How do you develop the ultimate instant healing technique? Where do you even start? By peeling away the layers of existing techniques to see what makes them tick. How? Using Occam’s Razor. Today I take a peek under the bonnet of several leading techniques, and show explain how this helped us develop our new method, to be launched in 2012.
I think the most important things in a healing technique are effectiveness and simplicity, in that order. More than anything, a technique must work. Secondly, it should be simple enough that anyone can do it and get results.
Unfortunately the healing techniques available today tend to fail one or the other of these. Either they don’t work, or they do work but they are far too complicated.
Today I am going to have a no-holds-barred discussion about some of the world’s leading healing techniques: whether they work and more importantly WHY they work.
I’m going to introduce you to Occam’s Razor, a vital tool for peeling away the layers to find the hidden truths. We’ll discover that most of the healing techniques you have heard of do work (at least as well as a placebo) but none of them work for the reasons you’ve been told. (And in case you think I’m biased, I’m exposing my own technique, RPT, as well.)
My friend Occam
Occam’s Razor, or the Law of Parsimony, is a guiding philosophy behind the development of any good scientific theory. In short, science prefers the simplest explanation that is consistent with the data available at a given time. (See Occam’s Razor on Wikipedia)
The opposite to Occam’s Razor might be what’s called “smoke and mirrors.” [Click for definition] Stage magicians and conjurors use smoke and mirrors to distract the audience from their trick. All healers do this too (usually unconsciously). We all use some sort of “prop” to distract the client whilst the healing takes place. The prop might be muscle testing, crystal waving, affirmations, tapping, needles or regression therapy. So how do we tell the difference between the real healing and the prop? Simple, we apply Occam’s Razor.
Let’s start with simple examples of the Razor. Let’s say that a person goes to hospital with three seemingly unrelated symptoms. The doctors must decide whether the correct diagnosis is one diseases causing three different symptoms or whether the patient could have contracted three unrelated diseases. The most likely answer is one disease causing all three symptoms. [If this example seems familiar it is because it’s been acted out on my favourite TV show, House MD. Occam’s Razor is even the name of a House episode.]
Occam’s Razor is really important in metaphysics and spirituality. In a way it replaces common sense in those that lack it. For example, I heard someone say that her crystal went missing because either (a) the fairies took it; or (b) the crystal had completed its purpose with her and had decided to move on. [These are common New Age beliefs.] Occam’s Razor would ask: “what is the simplest explanation – thieving fairies or slippery (human) fingers?” In other words, don’t go for a complicated or magical explanation when a simpler one suffices.
What’s this got to do with healing?
Suppose I present you with an explanation for how or why healing works. If you can come up with a simpler explanation that still works (gets the same results), then I should immediately abandon my explanation and adopt your simpler one. That’s Occam’s Razor.
Suppose I told you that the only way to heal your disease was to drink a special herb brew, then dance naked under the moonlight, and come back and see me in a week. This might actually work! However, Occam might suggest “do nothing and come back in a week.” There’s a good chance that “do nothing” will get the same result as the prescribed treatment. That is because most non-fatal medical conditions improve in a week anyway (and every sly healer knows this). So Occam’s Razer suggests that the underlying healing mechanism is time, not magic.
We can apply a similar logic to every single healing technique, including the RPT.
What’s the point to this exercise?
There is a really important point to this exercise. The question is not “does healing work?” The real question is WHY do people believe that they work? And the scientific question is “do healing techniques work for the reason they claim or for some other reason entirely?”
I want to apply Occam’s Razor to the healing world.
Let’s say that I’m a homeopath. You come to me with a complaint. I listen to you, acknowledge your situation and give you a homeopathic remedy. You get better. Now imagine an identical client comes to me. I listen and acknowledge. This time instead of a homeopathic remedy I give a sugar pill. The patient still gets better. [This has been scientifically proved many times. Homeopathy works – whether or not the client really gets the remedy.]
