Placebo Effect: Do healings really work?

In today’s blog I discuss the issue of “do healings really work?” It’s a good question, one that’s frequently got me into hot water. Today’s blog is partly drawn from a chapter from our Level 1 Reference Point Therapy manual.

Some of you know that last year I wrote that “XXX Healing doesn’t work.” I received what can be described as hate mail from the founder of XXX Healing saying, inter alia, that I must be stupid because it’s so obvious that XXX Healing works. This letter made me realize that what we are up against is ignorance – not only ignorance about healing but ignorance about what it means to say that something “works.”

Example: If I write a computer program and it works once on your computer, and never works again, does that mean it works? If my program works just sometimes, in perfect circumstances on a perfect computer, but not on “normal people’s” computers, can I claim it works? I think not.

Yet for some reason we, in the healing community, accept techniques that work on just one person in ten, or probably one person in a hundred. And we accept techniques that work in perfect circumstances, even if they don’t work on the normal people forking out thousands of dollars because they want the results that they read happened to someone else.

In order to say whether something – a computer program, a healing technique, anything – works, we need to think about statistics. The mere fact that it worked once or twice is clearly not enough. It’s the percentage that matters.

The people who say “XXX Healing works” aren’t bad people. They aren’t necessarily mean or greedy. But I think they are ignorant of the 2 most important words in the healing world: Placebo Effect. Not only that, but thanks to my friends at the US Federal Trade Commission, those people in XXX Healing are now breaking the law. (More on that later.)

Are you breaking the law? Do your healings really work? I think you’d better read on to learn about the Placebo Effect in Alternative Healing.

Last year I wrote a long article about the Placebo Effect (the link is at the end of this article). Today I want to give you a summary of the article, explaining why alternative practitioners must understand the Placebo effect:

  • There are thousands of healing techniques around the world. Every single one claims some fantastic success story. Every healer’s website has (or should have) some amazing testimonial from someone who was healed of an incurable disease.
  • It is very tempting to rely on testimonial evidence as proof that healing techniques work.
  • People invest tens of thousands of dollars with healers or teachers because testimonials lead them to believe they will get the results they want. More often than not they are disappointed.
  • This is such a problem that the USA Federal Trade Commission now has laws restricting healers using testimonials to promote their work. If you promote services in the USA you should read their guide:
  • This might sound unfair but the fact is that testimonials are not representative of results because even a sugar pull should heal a lot of people and get glowing testimonials – this doesn’t mean you should charge thousands of dollars for sugar!

How do we account for the fact that most if not all healing techniques work sometimes and none work all the time?

  • When scientists test the effectiveness of a new drug they compare it to a sugar pill, called a placebo. Amazingly, many people heal, even from “incurable” diseases, just by taking the sugar pill. In fact there are medicines prescribed by doctors which have never been proved to be more effective than taking a sugar pill. Sometimes you are better off with the placebo!
  • It’s hard to put a number to it, but some sources (quoted in the full article), suggest that the average effectiveness of a placebo can be as much as 40%. That means a new drug has to be significantly more than 40% effective to prove that it works. If a new drug heals just 30% of people when the placebo healed 40%, then we would say the drug is not effective.
  • We believe that a similar rule should apply to alternative healing, especially “energy healing”. Every healer has a success story but can they claim that they have a success rate of more than 40%? (Or even 10%?)

Why is this important?

  • If you are reading this manual there’s a good chance that you have already experienced some form of alternative healing, perhaps energy healing work. If you are a practitioner then it’s certain you would agree that some times it works, some times it doesn’t.
  • In 2009 Simon was criticized for writing that another healing modality “doesn’t work.” People argued that it does work because 1 or 2 or perhaps 100 people had been healed. What these critics missed was that anything less than 40% can be explained as a placebo. If a healer sees 30,000 clients, then 100 healed people doesn’t count as proof that it worked. 30% of 30,000 = 9,000, so rather than proving something works, 100 testimonials is 8,900 too few even for a plain old sugar pill!
  • I can’t emphasize this point enough a handful (or even thousands) of testimonials doesn’t prove a healing technique works. This has to be the most misunderstand (yet fundamental) concept in the healing industry. Do not believe a healer who tells you their technique works just because they can point to someone who “miraculously healed of cancer.” It’s only relevant if they can prove that most (or all) of the clients heal of that condition.
  • We need to understand – and teach our community – that something doesn’t really work unless it works better than a sugar pill placebo (40%). Just because you have hundreds of testimonials doesn’t prove it works – not if you needed many thousands of clients to get just hundreds of testimonials.

Where does Reference Point Therapy fit into this?

