Mod+ 252. BERNADETTE DORAN ON ENERGY HEALING

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    I'd like to hear from someone who earnestly sought out energy healing work and was refused treatment because they couldn't afford to pay the healer. I doubt such a case exists.
     
  2. Alex

    Alex New

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    exactly :)
     
  3. JudithK

    JudithK New

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    Hello, everyone!

    First of all, all the best to Alex. Can one say "congratulations on your healing"?

    Regarding Bill Bengston and the Bengston Method, I worked with him extensively in 2007 and 2008 to bring his method to the mainstream. I found his mouse experiments online and was so excited by what I read that I immediately contacted him. Our initial chat and a subsequent visit led to six workshops. We worked out the workshop format together (the first one was a four-hour talk on the mice followed by a half-hour demonstration of cycling). A practice group was formed from among the most interested students in the workshops and we met monthly to compare notes and work on various facets of the method. For the first couple of meeting Bill "joined us" by speaker phone from New York. One memory that stands out is one of those times, when all of us in the group complained to him about our difficulty in speeding up the images as we cycled. Suddenly he said "it's like this" and I felt as if somebody reached inside my head and spun my brain. A friend of mine in the group reported the same sensation. At another group a woman asked to talk to him when he came on the phone and she told him that she had had breast cancer, had undergone surgery but not any other treatment, and now she had lumps in the other breast. We treated her with Bill, and the next week when she had a guided ultrasound, no lumps could be found.

    My experiences with the method and my thoughts about it can be found in the early entries of my blog, entitled Treating Cancer with Bioenergy. If you google "bioenergy and cancer" it should pop up. Essentially I began to wonder about the role of cycling in the healings and also the role of resonance in the healing of the mice by Bill's skeptical volunteers. I am quite sure that Bill's mentor, Bennett Mayrick, did not write down 20 things he wanted, create images of them and then begin spinning them at great speed in his head. He just developed his healing ability naturally. In fact since then I ran across Bennett Mayrick in Leigh Fortson's book Embrace, release, heal. In chapter 5 of that book is the story of Jeff, who was healed from some dreadful cancer by a "spiritualist" in the desert called Ben. Ben, interestingly, did not charge him a dime, and Ben did not treat him with anything resembling image cycling. I wrote to Leigh Fortson asking her to contact Jeff to find out if his Ben was also Bill's Ben, and the details matched. Bill's Ben was 50 in 1971 and Jeff's Ben was 70 in 1991. Both Bens lived in the desert and both Bens died in (I believe) 2004. Jeff's healing was accomplished through what seemed like a combination of guided and spontaneous imagery with not a whit of "cycling" in it. Jeff had had extensive chemo (I can't remember whether he had radiation) and Ben still managed to heal him, so by this time he must have overcome the limitation of not being able to heal anyone who had had conventional treatment.

    Regarding the role of resonance in the healing of the mice, let me go back to Bill's experiments, specifically the problem of the control mice being cured. In the first four experiments if anyone so much looked at the control mice, which were supposed to die, they instead recovered. In later experiments it wasn't even necessary to look at them. They would only die if they were secreted away somewhere far without Bill knowing where. To resolve the dilemma of why the control mice recovered, Bill worked out a hypothesis of "resonant bonding." The mice were resonantly bonded and therefore any treatment given to one mouse was given to all the mice. But he didn't go the full distance with the hypothesis to ask whether their healers were also resonantly bonded, which would have meant that any treatment given to the mice by any of healers was given by all of them, including Bill himself. The upshot is that if the skeptical volunteers were resonantly bonded with Bill, as the mice were resonantly bonded with each other, none of them needed to have learned anything or acquired a healing ability to be successful at treating the mice. And ultimately there is no less reason for the healers than for the mice to be resonantly bonded, if resonant bonding as a hypothesis stands.