A sceptical doctor would say that science proves that homeopathy is a placebo. I disagree. I think it proves that homeopathy really works, but that the remedy (pill) is not the active ingredient. Something else is happening here. The client gets better whether or not they take the pill. What does this prove? I think it proves that the remedy is not really the “active ingredient” in the healing. Occam’s Razor suggests that there must be a simpler explanation. [I believe it is in the consultation itself, the way in which the practitioner acknowledges the client.]
Next example: I used to practice Pranic Healing (and Reiki). It’s a technique that involves waving crystals around and projecting energy at a person’s energy centres, called chakras. Does it help people? I believe that it does. Now, take away the crystals and energy and do the same ritual and procedure. What happens? The success rate stays the same! The same percentage of people get better.
There have been many scientific studies of energy healing and crystal healing. Doctors claim that these studies prove that healing is a placebo. They are wrong (or at least using the wrong definition of placebo). The real answer is that energy healing works, it helps people, but not because of anything to do with crystals, “qi” or chakras .
Since it works even without sending energy, it must be something in the exchange between the client and the healer other than energy. [I believe that it’s the acknowledgement of the client.] Occam’s Razor favours the simplest explanation.
EFT / TFT / tapping and acupuncture
Many of you would be familiar with the Emotional Freedom Technique and other similar therapies that involve tapping on key points in the body described in Chinese medicine. These techniques, like acupuncture, have been scientifically tested. There is scientific evidence that tapping, or putting a needle into a special point described by the Chinese thousands of years ago really does help to heal from various conditions and clear emotional blockages.
These techniques often work. The question is why?
We could start with the Chinese or New Age answer: that energy runs through invisible meridians and that blockages in the energy flow make you sick. Tapping, or inserting needles into these points frees the energy flow and promotes healing.
OK that sounds plausible to me. I’ve tried EFT, TFT and acupuncture and had positive results with all three. But what would Occam say? Well Occam would ask whether a placebo got the same results? It’s a little hard to do a placebo needle (though it’s been done). An easier thing is to tap or insert needles randomly. Forget the meridians, just tap away.
The results: scientific studies have consistently shown that tapping and needle therapies DO work, but work NO better than a random placebo. Fake needles get the same results as real needles. Tapping on the meridian points is no better than tapping in random places. It works the same regardless.
I reiterate that the techniques do work. But they don’t work for anything to do with acupuncture points or meridians. They work even with “sham needles.” In other words, whatever is causing the healing, it has nothing to do with meridians and energy blocks.
I personally think that the reason why these techniques work has to do with the properties of connective tissue. This is way beyond today’s blog, but in our Level 3 course we teach how to acknowledge connective tissue (without physical contact) which triggers a physical release in every organ of the body.
Occam’s Razor asks which is the simpler explanation for why tapping the body works? Invisible meridians or the idea that connective tissue holds trauma? I think the placebo test proves it’s the latter.
For those doubting that these techniques are a placebo, there are hundreds of scientific studies. These websites are a good start:
I used to teach a technique called Theta. I had some great results and helped many people. Later, I asked the question “why does it work?” or “does it work for the reasons taught in the manual?” Let’s see what Occam’s Razor would say.
According to Theta, if you send your consciousness up through the top of your head you enter a special brainwave state which allows you to talk to god. In that “theta” state you can ask god to make all sorts of changes to a person’s unconscious mind, you can heal instantly and manifest, etc etc.
Some of these things seem true. People’s beliefs do seem to change, at least measured by a called muscle testing. But the stated reason (god works for you provided you ask for it in this precise way) is too complicated.
Occam asks “what if you drop the god stuff out?” Guess what – it works just as well. Then you take it a bit further, “what if you drop the whole command/wording out?” Still no change in the results. Finally Occam asks, “what if you (the healer) just sit there and chat to the client about their issues for the hour?” Funnily enough, I got exactly the same great results whether I just chatted to the client or whether I used the complicated technique.
This doesn’t “prove” that the technique doesn’t work, but it is very strong proof that the reason WHY it works has nothing at all to do with special meditations, brain wave state, invisible gods and precise wording. All of that is “smoke and mirrors.” What works is really being present with a client. In fact this realisation is what lead to the first version of Reference Point Therapy.
