1998, the results of Emily Rosa's Therapeutic
Touch study appeared in JAMA (Journal of the American
Medical Association), making her the Guiness World's
record holder for youngest person to publish serious
medical research in a major medical journal. Since
then, she has won her division at the Colorado
state science fair for an ambitious experiment
that attempted to measure the circumference of
the earth with measuring units and instruments
of her own design. Emily, now 15 years old, lives
in, Colorado, where she likes to go to movies
and hang out with her friends. She is thinking
about becoming a primatologist, or pathologist
because she likes to solve medical mysteries.
links to Emily Rosa's home page and other related infomation
please see our resources
work on the TT experiment. I want to know whether
you performed similar experiments (revised version?)
since then? Also, have you tried to reverse the
situation so that the test subjects are normal
people detecting the energy "feelings like tingling,
warmth, etc." from the TT practitioners?
Thanks! I regret to say that now living a
life of a busy bee teeny-bopper, I have not performed
a revised test of my original experiment. I may
in the future, but right now I haven't given much
thought to it. I never tried a reverse study of
my experiment, yet I have received TT before and
never felt any sort of sensations along with them
or any change in health.
exactly is a "double-blind" experiment? What other
double-blind experiments could one devise to prove
or disprove TT? Is it the placebo affect that
accounts for people's belief in it?
A double-blind experiment is when, in an experiment,
the patient and the researcher both do not know
who is getting the placebo and the test treatment.
It is hard to say what experiment could prove
TT. I think if my experiment was repeated over
and over again and came out with the same results
that would show even more reliable evidence against
the practice. Your last question is a difficult
one, but yet I think that, yes, you are dead-on
on your one point that an account for beneficial
results from TT is the belief people have that
the remedy will help them. Close contact can also
help a person feel better. Placebo along with
the direct attention that is given when one receives
TT is why I think the practice has come so far.
on your work, Emily. What other sorts of pseudo-science
would you like to subject to such a simple and
elegant experiment? Why, in the face of hard evidence,
do people still flock to therapies like this?
Thank you very much. It is nice to be appreciated!
I would like to eventually conduct an experiment
on the effects of "healing magnets" on the human
body. This is also another remedy for various
aches and pains that has not been clinically proven.
I do not consider my TT experiment to be proof
against the therapy but only good evidence that
TT practitioners can't do what they claim. Some
do not take my experiment seriously, and yes,
they still go to their local TT practitioner or
a related "energy medicine" therapist. People
still visit these types of practitioners because
of the personal attention that the patient receives,
i.e. a long visit and the chance for the patient
to talk at length about what's bothering them.
Some patients complain that medical doctors are
not as caring as they should be and turn to others
who seem more sympathetic. Then there are people
who do not get results from basic medical help
and they turn to these other possible remedies
for help. Others are desperate for a cure. If
a little girl did a science experiment debunking
TT, it hardly would effect the dozens of other
"energy medicine" practices around. But it should,
because they are based on similar theory.
I think it is wonderful that you are investigating
scientific vs. alternative medicines so early
in your "career", and the "touch" method is a
very interesting subject to start with. Have you
begun investigating the healing capabilities of
certified hands-on methods such as certified therapeutic
want to offer this experience to your information:
I've been treated by a massage therapist for over
a year who combines therapeutic massage with acupuncture,
and sometimes herbal medicine. He is licensed
and certified in all three fields. He was recommended
to me by a highly qualified spinal physical therapist
(PT) who also is treated by him periodically.
This massage therapist is very disciplined and
knowledgeable about our anatomy and uniquely connected
physiological/ psychological systems. He spends
+/- 2 hours per patient session. This therapist
has delivered amazing results for me and many
friends and suffering acquaintances I have referred
to him. Most patients (he calls us 'clients')
begin going for chronic and debilitating pain
conditions caused by older nerve injuries (mostly
spinal) which conventional doctors (orthopedic
and neurological surgeons, physiatrists) or physical
therapists could not help or even made worse.
Once he relieves the patients' conditions to very
acceptable levels (usually over several weeks
or months) we have found that he continues to
bring results for many other physical problems.
This therapist is highly educated (post graduate)
and passionate about the work he does. His clients
know it. Yet he is not expensive.
kind of quality is what patients deserve from
our conventional medical and scientific community
but are not getting. As with all practitioners,
there will be bad, good, and even the fraudulent,
including the subjects you wrote about. Possibly
the reason so many patients and MD's are fleeing
the traditional Medical Doctor approach to "healing"
is a growing perception by patients (and MD's)
that the "western/conventional health community"
is more and more impersonal, arrogant, and hard
to communicate with, in a highly personal situation
for the patient.
reason people are fleeing conventional medicine
is that the side-effects of western medicine "cures"
i.e. drugs and surgery, is often no better than
the original problem. The scientific (i.e. western)
world of medicine needs new doctors and insurers
who will pay MUCH more attention to optimum nutrition
and healthy/ appropriate exercise for strong immune
systems and bodies, rather than pharmaceutical
drugs, sedentary lifestyles, and toxic environments
that destroy our natural immune systems. Allowing
and maintaining an active quality of life to the
end can be done without major intervention in
the vast majority of cases. Many educated people
now believe that the medical community as a whole
has become highly commercialized and has totally
lost sight of its subjects' well being.
the tide of growing skepticism and convincing
the public that the scientific and medical community
cares about the well-being of individuals, will
be a major challenge for western (scientific)
medicine in the near future. Best wishes for your
future endeavors in these and related fields.
Thank you and I have not done any experiments
relating to hands-on methods. I have not investigated
this, but I do believe that these fields are very
similar. My experiments objective was to see if
the practitioners could feel my "human energy
field." Since the two therapies are so similar
I find that now after having completed my experiment,
that therapeutic massage therapy may not be everything
it's cracked up to be. Perhaps what you may be
experiencing is the "placebo" effect. This is
in which a practice, that may have no evidence
to prove its positive effects, gives a patient
a feeling of relief either physically or emotionally
and is caused by the patient having extreme faith
in its benefits. I am glad if these therapies
have helped you but you may also want to consider
remedies that have been scientifically proven
to help. I think that the scientific medicine
today doesn't want you to pay them for attention
and caring words. When you go into the doctor's
office, you should expect a diagnosis and possible
treatment/medication. If you want to be touched,
go to a salon to get a massage. If you want someone
to talk to, you should call a friend or get a
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