Pioneers of Energetic Medicine
This author has studied with the innovative pioneers of energetic medicine discussed below over a period of many years dating back to the early 1980's. These people developed new insights into healing and produced methods that have helped thousands of people. At the time these methods were developed, they were the state-of-the-art in energetic medicine. One method will be seen to reflect the understanding of earlier methods and from that departure point move the process of understanding forward. My studies have again moved the process of understanding forward and resulted in the creation of NeuroModulation Technique. The analysis and critique I offer of these methods must be understood in the spirit it is offered. If these methods are truer and more valid than the model of energetic medicine I propose in NMT, then I should step back and remain silent. If not, then the differences that make one model of healing more correct and hence more effective should be clearly stated.
If I assert that NMT is a more elegant, powerful, and correct model, then I must critique such weaknesses of these previous models and define precisely what makes the NMT model more effective.
I offer the comments that follow with appreciation to these teachers who generously shared their knowledge with me. These are courageous men and women who dared to enter a new and challenging field of study – one that ran contrary to accepted dogma of health sciences. These are people I hold in high esteem, many of whom I consider friends. We who consider ourselves professionals in the field of energetic medicine are scientists, and we must do what science requires of us. When we see error in scientific models of our world we must criticize what does not stand the test of reason and experiment. I have developed a model of energetic medicine that explains the weaknesses of previous models. The NMT model is one that marries accepted principles of western science to the traditions of energetic medicine.
NMT is not just a new technique; it may be seen as an entirely new science and the application of NMT principles may go far beyond the field of health care.
NMT offers a nearly limitless framework, grounded in rational principles, that I believe will move the science of energetic medicine to new levels. Methods grounded on a foundation of misperception and cloudy thinking have absolute limits to their development. Many of the methods we will discuss have remained virtually unchanged for over a decade. Progress requires leaving behind old notions that no longer stand the test of scrutiny. The following critique of earlier methods is offered with admiration and respect to those whose contributions preceded my own.
Victor Frank, D.C. and Total Body Modification
My personal journey through the study of chiropractic began at Western States Chiropractic College. I was, in 1979, a summa cum laude graduate, and valedictorian of the largest class ever to matriculate that institution. My interest in school and in postgraduate studies in those years were forms of treatment of purely mechano-physiologic nature. At that time I looked at the various forms of energetic medicine I encountered as nonsensical. During the early years of my practice, I observed friends and colleagues in the profession who had outstanding results with patients suffering from problems my mechano-physiologic methods were least successful with. The result of this observation over 20 years ago has led me on a winding path of study with teachers of energetic therapeutic methods from all over the world.
Among my earliest studies in energetic medicine was the work of Victor Frank D.C., and his Total Body Modification (TBM). This was a method that was based on both the use of radionically prepared vials, and body points - most of which represented the various organs and systems of the body. The teaching of TBM consisted of many separate protocols of procedure specific to various conditions, or complaints. The basic idea of TBM was that a symptom was produced when there was an energetic disharmony in the body that resulted in a compromise of the normal regulatory systems. A radionically charged vial would be selected through muscle response testing in which the presence of the vial in the patient’s hand caused a reversal of a previously strong/weak test muscle. The operator would then continue muscle response testing until an alarm point was determined which countered the previously described weakness, thus establishing a relationship between the vial-produced weakness, and the organ point. Once this relationship had been established, the patient would hold the active organ point, and the doctor would perform tapping along the spine according to a selection of spinal levels thought to be associated with that particular alarm point in an effort to establish balanced neurological function. With this general rule established, a vast array of separate protocols for different conditions was created. If there was dysfunction in an organ such as the liver, the doctor might find that a vial representing alcohol, or hepatitis B virus countered the weakness generated when a contact was held over the liver. Vials representing infectious organisms were often used in the TBM protocols.
Each organ point had a corresponding sequence of vertebra levels that were to be adjusted with a chiropractic mallet that was performed to affect the process of harmonization. If the patient was allergic to a particular substance, that relationship would be shown by a weak muscle test when the patient held the vial, and then an organ point would be found which countered the weakness, suggesting an energetic link. The TBM process had many steps that would involve testing for, and adding vials to the patient's hand. These vials might represent immunoglobulins, blood, histamine, or other substances. Each time a new vial was added, the process of finding an active alarm point, and tapping sequences of vertebra would be repeated until all steps of the protocol were completed.
In TBM, there was actually a third way of representing some features of the method - hand gestures. There were certain gestures of the doctor's hands across the patient's body that were used to represent the relationship between various organs, or the direction of some process that was to be part of the protocol.
Needless to say, TBM was a complicated technique involving alarm points, radionically prepared vials, and hand gestures. All of these aspects of TBM from our point of view in NMT were simply a metaphorical way of communicating corrective information, of one degree of accuracy or another, to the patient on an "other than conscious" to "other than conscious" level (OTC/OTC).
