Disturbed Energy Field? Yes or No? - page 8

probably no other nursing diagnosis has garnered as much controversy as this one: energy field disturbance - wikipedia, the free encyclopedia scathing criticism of this nursing... Read More

  1. by   zenman
    Quote from nursel56
    It shouldn't matter to you that the results were an embarassment to JAMA. Had there been six bazillion really good studies that disproved Theraputic Touch you can say that they just didn't "know" it right.
    No, I look at studies. I just keep in mind that most are flawed. Science has not advanced enough to measure everything. Ask a good scientist that.
  2. by   Woodenpug
    I can accept that "disturbed energy fields" feels good so it must be good. I dislike linking it to Nursing. I still consider nursing as much a science as it is an art. When evidence points us in a direction we do not like, we should be able to accept that evidence. (especially, when it does not feel good.)
    Most studies are flawed, if not all. Not having enough faith in your working theory to honestly review the studies available, is even more flawed.
  3. by   nursel56
    Quote from zenman
    No, I look at studies. I just keep in mind that most are flawed. Science has not advanced enough to measure everything. Ask a good scientist that.


    I would think even a bad scientist would have to agree with that!:wink2: You in particular, Zenman, have been fair and not defensive about the snarky tone that sometimes creeps into my posts when I react to some of the more judgemental posters.

    I don't align myself with any organized religion, and in fact I'm intrigued by the things you've mentioned. Spirituality, life energy, cultural traditions, psychic phenomena; all have elements of mystery and beauty.

    Rather than enhance these modalities, I think trying to cram them into Western medicine model of nursing actually stifles them. I believe that where we are on our own path of spiritual growth absolutely will affect how we are as nurses. We just can't know ahead of time when, how or why that will be.
  4. by   talaxandra
    Quote from zenman
    The editor of JAMA was fired, not only for this article but for other unwise decisions as well. Think for a minute. Here's a peer-reviewed highly respected scientific journal who publishes a paper by a six year old who's mother is an acknowledged skeptic. It boggles the mind!!
    I hadn't heard about the controversy so thank you. However, all the articles I found about George Lundberg's firing say it was because he fast-tracked a paper about research on US teenagers' definitions of sex so it would coincide with the Clinton impeachment hearing. Some mention the Rosa et al study as an example of JAMA controversy under his 17 year reign as editor, along with an alternative medicine special issue in 1998 that was criticised as being too soft on science. All of them, however, attribute his dismissal to the political bias and policy breach of publishing the teen sex survey.

    Emily Rosa was nine when she conducted the tests and eleven when the peer-reviewed, co-authored paper was written. I grant you that's young, but she wasn't six. I'm sure her perspective has been coloured by her mother's opinions; as anyone who knows children will agree, that doesn't mean she's incapable of independent thought. Her age and her environment alone don't invalidate the study - though small and unsophisticated it examined the phenomeon at the centre of TT theory and no TT practitioners have offered to replicate the study.
  5. by   talaxandra
    I agree that science doesn't know everything, even about medical interventions we use. For example, aspirin was used in some form since the 5th century BC (as willow bark), and in it's current form since the early 1900's, but its mode of action was unknown until 1971. That didn't mean its efficacy couldn't be empirically tested.

    I have no objection to complementary therapies in toto and I believe some of them will be adopted more generally. It wouldn't be the first time that previously scorned practices have become mainstream - hand washing comes quickly to mind.

    I even believe that some practitioners are able to achieve change without touching the patient - practitioners who have studied and devoted themselves to the discipline.

    I'm also a sceptic.
    Last edit by talaxandra on Jun 7, '09
  6. by   zenman
    Quote from nursel56
    [/B]

    I would think even a bad scientist would have to agree with that!:wink2: You in particular, Zenman, have been fair and not defensive about the snarky tone that sometimes creeps into my posts when I react to some of the more judgemental posters.

    I don't align myself with any organized religion, and in fact I'm intrigued by the things you've mentioned. Spirituality, life energy, cultural traditions, psychic phenomena; all have elements of mystery and beauty.

    Rather than enhance these modalities, I think trying to cram them into Western medicine model of nursing actually stifles them. I believe that where we are on our own path of spiritual growth absolutely will affect how we are as nurses. We just can't know ahead of time when, how or why that will be.
    "Snarky" I love that, ha, ha! Ah yes, the mystery and beauty of it all. Cognitive understanding does little to change a person, but feeling "it all" can do wonders.
  7. by   feralnostalgia
    I'm definitely convinced this stuff is real, not because of whatever they decided to call it, but because after meditation and practice, I can feel it pretty easily and almost all the time, and see it every now and then. I have friends who have learned to do the same, and we can easily guess when the other is sending out energy, and even tell what type of energy it is. stuck in traffic one day, I had a friend guess a dozen different types correctly in a row - I think ocean and put it out there, she says "hmmm, I'm getting wet and blue." I think fire and she immediately says "fire". colors are pretty easy, too. if you have enough of it (lots of practice or something like yoga or meditation) laypeople can feel it easily on their skin as well. my friend swore she could make her EEG jump at will doing the stuff, too.