  • In creating a new modality, we have an ethical obligation to maximize the effectiveness of our technique. We owe it to you to establish that what we do is significantly more effective than a placebo. This has never been done before (with the partial exception of Peak States).
  • Through our research we isolated the key ingredient that accounts for why healings work sometimes, not other times. We call it “acknowledgment.” We believe that healings work when this ingredient is there, and usually doesn’t work when it’s not there. Through this understanding we believe we have answered the questions of why healing techniques appear to be less effective than placebos, and how we can create the most effective technique possible.
  • This chapter is in this manual to add to the scientific rigor and credibility of RPT. It does not mean that we don’t believe in healing work – only that we don’t believe in “snake oil.” Unfortunately many (some might say most) healing techniques are less effective than a sugar pill when it comes to actual healing (not just short term release pain). We can change that through adding the missing ingredient.

Our conclusion

  • We can never really say for sure that what we do isn’t a placebo. All healing is partly placebo because if people didn’t believe it would work they wouldn’t spend money on it. Ultimately we believe all that really matters is the success rate.
  • A success rate of 20% is still a “good thing” – that’s thousands of people being healed. On the other hand it suggests that these healing techniques are operating at 20% less effectiveness than a sugar pill! That’s a lot of money and time being wasted, albeit with good intentions.
  • We firmly believe that we have developed a technique which will generate 90-100% success. This is the only real test and proof of a technique. At this time we lack the data to show you conclusive proof – RPT is still new. With your help and that of the other RPT practitioners, through the Million Persons Trial, we will have the data we need to establish that healing work can be 90% (or more) effective.

At the end of the day we are left with a slightly cynical, yet optimistic conclusion: You can never prove that healings are not a placebo, but I can prove to you that RPT works.

What can you do to help?

  • This is your call to action. We are aiming to transform the consciousness of the healing world. We want healings to REALLY work (as in 90% not 10%).
  • Regardless of what healing technique or modality you use, start to look at the success rates.
  • If you know anyone who is a healer, talk to them about this article. Ask them if their techniques work and what percentages. If (like 99% of healers) they take a few testimonials as proof that it works, explain to them about the placebo effect.
  • Please – link to this article on your website, in blogs and discussion forums. I want people to know about this because this article exposes the biggest myth (and frankly, the biggest fraud) in the healing world.

Humorous side note: If you share Simon’s Australian sense of humor you will probably enjoy this Australian comedy segment on placebos or “selling snake oil”:

For more information including scientific studies and analysis of the Placebo effect and its implications for alternative healing, please read this article. It’s slightly dated but contains more information than this extract.

Leave a comment

Discussions and comments have been really great lately on this blog, Thank You! I really value your feedback. Please let me know what you think about this article. Do you agree with me that any technique less effective than a sugar pill simply doesn’t work? Or do you think that I’m too harsh? (If the latter, how would you feel if you were the client paying thousands of dollars for something less effective than sugar?) I value your thoughts.



June 17, 2010 in Placebo effect
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26 Responses

  1. Jørgen Mæhre

    A very good article that sums up many of my thoughts about RPT. What you write about the USA Federal Trade Comission is interesting – if you tune up the restrictions given to healers in the US, you kind of get a feeling of how we have to adapt RPT to Norwegian law. Though we have even more restrictions – just saying (writing or promoting) that a healing technique work is at the bordeline of breaking the law (i know i mention it quite a lot, but it irritates me ;) ) . So we have a need to get RPT validated and tested through and through. “Anecdotal evidence is no evidence”

    It’s fortunate that RPT has such focus on aknowledgment, plenty of my curriculum (and the curriculum for doctors, nurses etc) mention the importance of aknowledgment and the effect it can have in healing a patient. So there we have a “beachhead” – or perhaps it’s better to call it common ground.

    Since the topic of this post is placebo (and science) I have a question about the science behind RPT. Several healing modalitites propose that their method work because of quantum mechanics, whether it’s theta, quantum touch, or some other kind of work.

    You’ve earlier talked about the Holographic Universe-model ( – based up on the holographic principle, which is plausible, but yet to be confirmed. I havn’t read Talbot’s book. As I’ve understood, most of his claims ( f.ex. that the holographic universe might explain psychic phenomena) has not yet been validated. You do mention that the Holographic Universe is a theory and you don’t claim it to be “true” – but the talk about the holonomic brain, the holographic universe etc makes me wonder: why is that most healing modalities claim to be backed up by controversial quantum-theories? For the holographic brain model to work, the Orch-OR-model must work (and maybe it does) – but nonetheless, is there no other way to create a good framework for the technique?

    I hope I’ve expressed myself clear enough, and I don’t know if you have the answer to my question. I am a proponent of Quantum-Mind theories and the theories of Penrose and Pribram – my main concern is skeptics – the technique work, and I want everyone to get a share of it, so I wish for RPT to have a theoretical background that can be accepted by most people. And “quantum woo” (ie. theories like Penrose’s etc) is – as I’ve experienced – often one of the reasons why people turn away from healing modalities.

