Beliefs, Rationalizations, and the Effectiveness of Treatment

by Armand Crolli

Did you ever have a therapy or modality have to be constantly repeated because the results didn’t hold for long periods of time?  Did you ever wonder why that was, when it was clearly working for others?beliefPart of the reason for this is derived from belief.  A belief, as we define it here, is anything that defines the ego or is part of the primal programming we all share.  Our beliefs are made from an amalgamation of our culture, social status, religious, epigenetics, family values, and primal concerns.    

This is a pretty vague idea.  It is easiest to find it in our everyday speech:

  • “It’s the right thing to do.”
  • “I can’t – “
  • “I am suppose to do -“
  • “I’m afraid to -“
  • “I fear that it won’t work.”
  • “Those kinds of people always do that.”
  • “Why can’t he/she see that about themselves?”

These are all examples of belief patterns that we can hold.  When you have doubt about whether a modality will work or not, that is a limiting belief.  But what actually happens in treatment?  Let’s use an infomercial as an example.

After hearing the sales pitch, you believe in the item; you then convince yourself through some rationalization that you need the product and that the price they are asking is worth your belief in the item.  You then purchase the product, which is followed by an emotional sense of pleasure via a dopamine reward reaction.  

So what has actually happened?

The sales pitch harkened to our beliefs.  Our mental mind then kicked in to rationalize and justify why we should pay attention to this pitch; it found the stated case to line up and support our belief system.  The mental mind is very interested in the status quo and avoiding unresolved conflicts with our beliefs.  An emotional pattern was then the down-stream occurrence from the intellectualizations and rationalizations.  It is guaranteed that an emotional response will occur in proportion to the strength of the belief system.  And this emotional response evokes a physical response, the release of dopamine, in the body.

What is interesting is that we don’t even need to know what these core beliefs are; the ego will actually deflect attempts in uncovering these, even to the point of pain. One doesn’t need to tear down all the elements that make us who we are; but we need to expand our strict definitions if we want to accept new ideas.  

What are the implications for treatment?  If you are trying a new modality, such as acupuncture or bioenergetic testing, you need to be able to accept the new ideas being presented and the new ways of looking at your body.  If you are not able to believe in the core premise that the body operates as a whole, the treatments will not work for you.  If you are not able to buy into the belief that the energetics of the body matter, these modalities will fail to make for you the life altering changes that someone who does believe will experience.  

This kind of emotional blocking does not just happen with a treatment modality; it can happen in any area of our life.  What areas of your life are being held back by limiting beliefs?  Can you liberate them to create the life you want?

Great Taste – and So Much More!

One of the best things you can do for your body is to feed it real, wholesome, nutritious foods. If you can find locally grown organic products, even better. The benefits of going organic include less pesticide contamination, higher nutrient content, no genetic modifications, no irradiation, more humane treatment of animals and respect for the land, and better taste. Of all these health benefits, the only subjective one is taste.

So let’s say you are looking over some produce and you are deciding whether to go organic or stick with the conventional version. If your primary concern is the health of you and your family, then it’s a no-brainer; go with the organic. If, however, your decision is based solely on taste, it’s a toss up, as some report a distinct advantage to organic while others claim no taste difference between organic and conventional.

Here’s the point. If you are making your purchasing decisions based entirely on taste, you are risking missing out on all the other healthy benefits of choosing organic.

Local organic food

When it comes to acupuncture and the health of your body, pain relief is like the organic taste test.

While most people are prompted to pursue acupuncture care as the result of pain or other symptoms, those who limit it to simple pain relief are cheating themselves of so much more.

The real impact of acupuncture lies in its ability to help the body heal and regulate itself. We know that energy flows in the meridian system, and that imbalances and blockages of energy in the meridian system lead to various symptoms and signs.

Whether imbalances are felt or not, the end result is the same: loss of the normal flow of the body’s energy and compromised health.

Roughly 15-20% of the time these imbalances result in pain. Most of the time, however, they cause no symptoms and go undetected. So if the majority of people who are out of balance with blocked energy flow base their decision to choose acupuncture solely on the way they feel, then they will most likely delay care, and their health will continue to decline. Organic is not just about taste, and acupuncture certainly isn’t only about pain relief.