    Our practice group did some nifty healings, the best one being of a little girl with a lung abscess and scoliosis in Abu Dhabi. The most courageous of us, heartened by Bill's oft-repeated comment that the most aggressive cancers responded the most readily, ran out in search of people with aggressive cancers to treat. The first patient had acute myelogenous leukemia and was told that with aggressive medical treatment (which might result in death) she had a 10 per cent chance of survival. This was not something she was willing to do. We treated her valiantly but to little effect. I took her to see Bill by bus because she wasn't allowed to fly and his treatments perked her up, but when she returned home she crashed. I kept treating her after my colleagues gave up, and then something strange happened: her white blood cell count, which had sky-rocketed, reversed. The doctors cited lab error, but the numbers just kept going down. In fact they were within the normal range when she died.

    Our second patient was a man in his late thirties with stage-4 pancreatic cancer. His wife contacted us through an intermediary after having been told that he had maybe 48 hours to live. We rushed into his hospital room, asked for his permission to treat him, and proceeded to treat him singly and in pairs for about an hour and a half day. The results were mind-blowing and immediate. First the swelling in his legs started going down, then he began to need less morphine, his jaundice reversed, and he began to eat. He was then able to stand up, walk first to the door of his hospital room and back then along the hallway, then he was able to stop his morphine altogether, and a week after we started treating him the hospital sent him home. His oncologist called him "our little miracle on the ward" and one of the nurses with 25 years of oncology nursing under her belt said that she had never seen a reversal like this in her entire career.

    After he went home he continued to improve, walking down the stairs, then to the park and back, then going grocery shopping and to the cottage. His jaundice almost completely vanished and when he had blood work done six weeks after we started treating him, all the values were either normal or near normal. Then he went to the hospital to have a port removed and the doctor who did the procedure asked him why he would bother since he was going to die anyway. The hospital also did a CAT scan or MRI (I forget which) because his doctor was curious to see what was going on inside him given his blood test results. After this hospital visit he went into a steep decline and we could do nothing to reverse it. Just before he died I received a terribly distressed phone call from his wife who told me that the test results were back and that "all the tumours were still there and they were all bigger." When he died we were devastated. The group lost heart and many people drifted away. Another doctor told us later that his symptoms were consistent with septicemia.

    Three of us treated yet another person who was told he had pancreatic cancer that had spread to the liver, although it may have been bile cancer. He was told in July 2007 that his cancer was inoperable, and we began to treat him in August. He was expected to decline speedily and die by March of 2008. In March 2008 he was still taking long walks with the dog and doing things like cleaning out the garage and painting the house. He even went back to work for a while. We didn't seem to be reversing his cancer, just slowing it down and keeping it on hold while giving him improved quality of life, which in itself had great value. We treated him until July 2008, when he went salmon fishing and white-water rafting and then returned from his trip and told us that he decided to terminate his treatment. He died in March 2009 after a futile and damaging attempt at chemo.

    All these three were aggressive cancers that according to Bill's definition should have been "pieces of cake" but weren't. Incidentally the organizer of one of Bill's later workshops with whom he is no longer affiliated claimed in her promotional literature that our first pancreatic cancer patient, who had died six weeks prior, was alive and well and had gone back to work. There are other inaccuracies, as in this FAQ from Equilibrium Energy. Note the paragraph which claims that Bill and the therapists he trained have been successfully treating "bone, pancreatic, breast, brain, rectal, lymphatic, [and] stomach [cancer], [and] leukemia" for 35 years. This is a paragraph taken from the introduction his book with "and his therapists" added to it. I don't know whether Equilibrium Energy still hands out this FAQ, but it's on the web.

    I think the only claims that can me made pertain to Bill's experiments. Everything else is very vague. "Anecdotally" people have had success -- but what does that mean? What is success? Is it a full remission? Does an extra year of life with relatively good quality of life count? The method works, but not to the degree that most of us would want. It keeps being marketed on the strength of the mice and on the hope that it may work for people. I have not been able to find out what kind of success other people have had with it and I would be overjoyed to hear about actual documented cancer remissions by people who have learned the method.