    Sorry for my long rant, I had to vent a little… :)


  2. I agree, and bravo- and I’ll add the model of a champion billiards player (or other type of sports- like gymnastics tumbling)- such that even an expert can fumble, but with A) feel they are off their game that day, previous, and often B) feel a fumble happening ie feel a “shot” wasn’t solid, vs was ‘spot on’… thus a healer could feel a disconnect, but only if that is determined before they perceive the “results/feedback” … that wouldn’t confuse a mistake, but should be taken into account and not removed from the population sample.. re: references to medical trials where X cases, of certain criteria, are excluded- may invalidate the testing.. the determining of a population-sample is a major statistical basis and often confused.

    the transition from a sub-culture-society of how to present not as “snake-oil” nor to present it is something it isn’t (whether energy-healing or a “pill”) is the tricky point, per how it has/is been done.

    (I’ll add two references of books _Fooled by Randomness_ and _The Black Swan : The Impact Of The Highly Improbable_ / both by author Nassim Nicholas Taleb) -there are “about statistics” but only in concept- very engaging so I hope some reading here might look for in your libraries and give a read- to get a perspective on this, and how can are fooled by such “examples” of believable (common sense) let alone strong annecdotes…

    (as Simon mentions in terms of “specific testimonials” can’t be proof- re how many/how many failed or excluded… but even more- are they really objective? for ex: the “Stories” of X students of a college wrote goals and X yrs later those that wrote their goals had greater “success” than the other 80% combined… or stories of Mother, or another, lifted a car off someone, or even the “basketball” story- in group some practiced free-throws, others in the group just “visualized” throwing free-throws and the “control group” just didn’t do… at the end tested

    <> but all of those have been questioned if even happened, seeking original sources (each “talker” heard from another-speaker before them) as well as (for example those referred to as college researched… like Yale referenced- yet Yale U can’t confirm such occurred there)…

    much question has been in regards to which/if Psychiatric or even Psychological hospital referred to in Zero-Limits.. which seems to have not occurred as such; yet per “fallacy ad hominem” and the straw-horse/straw-dog… if X methodology is described, and Y event is given as an example, and then Y event is questioned- that doesn’t mean X methodology doesn’t work (ex RPT works as described: acknowledgement-tones, etc. Person such and such used- ew ahhs, and then person such and such not? that wouldn’t invalidate RPT itself) –any methodology is tested- results on the scientific method

    (I’m writing a long post- but i’ll quickly reference the Big Distinction between Scientific method: testing- criteria of a method based upon evaluation of “numerically-evaluated results” without numbers- how “compare”? -between that- and Scientism: tradition, culture, “holographic model” quantum physics.. .therefore it must work.. that is using “current pop-culture” and would mean at the time when the earth was seen as flat, or sun and planets moved around earth… an RPT based upon the earth being round AND moving around the sun would be “unscientific” (but rather un-scientism”- scientific is not a methodology like RPT, testing a methodology is or isn’t scientific per the eval process.

    I think this post is a good point and worth some tricky integrating. -cheers


  3. To me the placebo proves that healing comes from within the client.
    It obviously has nothing to do with the sugar pill – nor with the one who is giving the sugar pill (otherwise it would be 100% successful rather than 40%). It’s the clients belief / confidence / conviction / hope / all of the above and more, that somehow activates the healing.

    I believe that the core part of RPT is that a good practitioner is holding the space of BEINGNESS, with the client, and that momentarily allows the client to access that BEINGNESS space too. And I believe that it is that ‘space’ (beingness) which ‘does’ the healing.


    simonrose Reply:

    hmm, this is a topic I’ve researched a LOT Ben. According to the medical view at least, the placebo effect has a LOT to do with the practitioner giving the sugar. That is considered to be the key variable. It’s not the sugar itself obviously. It makes a big difference whether the doctor says “this will heal you” or “this probably wont.”

    I was chatting about this with a doctor recently. He was telling me how the placebo effect isn’t a strong as it used to be (even with proven medicine, meaning drugs aren’t as effective as they used to be). His reason was that lawyers now demand that the doctor tell the client all the evidence on success rates etc. A doctor can no longer say “this will work.”

    You are corect that the success rate is like 40% (with sugar pill and a good doctor), clearly not 100% so the practitioner is not the only variable. (It’s not that it’s not the doctor as you said, just that the client matters too.) The key variable here would be the client taking responsibility.

    My view? Well I don’t think it’s BEINGNESS that heals, and it’s not the sugar, and it’s not the words that are spoken, and it’s not just the doctor ans it’s not just the client. What’s left?

    Probably it’s a space in which the client is really ready and wants to heal, and the practitioner believes that they can.

    That space can (and is) achieved in all healing modalities – sometimes. Our goal with RPT is to create that sacred space 100% of the time, without the bells and whistles (no meditations, not even Beingness, no words, no steps, nothing just presence).

    That’s how I see it anyway.


    ps I’ve stopped doing that Beingness meditation as part of my healings since I last saw you. I still teach it – some people might need it – but I just sit and chat. What you see in the demos is what I do. Nothing up my sleeve!


