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Pseudoscience invades Social Work – Science-Based Medicine

Pseudoscience invades Social Work – Science-Based Medicine

A current article within the Journal of Proof-Knowledgeable Social Work paperwork over 400 web sites of social staff, most engaged in some type of psychological well being counseling, utilizing questionable practices, from “Entry Consciousness” to “Zero Balancing Practitioner.” Given the pervasiveness of pseudoscience in healthcare, mentioned numerous occasions right here on Science-Based mostly Drugs, this could shock nobody. In any case, if the venerable Cleveland Clinic can supply reiki, practical drugs, and Chinese language herbs to its sufferers with out sanction, what’s to maintain Licensed Medical Social Staff from working towards Angelic Channeling, Plant Spirit Drugs, and Theta Therapeutic?

This survey of internet sites doesn’t purport to be systematic or to estimate the prevalence of those practices amongst social staff. Nor do the authors imply to indict the whole career, recognizing “that there are social staff who conduct critically necessary work every single day.” (On a private word, my daughter, a social employee, is one in every of these: She works with foster households in a job that’s each extraordinarily tense and extremely rewarding.) Moderately, the authors, two teachers from New York College and The Metropolis College of New York, merely needed to see what was on the market. They carried out Google searches utilizing search strings consisting of “LSCW” [Licensed Clinical Social Worker] and comparable skilled designations (e.g., “MSW” for the Masters of Social Work diploma) and phrases like “therapeutic” or “angels.” They use their findings as a springboard to ask their career whether or not social staff must be engaged in these practices and, if the reply is “no,” then “what is going to you do about it?”, questions they increase however don’t reply. (We’ll return to those questions in a second.)

So, what did they discover? Sadly, an entire lot of utter nonsense. Area doesn’t allow me to catalogue every follow, just a few highlights. (The article is on-line and offers hyperlinks to all the web sites if you’d like extra examples. Due to this, I’m eschewing hyperlinks to each web site talked about within the submit, thereby avoiding turning virtually the entire publish blue.)

Some social staff follow the kind of pedestrian pseudoscience we’re all conversant in right here at SBM: reiki, reflexology, acupressure, Bach flower cures, aromatherapy, therapeutic contact, and acudetox.

Different social staff are into angels. If their web sites are to be believed (see additionally right here and right here), angels lack the heavenly company ascribed to them within the Bible and wish individuals with levels in social work to behave as intermediaries. There’s angel card readings, angel communicator, angel messenger, angel readings, angel remedy practitioner, angelic channeling, angelic therapeutic massage, licensed angel remedy practitioner, licensed archangel life coach, licensed angelic life objective coach, archangelic mild, licensed grasp angel practitioner, golden angel therapeutic work, steerage from the angelic realm, guided therapeutic meditation adopted by particular person angel messages, intuitive angel and fairy professional, Mary Queen of Angels playing cards, and Spirit Wings: An angel portray course.

The truth is, commerce with incorporeal entities just isn’t unusual. Practices listed within the article embrace akashic document studying, ancestor work, religious course, chakra balancing, chakra therapeutic and chakra dance, clairvoyant psychotherapy, extraction (“eradicating localized religious intrusion”), divine channel, and plenty of shamanic work: shamanic clearings, shamanic therapeutic, shamanic divination, shamanic extraction therapeutic, shamanic methods of therapeutic, shamanic interventions (“together with extraction of psychotoxic intrusions, soul retrieval/energy animal retrieval, divination”), shamanic journey circles and shamanic psychotherapist. Additionally: soul teaching, soul collage, soul detective, soul retrieval, soul remedy, spirit attachment work, spirit wings, religious awakening, religious empowerment, religious lovefare, religious medium, and religious response method.