If corrective information can be transmitted to the patient in an indirect and metaphorically representational manner, would it not be more effective to find a direct way to precisely introduce corrective information to the patient's control systems?
The teaching of TBM emphasized the rote learning of these protocols, and spent little time in the discussion of the pathophysiology of disease processes. The intent of the practitioner was therefore incomplete with respect to the instruction he/she was attempting to deliver to the disorganized nervous system of the patient on an OTC/OTC level. I believe that this is one of the factors responsible for the inconsistency of success in applying TBM protocols and that this criticism applies to virtually all other energetic techniques besides NeuroModulation Technique.
The fact that Dr. Frank’s TBM protocols were less than perfect does little to diminish the importance of his contribution, which should be valued at the same level as the work of the more widely known Dr. George Goodheart. Dr. Frank is truly the grandfather of most of the modern energetic medicine techniques that grew out of the pioneering work he did in developing TBM.
Devi Nambudripad, M.D., D.C., L.Ac. and NAET
In the 1980's, a chiropractor/acupuncturist named Devi Nambudripad developed a system of therapy for allergies that she named Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET). If you were to see one of Dr. Frank's TBM allergy sessions performed alongside a NAET allergy session you would find them conspicuously close to one another in execution. NAET would be seen to be simpler, with many of the steps Dr. Frank included in his method eliminated. Each individual session would otherwise be seen to be very similar, indeed. One difference in the teaching of NAET as opposed to TBM was that, at least in the beginning of working with a particular case, there was a reasonably clear step-by-step protocol by which particular substances should be evaluated to see if they were functioning as allergens responsible for the patient's complaints. There was a group of ten basic substances representing the major nutrients, and more recently the introduction of a file called the BBF vial, which was said to represent the organ systems of the body. Beyond this, the pathway by which to progress a patient through a course of NAET sessions seemed much less clear. The practitioner was confronted with a seemingly endless catalogue of individual "allergen" substances, or at least what are purported to be energetic representations. The challenge was to search through that catalogue, more or less by trial and error, in hopes of finding the one which would finally resolve the patient’s complaints.
I observed in my own practice and that of colleagues in the many years that I practiced NAET that a patient with a complex set of allergy responses might require many dozens of NAET sessions over a course of years to reach a reasonable level of therapeutic success.
Cases in which the relationship of the complaint to an actual allergic response to some substance was less clear and even more confusing to manage. Not everything is an "allergy".
If there is little informational content to the technique protocol, there will be little corrective information transferred to the patient.
Ambiguity in Assessment and Application Compromises Results
In both the practice of TBM and NAET it is our position that failure, or at least compromised success, results from the degree to which the attempt to input corrective information is ineffective or confusing to the nervous system of the patient. The reason for this is that it is not clearly understood by the founders of TBM and NAET exactly what operational changes they are requesting of the ACS of the patient.
It may also be that the tendency for temporary adverse responses to these methods also results from the degree to which the "corrective information" these methods offer is confusing, incomplete, or unclear to the patient's nervous system – pushing an already dysregulated control system further out of balance.
In applying TBM or NAET, we would place a vial in the hand of the patient. Following this, we would test an indicator muscle for a change in strength, and then stimulate the spine with vertebral tapping. What we did was to input a presumed stimulus, the presence of the vial, and to attempt to observe patient response by way of a change in test muscle strength. With regard to specificity of our investigation, we must ask ourselves what question we have posed to the ACS of the patient, and what corrective information we have uploaded to the patient. Clearly, it is not obvious from the teaching of these methods just what constitutes these informational factors. The vial itself provides no information.
NMT asserts that when these other methods are performed there is a question inherent in the performance of the protocol, unspoken and usually unrealized by the practitioner, but which is communicated to the patient in an unspoken OTC/OTC communication.
The unspoken question to the patient is, "Is the substance you are holding producing an allergic response?" in the case of NAET; or "Is the substance you are holding producing an energetic disharmony?" in the case of TBM. These questions are inherent in the presumptions of the training of the practitioners.
When the corrective portion of any energetic protocol is performed, a command unspoken and unrealized by the practitioner, is uploaded to the patient by OTC/OTC communication.
That command is that the patient's control mechanisms should no longer respond to the presence of the subject substance as if it were a harmful, or disruptive influence.
