-C, cleansing agent, bioenergy) to cure him. In this scenario the patient is a passive recipient of the treatment, much like one goes to the dentist and opens one's mouth, and then quietly submits to whatever happens next.

What happens next outside the dentist's office, at least in the case of cancer patients who seek alternative therapies, is often nothing much, because most treatments don't have immediate effect. Most alternative treatments work through creating a positive healing environment for the body by removing stressors or harmful agents and/or by building up the immune system. This takes time. In the meantime the patient goes on to the next practitioner, and the next, and the next, in each case expecting something immediate and miraculous to happen, ultimately ending up disappointed, unless somewhere along the way he also manages to engage the incredible ability of his own body/mind to heal himself.

It seems to me that the next step in healing is to help the patient do just that. I will be returning to this topic in further posts as I work out the ideas around it -- stay tuned as this is definitely a work in progress and I am quite aware that I only raised the question and have not yet answered it. In the meantime, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Now available for your perusal: The mind is a powerful thing - Part 2

Postscript: Here is Michael Talbot on Youtube, speaking about the holographic brain model. The discussion on the Krebiozen story comes shortly after the 20-minute mark:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bioenergy healing and childhood cancers

Children, according to Dr. Bengston, are very responsive to energy healing because, unlike adults, they are in the process of "composing" (as opposed to "decomposing") and have no preconceptions or prejudices that could get in the way. They also have a much faster metabolic rate than adults, and Dr. Bengston had observed that metabolic rate is a determining factor in how fast remission occurs.

Two years ago two of us trained in the Bengston method gave a single treatment to a little boy who had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a deadly form of childhood cancer. We had intended to treat him before he received chemotherapy, but were too late. The effect of our treatment was to give him what his mom described as "the best bloodwork he had since his diagnosis," which astonished the medical staff, as the effect of chemotherapy is supposed to be the exact opposite. Since the Bengston method is contraindicated when the patient is receiving chemotherapy or radiation, we decided not to continue, for fear that we might counteract the effectiveness of the allopathic treatment he was receiving.

At about the same time I had an interesting discussion with a nurse from Sick Kids' hospital. I proposed to her that we try energy treatments on the small percentage of cases they see where the initial diagnosis is so dire that the parents are told "nothing can be done" (other than palliative care). It made great sense to me that the parents of children who had no chance of survival through conventional means should be given the option of trying alternative therapies with the blessing of the hospital.

Her response surprised me. She said that in 99 per cent of these cases, where conventional therapies offer no hope, parents still opt to give their children chemotherapy and radiation, they are so desperate to see something done. It makes me wonder what these parents would do if they were told about all their options, not just the conventional ones.

I have also heard of cases where the parent does choose alternative treatments in preference to conventional ones and the state then intervenes and removes the child from the parent's care so the child can receive chemotherapy or radiation -- even when he or she has refused it! I am not sure, however, that this would also apply to cases where conventional therapies offer no hope.

But I think my proposal to the nurse was entirely reasonable. Chemotherapy and radiation cause great suffering. Why subject a child to them where they offer no hope? What possible harm could there be in offering energy healing as an option?

Postscript: I just found this interesting and informative article on childhood cancer from the BC Children's Hospital Foundation.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Can healing be learned? - Part 3

Almost as if in response to my comment that in order to become the most effective healers we can be we each have to find our own connection to the Source, along comes Frank Kinslow, the founder of Quantum Entrainment, with a method that seems to teach just that. Healing modalities are proliferating like bunnies these days!

Frank Kinslow is a chiropractor who spent many years on a path of spiritual search and meditation, and his healing method is based on going to your own source, what he calls your capital-S "Self", the eternal you that observes the small everyday "you" going about its business. The first exercise for learning the method, which is really a non-method, involves observing your thoughts. It is not you who does the healing, it's "awareness".

Quantum Entrainment seems to have some similarity to Matrix Energetics in at least one technique. Richard Bartlett of ME teaches "two-pointing", where you find two points, connect them, and then through observation "collapse the wave." Frank Kinslow teaches "triangulation", where you find two points, connect them, observe the way they feel, connect to your Self, and then watch what happens.

Having spent two years learning Mahamudra meditation, I can really appreciate the simplicity of Kinslow's method and I have now also begun to incorporate his "thought observing" exercise both into my meditation and into some of my healing practice. It's quite effective at stilling the chattering monkey mind that interferes with healing.

For the purposes of the specific topic of this blog I should note that in his book Kinslow also describes his experience treating a case of metastasized uterine cancer and touches on a number of topics covered in this blog: e.g., the acceptance or non-acceptance of energy healing by medical staff, and the participation of the patient in the healing.