    Renee Hawkins Reply:

    Hi Simon,
    “Probably it’s a space in which the client is really ready and wants to heal, and the practitioner believes that they can. ” – Should then the major emphasis of RPT, or any other healing modality for that matter, be on clearing Secondary gain, and helping the client really get into that place of wanting and being 100% ready to heal?


    simonrose Reply:

    Yes you are absolutely correct. And like you say this is true for all modalities, conventional medicine included.

    I would say that RPT is 50% getting the practitioner to a place where they can create the instant healing (“coherence”) and 50% clearing the client’s secondary gains and getting them to a place of readiness to heal.

    But the first 50% happens behind the scenes before the client gets there, so in practice it LOOKS exactly like what you wrote. The session looks like all we are doing is working on the client’s stuff. That’s just because the practitioner work takes place first.


  4. To add a quick thought I’ve been seeing for a while- this isn’t just a “healing” issue (“traditional”-pharma-med and/or “non”-trad)… but also/more so “abundance related” in terms of -what works in the business world- so much is ‘everybody knows’ … and yet “its a numbers game” law of averages, you gotta keep pushing: fine, just that if you have a “recipe” for pancakes (or any food) it should work when you cook it (doesn’t mean it might not burn- if you cook it wrong, or an ingredient was off, salt put in rather than sugar- or vice-versa, can ruin it, but still the recipe is there, and the ‘mistake’ can be found in reviewing…) A think a big reason things are % isn’t just “placebo” or practitioner incoherent, nor receiver resisting.. but often the recipe is either incorrect/ingredients “quality” is not-good and when not-good isn’t recognized… or most of all the “little details” that an expert thinks as obvious aren’t spelled out, so another expert would do that even if not explicitly in the recipe… what does “in the right way” mean? etc.


  5. “According to the medical view at least, the placebo effect has a LOT to do with the practitioner giving the sugar”
    I agree to a point – if the doc is really convincing, the patient believes more. But my point is that it’s the CLIENT’S *belief* that does the healing. Otherwise, you would expect some doctors placebo success rate to be 100%?

    “the placebo effect isn’t a strong as it used to be”
    Funny, I read an article the other day saying exactly the opposite. I’ll try and dig it out and have another look. In the meantime I’ll take your word for it because I know you’ve researched more than one article…


    simonrose Reply:

    hi Ben
    > But my point is that it’s the CLIENT’S *belief* … some doctors placebo success rate to be 100%

    I had a vital insight while reading your comment.

    The 40% figure is an AVERAGE of thousands of doctors.

    For all we know, some of them had 100% success with placebos, some had zero. All we know is that they averaged to 40% in that particular study (or studies for meta-data).

    That’s why you can’t make that argument for the client’s belief. There’s no data to support it. So far the data supports the view that the practitioner’s belief is the main variable.

    [This is an excellent example of why statistics can be - are- misleading. I have a degree in applied statistical methods (econometrics) and I still make these mistakes sometimes.]

    In relation to the other point, please send me any info about changes in the placebo effect.

    thanks for your input mate,


  6. Aha, yes you’re right, I hadn’t thought of it being an average. So presumably some doctors as you say, are very successful ‘placebo healers’.
    So what IS it that causes the placebo healing then?! Is it the doctor’s ‘confidence’, or is it that the doctor’s confidence triggers the healing mechanism inherent in the patient?
    I’m going to do more research on it and try to figure it out!

    ps – Simon, I sent you the article I mentioned about placebo on the rise – it’s by David Hamilton. I’m still trying to find out where it’s from.


  7. I would like to make the comment that what is placebo or not is really hard to say. Let me define placebo as putting iceing on a mudcake. Then anything that does not remove the underlying problem in the mind is placebo. Fear/guilt/anger etc in the mind is covered by the placebo thought. Really all modern pharma medicine is of this type and many (most/all) energy healing modalties as well.

    I am currently struggling with the following thought. Can a healing occur in the mind without any visible healing taking place in the personality/body of a person. I think that it is possible because there might be many unseen levels of the mind where the healing takes place. Still the person Thomas wants to have proof in the flesh so to say and that part of me does not feel satisfied with that love will settle every problem. I might just be that I have blocks that prevents me from feeling safe in doing healings that does not change the body. When I am writing this I get the though that the mere act to attempt to heal someone is where the problem lies. There is no sickness where love is and by seeing no sickness in myself there can not be sickness outside of me (assuming that what I see in the world is a projection of the mind). So it is really only myself I can heal from the belief that I am sepearate fro Love with a big L.




  8. The placebo effect… I’m not an expert or anything close on it, but…

    Too many mysteries surrounding it to be of much use as it is.

    Do the colors of the pill matter? the shape? the size? the name? the conditions of the environment? the person administering? the “rank” of the person administering? the person keeping records? the patient? the observation?
    (Research studies have shown at least some of those to have influence; others probably haven’t been researched…)

    40%–for *all* diseases? Or 5% for disease A, 95% for disease B? Is there a ranking for diseases and the effectiveness of placebos against them? If there are differences, where do they come in?