    Good for Alex that it worked for him and good on Bernadette for persisting.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  4. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    @JudithK thanks for reporting your experience as an "insider", this is really interesting.
    Did you and your group also worked on other issues other than cancer? What was the rate of possible success vs failure?

    Cheers
     
  5. Trancestate

    Trancestate Member

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    I'm a long-time reader of Judith's blogs:

    Treating cancer with Energy Healing (including the Bengston Method and the Domancic Method)

    Treating sports injuries with bioenergy

    I think she's onto something with the suggestion that resonant bonding between Bill Bengston and his students also takes place, and it is that which is largely responsible for the healings they've achieved:

    But he didn't go the full distance with the hypothesis to ask whether their healers were also resonantly bonded, which would have meant that any treatment given to the mice by any of healers was given by all of them, including Bill himself. The upshot is that if the skeptical volunteers were resonantly bonded with Bill, as the mice were resonantly bonded with each other, none of them needed to have learned anything or acquired a healing ability to be successful at treating the mice. And ultimately there is no less reason for the healers than for the mice to be resonantly bonded, if resonant bonding as a hypothesis stands.

    Further evidence of that idea can be found in this illuminating post from her main blog:
    How should healing be taught?
    Why healing modalities become diluted over time


    Some excerpts:

    There is clearly a progression (regression?) here. What was effortless for the master took quite a bit of work for his first student, and seemed a lot less possible for someone of the second generation.

    As I look at the pattern what comes to me is that in all cases the first student had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time apprenticing with the originator.

    There is also the question of how the method is taught. The originator develops the healing ability spontaneously. He doesn't sit down and think to himself: "I want to learn to heal. Now how do I go about this? What's step one? What's step two?" He just wakes up one day and is able to do it. Then when student number one comes along, the question arises: "how do I teach this?" The two of them together then pick apart what the master does and try to come up with a reasonable approximation. But keep in mind that the master doesn't really do anything -- what he does happens spontaneously without his conscious input. So the method that is developed is essentially an imperfect approximation of what the originator doesn't do to make the healing happen.


    Doug
     
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  7. john.sundog

    john.sundog New

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    JudithK brings interesting but rather depressing information regarding her experiences - depressing but not terribly surprising. As to myself, I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop on this particular healing modality for some time, hoping it would not.

    JudithK's story brings to (my) mind several points which are not intended to be inflammatory, just worthy of discussion:

    1. This information may or may not indicate a form of decline effect, which is commonly found in psi laboratory experiments and may be common throughout science.* It might be more of a dilution effect as JudithK mentions (and thus not really the same thing), with the powerful master healer (Ben) surrounded by rings of decreasingly potent acolytes, the first ring being Bill (or maybe Bill is somewhere near the center with Ben - I have no way of knowing). Also, this putative dilution effect may conceal some of the classical decline effect in the folds of its robe. Bill has stated he's been wondering why the decline effect hasn't reared its ugly head.

    2. This information would suggest the Bengston method may be more-or-less consistent with other energy healing methods on humans, with mediocre (or perhaps widely variable) but still potentially worthwhile results when applied by the average practitioner.

    3. Energy healing will never be truly valuable to the general public until it can be taught without substantial dilution and practiced generally without decline. Currently, whenever a true master healer appears, they become progressively unavailable to the masses as news of their abilities grows. They may then (a) price themselves out of the general market, healing only the wealthy and well-connected; (b) heal only friends and friends of friends; (c) quit healing entirely because of the stress and chaos; (d) try to teach others, with varying degrees of success; (e) go into seclusion, living anonymously, healing whatever vagabond wanders by, or not; or (f) other (a placeholder here). You can see both Ben and Bill at various times in some of these choices (not the high-priced one though, it seems). Bill has chosen to retire from healing and focus on teaching (if possible) and understanding.