This was Kinslow's experience: When he began treating this patient in the hospital room where she was expected to die, he was initially unwelcome by staff, who then became quite accepting and helpful when they saw the effects of his treatment. He saw the cancer shrink markedly in eight treatments, with the primary tumour disappearing altogether and the secondary tumour shrinking from the size of a grapefruit to the size of a walnut. The patient was then released to go home and resumed a normal life, but when Kinslow offered to continue treating her until the cancer went away altogether, she said that would not be necessary, that "she would take it from here". When the cancer became a threat again and he offered to resume treating it, she still declined treatment and died peacefully at home. Her family said that the extra time he gave her was the most beautiful time of her life and that she was grateful for it. Why this happens is appropriately the topic of another, more lengthy discussion, about life, illness, death, choices, beliefs, and how little we know about what really goes on.

Since I've not studied or experienced Mr. Kinslow's method, this post is not an endorsement but a commentary on what I've read about it. I do like its meditative aspects, however, and will follow up further on it.

Herewith a link to a free audio download of two of Mr. Kinslow's meditations.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are energy healing modalities affected by the personality of the founder?

A few years ago I took a workshop in a method called BodySpin. The method, which involved the use of small, specially designed magnets illustrated with intricate and colourful geometric patterns, was quite elegant and architectural. Its creator, Jeff Levin, also happened to be an architect.

Richard Bartlett, the creator of Matrix Energetics, who likes to play air guitar at the beginning and end of his workshops, comes across as a would-be rock star and media personality. He is spontaneous, fun, and irreverent, and he created a system that is likewise spontaneous, fun, and irreverent.

Bill Bengston is a professor and a self-described skeptic and rationalist. So when almost 40 years ago he encountered a strange man who was able to bust clouds, read real-time diagnoses from signatures hidden in envelopes, and eventually developed the ability to cure cancer, he immediately asked himself, what is this strange phenomenon? can I prove that it exists? can I tease it apart to see what makes it work?

Out of these questions came a series of seminal experiments that proved that what we call "energy healing" indeed exists and can work on cancer. At the same time Dr. Bengston also devised a teaching method which he has since used in a dozen or so workshops, but his preference as a skeptic and as a rationalist continues to be the probing of these healing energies in the lab to see if they will yield up their secrets.

By way of contrast to Dr. Bengston's approach, I would like to present the case of Richard Gordon, the founder of Quantum Touch. Like Dr. Bengston, Richard Gordon 30-odd years ago met a man who could dissolve grapefruit-sized tumours and move vertebrae with the touch of a finger. Richard Gordon learned to heal from him and developed Quantum Touch, which has since then become a world-wide phenomenon with reputedly over 500 instructors. He says Quantum Touch is easy to learn and his motto is "your love has impact". Along the way there seems to have been some dilution, but practitioners out there are arguably doing quantities of "good" -- as are practitioners of other modalities all over the world.

Both Dr. Bengston and Mr. Gordon serve the public weal through their own particular means and it is difficult to judge which means will ultimately prove to be of greater benefit to society. Dr. Bengston would like to figure out the underlying mechanism of healing and find alternate means of delivery for it. Richard Gordon wants to teach his method to as many people as possible so they can go out there and help others.

Judging by the unprecented results of Dr. Bengston's mouse experiments, the closest we have come to date to finding a cure for cancer is the healing energy that came through Bennett Mayrick, Dr. Bengston's mentor, almost 40 years ago. It was then that Dr. Bengston also learned to cure cancer, and a short while later a method was devised to also teach others. Yes, it is a worthwhile exercise to study this healing energy in a lab to see what makes it tick and whether it can be reproduced by other means; but it also belongs in the hands of people helping real cancer patients in real time, out in the real world. That is why I keep carping on the need for an institute to do teaching as well as research, so not only the energy itself could be studied, but also the most effective means of passing it on.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bill Bengston interview with Dr. Kamau Kokayi on WBAI New York

I particularly recommend listening to this interview if you are curious about the role of consciousness in healing. Dr. Kokayi asks Dr. Bengston some very compelling questions about the implications of his research. At ca the 39 minute mark Dr. Bengston says that he is trying to find the underlying mechanism for the healings and Dr. Kokayi comments that it sounds like he is trying to find an underlying mechanism for consciousness. An interesting discussion ensues.

You will need to scroll down the page to get to the interview, which is dated November 3rd.

Friday, November 5, 2010

An important link for practitioners

I was impressed by this thorough and informative FAQ for cancer patients posted on the website of a Bengston practitioner who has learned the method in 2008 and has received a good deal of personal mentoring since from Dr. Bengston himself.

I noticed that many of the challenges she faced were similar to the ones we did: tumours that grew, the need for many hours of treatment, and the uncertainty of patients about the progress of their treatment.

She writes:

Wouldn’t it be nice if the tumor got smaller and smaller and smaller and then gone? It doesn’t usually work this way. Be prepared. This is a natural, not a magical process and most tumors get bigger before they get smaller.

Patients tend to become quite concerned by this development, but then they are encouraged to practice the "cycling" process, to recall that the mice in Dr. Bengston's experiments developed large tumours that then imploded and healed, and to notice how they are feeling:

If you are feeling good, sleeping well, eating well, living well and your body is "taking" the treatment, it is all a sign that you are getting well. In fact, in nearly every tumor it gets bigger before it gets smaller … [I]f you are responding well to the treatments, and your gut says you are OK and if other aspects of your health are improving, it bodes well.

