Our modern medical educational system presents itself as the ultimate source of the deepest understanding of the nature of disease. It has also thoroughly embraced the scientific method as the only reliable and accurate means of exploring the nature of the human body along with its myriad of disease conditions. Any evidence or arguments that contradict the accepted assumptions of medical science are quickly dismissed as “unscientific,” at best, or superstitious nonsense, at worst. These medical teachings are not presented as just one way of healing; they are presented as the only way to achieve effective cures. This assumption, that medical science has a monopoly on truth concerning how the human body functions and how it becomes ill, is simply wrong.
Before I present some of the evidence to support this audacious statement, I need to reassure you that I know what I am talking about when I comment on what modern medical science teaches. Like all of my medical school classmates (at the Univ. of Penna. in the 1980’s), I studied hard and carefully assimilated the wisdom offered to me. I now have over twenty years’ experience as an internist in a thriving group medical practice. And, as is true of most of my colleagues, I keep up with all the new medical advances by reading the best medical journals and attending certified continuing medical education meetings.
One of my first inklings that modern medicine is missing something important came from a letter to the editor of a medical magazine by the mayor of one of the cities in the Kososvo region. He was reporting the impressive treatment record of a certain group of volunteers treating victims of horrific emotional traumas from the Kosovo War. This group of volunteers used a treatment technique called Though Field Therapy (TFT) that involved repeating positive affirmations while the therapists lightly tapped their hands on some of the acupuncture points described by Chinese acupuncturists. Of the many kinds of therapies he witnessed being used by different volunteers, the writer was glowing in his praise of the incredibly rapid effectiveness and permanent benefit of those that used TFT. No other treatments came close to its successes.
While it sounded too good to be true, the mayor’s letter sounded so sincere and enthusiastic that I felt encouraged to search the internet for other reports. Without too much effort, I came across other promising reports about TFT, as well as a similar technique called the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) which sounded even more effective and even easier to use. I set about learning the technique and began using it for minor ailments of willing friends and family – with surprisingly impressive results. While it didn’t work every time I attempted to use it, some of the results were incredibly helpful and long lasting.
Eventually, with careful explanation and the permission of my patients, I began to use EFT for certain medical problems in my office practice. Like with my family and friends, sometimes it helped a lot, and sometimes it fell flat. But despite its enormous potential, it was still too time consuming to use very often in my busy office schedule. Then, one day I happened to just tap certain acupuncture points without any of the preparations or affirmations of the EFT formula, and noticed that the tapping alone dramatically improved the facial pain and headache of one of my patients with a sinus infection. Based on this observation, I developed a rapid acupressure tapping technique that I could use effectively during my usual examination and treatment sessions in my busy office practice
I have used this technique now for several years, and I have seen it result in many amazing benefits for my patients. I will describe two of the most impressive examples here to illustrate how far outside the box of conventional medicine the results can sometimes be. The first involved an allergic reaction to a vaccination. The second involved chronic pain and disability from a crushed left hand. Both were stunning in their impact for both me and my patients.
My first example, my patient who I will call Bill, had received a routine vaccination to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia as a part of his routine care. He called me the next day and described how he had been unable to sleep all night due to pain in his left shoulder at the spot of the injection. Bill, who is normally cool and calm, sounded a bit agitated, so I asked him to come right in for me to examine his arm. When he arrived in the office, it was clear he was having a severe allergic reaction to the vaccination. While he was breathing fine and his blood pressure was ok, his face was flushed, he had broken out in a cold sweat and his shirt sleeve was rolled up to keep it from touching the huge red lump on his left shoulder.