  9. Quite often I feel that the following perspective is of value for me, while working with the client:

    We are occupied about the form. and we are lost in the form: Sugarpills, strong pharmacy with sideeffects, a mantra, a download, an exercise, my strong belief, the clients strong belief…whatever.
    Something happens and we want to give it a name, an explaination.
    but in the end we do not know if we give something to the client or the client gives something to us. who is in service of whom ? with what ?

    so often i feel that all the nice forms and names are here for us to enjoy. lets play. lets find systems, analogies, explainations, solutions…but I sometimes feel: it is happening, thats all I can say. human controll then seems to be the funniest trick of nature.

    with love, sascha


  10. I came across some more info on the placebo effect on the following website for anyone whos interested.


    simonrose Reply:

    hi Tom, thanks for your post.
    I read the article and whilst I don’t agree with all of it, I agree that you have to test a treatment against non-treatment, not just placebo. (As a former statistics teacher I understand and agree with the reversion to the mean argument.)

    My concern with the article is that it reads like something paid for by the drug companies! They are losing money because their drugs are not more effective then placebos. So what do they do: commission a report to say that the placebo effect doesn’t exist.

    You know it’s funny, the same drug companies believe the placebo DOES exist when it comes to alternative healing, but DOESN’T exist when it comes to their expensive cancer drugs. Does anyone else find that a bit odd?



    Tom Jones Reply:

    Hi Simon,
    i don’t find it odd,just convenient for them.
    Way i heard it from a chiropractor many years ago,the drug companies have more drugs than they have diseases to use them against.

    Thanks for the tip off.


  11. Hi Simon,

    Firstly, I would like to commend you on your website and blog. It is so refreshing to read work with so much objectivity and realism, two things definitely missing from this and other ‘new age’ fields. This is only the second website I have ever encountered which displays such high quality work. Thank you!!!

    I am a so called ‘natural born healer’, and have for many years rejected the notion that we must rely on others, whether that be the bearded sky man, another human or any other energetic entity, for the natural healing energy that is available to us all. It has never made any sense to me that the Universe would establish itself as a perfectly balanced eco-system and then build extra requirements into it that we as uneducated and ignorant plebs would have to ‘unlock’ the secret knowledge of once we attained a certain level of awakening or enlightenment or be magically chosen. To read the doctrines of so many self called healers and spiritual practitioners left me cold and with so much sadness and frustration that I abandoned the field altogether, afraid to offer my services to the public as I lacked the bells and whistles which seemed to be the main selling point of others.

    Which is why I have been so grateful to find your site and whilst I do not necessarily agree with everything posted it is heartening to see such objective and well considered posts.

    I have not completed your training or yet read everything you have posted about RPT and so I apologise if I inadvertently step on any toes but I was thinking last night about what was missing from yours and many other healing modalities, and this also relates to the above post regarding the placebo effect, and that is any reference to the chakra system. Unfortunately the chakra system has been ‘westernised’ or ‘bastardised’ by so many misguided practitioners that it has almost lost it’s meaning – to imagine that one can heal another person or more specifically that person’s individual chakras by sending white light and love is laughable. Healing has nothing to do with love and whilst this wee bit of knowledge will have most practitioners running for their knives to stab me in the back (or front really), your healing energy is located in your base chakra and that my friends is released through those two most un-godly qualities – lust and power.

    Any healing modality must consider the chakra system. Every single human being is also an energetic being and the chakra system is where a person’s energy, life force, soul, chi, prana (insert politically correct term here) is contained so that the chakras become the link between the physical body and the energy/astral/spiritual plane. The three highest chakras, crown, third eye and throat are more connected to the astral plane, the lower three chakras, base, sacral and solar plexus to the earth and the heart chakra bridges the two. I am sure that most people have a rudimentary understanding of the chakra system and know that each chakra relates to a different aspect of our needs, abilities, personality, spirituality and so forth.

    As the three highest chakras are more connected to the spiritual plane, there is nothing there that we need to ‘fix’ or ‘heal’, these chakras will become balanced once the lower three are open and flowing appropriately.

    The crown chakra connects us to the source energy/universal life force (again insert appropriate term here) whereas our base chakra is our connection to earth and as such possesses a very physical and primal ‘fire’ energy that can be very hard to balance. The sacral chakra is our emotional centre and is like a repository for many deeply held emotions and traumas and being only one up from our base chakra is very linked to physical reaction from emotional stimulus. The solar plexus is responsible for our pure personal expression and power and is often inhibited by the expectations of society of so-called appropriate behaviour. (In this discussion, I am presuming that you have basic understanding of the chakras and am only pointing out the areas that most people do not know-to go into it all in more detail would take waaay too long in this response). The most important thing to note, is that the chakras work as a system, as a unified whole, and one cannot be balanced without being affected by the others.