How many sessions are needed? It is dependent on the cancer. According to this practitioner, it could be 20 or 200 or more. We too have found that there was a need for many sessions. I suspect we could have helped some of our patients more efficaciously if we treated them 4 hours a day instead of one. But realistically we simply didn’t have the time; also, if a practitioner is to eat, he or she needs to be paid, and how many patients can afford this kind of intensive treatment?

The patient is asked to make a huge leap of faith: to put many hours into treatment, to pay large sums of money, and to accept that his or her cancer will grow before imploding. Yes, their sleep has improved, they have more energy, and they are able to do things that other people with their cancer are no longer capable of. But then they go to their doctor, who says “your tumour is larger” or “such and such cancer marker has gone up”, and then they start looking at you funny and wondering if you are really doing them any good. I think their often unarticulated fear is that though they are feeling well, in fact much better than anyone else in their condition would be feeling, their cancer may just be gathering steam in the background and preparing to pounce.

It sounds like this practitioner, with Dr. Bengston’s mentoring and personal assistance, may have overcome the hurdles that some of the rest of us stumbled over when trying to treat terminal cancers. But I note that none of us, not this practitioner or even Dr. Bengston himself, can ultimately guarantee that a full cure will occur. Of course neither can an oncologist, and a patient is likely to have a much better quality of life with this treatment.

In my opinion this powerful method begs for institutionalized learning, ongoing follow-up, and the creation of an accumulated body of knowledge to assist practitioners. Longer-term teaching would allow practitioners to strengthen their abilities, follow-up would help them with any problems they encounter, and an accumulated body of knowledge would give them access to the experiences of those who have gone before them. This helpful FAQ is a beginning.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's a two-way street

Last week I was treating one of my semi-regular patients who has a very prominent and visible tumour. He is "semi-regular" because he is one of those cancer sufferers about whom Bill would say that managing their condition has become a full-time occupation (of course who could blame them?) and as a result he spends a good deal of time in the States receiving intravenous vitamin C and ozone injections. He has decided not to go for allopathic treatment, which he said would put him through a great deal of suffering for a small chance of remission. Instead, he wants to prove that alternative treatments work, and he is trying as many of them as he can.

Last week I tried something new with him, which resulted in a very "intense" treatment. Although I wasn't touching him, he said he felt his tumour being "sqeezed" and "pulled". The treatment was so intense that he said it was almost uncomfortable. But two days later he called me and said that the tumour was smaller. I suggested that we do it again.

The second treatment was much less intense. I kept asking him what he was feeling, and he said that it felt "nice and warm and soothing." Nice and warm and soothing was not what we were looking for. It occurred to me that, forewarned by the last treatment, and not wanting to experience the same discomfort, he was now unconsciously blocking.

Keep in mind that the practitioner does not by a conscious act of will "put energy into" the patient. It's more like the patient and the practitioner are engaged in a dance, and the patient is the one who leads.

I told him what I thought was happening and reminded him that he was in the driver's seat and that what he wanted mattered. If he wanted a nice, soothing treatment, that's what he would get. But if he wanted something that worked, he would have to ask for it. The question I suggested to him was "how intense does this have to be for it to be effective?" And then I suggested that he allow the energy to become as intense as it needed to be, regardless of discomfort.

What happened next was a lot of heat and a lot intensity. The skin around the tumour got quite red and shiny. I do not know what has happened since, because he has left for the States for more intravenous vitamin C and ozone injections. But I was stunned by how much his intention mattered.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Can healing be learned? - Part 2

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, I would like to add that learning how to heal is not a black-and-white proposition. There are many shades of gray in the mix. At one end of the spectrum you can learn to speed up the healing of cuts and scrapes; at the other, to treat serious diseases like cancer. While most people seem to have the ability to some degree, a few seem to develop it to quite a sophisticated level. It may be that learning a variety of modalities develops this sophistication.

Also, it seems that the various modalities I described each have their own "specialty", and maybe even their own "frequency" or "bandwidth" or "energy signature". So Reiki claims to work on the spiritual level, with effects that may or may not manifest in physical healing. Quantum Touch is good with bones, as for instance scoliosis. The Bengston Method has been shown to be effective for curing cancer in mice and we have seen it extend life and reduce suffering in people. The Domancic Method will take on all manner of diagnosed medical conditions, including some quite serious ones like cancer and diabetis. Matrix Energetics is more amorphous, refusing to engage with "disease", as Richard Bartlett believes that the twin concepts of "health" and "disease" create a duality which then leads to a focus on "the problem set" rather than "the solution set", interfering with the possibility of healing.

I've commented before that in the early days when I only did QT and Reiki I had clients who could differentiate between the two, and would even express a preference for one or the other. That's what leads me to wonder about there being different "frequencies" and "energy signatures" to the different methods. So maybe each of these methods opens up a different portion of the whole, in which case the more modalities you learn, the better your access and the greater your range and ability in affecting various health conditions will be.

