I wrote this letter following a discussion I had at a recent nutrition conference. I chatted with one of the speakers whose work I’ve admired for years. He was as authentic and articulate in person as I would have expected.
When the conversation veered into the topic of energy medicine, he described himself as “highly skeptical.” What followed was a very interesting discussion, with other attendees jumping in, about energy medicine, testability, and provability.
After the conference, I was still thinking about his perspective regarding energy medicine. I followed up with this letter.
I know that many of you pursue alternative medicine, particularly types of energy medicine. This includes acupuncture, homeopathy, Reikei, Emotional Freedom Technique, and hypnotherapy. Perhaps your friends or family offer skeptical remarks about your healing choices. If you wish to engage them in conversation, I hope this letter helps you stand your ground.
Letter to a Skeptic
Hi [Speaker’s Name],
It was wonderful meeting you at the recent conference. I’ve admired your work online for years, and appreciated the opportunity to learn from you during your speech.
Also, you are the most thoughtful and considerate self-proclaimed skeptic I’ve ever met.
However, I don’t think that your approach is truly skeptical.
Based on your open-mindedness, I trust you may be open to hearing why.
THE PRIMARY MECHANISM OF ACTION
You mentioned that other energetic therapies like acupuncture are likely biochemical. This presupposes that the primary mechanism of action in the human body is biochemical. Our scientific culture often assumes that if a healing method works, it works at the biochemical level. But is this assumption a skeptical approach?
I don’t think so, and here’s why. We still can’t explain how hormones find their target molecules. We still don’t know how the identical cells in an embryo know how to differentiate into a heart cell or an intestinal cell (DNA doesn’t code that information).
The human body is still more mystery than certainty.
I love the book Ignorance by Dr. Stuart Feinstein, Chair of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. He writes:
Consider the wide stretches of the electromagnetic spectrum, including most obviously the ultraviolet and infrared but also several million additional wavelengths that we now detect only by using devices such as televisions, cell phones, and radios. All were completely unknown, indeed inconceivable, to our ancestors of just a few generations ago. Just as there are forces beyond the perception of our sensory apparatus, there may be perspectives that are beyond the conception of our mental apparatus.
Skeptics often presuppose that we can explain things like acupuncture within our current structure of understanding. Given the dimensions that we don’t know and may never comprehend, isn’t it more skeptical to assume our structure of understanding is too small?
THE SKEPTICS’ FALLACY
I have another example of what I call “The Skeptics’ Fallacy.” Have you ever had a bad feeling about someone, when your body sounds off alarm bells and your stomach turns to concrete?
We often call this a “sixth sense” or “intuition.” But the skeptic often assumes it can be explained by body language, where our body is picking up physical cues faster than our conscious mind.
The skeptic wants to explain this phenomenon within the physical and psychological mechanisms of actions that we understand. What if this phenomenon takes place in a realm outside of our current models?
ANCIENT PARALLELS OF ENERGY MEDICINE
Lastly, I appeal to the part of you that honors traditional diets. Dr. Weston Price found dietary parallels in ancient cultures, but we also find parallels of energy medicine in such cultures.
All ancient cultures used a form of energy healing, and all cultures had words for the energy sensed by the body but not seen by the eyes.
In the 21st century, we know the world through scientific measurement — only that which we can measure we call Reality. The Ancients knew the world through feeling. They could feel dimensions of energy that we can’t see.
Importantly, this was a time when human beings were in tune with both their body and nature. In the modern world, the human body has forgotten how to do what is most natural to it. Now we take pills to sleep, eat, have sex, focus, calm down, and perk up.
Is it possible that our bodies have also forgotten how to sense the different dimensions of energy that were available to our ancestors?
MY GOAL IN CHALLENGING SKEPTICISM
These points are why I believe in energy medicine. I want to make energy medicine more accessible and acceptable, and move it out of the realm of woo-woo.
If you’ve read the email to this point, thank you for your time and consideration. Again, it was wonderful meeting you! And if there are ways that I can support you on my site Empowered Sustenance, please let me know.