Touch therapy is a pseudoscientific therapy that claims that the human body produces huge magnetic fields and manipulates these fields within it (as its practitioners claim) to increase healing rates and reduce pain and anxiety. But is this true?
Today, we turn our skeptical eyes to a widely available treatment that requires no medical intervention, no medication, and no unpleasant side effects, taught in nursing schools everywhere: this method is called touch therapy.
The origin of the myth of touch therapy
Practitioners of this method believe that it is based on the assumption that there is an “energy field” that the entire human body can see or touch, as many have claimed. This “energy field” is controlled by waving (moving) the doctor’s hand over the patient’s body. Based on many different interpretations, this procedure is said to heal wounds quickly, reduce pain or anxiety, and enhance patient health.
Touch therapy was introduced in 1972, by a clairvoyant and nurse named Dora Kuns, who studied under the Hungarian psychiatrist Oskar Estippe. Founder Dolores Krieger, who studied nursing at New York University, worked with Koons’ approach to metaphysical healing and codified the foundations of tactile therapy into the day’s regime.
False hypotheses about the action of touch therapy
What distinguishes touch therapy from most other alternative therapies is its acceptance in the medical community. Although she did not succeed in medical schools or doctors, she is still taught in many nursing schools. The University of Maryland Medical Center, one hospital that offers touch therapy, tries on its website to explain how they think it works.
They suggest two explanations, and erroneously describe them as theories:
One hypothesis is that actual pain associated with a traumatic physical or emotional experience, such as an infection or injury, or a complex emotional relationship, remains in the body’s cells. Pain stored in cells is harmful and may prevent some cells from working properly with other cells in the body. This can lead to disease. Practitioners believe touch promotes health by restoring the connections between cells.
Does pain really stay in cells? According to the theories of the myth of touch therapy
Pain is transmitted by nerves and cannot be found in the body other than nerves. They say it is the cause of the disease. No, not exactly. We have good theories about diseases of all kinds, and almost all of them are well understood, and there is nothing in the medical literature that says “pain caused by complex emotional relationships stays in the cells of the body”.
In the end, this case was refuted by the assertion that “touch therapy does not promote health by restoring connections between cells”, as such a claim might be socially obscured by some medical vocabulary that might seem ambiguous to the recipient.
Quantum physics and touch therapy!
Another false assumption, allegedly based on the principles of quantum physics. When iron-containing blood circulates in our bodies, electromagnetic fields may be generated. According to this theory, individuals can easily see this field (called the aura), but only those who practice touch therapy develop this ability.
Well, invoking quantum physics is a clever and convenient approach, but not in this case: the iron in the blood that creates the magnetic field is not an example of quantum physics. For example, we have small amounts of iron in hemoglobin, where each molecule points to a different pole and, therefore, different directions do not generate a magnetic field. Also, there is no theory that all people can see magnetic fields, and anyone who tells you is blind in the first place.
Magnetic fields and hemoglobin in the myth of touch therapy
Dolores Krieger, one of the founders of Touch Therapy, offered an entirely different interpretation of how therapy works. In 1975, I wrote in the American Journal of Nursing that manipulating the body’s magnetic field increases hemoglobin levels in the body. This claim is supported by many unbelievable lies that say “Yes, I can. I’ve seen it before.”
Placing your hand in a magnetic field does not change that field. The magnetic field is so strong that it can extend a few inches beyond the human body, and as a result, we won’t be able to wear metallic jewelry or get out of our cars because we’re stuck together every day.
There is no explanation for why or how hemoglobin is produced without the magnetic effect, and there are no reports that something similar occurs in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or other applications of true magnetic fields in the human body.
Finally, raising hemoglobin levels may be an effective treatment for some diseases, but not for pain, which is the main use of touch therapy. One must wonder how veteran professor Krieger would admit this nonsense and promote it as true science!
Baby girl refutes touch therapy
One of the most famous examples of putting the basics of touch therapy to the test was in 1996, when Emily Rosa, a 9-year-old fourth grader, tried it at a science fair. Her parents, who were critical of touch therapy, helped her put together a simple protocol.