But I stand by my statement in the previous post that you still need to get your own "satellite dish" or direct connection before you can be as good as a Bill Bengston, or a Zdenko Domancic, or a Richard Bartlett (or an Eric Pearl, whom I have only left out because to date I haven't yet taken any of his workshops). I also believe that these teachers are only the advance guard for where humanity is next headed: a world where their strange and "anomalous" abilities will be commonplace and freely available to all, without workshops and without teachers.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Can healing be learned?

James Oschmann, PhD, in his book Energy Healing: The Scientific Basis, calls the ability to heal a human attribute that has been hardwired into our species from the very beginning of our existence. He even suggests a physiological mechanism for it: the healer concentrates the earth's electromagnetic resonance through the pineal gland and channels the resulting "energy" out through the palms of the hands.

At the other end of the spectrum from the scientific worldview, many meditation traditions in the world teach that if you meditate long enough, and polish the mirror of your mind long enough to clear it of "obscurations", you will develop seemingly extraordinary attributes and abilities, one of which is the ability to heal. It has always been there; you just haven't been able to see it until the dust has been removed.

In the past 11 years I have taken 19 workshops: three in Reiki, two in Richard Gordon's Quantum Touch, six with Bill Bengston, three in Richard Bartlett's Matrix Energetics, two in Quantum Lightweaving, one in Shamanic Journeying, one in Jeff Levin's BodySpin, and one in the Domancic Method. What I do now, like many of you out there who have taken umpteen healing workshops, is a mishmash: whatever comes, whatever the client's body asks for, whatever seems most appropriate.

In Reiki, I was attuned and I was taught the Reiki hand positions, and I learned to "heal".

In Quantum Touch I was taught to breathe funny, to "sandwich the pain", and I learned to "heal".

In Bill Bengston's workshop I learned "rapid image cycling" and to look for "hot spots", and I also learned to "heal".

In Matrix Energetics, I learned to "two-point", to "time-travel", to work with archetypes and "drop down, place intent, and let go", and thus to create "healing through transformation".

In the Domancic workshop I learned to wave my hands in prescribed ways and to follow treatment protocols like recipes, and heal specific conditions.

In fact it almost seems that whatever the method, the effect is to teach healing, which would lead one to believe that healing is a very easy thing to learn.

The most telling moment in all these workshops came when, after two full and intense days of teaching us Matrix Energetics techniques, on the morning of the third day when we were all exhausted Richard Bartlett turned to us and said "All these techniques you learned are just there to entertain you while you watch the healing happen." Which means the techniques are absolutely unnecessary. And there was another telling moment when one of our teachers turned to my friend Ellen and said that he did not understand why she would want to learn another method when, having learned his, she now had perfect access to "the Source" -- which essentially says "my technique is the only Way".

In previous posts I have said that in my opinion all these teachers are Gateways. In my opinion they could be teaching you anything as a technique, from musical scales to drumming to reciting Shakespeare, and you'd most probably still "learn" to heal from them. Partly because quite likely there is nothing to learn (see above, as per Oschmann and "removing obscurations") and partly because they are mostly showing you where the door is. And some of them are indeed amazing Gateways if you see them in person. The fact that they believe their technique is important is what makes it important: there are too many techniques out there that work for this not to be the case.

But now I am going to take this a step further and state that if you have to rely on someone else to point the way, you are only going to be a "second-hand" healer. You are piggy-backing on someone else's signal, watching the baseball game through the neighbour's satellite dish. That satellite dish was set up for the neighbour's TV, and your signal will likely be less than perfect. This might explain why healing ability gets more and more diluted the farther away it gets from the original teacher. You need to get your own satellite dish: or in other words, you need to become your own Gateway.

Is it the case that if you take enough workshops, learn sufficient numbers of techniques, or practice one particular technique long enough and diligently enough this will automatically happen? Or is there something else you need to do? I did Shamanic Journeying for a number of years looking for my own gateway to the Source and for the last two years I've also been doing Mahamudra meditation. I can comment that the "signal" has certainly become noticeably clearer. But at the same time I will still be taking more workshops to "open it up" further, because learning is enjoyable and I am forever curious.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ask Dr. Bill

I received a query yesterday about some particulars of Bill Bengston's method from someone who has just read The Energy Cure. Since I am always happy to interact with readers of this blog, especially if they tell me how much they enjoy reading it, I eagerly answered, and then it occurred to me that I may not be the most knowledgeable person to reply to these questions: Bill is! So I would like to urge you to contact Bill directly with your questions about the method. He can be reached at

I was also left feeling somewhat uneasy about the idea that there may be people out there who will try to use the method in the book to cure themselves of cancer without medical supervision, which is what my correspondent was intending to do. Bill did discuss self-healing through the use of treated cotton in the workshops and in the personal training I received from him, but I do not recall it being discussed in the context of treating one's own cancer. Aside from that, the second-generation use of the method is still experimental and unproven for curing human cancers, as so far it has only been tested on mice. I am not comfortable with the idea of readers experimenting with their own health, even if the method seems hopeful. So please do consult Dr. Bengston first for his opinion if you are intending to use the method to heal your own cancer.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Message from the past

This may have little to do per se with the general topic of this blog, but I was moved, and I feel that I should share it.

