Quantum Touch

A skeptical look at medical practices

Quantum Touch

Post #1  Postby tomreason » Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:57 am

I just came across this one today:

http://quantumtouch.com/
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Post #2  Postby Wayward_Son » Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:23 pm

Link is blocked by the workplace's firewall. Can you give me a brief synopsis?
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Post #3  Postby Ron L » Sat Feb 18, 2006 3:04 am

Wayward Son,
How about this quote:
"Chiropractors are impressed because bones spontaneously melt into their correct alignment with a light touch....."
That's enough for me.
Thanks,
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Post #4  Postby Wayward_Son » Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:56 pm

Oh, that. Yeah, I do it all the time. Didn't know it was special. Think there's any money in it?
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Post #5  Postby Capthorne » Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:06 am

Some years ago my wife and I spent an interesting day at a Quantum Touch seminar where we were taught the technique. It does actually work in certain circumstances but the changes do not last for long.

It seems to make sense until the woo-woo part is disclosed! It does have the advantage of being relatively cheap - at least it was then.
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Post #6  Postby Capthorne » Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:37 pm

Except to the extent that it a) provides temporary relief and the idea that whatever it is may be curable after all, and b) convinces others to pay good money for the how-to book.
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Post #7  Postby HghrSymmetry » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:46 am

Perhaps a type of placebo effect.  Perception coupled with belief etc......
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Post #8  Postby Capthorne » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:58 am

Dr X: We are agreed.

Not entirely placebo. Actual slight hip diplacement due to one leg being shorter than the other (very common) was corrected and could be seen to be corrected. The effect lasted until the following morning, but by that time she had bought the book.

Actually I got to know the "Quack" quite well and he genuinely believed that what he was doing was helping people.
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Post #9  Postby JJM » Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:48 am

Capthorne,

"Leg length" differences are mainstays of quackery.  See
http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRel ... roinv.html
for examples of one person having opposing diagnoses from different quacks.  

Also, see James Randi's "Flim Flam" for a demonstration of how the scam works.  As children we used to adopt a body-position such that one hand fully protruded from a sleeve, and the other only partially so.  We knew it was a joke that one arm was shorter than the other.  Chiropractors have turned this child's joke into a goldmine.  

Some people actually do have different leg lengths.  For them, it is a cruel hoax to suggest that a quack can fix it.  

Joe
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Post #10  Postby Capthorne » Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:47 am

JJM.

You are mistaken if you believe that differences in leg length are not common and, indeed, normal. People are not bilaterally symetrical.

I am not arguing in favour of Quantum Touch, merely reporting facts. I know that it it is usually pointless. I also know that at least one practitioner genuinely believes that he is helping people which is why he charges very little and concentrates on teaching people how to do it themselves.

However, when leg lengths differ by more than a small amount the result can cause various joints to become mis-aligned which, in turn can cause pain. When properly diagnosed the solution is to use shoe inserts and minor but initially frequent adjustments by such as a chiropractor. "Quantum touch" applied (such as by one's partner) several times a day for a few days can often work just as well.
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Post #11  Postby JJM » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:02 am

Capthorne wrote:
"JJM.  You are mistaken if you believe that differences in leg length are not common and, indeed, normal. People are not bilaterally symetrical."

>Usually, the differences are insignificant.  

"I am not arguing in favour of Quantum Touch, merely reporting facts. ... I also know that at least one practitioner genuinely believes ..."

>Yes, you are arguing for this quackery.  If you have facts to report, "Lancet" is dying to publish them.  Your practitioner only has "beliefs," which are all he can have without data.  

"However, when leg lengths differ by more than a small amount  ... "Quantum touch" applied (such as by one's partner) several times a day for a few days can often work just as well."  

>As Dr X observes, bones (and all the other requisite tissues) don't lengthen and shrink daily under manipulation.  You have been successfully quacked.

By the way, can you explain the meaning of "quantum" here?  I used to teach rudimentary quantum mechanics (QM) in university 'introductory chemistry' and I have no idea what it means here.  Of course, I have forgotten more about QM than any New-Ager ever knew.  

Joe
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Post #12  Postby Capthorne » Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:18 pm

JJMbones wrote: (and all the other requisite tissues) don't lengthen and shrink daily under manipulation. You have been successfully quacked.


That is not my claim. It is true that even very slight, even minimal ("quantum") adjustments can help align joints that are minimally displaced.

As a skeptic I made a very careful study of the practitioner to whom I referred earlier. I made measurements and followed up informally with several patients/victims so I know whereof I write. I know better than to dismiss the claims out of hand.

It is become a little too easy to dismiss improbable claims as quackery without taking the trouble to find out what is really happening as opposed to what the practitioner thinks is happening.
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Post #13  Postby Capthorne » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:44 pm

No X-rays; measurements with calipers and wall grid. As a personal and informal ad hoc study carried out to satisfy my own curiosity I was not concerned to prove anything to anyone else. Neither, for that matter, am I now.