While feeling great is desirable, the full scope of acupuncture’s benefits can only be realized beyond the initial relief phase of care. Once you are feeling better, be sure to utilize acupuncture for ongoing health and wellness. Pain relief, like great taste, is just the tip of the iceberg! 


The Science of Distant Healing

The Science of Distant Healing

There is much written about how our good intentions help others. But can your good intentions really reach someone who is not physically present, and how do we know this? In this column, I will present the current evidence that discusses this phenomenon and provide some explanations as to why distant healing has a place in modern scientific thinking.

A well-designed study done in 2008 examined 36 couples. In 22 of these couples, one of the two people was a cancer patient. Three groups were created: In the first group consisting of twelve couples, the healthy person was trained to direct intention toward the patient and was asked to practice this for three months prior to the experiment. This was referred to as the “trained” group. In the other 10 couples where one partner had cancer, the pair was tested before the partner was trained. They were called the “wait” group. Fourteen healthy couples received no training at all. They were called the “control” group. But what was the training?

Skin conductance was measured in both members of the couple, both of whom were asked to feel the presence of the other. Skin conductance is a measure of the ability of sweat to conduct electricity. It indicates that the autonomic nervous system has been activated. The autonomic nervous system is a part of your nervous system that maintains balance of the body and controls heart rate, respiration and many other vital functions. This is done unconsciously. So, when skin conductance was measured, the researchers were measuring whether this important part of our bodies was activated. However, rather than being next to each other while they were sending intentions, partners were relaxed in a distant shielded room for 30 minutes. The sender of intention sent intention for 10-second periods followed by breaks. Skin conductance was then measured during the periods when partners sent their intentions and during the breaks. The researchers believed that if there were a different skin conductance when partners sent their intentions, then this would prove that intention was actually impacting the nervous system.

In research, if there is a less than a 5% probability that something is due to chance, it is regarded as being probably true and not due to chance. Even a 10% probability that something is due to chance is a trend toward the fact that chance is probably not a factor. In this experiment, when people used intention to reach their partners who were in a shielded room, every time intention was sent, it created changes in the skin conductance that were very significant compared to the breaks, when these changes would not be present. The probability that these findings were due to chance was 0.09%, well below 5%. This occurred in all three groups. However, the peak changes were greatest in the trained group, intermediate in the wait group and least in the control group.

This experiment showed that intention can affect a partner’s body across distance outside of consciousness and that if one is trained in compassionate intention, the effect is greatest. In fact, other studies have also shown that distant healing can heal small sized tumors.

However, the effects of distant healing have not been uniform. Studies have failed to show that distant healing can improve chronic fatigue syndrome or clinical outcome in HIV positive patients. In fact, two studies have also shown that distant healing can have adverse effects.

Within the scientific community, there are a group of people who believe in distant healing and a group of people who do not. Those who believe in distant healing do not believe that it is just some “spooky” phenomenon. There are four principles of physics underlying intention that have been described in the literature: (1) that intention is transmitted by an as yet unknown energy signal; (2) that intention warps space-time much like gravity, creating pathways for connection; (3) that people, like particles are described in quantum physics, have instantaneous correlations across distance; (4) that intention is much like measurement in quantum physics. It organizes random possibilities much like how wave functions can be collapsed into a single function.

So, as of now, it appears that distant healing works in some situations but not in others. But what does this mean? I believe that the healing is not always effective for several reasons: (1) the quality of the intention is not high enough; (2) different intenders have different capacities; (3) different illnesses may require higher levels of intention; (4) there may be other intentions coming from elsewhere that disrupt the intention being measured. I am less inclined to believe that “distant healing” is all nonsense, because the data we have so far illustrates that there is definitely the possibility that the effect can be felt. It is just not ubiquitous or uniform.

I would caution against believing that all people are equally able to perform distant healing, but where there is expectation and faith, the chances of success are higher. In fact, in the study that showed that distant healing had no effect on chronic fatigue, the expectation that one would get better did have an effect. I wonder if this implies that intention works best when we believe in our own capacities to get better.