Last night I went to see a presentation about the Kogi, a pre-Columbian people in South America who were not affected by the Spanish conquest. Their civilization has remained largely unchanged for 3,000 years. They live communally, their language has no word for "I" or "me", and it is unthinkable for them to allow someone to be indigent or lonely.

They have a message for us, the "little brother" who is busily destroying the planet we all live on. They say their mountain is sick, and since the mountain is a microcosm for the earth, our "mother", she is sick too.

So I am here conveying the message of the Kogi that was given to us:

In Kogi Words

If we know the past, we can live well in the present and prepare the future. The little brothers think we cannot write; the little brothers have books and maps. We have no paper; we work with the heart and the soul. These thoughts are more alive, more real than what is on your paper. That is how we live, that is how we will continue to live. All forms have a father and a mother. Each family has its responsibility, with its own language and culture. We are all brothers, but we have different languages and we work differently. We must learn not to fight and argue over these different forms, but to take advantage of what the Sierra, Nature has left us.

Each of us has a territory, a piece of land where they can live well; each with their own way of doing, of talking … living together. We are all sons and daughters of the same mother, the same father. The little brothers have forgotten their work, the responsibilities, that their mother gave them. They look only for money to live well … they have to recover the memory of what they need to do. All that, is written on our maps. They give us all the details as to what we need to do to respect life, to live well, to respect the rivers, the plants, the trees, the forests and live well together. We won’t fight, we cannot fight over what the Mother has bequeathed us. We must learn to respect Her and live together in respect of the Mother. Each community, each family is responsible for a part of the territory. Each family must do what is necessary, the offerings needed. For that, we need memory. The maps help us…”

“It is up to each of us to search in our memory to find who they are and what they must do. We still have the memory to start the journey.”

Miguel DINGULA. Mamu

It has been said that one of the reasons there is so much cancer in our society is that we have removed ourselves from all that is natural and poisoned the earth. Maybe coming back into harmony with the natural world as the Kogi suggest would be just the beginning of the healing we need.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And now for something different ...

In keeping with the mandate of this blog to keep you informed of the use of energy healing to treat cancer, I will now comment on some other interesting things that have recently come my way.

I've received a notice from the Bioenergy Life Center, the American representatives of the Domancic Method, about their next two healing events in Sarasota. Therapists at the Domancic Clinic in Europe have claimed to treat cancers with success, but I do not know whether the American clinic does. These four-day healing events are by donation and participants need to pre-register. There is also a talk and a demonstration coming up in Toronto on November 10th from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Then the other day I was trolling the Matrix Energetics website and found a discussion on a newly arrived Russian healing method whose claim to fame seems to be that it teaches people to regenerate organs. Some of the discussion is "Matrix-specific", but as you scroll down you will find more information about the "organ regeneration" workshop itself. I was most impressed by an account of someone using the method to restore movement in a quadriplegic.

And finally, most relevant to this blog, I read about a healer named Kurt Peterson in the alternative healing section of a cancer website called Cancer Compass. Mr. Peterson charges quite a bit for his treatments, but also appears to have successes. I cannot in any way vouch for him, since I do not personally know him or his work, but the discussion string is interesting. And Cancer Compass in itself is an excellent website, providing discussion forums on multiple topics and cancers, as well as treatment information and group support for cancer sufferers and caregivers.

Since the internet is not the most reliable source of information, I hope that readers who have had personal experiences with the Domancic Method, the Russian Organ Regeneration Method, or Mr. Peterson's treatments will be willing to share them with me.

Postscript May 16, 2011: I just found this interview with Kurt Peterson, explaining what he does.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Is healing our birthright?

James Oschman, PhD, writes in his book Energy Healing: The Scientific Basis that he believes that we (humans) are programmed to perform and receive energy healing.

He could be right. Here is the evidence:

- You go to a Reiki course, get "attuned" and learn the Reiki hand positions, and you are able to heal.

- You take Quantum Touch, learn to breathe funny and to "sandwich the pain", and you are able to heal.

- You go to a Matrix Energetics weekend, learn to "two-point" and to "drop down, place intent, and observe", and you are able to heal.

- You go to a Domancic workshop, you learn to wave your hands in prescribed ways and follow protocols, and you are able to heal.

- You take Bill Bengston's weekend workshop on the Bengston method, learn "image cycling" and how to look for "hot spots", and you are able to heal.

The common denominator here seems to be that no matter what you do, what method you learn, you walk away able to help others heal, at least to some degree. That's interesting.

Now I will concede that not everyone learns, though most people seem to be able to. I will also concede that some methods work for some people and conditions better than others. But at the same time, isn't it strange that you can learn healing in so many ways?