Despite the severe swelling, the blood flow and nerve function in his left hand was still ok, so I knew I could safely treat him as an outpatient. I planned to order a steroid injection, prescribe pain meds and an antihistamine, and ask him to come back the next day for me to check on his shoulder. But this would all take a while to begin to relieve his discomfort, so I decided to try tapping on some acupressure points to see if they might quickly relieve some of his pain. The first four spots I tried showed no benefit at all, but when I began tapping on a spot on the inside of his left elbow, he said: “Wow! That’s making it feel better!” Within about twenty seconds of tapping on this spot, the angry red lump on his shoulder, about the size of half a hardboiled egg, shrank down to nothing and completely disappeared. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and from looking at Bill’s face, he couldn’t believe his either. In less than a minute, all the pain, all the inflammation and all the swelling were gone, and this was before he got any medications or other treatment of any kind.
I changed my plan to give a steroid shot, but still gave him prescriptions for steroids and pain control in case the problem returned. On the way out of the office, with a broad smile, he showed my assistant how much better he was by pounding his right fist on his left shoulder right where the touch of his shirt sleeve had been excruciatingly painful, just a few minutes earlier. Bill never filled the prescriptions; they weren’t ever needed.
Then there was a lady I will call Amy, a middle aged woman who had lost her index finger and half of her middle finger when her right hand was badly crushed in an auto accident five years earlier. Ever since the accident, the pain in her right hand never let up, and she was always tired and worn out since her hand kept waking her up all night. The skin of her hand was pale, dry and leathery and it was worse than useless. She could not stand to have it touch anything, even lightly. She had what is called a complex regional pain syndrome, extending from from her right elbow to her fingertips. All manner of medications, including powerful narcotics, failed to provide relief. Numerous modalities that a highly skilled occupational therapist tried were only of limited benefit. For five years, this poor lady had been miserable. She told me she believed she would have been much better off if the accident had just cut her hand completely off.
After the successes from using my acupressure method for about six months, and with the improvement of Bill’s allergic reaction fresh in my mind, I was encouraged to try acupressure on Amy’s problem. But I really didn’t expect it to help such a severe, long-lasting problem. After trying several acupoints on her right arm, she told me that two of them had actually helped a little. Then a point at the base of her skull (in the back), and a point on her right temple also helped a little. Another point on the inside of her left shoulder blade helped a lot and made her whole right arm tingle and feel warm. After about six or seven minutes of tapping these points, the pain was completely gone! She proceeded to use my ink pen to write her name with her right hand for the first time in five years. That night, she got her first full night’s sleep since the original injury, and without any sleep or pain medications. That was two years ago. No other acupressure was ever needed, and the problem has never returned. She now uses that hand without pain.
There was nothing in my medical training, nor is there anything in the standard medical journals that even comes close to explaining how these results could have been obtained by merely tapping on certain spots on the human body with your fingertips. I am sure that most of my medical colleagues will have a very hard time accepting that what I have described here could actually have happened. Until you personally witness these kinds of results, it is hard to believe, since these results fly in the face of the usual medical teachings.
It is due to examples like these that I can confidently say that the model of disease on which modern medicine is based is incomplete. I would go even further. While almost all of the currently accepted medical treatments are highly effective, they are limited to treating problems at the comparatively superficial levels amenable to drugs and surgery. In contrast to the kinds of problems that respond well to the usual treatments of modern medical science, many chronic illnesses can only be partially controlled. Some hardly respond at all. Techniques like acupressure and EFT appear to reach down to a deeper, as yet uncharted, region that is sometimes called “mind-body medicine.” And there appear to be even deeper levels yet, where habitual emotions, past traumas and dysfunctional beliefs may be the seeds that produce chronic illness. All this suggests that we may soon be able to develop effective methods to treat medical conditions that have previously been relatively resistant to current medical approaches.
What follows is a guide to a few of the articles previously published on this blog that present some topics that support my conclusions, above.
For those who may want to learn how to use my acupressure technique, details can be found in my article here:
A Simple, Highly Effective Healing Technique
For those who are interested in learning about EFT, see my article that discusses it here:
A Healing Method I Would Stake My Reputation On
A short discussion on how emotions can be the source of certain human diseases:
The Healing Power of the Human Mind: the Emotional Roots of Disease
My best to all,