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.
Interestingly, science has “proven” the effectiveness of the placebo effect. If someone begins a new therapy, whether it is an energy therapy or a drug therapy, oftentimes the simple act of doing something has a positive effect. I would much rather use a therapy that is natural with no side effects, than one that was synthetically created with a whole host of additional effects that go with it.
I appreciate your comment. I find it astonishing that the traditional medical community doesn’t understand that the efficacy of placebo undermines their entire structure of understanding. Placebo means that BELIEF (or call it “thought,” “intention” or “consciousness”) works. In other words, placebo indicates that energy has physical effects in the body. If the human body is simply biochemical, thought alone wouldn’t be able to heal us.
Hello Lauren, my name is Hayden Jarvis and I’m a healing facilitator in training, dealing with energy medicine, personal growth coaching, diet nutrition and exercise, well all aspects of health. I absolutely love seeing your story and the awesome being you are, also it’s nice to see other people living and growing who are so young, it’s insanely important so props. I have struggled with explaining what I do to my family, friends, and many others, and really when people want to argue I just say well it works, this is because I don’t try to intellectuize healing to them because they are not healing, they are hitting the snooze button and unintentionally (subconsciously) trying to make the older version of yourself comeback because that’s what’s familiar to them, and in the speaker you explained his case is maybe that he a very left-brained solid American dude that has a foundation of scientific study and believe behind his whole life. This is very tough and many people in this realm are so analytical and that’s what has been their strength that they are very disconnected from their body, but they are still very smart and great people just different from someone with deep engrained body wisdom. He must be a great man if you speak so highly of him… I wish you the best of luck and a fun time explaining yourself to people and I can see that you have the perseverance to move through it. Keep up the amazing work Lauren and thank you.
You speak wisdom and I appreciate your comment. I agree with you here: “they are not healing, they are hitting the snooze button and unintentionally (subconsciously) trying to make the older version of yourself comeback because that’s what’s familiar to them.” And yes, this speaker does have a comprehensive background in scientific study but the “body wisdom” as you call it may be stifled. This is my Feminist side speaking: our masculine society has diminished the body wisdom in favor of scientific knowledge, and I want to re-balance the scales. That’s the goal of the book I’m working on now 🙂
As usual, you are such a gifted and insightful person and still in your youth; but with the wisdom of an old sage!
I wanted to comment on the energy aspect of life. I am an “energy sensitive” person and I can tell you that all things have energy. Everything and everyone has its own vibration. Some energies make us feel well/healthy and some make us feel bad/unhealthy. What is good for one person isn’t necessarily good for another. There are so many factors involved, including the widespread unhealthy electro-magnetic fields that are wreaking havoc on our physical and emotional states. I wish that everyone could feel energy the way I do – there would be so much more respect for how we treat the Earth and grow our foods, how we treat each other, how to use technology and make the energy it emits safe for all of us.
Many of us are drawn to energy healing because we are all beings of energy and can do so much more than we can imagine. The skeptics keep themselves in a small box and their point of view is limited to that box. If you can imagine more for yourself and the world, and feel the energy in all things, you can bring more light and energy into the world and reveal your contribution to the world, as you have done with Meo-Energetics.
I appreciate your comment, and hearing your experience Adele! I can’t agree with you more — if more of us were sensitive to the different dimensions of energies around us, we would take much better care of ourselves and our planet.
what a gracious and informative article
I have a degree in psychology and have practised
yoga and meditation for more than half of my life
but am not egotistical enough to think…I’m all I need
recently I was traumatized by an incident
bringing home just how violent nature can be
the vision was burned in my brain and would not budge
have always been curious about the practice of Reiki
after now having had three sessions with a practitioner
I am able to have deeper meditations and peaceful sleep
inserting a little humour here…
even if this energy experience may be “psychological” on my part
I feel compelled to take this out of the ordinary journey
wherever the energy takes me
Pauline, I’m sorry to hear about the accident but glad that Reikei is helping you. Here’s something to consider: if it is a “psychological” experience, isn’t that any energy experience? It is the experience of our belief changing our body. I just commented to someone else that placebo indicates that energy is at play. If the body is merely biochemical, belief (“thought,” “intention” or “consciousness”) shouldn’t work.
Lauren, I have followed your articles for many years and been very impressed with your healing methods. I have been involved with energy healing for over 50 years, starting originally as a colour therapist. I now treat and heal people’s health problems, using electro/ magnetic machinery, with great success.
Thanks for the comment and kind words, David! And thank you for the work you’re doing in the world.
Lauren, it’s clear that there are undiscovered pieces of data- even laws- that science through the measurement of instruments have failed to detect. We as humans are an instrument that picks up on our surroundings and there are most definitely these things, as I can attest to experiences. And there are most definitely authorities, spirits and principalities. To say one is without the other I see now is just like the skeptical scientists you speak of. God is life, God created the universe and consciousness, God directs the unfoldment of cells.
To say that what we are talking about can be called God or “universe” or “consciousness” or whatever you want to call it is woo. God is not interchangeable with those things:
Energy medicine is woo because it’s trying to deal with principalities openly or not. Who/what do you think is at the heart of dropping God and interchanging his authority with his creation otherwise know as “universe” and making it look so attractive to us people. energy medicine I’m afraid, is stuck in the cult arts.
How did I know you would be all over these comments? Skipping breakfast is the best thing you’ve convinced me to do. So much more energy, more time to do other tasks and I can feel the fat sizzling.
The skeptics keep themselves in a small box and their point of view is limited to that box. If you can imagine more for yourself and the world, and feel the energy in all things, you can bring more light and energy into the world and reveal your contribution to the world, as you have done with Meo-Energetics.
I would like to point out that, considering certain moms in my own family, that some of the trust in natural remedies is rooted in a general fear/distrust in the medical system. Everyone I know has horror stories coming from the doctor’s office, and I have a few of my own, so I can see how many people are in a rush to abandon conventional medicine in favor of alternative medicine as most homeopathic doctors sport a very warm and caring attitude that draws people in. Add in the fact that the placebo effect is