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 Post subject: Therapeutic Touch
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 1999 10:58 pm 
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I was wondering if anyone was aware of any "position statements" from NIH or other "reputable" medical organizations on the subject of therapeutic touch. For those who are wondering what it is all about, check out the following:

www.therapeutic-touch.org

I was led to this web page, but was left "wanting" after reading the material at this web site.

Thanks
Bill


[This message has been edited by Anthony (edited 03-02-99).]


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 Post subject: Therapeutic Touch
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 1999 2:34 pm 
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J.D.

Actually I DO remember that study. I didn't associate it with this particular form of therapy. You know how it is when we get old...

So then is it fair to say that these nurses have embraced...bedside manner? I can't help but think that the medical world - in its mission to develop the most efficacious care - forgets some of the basics. I can remember back in the dark ages that doctors actually used to make house calls. In my study of doctors in our health plan who receive the highest satisfaction scores on patient surveys, I find some of the nicest, most compassionate people.

And is there a leap to martial arts here? Has anyone heard what Muhammed Ali did to George Forman in Zaire. Apparently he was walking around with vodoo doctors and casting spells on the young, gullible, impressionable George. Who knows what "placebo effect" this may have had on the outcome.

Yea I know, I'm reaching here. But sometimes you notice certain things that shouldn't be, like a younger, more talented student that consistently loses to a senior in the dojo during sparring matches.


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 Post subject: Therapeutic Touch
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 1999 7:17 pm 
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At the risk of sounding like I'm straddling the fence (which I am not), I think there is truth all around here.

As I said, this web site leaves a lot to be desired. For instance it talks about a bunch of NIH-sponsored studies on their therapy, and about dissertations done on the topic. Well.....my dissertation was an NIH-funded study that basically trashed a line of research. Just because the men of the cloth have been in the building doesn't mean that they have blessed the temple.

In doing any double-blind study, we remove the placebo effect and measure what remains. But in many cases the placebo effect (as it is narrowly defined in the particular double blind study) is exactly the cause of the observable phenomena, and it can be considerable. While I'm not fond of dogs that can substitue for dust mops, Anthony brings up that issue from another point of view. Studies have indeed shown that people who live with companions (whether they be pets or significant others) live healthier lives than those who don't. "Pet therapy" has been associated with a lowering of blood pressure, etc.

I read another web page that went into the details of the therapy. The more they talk about feeling energy balances and trying to correct them, the more I want to look for my cross (figuratively speaking) and put it in front of my computer screen (sorry if I offend the believers). But just as the believers rant on about their anecdotes, so I see that there is "something" there, even though the believers may not understand what "it" is, or admit that there is no majic.

Try this anecdote, J.D. Close your eyes for a minute. Imagine you aren't feeling well and you are in the hospital. Now imagine Uma Thurmond comes into your room dressed in a low cut nurses's outfit with a very brief skirt. She's got those semi-see-through white stockings on that carress every curve of her beautiful legs. Her chest heaves with each and every breath. She comes on over to your bed, bends over top of you, and starts running her hands millimeters away from your body from head to foot. She stops briefly at various points. At each of the pauses, she coos in a breathy voice "Oooooh, I feel a big imbalance here. Let me drain the negative energy from you. Mmmmmmm.... Ahhhhhh..... OOOOOooooohhhh! There, dear, does that feel better?"

OK, J.D., fess up. Look straight into your computer screen and tell me "I will not respond to such rubbish!" Are you going to tell me that there is NO physiologic response? NO change in the dilation of the pupils and the speed of the heart beating? No sweating? No heavy breathing? NO change in distribution of blood flow?

J.D.?.......J.D.?.......JAAY DEEEE!!!!

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 03-02-99).]


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 Post subject: Therapeutic Touch
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 1999 7:42 pm 
Dr. Glasheen,

While we often find your wit singular; we find the maleficent effects upon our therapeutic efforts most distressing.

J.D. is resting "comfortably" now though we must admit he expresses some disappointment that his nurse is a large hairy individual names Alan, and not the forementioned Uma.

We will attempt to return this discussion to your original point.

Therapeutic Touch claims to teach nurses to "feel" and "manipulate" some hithertofore undetectable "field" in order to "cure" or "improve" patients. This is Mesmerism and centuries of quackery reborn. We do not object to "feel good" mentality though we will advise you that "bed side" manner depends upon the patient. Some want "Dr. Happy!" others want "Dr. Serious."