    4. This information is consistent with the experience one tends to have when exploring most (all?) topics in the non-ordinary. You begin with what appears to be a flaky or otherwise difficult-to-believe story; you dig into it, inform yourself, and find there really is something worth sinking your teeth into; you jump in with both feet, becoming more fascinated and enthusiastic; inconsistencies creep in, something happens to muddy the waters beyond your comfort zone; and you finally find yourself both in a trackless waste at the end of a dwindling trail and, in a way, back where you started, living in an incomprehensible reality. Speaking for myself.

    So we have one more data point with the Bengston method, an ugly one, but still lack any kind of quantitative data on humans or even a survey of the experiences of the numerous people who have attempted this, including Bill's 'volunteers', who he says tend never to contact him again. I hope all this is in the wings, with astoundingly positive results.:eek::eek::eek:;)

    *Here's are a couple of links to get started with the decline effect in mainstream science. I'm fairly sure I've read a more scholarly (peer reviewed) paper dealing with this but I can't find it. Needless to say, the claim that mainstream science might have any kind of consistent error or bias is fiercely denounced by the true faithful, and you'll have no difficulty locating that material, but that's another (rather tired) topic.

    www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/12/13/the-truth-wears-off
    www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/more-thoughts-on-the-decline-effect
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  8. What is needed is realistic understanding of what healing is capable of and then determining how to best use it.

    Different healers have different abilities.

    Strong emotional involvement by the healer results in a stronger effect.

    A decline effect can result from burn out or boredom.
     
  9. JudithK

    JudithK New

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    @john.sundog, Thank you for encapsulating my experience exactly in point 4. Luckily I have been able to walk my way out of that trackless waste :)

    @Jim_Smith, Bill would disagree with you. He says strong emotional involvement creates a negative effect. Based on my experiences I would agree with him. Strong emotional involvement that makes you want to heal the person very badly is detrimental to the healing effect because it introduces will and ego into the equation. You can't "will" someone to heal. The most effective mindset for healing seems to be a kind of detached, benevolent curiosity.

    @Bucky We focused on cancer because Bill focused on cancer. As I mentioned, our most successful healing was the girl in Abu Dhabi. She had a lung abscess that did not respond to antibiotics and also scoliosis. Her white blood cell count was so high that she was having night sweats. Her lung abscess responded to the treatment very quickly and her scoliosis cleared up in about three weeks. In another case we did a distance treatment in one of the workshops of a little boy who had extensive burns on his abdomen from a pot of boiling water. He was not expected to leave the hospital for weeks. We treated him on a Sunday and he was released on Monday because overnight his wound scabbed over. I also treated someone with edema who felt a strong upward "pulling" inside her legs during the treatment and was much improved the next time I saw her. Generally speaking I no longer use the Bengston Method by itself but intermingled with a whole bunch of other things I learned, so I no longer know what does what. I've become quite successful at treating injuries and focus on knees and sometimes backs because they tend to heal quickly. I do a lot of "guerilla treatments" where I pounce upon unsuspecting people who are in pain and treat them on the spot. Generally I can tell where pain is and I can also tell from the "feel" when it goes away. I keep treating until I sense that I am done. Fresh injuries are usually very responsive, but chronic injuries have sometimes also resolved in a treatment or two. If the person I am treating is willing to "play," I am usually very effective. If the person pulls back or holds back or thinks that I am doing something weird, that blocks what I do and makes it less effective. BTW I once treated someone who had extensive experience of Qigong over Skype, and he had the most incredible spontaneous movement effects and he said that they reminded him of Qigong. I had also studied Qigong ca 1998-99 and wanted to do medical Qigong, but it would have taken years upon years and thousands upon thousands of dollars in investment, so I declined.

    @Trancestate, thank you for reading my blogs. The interesting question is why, in all these years, no one other than Bill has replicated his experiments. If the experiment could be independently replicated without Bill's prior knowledge it would vindicate cycling as the "active ingredient" in the healing that Bill does and also prove that it can be taught. In my opinion (based on six workshops with Bill and also on learning a bunch of other methods) there is a strong element of transmission in the teaching of all healing modalities. Bill knows about the transmission effect, but doesn't speak about it much, probably because it introduces a big dose of woo into the proceedings. For those of you who've taken the workshop, the transmission occurs when you are cycling and Bill does his metronome thing, but in my opinion hand-to-hand transmission would be more effective.
     