Prayer healing and invoking to a higher power
Before there was such a thing as “alternative healing,” there was prayer. Prayer is the original healing. It’s not hard to see why that was the case. In a pre-scientific world, the idea that you could connect with a powerful higher source to bring order into chaos must have had HUGE appeal. It’s no real surprise that prayer maintains this appeal today. Many atheists, confronted by things they can’t control, turn to prayer.
But does prayer actually EXPLAIN healing? The short answer is no. (This is not really a problem, because “my” God follows the laws of nature anyway.)
The issue here is not about God but about healers using the God “label” to camouflage what’s really going on in a healing process. Occam’s Razor objects to convoluted explanations when simple ones suffice.
I’m just as guilty of smoke and mirrors as the next healing teacher. For example, when I first launched the very first idea of RPT in January 2009 with a wonderful video on my blog of my friend Linda’s shoulder healing instantly, I was still using smoke and mirrors. I don’t recall exactly but watching the video I’m pretty sure I realised that I was doing it to – using spiritual language to distract from what was really going on (which was that I could heal her shoulder through conversation alone).
Some of you might remember that demo? [Click here to see demo on 2009 blog.] It’s a powerful instant healing demonstration, fantastic proof that healing works. But it’s full of smoke.
For example, when I wanted to make a change, I referred to “Creator” doing the healing. By this point I knew (or should have known) that healing works just as well whether I used that bit or not. But I thought that either Linda or my audience needed that spiritual bit, so I added it in.
I don’t disrespect anyone’s belief in God. I’m just saying that it makes absolutely zero difference to whether or not healings work. Prayer healing has been scientifically tested thousands of times, and there has never been a skerrick of evidence to support the idea that prayer or invocation to god improves the chances of healing. This does not disprove God. It just means that God is not the reason why healing works. We need to find a better reason.
For the record, within a week of filming that demo with Linda I had deleted all references to god from all my manuals. From March 2009 onwards my courses were attended by both spiritual teachers and atheists, because I didn’t rely on God as the reason for why the therapy worked. But Occam still needed to apply his Razor to RPT.
Reference Point Therapy
RPT was based on the idea of clearing trauma. Not just any trauma; we taught that you had to go back and find the original trauma, the earliest ancestral reference point. This was so important that you had to trace back through all the generations to find it even if the client was disconnected from their intuition and it took hours to do so.
Guess what? Smoke and mirrors! It isn’t necessary at all to do this. RPT works brilliantly (I had well over 90% success with it), but the success had nothing to do with ancestral trauma or “earliest reference points.”
In the last six months I’ve demonstrated how you can delete all the key points of RPT: Beingness, trauma, ancestral reference points, etc, and get the same results. Occam’s Razor says that the reason why RPT worked had nothing at all to do with regression and trauma. There has to be something else.
Occam’s Razor has shaped my life in many ways. I am dedicated to finding the simplest truth that is consistent with all the available evidence. Occam’s Razor has changed my beliefs about God, evolution, healing and all aspects of spirituality.
When I founded RPT, I thought that I was applying Occam’s Razor to simplify all that had come before me. Now I realise that we must apply the Razor to RPT as well. It’s time to make the cut.
So what next?
After applying Occam’s Razor to RPT we realised that we could get the same success rate (about 90%) by just sitting and talking to people. The technique was “no technique.”
But remember the start of this article? The goal isn’t simplicity, it’s Effectiveness + Simplicity, in that order.
So we have found the simplest and most effective psychological theories to combine with our conversational approach in order to get close to 100% results.
What sort of results do we get? Well you’ll have to read the next blog article to learn more about this new technique.
Comments / questions
Did you agree/disagree with anything I said today? Have I challenged or sacrificed your sacred cows? If you use any of the techniques I discussed, what are your views about how Occam’s Razor applies? (remember I am not saying that these techniques don’t work. They DO work. I challenge WHY they work.)
I would love to hear from you.