    I had no idea there was a nursing term for it, but I have always had every intention of using my awareness of this for the good of my patients. it's there and people feel it whether or not western scientists have named it (and frankly I doubt they could do much about it even if they did know it existed...) so I'm not loosing any sleep over whether or not western healers admit to what people have known around the world for millenia..."ashe", "prana", "mana", "qi", "energy", "numens"...you even find references to it in ancient christian sources, like The Sayings of the Desert Fathers.

    whether or not it ends up in textbooks, I'm incorporating it into my practice and I'm still doing all the other procedures the same way I would if I didn't believe in energy, so "whatever", really.
  8. by   Woodenpug
    feralnostalgia, cool. I'd like to believe it is real. Would you care to duplicate an experiment similar to the one in JAMA? You understand that the bias of anecdotes makes your experiences difficult for me to accept. Such an incredible intervention should be shared with everyone. I'm sure you're not so selfish as to deny those of us who would like evidence before we subject our patients to methods which have been proven to be ineffective.
    Last edit by Woodenpug on Jun 9, '09 : Reason: Corrected a typo
  9. by   feralnostalgia
    Quote from Woodenpug
    feralnostalgia, cool. I'd like to believe it is real. Would you care to duplicate an experiment similar to the one in JAMA? You understand that the bias of anecdotes makes your experiences difficult for me to accept. Such an incredible intervention should be shared with everyone. I'm sure you're not so selfish as to deny those of us who would like evidence before we subject our patients to methods which have been proven to be ineffective.
    I didn't say anything about expecting anyone to accept anecdotal evidence, I just stated my opinion and experience.

    as soon as a room full of extreme skeptics with a vested interest in a viewpoint they consider diametrically opposed to this one manages to create an experimental modality that controls for human consciousness (since this energy is a form thereof), then sure. psychologists and anthropologists (you know, the disciplines that treat people like people and not machines) gave up on trying to produce accurate data sets on many social and behavioral phenomina in laboratories decades ago. participant observation, while subjective, is the only form of scientific exploration that can be effectively applied in this setting. pretending to study something reactive to human awareness and consciousness with a mind blaring "This is BS." doesn't even approach an effective setup. if people can accept that certain sorts of demographic data can't be acquired directly it shouldn't be too much of a cognitive leap to admit that if this stuff exists and is reactive to consciousness, then even a researcher standing in the room silently not doing or saying anything at all is still interfering with the variables in a big way. not many people are willing to put their careers on the line to challenge tyranical orthodoxy anyway. it's a joke to pretend serious research into this exists, or that you have the slightest willingness to accept you might be wrong about this.

    since expecting the general population to acquire any level of proficiency at this in a classroom setting would be completely absurd, no I'm not recommending anyone systematically "subject" a patient to any method. there's a reason I'm in nursing school and not acupuncture. if what those of us who believe and practice this sort of thing can help patients without deviating from the standard norms of nursing praxis, then that's good. I'm not suggesting people trade chemotherapy for reiki, here. I've never heard of whatever the publisher is calling it, and don't know what their recommendations were. I'm just responding to the OP's question by saying yes, I believe it's real. I could care less if you do, and have absolutely no delusions that hospital administration or universities running on educational models that pre-date electricity could effectively handle this sort of subtle concept.

    for future reference, coming right out and telling me you think I'm full of it would be appreciated, rather than pretending to entertain the slightest bit of respect or openmindedness on this subject.
  10. by   talaxandra
    Quote from feralnostalgia
    for future reference, coming right out and telling me you think I'm full of it would be appreciated, rather than pretending to entertain the slightest bit of respect or openmindedness on this subject.
    Wow, I must have completely misread woodenpug, because I didn't see anything like that in his post. He beat me to the punch, incidentally - I, too, was going to say how great that is. If it could be reproduced in a blinded setting you'd not only be able to confront skeptics but also be eligible for James Randi's $1M.

    For what it's worth, I am an anthropologist, or at least that's the discipline my PhD will be in, a sociologist (Masters), a nurse and have a mind that's open but not so open my brain falls out. Not everyone who wants proof beyond the annecdotal is an "extreme skeptic" whose mind blares "this is BS."