When you are young and you don't yet know how to whistle, you already possess the muscles that enable you to do it and with then the latent ability. Then someone comes along and teaches you how to pucker your lips, and out comes a whistle. There could have been whole societies out there that had no clue that they could whistle until someone figured it out and taught all the others. So maybe what happens when you go to an energy healing course is that someone teaches you how to pucker your brain in ways that you never have before, but could have if you had known.

Perhaps you can do it for yourself.

Here is an experiment. If you read this post, and you have never taken any healing courses before, the next time someone you know has a tummy ache or a minor accident (obviously one that does not require stitches, or a hospital visit, or result in extensive blood loss, or involve bones sticking out through the skin) just try to heal them as if it were the most natural thing in the world. You will know that you've had an effect if the bleeding stops, the pain lessens, or the swelling goes down.

1) Start with Oschman's premise that you can.

2) Approach the exercise with open-minded curiosity (and it helps if your "patient" does too).

3) Put your hands around the affected area (without touching if there is an open wound).

4) Get out of your own way by not wondering whether you are doing it correctly. Just let it be.

5) Ask the question "what needs to happen here?" and just stay in a state of open-ended expectation that something interesting could happen in response.

6) Don't keep checking whether anything happened. Just wait in open-ended expectation until something obviously does happen, or until you or your "patient" get bored with waiting, whichever comes first.

If nothing happens, take a healing course. Or not, if this is not your cup of tea. If something does, let me know. And of course by then your curiosity may be whetted enough that you will go on to take a healing course anyway, just to see if you can learn to whistle better.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Is healing boring?

I just finished listening to another interview with Dr. Bengston on MyTalk 107.1.

It was very amusing to hear Dr. Bengston describing healing as a boring thing to do and the least favourite part of his experiments. Having known Dr. Bengston since 2007, I can tell you that he is a very bright man whose mind is always going a hundred miles a minute trying to figure out one thing or another, usually something related to his experiments.

Of course he would find healing boring.

But to those of us who do healing as a vocation, who are most of the time "people people" (unlike Dr. Bengston, who jokingly claims to prefer rodents), healing is anything but. There is now a blog post on the web in which someone states that they would not be learning Bill's method because he says it's boring. I would like to reassure that person that it is neither more nor less boring than any other modality out there (with the exception of Matrix Energetics, which is designed to be fun but does not call itself a healing modality), and it feels just as good to do as Reiki or QT or TT.

The interview ends with a giggly compliment from the hosts to Dr. Bengston for being "fascinating in a really weird way". That was amusing too.

I thought that generally it was a frivolous interview, unlike the one with Tami Simon, which had greater depth. But I note that no one seems to be asking the truly important questions: how teachable has Bill's method proven to be for curing human cancers? Among the 200+ people who have learned the method in workshops in the past three years, how many, as far as Bill knows, have gone on to remit documented cancers in people? As interesting as Bill's experiments are, ultimately whether people get cured is the only question that truly matters.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Are healing groups the way of the future?

In my previous post I commented on how much I enjoyed leading and participating in a healing practice group. The group had purpose, heart, and cohesion, and many of the wonderful women who were a part of it I am now honoured to call friends.

The feeling in the group when we were doing healing together was warm, meditative, and deeply satisfying. We positioned our chairs in a circle, and the person who was to receive the healing sat in the middle. When we were doing a distance healing, we placed the photograph of the intended recipient in the centre, sometimes by itself, and sometimes in the hands of the person who had requested the healing.

As the group consisted mostly of healers rather than "healees", the people who sat in the middle largely experienced enhanced well-being. But I recall two remarkable successes from our distance healing efforts, one in the group, and one in a group healing in a workshop. Both were of children. One is described here, in a post entitled Love, bioenergy, and miracles. The other was a little boy who had burned himself rather badly and was expected to be in hospital for weeks and weeks until his burn healed sufficiently for it to be safe for him to go home: he was released the day after we treated him because overnight his wound had unexpectedly scabbed over.

In her futuristic novel Oryx and Crake, author Margaret Atwood describes the genetically engineered people of the future, the Crakers, healing each other in just such a circle through the group purring at the afflicted individual. The purring was Atwoodian whimsy, but the healing was not. In Atwood's fictional dystopia the Crakers are genetically designed for group healing; but in James Oschman's Energy Healing: The Scientific Basis the genetic design is not fictional: he believes we are all designed to perform and receive such healing. We are just not aware of it yet.

Many energy healing modalities use healing groups. Zdenko Domancic, for instance, has an energy healing clinic in Slovenia that has been in operation for over 25 years. The clinic is a big open space where a multitude of clients sit and wait their turn while several therapists treat people. A treatment may last maybe 20 minutes, but clients are encouraged to stay in the energy as long as they can. It is recognized that the group setting amplifies the energy and that the people who wait are benefiting just by being present.

How are healing groups different from prayer groups?

I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that healing groups are different from prayer groups, and more effective. I have a friend who is very sensitive to energy and cannot abide being prayed for. She described to me how a group once prayed for her and she could "hear" every single person and wished some of them wouldn't. She felt that while many of the people were really praying for her, others were inserting themselves into the prayer by trying to do good because they felt that they should.