Scott Walker, D.C. and Neuro-Emotional Technique
The teaching of TBM involves many different course levels. The most advanced course level is the Questor, or Research level of training where various practitioners of TBM present original work. During one of the research level trainings in the 1980's a chiropractor named Scott Walker, D.C. presented a protocol in which emotional/psychological issues can be addressed. Dr. Walker discussed this with Dr. Frank, and they agreed that this work was related to, but fundamentally different from TBM. As a result of that conversation, Dr. Walker with his wife, Deborah Walker, D.C. developed his own protocols which he called NeuroEmotional Technique (NET). In performing NET, Dr. Walker would find a negatively charged emotional experience in the patient's memory, and would have the patient hold the memory of that event in their attention while a procedure similar to that in TBM was performed. The patient would hold a related organ reflex point while a sequence of vertebra was stimulated with tapping from a chiropractic mallet. In this sense, Dr. Walker was using the memory of the negatively charged emotional experience in the same way that Dr. Frank was using the energetically charged vials.
This difference was necessitated by the fact that if the patient's complaint was caused by the way in which they were processing a stressful experience in their history, it would be necessary to determine the exact nature of that event, and through the protocol permit the patient to reprocess their response to the event more constructively. It would be very difficult for anyone to produce a series of vials that would cover every such eventuality. Dr. Walker developed a system of investigation that was essentially a binary tree with which the patient would be semantically confronted with various categorical suppositions. Patient responses were monitored using muscle response testing to each of these suppositions to direct the practitioner to a subsequent supposition until something known as the "snapshot" had been determined.
Dr. Walker takes the position that, in NET, the muscle test does not determine a yes/no response. He describes that muscle testing in NET is used to determine whether the patient is “congruent” with the statement. Here Dr. Walker describes in his own word from a personal communication with me of January 22, 2004 his perspective on the use of muscle response testing in NET, “In the NET paradigm we do not ask the body questions or claim that the muscle response indicates a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I think I can understand your mix up as others have assumed the NET muscle test response interpretation is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ possibly because of me apparently “asking questions” (we say we are posing suppositions) in the NET seminar. You might remember my position is that in NET we are testing for congruency/non-congruency (as we mention in the manual). And in NET we do not interpret yes-no (which, of course we do not mention in the manual).” With respect to Dr. Walker, I understand his position, but to me NET still uses muscle testing to arrive at a yes/no decision, but that decision is limited to the issue of whether the patient is or is not “congruent” with the statement proposed by the practitioner – still a question. To me, the posing of suppositions by the NET practitioner followed by a muscle test that produces either a weak or strong response constitutes a question on an “other than conscious” level, regardless of the overt semantics of the practitioner’s statement.
The “snapshot” investigated by NET practitioners constitutes the target event producing a disturbance for the patient. Particular events or informational content of the “snapshot” ascertained by the NET MRT process are recognized as not necessarily being literal or historically true. More significantly, the circumstances of the snapshot are recognized as "emotionally real", and this emotional reality of the snapshot makes it a potentially powerful disruptor of physiology.
An important contribution to energetic medicine that Dr. Walker introduced in the investigational portion of his protocol is the use of semantic challenges to the patient as opposed to the very limited representational power of a vial, reflex point contact, or gesture (NET does use reflex points to some degree). Human language is an enormously powerful and flexible metaphorical system developed over thousands of years by the best minds our species has produced.
It introduced specificity of investigational information content to the process of assessing the patient. Less emphasis was placed on defining specifically to the patient what constitutes the correction from its current state. The NET correction referred to as “poising” of the patient offers no specific corrective semantic input. The patient simply holds the "snapshot" memory of disturbing emotional content in their attention while an organ reflex point is held, and specific spinal levels are stimulated with a chiropractic mallet. In practice, the procedure often produces rapid and profound improvement for patients.
NET is one of the few energetic medicine approaches that I feel is structured well enough that it is unlikely to add to confusion in the body. For that reason I recommend to practitioners trained in NET that this work is particularly compatible with the NMT therapeutic model.
Medically Unsupportable Devices
Perhaps it is a self-esteem issue for people in the healing arts to have a weakness for medical gadgets. In NMT, we recognize that healing comes from within and that the NMT practitioner facilitates that process by assessing faults in the body’s control mechanisms and providing a corrective algorithm to inform the resolution of those faults. The OTC/OTC communication established between the practitioner and patient transmits the therapeutic intention of the correction. Once again, that which is unnecessary to explain a phenomenon must be discarded according to the principles of Occam's Razor (see Occam’s Razor in provided readings). Unproven medical devices offer little benefit to the NMT practitioner and conversely, there may be significant medicolegal risk in their use. Professional licensing, and healthcare regulatory agencies expect that practitioners who use medical devices in their practices use devices that meet certain standards of efficacy. NMT offers powerful tools to promote healing and avoids stepping into the purview of regulatory agencies whose mandate is the oversight of medical devices and materials. We use the Arthrostim instrument in our correction protocol, not only because it is very well crafted and highly reliable in heavy service, convenient to use, and considerate of ergonomics; but also because it is an FDA approved medical device.