As always, we caution against inventing paradigms without justification. To instruct patients in this way fosters a belief if not reliance upon fantasy. Why seek further often inconvenient medical attention when some one can "manipulate" your "fields?"

This moves beyond "placebo" or "feeling good." TT claims to correct illness. Under proper study, it does not.

Further questions may be refered to Ilsa, who is more than happy to adjust your "fields" amongst other things. We have been informed that individuals feel "much better" after she stops.

--The Editor


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 Post subject: Therapeutic Touch
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 1999 8:02 pm 
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Editor

Point very well made! When J.D. comes around, tell him you did a better job than he of articulating this perspective.

Bill


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 Post subject: Therapeutic Touch
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 1999 5:21 am 
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There goes J.D., running around in his paisley underwear, ranting and raving about the pagen healers.

Perhaps because of my lack of knowledge, I don't get quite so emotional when hearing terms like "therapeutic touch". After all, what the hell are we talking about here. . . someone feeling good after receiving well intentioned vibs. . .

Years ago at camp, I started to give and receive "hugs" from participants when meeting them at the beginning of camp and at the end of the event. It sort of "felt good" to me and I assume, from the repeat performances, to others. Some 'needed' longer hugs. . . with something added that I can't expain or define. From people who were sick, lost family members or close friends, or who had been away for a long time and needed their emotional engines recharged.

This phenomenon, which I hope we have all experienced, is to me, a form of therapeutic touch!

Should Doctors and Nurses practice some variation of therapeutic touch in the practice of medicine? Many might be afraid of being sued if they did. Others, simply don't have the personality or time to give-of-themselves in their practice, electing to dispense textbook medicine in a sterile emotional environment.

Knowing J.D. a little, I suspect that he more closely resembles the old country Doctor who dispenses healthy doses of therapeutic touch, right along with all that modern medicine. Right J.D.?

------------------
GEM


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 Post subject: Therapeutic Touch
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 1999 6:16 am 
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All,
Before 'dissing the good Doctor Mesmer, remember that relaxation, highly focused attention, and increased suggestibility are all elements of hypnosis with proven efficacy in clinical treatment from simple relaxation to replacing anesthesia in invasive proceedures (not to mention elements common to our Sanchin.) As Sensei Mattson points out, there is something to being touched. As one who has been described as such, I should know.
Bill Sensei, today I suggested that a student lighten up on himself as he had only done the movement in question a dozen or so times. I magnanimously granted him full self abuse privledges if he continued to screw up after the oft quoted 3,000 repetitions. It occured to me later that my friend Dr. Glasheen might ask the source of such a pronouncement and I hung my head in shame as I didn't have a clue. Enlightenment please sir?

------------------
Good training,
David


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 Post subject: Therapeutic Touch
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 1999 5:28 am 
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David

This "thousand repetitions" mantra is a common one in martial arts. It is so pervasive that I don't think anyone will know the source. I have always said "thousands" rather than any specific number. It's the order of magnitude that gets the point across.

And as a matter of fact, I used that statement myself just this last Monday in class.

Thanks for the input on the "suggestibility" issue. J.D. makes valid points about useless paradigms, but I'm one who often looks for useful pieces and parts in the debris of failed models. Keeping an open mind doesn't mean you have to buy the whole story, but it does mean looking for possible gems in the rough. While J.D. is correct in his concern about consumers choosing these "alternative" care modalities in lieu of efficacious methods, there may still be a role for the substance of such modalities as an adjunct to proven care.

For those who may be wondering why we are even having this discussion in the first place, it is because of the historical link between medicine and martial arts. An understanding of the human body gives one knowledge that can be used to both destroy and heal. The "ch'isters" point to this therapeutic touch therapy as an example of the constructive use of an energy paradigm that they consider vital to the practice of martial arts.

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 03-03-99).]


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 Post subject: Therapeutic Touch
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 1999 7:40 pm 
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Bill Sensei,
Thanks, despite not having a reference for the folk wisdom of the thousands rep march concept, it has validity and is much more refined than an old friend who whould respond to most assertions of kyu ranked people by grumbling "you don't know @!#@"
David


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