A prayer through its very structure requires an "I". When I pray, "I" am beseeching God to do something. As the "beseecher" that makes me very much part of the equation. But the removal of the "I" from the equation is a crucial part of effective energy healing. The more effectively a healer is absent from the healing, the more effective the healing is.

So in my opinion a healing group engaged in a homogeneous healing practice such as the Bengston method or the Domancic method is likely to be more effective than a prayer group. With the removal of the "I" the group becomes cohesive and egoless.

How does group healing work?

Bill Bengston may have stumbled on the mechanism for group healing in his mouse experiments. When he found that not only the treatment groups but also the control groups of mice in his experiments recovered to full life-span cures from fatal injections of cancer, he set about trying to discover what might have happened. He hypothesized that the groups somehow became bonded, and that treatment then given to one group also applied to the other; he then showed in an experiment that this did indeed happen and published a paper about it entitled "Resonance, Type 2 Errors and Placebo Effects". He named the phenomenon "resonant bonding" and hypothesized that it not only affected the mice but also their healers.

I believe that the warm, meditative, harmonious feeling of oneness that we achieved in the practice group was in fact "resonant bonding". It had a distinct energy buzz and felt quite wonderful.

Distance group healing

I am going to go out even further on that limb and say that all the members of a healing group don't even need to be in the same room for the effect to occur. On several occasions we did group distance healings where members of the group sat in the comfort of their own living rooms and joined the group energetically at a mutually agreed upon time. The feeling of "resonant bonding" occurred each time, and I have felt it strengthen as more and more of the group came "online". We used this kind of group healing several times in the case of the girl described in Love, bioenergy and miracles.

Anecdotally I can tell you that when the method used is not homogeneous, but each person is asked to do their own thing, such as Reiki, or prayer, or shamanic work, the feeling of warmth and unity does not seem to occur and the healing is less effective. Homogeneity in the method used seems to create its own "resonant bond".

Groups and morphic fields: going one step further

Richard Bartlett, the creator of Matrix Energetics, says that he is reluctant to treat cancer, because taking it on means going up against the morphic field of cancer, which includes all the fear, doom and gloom, hopelessness, and expectation of pain and suffering associated with that disease, as well as the accumulated longterm failure of the medical establishment to find an effective treatment to eradicate it.

Morphic fields were the brainchild of Rupert Sheldrake, a Cambridge biologist and author, who believed that these fields were templates for all biologic forms and determined their development. Bartlett extends the meaning of morphic fields to also embrace beliefs and ideas. In this regard morphic fields can be related to C. G. Jung's archetypes.

Groups engaging in a homogeneous activity such as practicing a particular healing modality (or adopting a particular belief or political idea) can create their own morphic fields. The larger the group is that adopts a certain modality or idea, the stronger that field becomes. Healing groups engaging in resonant bonding can create a morphic field which will then make it easier for other healing groups to form. The more of us there are, the more of us there will be, and even more importantly, the more effective we will become.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tami Simon interview with Bill Bengston

Here is a link to Tami Simon's interview with Bill on Sounds True. She asks many thoughtful questions, some of which seem to echo ones I raised in earlier postings in this blog.

I would like to add some more questions and comments:

For instance, I am curious to know if when Dr. Bengston is being tested he can generate measurable changes in his brain through the cycling technique alone or if the changes are always in response to need? If I understand correctly, REGs and geomagnetic probes don't seem to respond to cycling unless there is a cage of sick mice nearby. I guess the question is whether it's the cycling technique itself that generates the changes that are visible on the MRI or the healing response?

I am also curious to know if Dr. Bengston has ever tested anyone he taught to see if they can generate similar changes.

I would like to comment that in my experience with Bill my own healing ability increased noticeably through direct contact with him well before I learned cycling, and I recall being able to pass on this increase in ability to at least one other person through similar contact. Bill has also told me that the people he worked on were temporarily also able to do healings, although it wasn't clear how long the effect lasted and why it wore off. Since he apprenticed with Bennett Mayrick for a long time, years even, I wonder how much his on-going exposure to Mayrick's ability and the fact that they did many healings together affected Bill's own learning curve.

At the end of the June SSE lecture "Healing and the Mainstream" (part 5 on Youtube) someone asks Bill a question about "reiki vs fakey" -- i.e., an experiment using real and sham reiki healers. In response Bill cites an experiment of his own, in which volunteers who were not taught the cycling technique could also heal the mice just by mimicking his movements. He then went on to say something else, but was cut off, and I would be curious to know what that something else was, because it began with "and then" and Bill looked quite excited about it.

Re: the mechanism of distance healing that Bill and his physicist friends have been pondering and tossing around ideas about, has anyone tossed around any ideas about folding space and time? There seems to be a concept in Buddhism and maybe even Hinduism about every point in the universe being linked to every other point that I've heard has found an echo in quantum physics; it would be interesting to know if that has some relevance. Of course I don't have the physics or the math to parse any of this out, just a general gut feeling.