    And I completely agree that if human energy fields of the kind Touch Therapy proposes exist, and if manipulation of these energy fields is possible, it's not the kind of thing that anyone could achieve proficiency in without a great deal of dedication and practice.
  11. by   feralnostalgia
    Quote from talaxandra
    Wow, I must have completely misread woodenpug, because I didn't see anything like that in his post.
    I understood the post to be rather sarcastic, my apologies if my interpretation of the word choice was mistaken. I understand not everyone is an extreme skeptic, but I've never heard anyone phrase things the way woodenpug did without trying to be patronizing. "surely you're not so selfish", "subject patients to" - I didn't read those as sincere interest or the sort of thing people say to each other when not being dismissive. either way discussing this on the internet was probably a bad idea in the first place.

    it just feels like no one would have taken the same tone if this were a thread about prayer - and there's no functional difference for someone with my worldview. I didn't intend to claim I had empirical evidence, and frankly I'm not sure any responsible and thoughtful person would give the community responsible for everything from botox to the atomic bomb a starting point towards exploiting this particular force of nature. I'm not sure exactly what proportion of medical advancements were weaponized before they were turned into therapy, but it's uncomfortably high. (thinking of radiation therapy here. it was developed to destroy communists, not tumors.)

    I believe the two domains compliment each other but I'm not trying to say they're the same thing.

    for the record, I think Randi is a joke. again, the majority of these phenomena are related to consciousness and there are no controls for that in the experiments (even if he does get participants to agree to them, that doesn't mean the experiments are legit, just that the subjects are a bit slow, or frauds themselves.) Randi goes into the same category with Dawkins in my mind...smug, culturally imperialist media personalities who enjoy pushing bourgeois eurocentrism on the world at large. (one also wonders exactly what kind of yogi or shaman would care for a cash prize to begin with...)

    I remember a bit of "Mountains Beyond Mountains", the biography of Dr. Paul Farmer, where he was talking with Haitian peasants, wondering if a campaign to disprove endemic native belief in magic was necessary to get people to bother taking medicine. when he confronted an old woman for what he perceived as a logical inconsistency in admitting to both taking her pills and believing her infection to be the result of a curse, she responded with the kreyol equivalent of "are you not capable of subtlety?" having been rather harassed by hordes of Dawkins fanboy types every time I admit to believing in a spiritual dimension to reality, I have similar feelings. -_- if my defensiveness was premature, my apologies.
    Last edit by feralnostalgia on Jun 10, '09
  12. by   talaxandra
    Only woodenpug knows if he was being sarky, and I have to admit that I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, particularly as I've been misinterpreted on other occasions. Face to face communication would be impossible on an allnurses scale but at least it would be less ambiguous It's hard when one feels strongly about something not to see opposition to it as dismissive, ignorant, provocative or antagonistic. I congratulate you on maintaining some distance, and try to do the same when countered. I have no doubt you're right that a prayer thread wouldn't be subjected to any criticism here, at least not on the grounds of provability of the existence of God - there have been heated discussions about prayer and patients, though. If you're interested in seeing prayer and faith being as hotly debated as this topic is here, check out beliefnet.com - the flame wars there can get really firey!
    Last edit by talaxandra on Jun 10, '09 : Reason: typo
  13. by   nursel56
    it just feels like no one would have taken the same tone if this were a thread about prayer - and there's no functional difference for someone with my worldview. I didn't intend to claim I had empirical evidence, and frankly I'm not sure any responsible and thoughtful person would give the community responsible for everything from botox to the atomic bomb a starting point towards exploiting this particular force of nature. I'm not sure exactly what proportion of medical advancements were weaponized before they were turned into therapy, but it's uncomfortably high.[/QUOTE]

    What does this mean? What community are you talking about? If it's Western science, are you painting with the broad brush people like Salk, the Curies, DeBakey, and on and on? If a weapon is developed based on the science of others are they also to blame? If some bad guy develops the mutant monster from hell is it the fault of Watson and Crick?

    No one needs to "give" anyone else their capacity for spirituality. It's not conferred from any group whether they are thoughtful and responsible or not.

    Anyways, there are threads about prayer. The focus of this thread was questioning whether or not a nursing diagnosis of "Disturbed Energy Field" is appropriate. Please don't think I am in any way ridiculing your experiences. I think it would be kind and generous of you to use the gifts you have to help your patients. If I knew, for example that a nurse was focusing on me bathed in a white light or something like that, I would be grateful.

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