When I come across something highly improbable that attracts my interest then I investigate it without necessarily waiting for someone else to try to convince me of its reality. I have no interest in any claims of the proponents of what they choose to call "quantum touch", nor of any explanations they may offer for its results. I prefer to make my own investigation.

To the skeptic who says "If you can't prove it scientifically then I don't accept it" I say: Please yourself.

If it attracts my interest then I shall try to prove it myself. I may then discover exactly what is going on, including why it may appear to work, why it fails, why people believe in it and so on. That is what a real skeptic does. Simply insisting that the proponents prove their claims is too passive an approach for me.
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Post #14  Postby JJM » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:09 pm

Capthorne wrote:
"I made measurements and followed up informally with several patients/victims ..."

>Then I expect we will see this, or similar, data in a good journal.  Please provide citations.  

If you are claiming some transient relief of discomfort after a chiropractic massage, that is an unexceptional result.  Chiros are mere masseurs (with delusions of grandeur).  

Meanwhile, I stand by my assertion that leg-length differences are common, quack diagnoses.  I pointed you to a report in which one person visited several chiros on one day and had three conflicting diagnoses (left=long, right=long, both the same) on that day, with no intervening "therapy."  Surf quackwatch.com, there are a few such reports.  

Joe
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Post #15  Postby Capthorne » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:12 pm

JJM can expect all he wants. I'm not sure how to make myself more clear without repeating myself. Note the terms "ad hoc" and"informal". The event took place some years ago and I happened to come across it by chance. I was not equipped with x-ray machines or graduate students so merely made what investigations interested me at the time.

I am not making any claim on behalf of the proponents of quantum touch, merely reporting an experience of mine. I thought it might be of interest. Clearly there are too many people here who just want a good argument.
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Post #16  Postby Capthorne » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:30 am

I'm complaining about your attitude to a casual observation. I had no opportunity to conduct formal experiments at the time and had insufficient interest in doing so later. I have more interesting things to do. I happened to be passing the place, it was raining, and I went inside until it stopped. I made some few casual observations and left. I mentioned it here because it seemed appropriate. I wasn't expecting the Spanish Inquisition.
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Post #17  Postby JJM » Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:39 am

JJM, can you do me a favor?  Clicketh the "quote" button with regards to this post.

I often get confused trying to follow where you are writting and where you are responding to someone else.

Thanks.

. . . and no, your mother is not ugly. . . .

--J.D.


I couldn't get the danged thing to work before.  It seems "BBCode off" was my default setting.  It was almost as annoying as the Spanish Inquisition.
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Post #18  Postby JJM » Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:50 am

Capthorne wrote:I'm complaining about your attitude to a casual observation.


>Then you should have said it was a "casual observation" from the start, rather than:
"I am ... merely reporting facts."

>When you say you are "merely reporting facts" it sounds like you are doing more than promoting a casual notion.  I still have no idea what you claim to have observed.  Given the topic, I thought you were talking about observed changes in leg-length (which, I think you agree, is absurd).  

>Your statements
"...   "Quantum touch" applied (such as by one's partner) several times a day for a few days can often work just as well."
>And
"Actual slight hip diplacement due to one leg being shorter than the other (very common) was corrected and could be seen to be corrected."
>Contradict your statement
"I am not arguing in favour of Quantum Touch ..."

>Sorry; but, I still find your claims confusing.

The bottom line remains: "quantum touch" (like all of chiropractic) is massage, masquerading as something "more."

Joe

I will get the BBCode sorted out later.
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Post #19  Postby DJ » Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:33 pm

I think the principle issue here is how do we as clinicians remove the “art” of medicine and replace it with the evidence(s) derived from the scientific study of medicine, i.e. evidence based practice.  It’s certainly acceptable to use “experience” in real time treatment, because we know so little about the brain’s capacity to heal as well as the body’s capacity to heal.  But, perhaps we need to acknowledge the placebo effect more often than we give credence to quackery. :?:
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Post #20  Postby bigtim » Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:35 am

This sounds a lot like scientology's "touch assist" where you stop pain by repeatedly touching a point on the body (moving it around) then asking them to feel your finger.  Then, once they have felt it, you move it to another location.
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Post #21  Postby JJM » Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:52 pm

Concerning the "short-leg" diagnosis:

"Practitioners who conduct "health fairs" typically find a "short leg ..." Usually, such findings are nonexistent or not significant."  [emphasis added]
Samuel Homola, DC
http://www.chirobase.org/17QA/shortleg.html

Homola was among the first rational chiropractors (if not the first).  In the early 1950s, in chiro school, he realized that most of what he was being taught was nonsense.  After graduation, he limited his practice to something resembling physical therapy.  You can find more about him, his books, and chiro, at the web site:
http://www.chirobase.org/index.html
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Post #22  Postby Thorn » Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:43 am

Why does this idea sound familiar...?

New name, same ugly innards?
"In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms."
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