Monday, August 31, 2009


My recent employer of record, Langara College, is in the soup.

That's OK. Getting in the news is good for them.

The College offers many course in the so-called "Alternative Healing Arts and Practices."

Do you know anyone who has died from shiatsu, touch therapy, massage or music?

Maybe once a year somewhere on this bouncing ball we call Earth a frightened soul runs off to some ashram or other to find a "better" way to deal with cancer and makes an early exit.

But who has just about the biggest Territorial Imperative known to humankind?

The medical profession, of course.

So now the BC Medical Association, which represents doctors, is criticizing Vancouver's Langara College for training the public in therapies that are "medically useless" and potentially harmful.


Isn't one of the primary dedications of medical practice "Do No Harm?"

Can the BCMA claim as clean a track record as the many happy (possibly deluded) people who practice these sundry and colorful voodoos?

Hasn't it been demonstrated over and over again that if you believe a treatment is helping you, then it often does.

The study of "energy healing" and like courses is very much in demand. So is the practice. Patients are lining up at store fronts everywhere to partake. Herbal medicines sell in the billions of dollars world-wide.

That doesn't make it right or good science, but show me the person whose toe has fallen off after acupuncture.

The BCMA desperately needs to take a Big Pill and mind its own business.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Notwithstanding some of my beefs with doctors, I have to agree with them on this point...

The "harm" of relying on energy healing is that many people will neglect other therapies that ARE proven effective. Of course, there is also the harm to one's pocket book.

I have actually taken many of the classes (including Healing Touch to Level III and Reiki). I find the courses interesting and find the treatments that we learn to give and receive deeply relaxing. This is not a bad thing at all.

However, when a Reiki Practitioner charges $75 plus per hour to wave their hands over someone - claiming to be helping with a bone fide ailment - I take issue.

There are too many people with limited resources. It would be more prudent for people to spend their limited money on PROVEN EFFECTIVE therapies before they entertain themselves with airy-fairy treatments such as "energy healing".

People see these courses offered at Langara College (a publicaly funded institution) and think that this gives legitimacy to them.

The Medical Association is simply providing some balance by stating that these treatments have no empirical evidence to support them.

Again, the harm is not in the treatment itself - it is in otherwise neglecting bone fide medical help when necessary and in spending $$$$ when funds may be limited.

Having said all of this - if one feels comfortable seeing an energy healer of one sort or another - go ahead. If one has the extra cash to have a caring individual fluff one's aura - GREAT!! Just don't expect the Medical Association to give legitimacy to the treatments until such time as empirical evidence is obtained to support its effectiveness.