    The fire energy contained in our base chakras must be allowed to move gently through our chakra system. It is this energy which heals us and keeps us protected from outside energies. We need to ensure that this energy is balanced so that we can be ‘grounded’. If you note old diagrams of the chakra system there is an energy line from the crown chakra to the base and the base to the crown chakra. The base energy needs to move gently through our chakras rather than shooting straight up. So many practitioners concentrate so much on their higher chakras that they become ungrounded, their fire energy literally goes to their brain causing a kind of psychosis, which is why so many are ‘off with the fairies’, sometimes literally as the case may be with someone like Doreen Virtue lol. Where there is an excess of this energy it needs to be released or sent out, either to others or into our energetic space for protection. In sending it out to others, we open their base chakra precipitating their own natural healing through their own fire chi. This can be achieved through intention or accidentally such as through sex (so yes, sex really does heal, just think of all those randy octogenarians you always hear about who are still alive and kicking even though they’ve drank and smoked most of their lives) and even fights and arguments. This energy is directed through the sacral chakra. We can also direct this energy to specific areas of the body that require healing but it isn’t the method as all you are doing is healing the energy that it is there and that can be achieved better through balancing someone’s chakra system to allow their fire chi to move through effectively and sending them base chi to spur their own. And no, to all theta healers, you CANNOT heal someone’s DNA, energy CANNOT change matter, see Universal Laws 101.

    People inadvertently block the flow of their naturally existing fire chi through their system through blockages in the sacral and solar plexus chakras but mostly the sacral chakra. The sacral chakra is not only our emotional centre but also connects us to others. It can often be very bashful and sensitive and ‘close’ thereby stopping the flow of energy. The sacral becomes closed through holding onto emotional energy or trauma, whether from this or past lives. This energy must be released for the sacral to stay open and flowing. Thus, emotional release work is necessary for healing and why some will experience instant success depending on how well they release that energy. Even psychotherapy will inadvertently release trauma at times but it may take years to achieve until the therapist ‘hits’ upon the right trigger. This is also why most people who seek healing for sacral chakras issues will be women and will usually have low self esteem. This is VERY generalised, but women have been generally taught most of their lives to be submissive and to not be promiscuous and have been excessively judged by society for displaying any kind of aggression, power, or lust those very qualities engendered in the base chakra and facilitate self healing. Perhaps this is the reason main stream religions are so intent on removing lust and power from it’s people, if people can help themselves, then how can we control them??? – but that’s a conversation for another post lol.

    The solar plexus can stop the flow of energy as we fail to express ourselves, our truth, our needs, our wants, our desires, our personality, and will become ‘tight’. Again, VERY generally speaking just to provide an example, this is where men will generally become unstuck as they struggle to conform with society’s expectations for them. Are they manly enough or too manly? Alot of men struggle with their own true inherent power, believing dominance and control to be power instead.

    The heart chakra does not hold energy but is the meeting point of our chakra system, of the higher and lower energies, and FEELS the energies we experience. If we don’t feel them and take the appropriate action, these energies are stored in the sacral. As the meeting point of the spiritual and fire chi, the heart chakra must also be balanced but, as it doesn’t actually store energy, it will be kept in balance by the openess of the lower three. As we all know, love without power is a doormat, and power without love is a sociopath.

    In relation to the placebo effect, Simon really hit the nail on the head when he spoke about it being related to the individual practitioner doing the prescribing. If that person possesses a naturally high level of base chi, as long as their system is open, they can unknowingly transmit that to the people they come in contact with thereby starting the healing process. There are many healers who have no idea they are healers or even understand the effect they have on people. As fire chi is built through lust and power, people in powerful positions or believe themselves to be powerful (which I imagine many doctors would given the god complex they sometimes suffer), will also have higher levels of base chi which they can transmit to others. So healers can be both born and created and their confidence in their abilities will have an enormous impact on their ability to heal others but it will never work if they are unable to ROCK their energy for everyone. For those who do not have naturally high base chi, they will need to create it, for those who do, they will need to ensure that their system is completely clear and that they work their energy off less it go to their heads. All healers should be feeling slightly randy all of the time to be effective and that in itself can cause issues – hence the need for massive depersonalisation and objectivity- it ain’t always nice to find yourself aroused by people of the same sex when you are completely heterosexual and why some people have such difficulty healing their own family members. But energy is energy baby, it is our humaness which places the barriers, energy does not care who it interacts with or how.

    Ben, in healing work as well as in life, it is not the belief that is the problem or the solution, but the energy behind it. That’s why thought work will often work temporarily but can never be sustained long term – think the teachings of the Secret and so forth. All these poor people nearly killing themselves running around trying to change themselves and the world by thinking it. It is our energy state which causes negative and self limiting beliefs in the first place and it is not the thought that you need to release but the energy itself which is why I’m thinking Simon is having so much success with his method. The ungroundedness I spoke of earlier is on a continuum and is present in nearly every single human being, from the slightly ‘not that objective way of thinking’ all the way up to completely psychotic. It most deeply effects natural born healers with pre existing trauma – naturally high base chi with a closed sacral chakra does not a happy well balanced person make.