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  10. JudithK

    JudithK New

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    Thank you for the great discussion and the great links, everyone. I can see I am going to learn a lot here :)
     
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  11. john.sundog

    john.sundog New

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    JudithK, thank you for the elucidation of your earlier post.

    I commented to Bill that his experiences represent as much of a sociological mystery as a healing/psi mystery, and he agreed. The fact that he's still flying under the radar amazes me as much as his energy healing does. The lack of interest in replicating his work speaks volumes (unless it's happened and I'm not aware of it?)

    Bill said such an experiment is in the works (I'm fairly certain that's what I heard). Of course, like any good researcher he has a lot more ideas for experiments than he can carry out; I hope 'in the works' means happening now, or better, in the data analysis stage!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  12. What evidence are you basing this statement on? Your experience? Have you personally gotten worse results when you were emotionally involved?


    What evidence is this reasoning based on?

    My personal experience is that emotional involvement aids me in maintaining alertness and intention. I don't agree that emotional involvement introduces ego. Healing someone else is unselfish. It is only when you are trying to prove something that ego comes into it. The question of "will" is difficult to discuss because we don't have very specific terms as it applies to healing.

    On my web site I wrote:
    https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/spiritual_healing
    Personally, I don't find that emotional involvement interferes with following these instructions. The use of any particular technique is to allow the healer to get the feel for healing. When the healer can do it by feel, there is no need for any technique or worrying about ego or will. Trying too hard at figure skating might be a problem for a beginner. But a world class competitor is beyond that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  13. To identify the effective component in a healing technique, you would have to do a study that trains different people in different techniques and compares their results. It doesn't matter who does the study if proper controls and blinds are done. But the results should be replicable. I think it would be necessary to compare image cycling to some other types of visualization. Then you have to further refine the results. Does cycling auditory memories have the same effect or only image cycling... etc etc. There is so much that needs to be studied. Then you also have to vary the conditions the treatment is used on. Does one technique work best on one disease or circumstance and another technique work best on another disease or circumstance?
     
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  15. JudithK

    JudithK New

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    Personal experience and the experience of people I personally know who are also healers. For instance, my colleagues and I have found it difficult to treat our own family members, so we now "swap".
     
  16. JudithK

    JudithK New

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    Bill does something that I found very puzzling. He keeps talking about "Source" or "Source energy," which is what ostensibly you connect to while you are doing healing, but in the next breath he will talk about God as someone he is displeased with and would like to have a word with about the terrible state of the world. So "God" and "Source energy" in his view are different entities. I find this very puzzling because to me it's just semantics: one person's God is another's Source energy. I guess the question is whether you think God is outside the universe or the universe itself, self-created.
     
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  17. john.sundog

    john.sundog New

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    Thanks for opening that can of worms, JudithK. Seriously. I think about that a lot and would like to offer a view that probably won't please anyone(?)

    This whole thing about what exactly is God or a god is fraught. And beyond that, what is the universe? And the Source? Starting at the 'simple' end, to us in the West, the universe is usually thought to be everything we see and otherwise detect, but perhaps that is but a small part of something greater, perhaps infinitely greater, or only one among an infinity. Frankly, I think the term 'universe' mostly muddies the water in these discussions because there's no compelling evidence that it is in fact universal.

    Now let's assume the Source is the background 'field' of consciousness or creative potential or whatever that makes everything else possible, and is infinite and eternal (of course the concepts of extension and duration are things that aren't generally supposed to exist at the level of the source but, whatever!). Now, is the Source God? Certainly not in the terms of the bible, it would seem.