Re: Bill's suggestion that people form healing groups, I would like to add that organizing, running, and participating in the Toronto group that was the offshoot of the workshops we held here was one of the most pleasurable activities I ever engaged in. The group had heart, purpose and cohesion and we all learned a great deal together.

Congratulations on an interesting interview. I recommend reading the transcript as well, for clearer understanding of some of the more complicated elements of the discussion.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A small note of frustration

This is a comment on energy healing in general, on the great divide between "them" and "us" -- "them" being the folks who believe that "us" who do energy healing are totally out to lunch.

The day before yesterday I met a woman who had dislocated her thumb back in February after falling. The thumb was in a splint, and would continue to be in a splint until it would be operated on. After the operation she would continue to wear the splint and would undergo painful physio.

I treated the thumb on the spot for about five minutes and told her to come and see me on a strictly "as a favour" basis. I was mostly curious to see how much good I could do. By way of encouragement I told her of some past experiences I had had treating injuries with some very positive outcomes.

The treatment and our conversation were witnessed by another person who had also fallen, and dislocated her elbow, with subsequent surgery and a six-month nightmare of therapy and pain. This person insisted that surgery and pain were the only way to go.

The person with the injured thumb never came to see me. So the message here is "I would rather have my right hand immobilized and then operated on and undergo six months of pain and physio than give you a few hours of my time to see whether you can help it heal on its own. I am so attached to my belief system that all that exists is this 3-D reality that we can see and smell and taste that I would rather suffer pain and inconvenience than see it challenged."

I think energy healers of all stripes will resonate with this, having probably had the same sort of experience many, many times. I find it quite frustrating. And I am sure someone will now comment that I couldn't have helped this woman anyway, since treatment is a two-way street and we don't really heal anyone, just help them heal themselves.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On healing and sociological experiments

There are two pieces of information out there about the Bengston method that require some discussion. One is that Bill has been successfully treating animals and that he is just now beginning to apply the method to people. The other is that he is conducting a "sociological experiment" to see if people can be taught to duplicate the success of the "sceptical volunteers" who were able to heal cancerous mice in his laboratory experiments.

To clarify, the healings are said to have begun many years ago, in real time, in the real world, with real people, and then they were followed up in the lab by animal experiments.

As to the "sociological experiment" Bill is said to be conducting to see if the people he teaches can duplicate the successes of his "sceptical volunteers", it needs to be said that the experiment is now three years old. I kept loose tabs on the Toronto portion which lasted a year and a half, but then there were other workshops (in Long Island, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Oregon, California, and possibly other places) on which I have no information.

It seems to me that for something to be called an "experiment" someone needs to be tabulating the results, particularly if it is being conducted by someone described as a trained scientist. Now that three years and two months have passed since the first Toronto workshop, I would love to ask Bill how the experiment has progressed since then and about his views on the results.

Friday, August 20, 2010

To treat or not to treat ...

One of the questions I received over the weekend was whether I screen patients, and if I do, then how? The simple answer is that by and large I don't. I assume that if someone turns up on my doorstep, there is a reason. I will try to treat the person at least once. If it doesn't appear to have had much of an effect, I will ask what the treatment did for them and whether they think it would be worthwhile to come again. I leave it up to them to decide.

I find that most of the people I treat feel better right away and that even the ones who don't see an immediate change improve once they've had a chance to sleep on it. The very few who don't feel the treatment at all, and report no change even the day after, generally decide not to come back. So you could say that in effect patients "self-select", and that no screening process is needed.

I will admit to a selfish preference for treating conditions that can show quick improvement, such as knee, shoulder and back injuries. The patient gets speedy relief and I get the reward of immediate gratification and of knowing that what I do works. Treating longterm conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or arthritis can be difficult and frustrating in comparison.

And cancer is on a page all by itself. Cancer treatment takes a long time and a good deal of commitment. Cancer patients who try alternative treatments tend to "shop around" and not to stick to any one method. So in addition to allopathic treatments, they will be receiving intravenous vitamin C, ozone, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, naturopathic cleansing agents, colonics, radionics, homeopathy, etc., along with energy healing, and how in God's name do we know whether all or any of these things are compatible? There could be the energy equivalent of negative drug interactions going on, with one method counteracting the benefits of another (Bill Bengston in particular does not recommend using his method while the patient is receiving chemotherapy or radiation). But understandably cancer patients are so frightened and so motivated to try to rid themself of their illness that they will try anything, and they believe that more is better. I believe it's not, and the combination of treatments makes it hard to know what, if anything, is working. Are frustration and the general sense that one does not know how much one is contributing in this cocktail of treatments good reasons to screen these patients out? Again, I believe that being honest with the patient and leaving it up to them to decide is a good way to go.

I remember reading somewhere that doctors have been known to cull patients whom they find difficult to treat from their practices. I would have thought that doctors of all people had a moral obligation to treat everyone. It's an interesting question to mull over whether this is true, and whether the same yardstick should also be applied to energy healers.