Emily visited 15 trainees who claimed to be able to discover “human energy fields”. I put the students in front of her, across the screen, and asked them to stretch their hands through the two holes I made in the energy field. A wall separates them, then extends one hand, allowing her to reveal her outstretched hand (either left or right). The Dafa disciples fail to guess whether it is left or right, which indicates that the Dafa disciples cannot do what they say. A year later, on the TV show “Scientific American Frontiers”, she was filmed repeating the test with the same results. A year later, Dr. Stephen Barrett helped baby Emily write a paper whose experience will be published later in JAMA. Emily became the world record holder for the youngest person to publish a scientific paper before it was published in an authoritative scientific journal that was vetted by professional scientists.
Touch Therapy Promoters’ Responses
You can imagine the harsh response from the touch therapy community. The International Touch Therapy Association, which was the supporting body for these practitioners at the time, issued an official response to the journal’s content with several major criticisms, including:
Published studies have not tested any of the key variables associated with touch therapy. The ability to perceive the energy fields of others is not at all a requirement for practitioners of touch therapy.
The phrase “the ability to perceive other people’s energy field is not necessary at all” has now become a critique of them. How?
Practitioners of touch therapy rely entirely on energy field manipulation (as described in their theory above), which practitioners describe as “tingling, pulling, fluttering, etc.” So how do practitioners suppose they are able to deal with things they cannot reveal? (a logical fallacy).
Another criticism of Rosa’s study:
Studying design wasn’t a touch therapy, it was set up like a parlor game, nothing more; Because touch therapy works, it was used by people with health problems who were more likely to show positive effects than the normal people in the study.
Well, this criticism may be true because Rosa’s study did not test the effectiveness of touch therapy on patients. Instead, it shows that the basic concept of touch therapy is lacking. However, they concluded:
There is not enough data, whether qualitative or quantitative, to recognize that touch therapy is a unique and effective treatment. medical.
Since Rosa’s study was published, The Touch Therapy Center has been publishing research papers on treatments and imagining how patients see reported improvements in health, regardless of the method used. Most touch therapy sites cite a few studies showing little effect, but ignoring more Many real scientific studies have shown that touch therapy has no effect. This indicates that they are deliberately deceiving when conducting dishonest research that has nothing to do with real science.
The next point in their response:
The children in the study were not neutral about touch therapy, so this may have affected the results. Dan O’Leary’s research at the State University of New York suggests that “subject bias” may influence people’s beliefs, thus proving that touch therapy is scientifically valid, but the research centers’ monitoring of these studies does not acknowledge this. Emily Rosa’s failure to use good controls does not in itself indicate that most studies that have found touch therapy to be beneficial and have beneficial effects are wrong. It can be indicated that she is still a child, she is fine, and unbiased.
But if you want to respond to Rosa’s research, you have to spot the errors in the research yourself, not just suggest that others have found loopholes in other research on the subject, so this kid’s findings are questionable. The magazine’s editor-in-chief said, “Age doesn’t matter, I just care that it’s a good scientific study, it’s definitely a yes.”
We can keep doing it every day, but it doesn’t work. When we evaluate a new treatment, the only thing that matters to us is whether it works or not. So, you’ll see proponents of touch therapy cite research that shows that no matter how effective that research is, it works. In 1990, Wirth conducted a study showing “the effect of touch therapy on the speed of wound healing.” Complete dermatology. Advocates of touch therapy published the study to back up what they said, but they failed to notice or may have overlooked the publication of Wirth’s own conclusions:
“The overall results of the series are inconclusive in determining the effect of treatment.”! !
This is how supporters cheat by publishing what is useful to them and ignoring the study’s conclusion confirming the inaccuracy of this treatment by saying “I am not sure.”
Eric Berg, the master of touch therapy myths
One of the most famous medical faces on social media platforms, a group of young people created platforms bearing the name “Doctor Berg in Arabic.” In fact, he is not a doctor in the first place.
Berg is basically a specialist in “chiropractic therapy” and holds a “doctorate” certificate (which you get after studying for two months) in it, which is one of the types of acupressure or tactile therapy.
These heresies were established by Daniel David Palmer in America and later established a university for these matters. He is known for the myths of
hypnosis, energy therapy and other pseudosciences, and he was an open and open enemy of real medicine besides being one of the most famous anti-vaccines.
One of Berg’s most famous theories and one of the most egregious scientific and medical errors is his saying: Viruses do not cause diseases, but stress is what causes viral diseases!!?
It must be noted that Eric Berg is a follower of the “Scientology” religion, which is based on the belief that humans are created by aliens and that the end will be the return of alien creatures to planet Earth