    The God of the bible is said to be omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent, but actions speak louder than words. In the old testament, God is sometimes represented as an entity that may hang out in tents in the desert and incinerate people for doing things like burning incense in his honor (this seems like a rather restricted being who is not very spiritually evolved) and in other parts of the bible seems to be something entirely different. All our concepts of God in the West over history have been quite constricted, in my view, except for those who suppose Source = God. But again, that seems to muddy the waters because the guy in the tent and the infinite field of creativity and love seem to be two very different things and it's confusing to use the same word for both (and for many other ideas of what god is).

    Most importantly here, whenever you introduce eternity and infinity into a world view, you have to expand your thinking a lot, probably well beyond what is even possible for us. With that in mind, for purposes of discussion I suggest that, if the Source is an infinitely potent and eternal spring of possibility and creativity, there must have evolved or self-organized vast numbers, perhaps an infinity, of types of entities that are beyond our comprehension, and I'm not talking about anything simple like advanced E.T.'s here. Some of those that are vastly beyond our comprehension almost certainly find there are still others that are vastly beyond their comprehension, and so on - that is what infinity and eternity imply, unless something really powerful is clamping down on things to restrict creative potential.

    These entities at various levels of power and intention and incomprehensibility may have been responsible for creating various of the aspects of 'our' visible universe, depending on the difficulty of each particular task (along with creating many other things of which we are unaware). For example, presumably creating subatomic particles and energy fields and the rules that guide our physics would require greater abilities than arranging matter into planets, stars, and galaxies. Sometimes I imagine our universe is a graduate thesis project and our planet/ecosystem is a school science fair project, which would explain a lot! Perhaps the latter entity, the high school one, is what some of us call God. Don't hit me! I know we have a few folks with really firm religious/spiritual ideas who are sometimes a bit tetchy. I'm just following the ideas in a sometimes playful way.

    In one sense, the traditional human awestruck fear-based view, these hypothetical advanced entities would all be gods to us, or some of us. In another sense, rationally analyzing overall patterns and similarities among them and us, none of them would be gods. In a much broader sense, they and we are said to be a single vastly complicated projection of the infinite creative source field of consciousness and the distinctions I'm drawing are meaningless. It's so incomprehensible that we humans tend to latch onto a set of ideas that appeals to us individually and cling to that paradigm as if our sanity depended on it which, of course, it may in some cases.

    I know none of these ideas is original but I haven't come across this kind of expansive view very much in the literature and I think it's worth opening our imaginations as much as we can; even this view may be hopelessly constricted compared with reality at large.

    (Slightly edited for clarity 2014-09-11 11:20 AM PDT)
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  18. JudithK

    JudithK New

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    The Buddhists have come up with something they call the Dharmakaya, which is the "ground of all being," or I suppose the field of all possibilities, out of which everything arises. And recently I was quite shocked to read that the Buddha is said to have met all the gods, who had also arisen out of the Dharmakaya, and that his comment on them was that they too suffer like humans. On the wheel of Samsara one of the realms is the god realm. Somewhere else I read that "in a two-dimensional world the three dimensional being is God" (It might have been something written by Fred Alan Wolf). And in the astronomy lectures my friend Donna keeps inviting me to it has been repeatedly pointed out that we can only account for 4% of the matter and energy of the Universe.

    All of this I suppose means that it's very big out there, that the Gods are only a small part of it and we are even smaller, and that we kid ourselves if we think that we've got it all figured out whether the subject is science or religion. .
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
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  19. Sorry to interject, but this article on health & mind seems like it might be relevant:

    The Potent Effect Your Doctor’s Words Can Have on Your Well-Being

     
  20. JudithK

    JudithK New

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    Absolutely. Larry Dossey wrote a fantastic book on this called Be Careful What You Wish For. It abounds with stories about individuals who were told their expiry date by their doctor and obediently died and were subsequently found to have been misdiagnosed; immigrants or deaf patients who didn't understand the doctor when he diagnosed them with terminal cancer and blithely went home and recuperated; even a man who had some kind of tumour for a very long time that was not doing much of anything and then died soon after a doctor decided to take a closer look and decreed the thing to be cancer. Doctors should realize to what extent they are "witch doctors" and to what extent they can hex their patients with what they say.
     

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