    I hope that helps everybody out. If anyone is interested I would love to continue discourse in these areas. And Simon, if you ever figure out a way to prove any of this stuff empirically count me in.




    simonrose Reply:

    Hi Nicola

    Thanks for your contribution to the blog.

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. I think that the chakra system teachers us valuable lessons. I don’t have a problem with the model, it’s just not the best language for me to reach my intended audience.

    I wouldn’t overlook it, I would merely modernize it. Since you thought I left out that model I can assume you haven’t watched our videos on the triune brain and coherence model. Please click the links and enjoy them. I’m sure it will answer a few questions.

    And yes, you are very welcome to join us for empirical testing!



  12. Hello blogger & bloggee,
    I’ve just read Nicola Munns entry &,yes, am in almost total agreement,but also partial confusion.Let me clarify.Depending on which school of thought one has learned from,there are either 7 Chakras which can be”worked on” or 11 or 12 or 13 according to pranic healing(& depending on who you ask within said community).The very first time i learned about Chakras was pranic healing so i have pretty much proceded form that stand point.I know how Nicola can still feel sadness about the state of “healing” affairs; i am still reassembling(taking bloody ages though) & calling it bastardised is hitting the nail on the head because thats what it is.i,like others,know from experience.
    Anyway, the main point of this blog entry is about reaching a concensus of how many chakras we should count in any discourse about this topic.
    Thats it from me.
    Have a nice day.

    PS.Yes technically,we have an almost incalculable number(we have chakras,our organs have them,our cells,etc),but my concern is what has been recorded,at least in the available texts.


    simonrose Reply:


    To avoid confusion, the “minds” in reference point therapy (and related Peak States work) are NOT chakras.

    Whilst there’s some debate about how many minds there are (9 in Peak States, 12 in RPT) this has nothing to do with how many chakras.

    Honestly, unless you are specifically focused on using chakras as your method of healing, I wouldn’t put any energy into this question. It simply doesn’t matter. It’s up there with how many angels dance on the head of a pin?

    My 2c


  13. Simon and Tom,

    The chakras are the only method of healing and not addressing the energy system of a human being is doing a disservice to both the client and those training to become healers.

    The chakras contain our life force, it is the blockage of that energy which causes illness, disease and emotional malaise and discontent and it is that energy which heals us. If this were not true, then what is it that causes disease and illness in the first place and how could it ever be healed except by modern medicine???

    Without being able to harness the energy or fire chi of the base chakra healers cannot heal and people cannot be healed.

    It is that simple and is why so many healers results are so hit and miss and rely so much on their state of being to truly be effective. That energy can only be harnessed through lust and power and if a healer cannot build and then effectively channel that energy then they can’t heal anyone.

    I would imagine that other healing modalities which involve channelling other energies such as reiki empower a healer to heal. I don’t know if they’re channelling a different kind of energy to fire chi or if they are just empowering their own fire chi by the faith they have in the modality they are using.

    As I said in my earlier post, emotional release work is a necessary component of healing as it unblocks the sacral chakra enabling the fire chi to flow through a person’s energetic system.

    Any decent energy healer however can remove those blockages energetically, open a closed chakra and channel fire chi to a person and I am more than happy to be put to the test – it is my greatest desire that a method for proving and validating what I do be found. The best energy healers will remove blockages gently so as to not trigger an ungrounded state in their client. The results may be slower but they will be permanent particularly when the person is then taught to manage their own energy system. Permanent freedom from disease, illness and emotional distress or trauma.

    Energy healing by a properly trained healer will always work and does not require faith or belief – energy does not need to be ‘believed in’, it just is. Unfortunately, there are not many properly trained healers out there and the rest call our field into disrepute and expose it to ridicule.

    As for how many chakras – I count 7 major chakras plus two in your hands and feet although these are both connected to the base chakra (and not the heart chakra as taught in healing touch) hence the ability to heal through laying on hands although lots of practitioners, myself included, will heal remotely. Given the amount of misinformation out there I cannot comment any further than that.

    As I said in my earlier comment, most of the people in this industry are rocking around completely ungrounded – too much fire chi going to their heads and too many gullible people searching for a cure and a quick fix. And natural born healers and empaths are most at risk and will spend years trying to work out what the strange feelings and sensations they experience are and what they mean. There are reasons why we suffer illness, disease, lack of abundance and things just not ‘working out’ – all of these things are opportunities for us to address our baggage and deal with what we need to recognise the beauty and simplicity of the Universe and our place in it and find our peace.

    Oh, and the stronger our fire chi becomes, the more responsible we have to be in expressing and releasing it otherwise we will become ungrounded. Not expressing your base desires – anger, power and lust – will result in a tightness in the solar plexus. High levels of fire chi must be released – to others by healing, through exercise, sex, into our energy space to protect our boundaries.



    Nicola Munn Reply:

    Oh. And energy healers can also GROUND you. Simon, you are definitely on to something with the emotional release work, I definitely feel a release in my sacral when watching a couple of the videos posted, the stuff that is released though, has to be grounded, otherwise it will stay in the person’s energy field. The other stuff, I’m not so sure about without having completed the training. Getting grounded will always ensure complete objectivity, honesty and integrity in anything you may produce.


    simonrose Reply:

    I’m not getting into a debate. I can only state basically what I said above, perhaps in different words.

    There are truths out there, let’s call them “Ultimate Truths”. And then there are mere human attempts to access those truths.

    You wrote wise words. You want my opinion, it’s this: what you wrote about – e.g. the chakra system – is a human attempt at explaining an Ultimate Truth.

    Chakras aren’t Ultimate Truths themselves, they are a model, a representations of truth.

    That’s not a bad thing, it just is.

    There are other ways – more modern and much simpler – to access the same ancient wisdom that you are seeking.

    Reference Point Therapy is not an Ultimate Truth. At least I’m not kidding anyone. But it is a simpler way.

    I find myself agreeing with all your comments right up to the bit where you seem to project “my way is the only way.” I guess that scares me because I used to be like that with Theta, till I realized how ludicrous i sounded.

    There is no single gateway to truth. There is no single healing technique or methodology that works best for everyone. If we could only all accept this then all these “religious wars” would be a thing of the past.

    Good luck with your work and research.



  14. Simon,

    Debates are awesome, it’s how we learn!!! However, in this case, my intention has not been to suggest that my way is the only way but to say that the human energy system is a model is like saying the endocrine or lymphatic systems are model. Calling the energy system ‘chakras’ could be seen as a model but that’s just rhetoric but I can understand how that language puts people off given the lack of misinformation out there.

    Healers need to know what they are doing to be effective. They need to know how to channel their fire chi and they need to know how to ground themselves so that they don’t become pyschotic and think they have a direct line to the “Creator” or the beardy man in the sky. Of course, there are helpful energies and the energy of the Universe/Source that we can access.

    I am NOT interested in arguing about modalities. You’re completely right about my modality – healing chakras – I’m sure there are many methods that will work for healing.

    I would just like to re-emphasise that my only argument in this post is about healer’s responsibilities to themselves and their clients and also to those who are teaching healers. It is remiss of us to tell people that everyone can be a healer because that is not true – everyone may have the potential but it can take alot of work for a non-natural born healer to get there and it takes alot of work for natural born healers to stay grounded and be effective and I’m sorry if that hurts people’s egos but that’s how it is.

    This is the ONLY blog I have responded to and I did so because I was drawn to your speaking out about Theta-healing and the objectivity evident in most of your posts. Take it as a compliment lol. But we have a responsibility to find and speak the TRUTH, not my truth, not your truth but the TRUTH, and that will sometimes step on people’s toes.

    The most recent bog post talks about your students/affiliates lacking passion and that being a human’s natural state of being. How can that be??? Genetically we are animals and slaves to the same base and primal urges of any other species. To deny passion is a very sure way to ensure ungroundedness. Everything must be in BALANCE. Our humanity can determine how we channel the energy of passion but it cannot be denied completely.

    Hope that clears things up. Please know it was NOT my intention to suggest chakra healing as the only effective modality.



    simonrose Reply:

    Hi nicola
    I agree, healthy discussion is how we learn.

    What’s important is to let go of the presumption that “my way is the right way.” I learned that the hard way when I had to go back to my past students and say “what I taught you before was what I believed, but it wasn’t true.” That was hard.

    I’m open now to the view that everything I believe could be wrong – or at least out of date and replaced, by the next discovery.

    After all last year I wrote “don’t change beliefs, clear trauma.” Now I know that’s incorrect. “Don’t clear trauma, acknowledge the basic animal instinct in the R-complex the holds the vibrations, which in turn create the trauma in the first place.” Next year it will be “….”.

    I agree with you about healer’s responsibilities but disagree about whether everyone can be a healer. Actually that might be right for the energy work you do, but is not relevant to Reference Point Therapy. Since all we do is raise our own conscious awareness of our own patterns and instincts (the animal mind or R-complex), this is something everyone in the world can and should do.

    Regarding passion, I read Val’s article differently. PErhaps you should comment on her article so she can reply direct? I’m pretty sure she is saying that passion is normal and healthy in balance, and only the lack of it was the problem. She seems to be saying the same thing as you? (Please don’t reply to me on this point – comment directly on Val’s article. It’s not related to me.)

    To everyone else who’s been following and hopefully entertained; yes I know it’s time for me to post some new articles. I’ve been so busy teaching! More coming soon.



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