Totally different types of power “remedy” are well-liked as properly (as a result of, as one web site says, “power turns into stagnant and causes what is known as power blockages that may manifest as persistent emotional ache” and so on.). Included are An-Ra power therapeutic, Eden power drugs, built-in power remedy, Christa power attunement, core star power therapeutic, power clearing, power drugs, power/tantric therapies, 4 Winds Society power practices, gua-sha with power stability, intuitive power therapeutic, La Ho Chi power therapeutic, power coach, soul-directed power therapeutic, delicate power therapeutic, transformational power drugs, and Zensight power therapeutic.

This power “remedy” is remarkably efficient, in accordance with its practitioners:

Bengston Power Therapeutic Technique, a strong, protected power remedy that may produce exceptional outcomes for each individuals and animals, from offering adjunctive remedy for most cancers in addition to serving to enhance bronchial asthma, melancholy, digestive illnesses, nervousness, allergic reactions, Alzheimers, arthritis, cataracts and different ophthalmological issues, eczema and lots of different bodily and emotional issues.


Balancing your energies balances your physique’s chemistry, regulates your hormones, helps you are feeling higher, and helps you assume higher.

One other incredible profit:

By way of the crown of the top, frenetic power, nerve-racking pictures, self incrimination/doubt and fear concerning the future is launched up and out, like smoke up a chimney.

Acupuncture analogs

Acupuncture has confirmed a fertile floor upon which to construct numerous permutations, equally implausible and missing in proof, however however utilized by a number of social staff of their practices. Along with the acudetox talked about earlier, social staff additionally apply acutonics, TAPAS Acupressure Method, and REMAP.

Acutonics is worthy of its personal submit, however, briefly:

Every thing within the Universe vibrates, from the smallest particle, to the planets in our photo voltaic system, to the billions of stars within the Milky Method Galaxy, creating patterns of geometric waveforms, frequencies, musical intervals, and sounds.


The sounds of the Universe are introduced into well being care by means of using precision calibrated planetary tuning forks and symphonic planetary gongs. Acupressure factors and chakras present noninvasive entry into these core power methods inside the physique. The planets present musical intervals, archetypes, psychological depth, and correspondences that assist us to fine-tune the therapeutic frequencies which might be utilized to the physique.

That is, in fact,

. . . grounded in Oriental drugs, psychology, science, cosmological research and sound therapeutic rules.

Within the case of acutonics, an image actually is value a thousand phrases.

You’ll be able to see the planetary gongs, which “set a strong stage for the therapeutic setting by dramatically shifting the molecular surroundings, establishing layers of vibrations within the air that resound via our emotional, psychological, bodily, and religious our bodies” right here.

TAPAS acupressure method [TAT] was developed in 1993 by an acupuncturist named Tapas (a lot for “used for hundreds of years.”) In response to the TATLife web site:

Whereas within the TAT Pose (touching acupressure factors in your head), consideration is placed on a set of particular statements. This easy course of can effortlessly dissolve previous traumas, clear damaging beliefs, or finish essential voices…and also you don’t have to speak about it, give it some thought, or determine something out. The TAT course of uplifts your complete system — bodily, psychological, emotional and religious. It helps you will have extra love, happiness and peace. TAT has been used efficiently to finish fears and phobias, reduce each sort of stress, heal the emotional origins of bodily illness, and manifest a cheerful life right here and now.

Actually, why pay for costly psychotherapy when all you need to do is contact some acupressure factors in your head?

REMAP stands for Reed Eye Motion Acupressure Psychotherapy, which was developed by (you guessed it) somebody named Reed. REMAP

. . . is the progressive synthesis of mind-body remedy, mind science, highly effective behavioral desensitization, counter-conditioning, mindfulness and easy, but efficient cognitive interventions. . . . REMAP has a central focus of calming the emotional midbrain and soothing the sympathetic nervous system in an effort to counter situation subcortical conditioned responses. By way of revolutionary purposes of acupressure, mindfulness, breath regulation and activation of areas inside the visible area, REMAP works from physique to mind to be able to desensitize emotional misery. By means of this mechanism [as if they’ve actually explained it]the REMAP strategies assist to retrain the limbic system to make associations of rest and luxury with reminiscences that have been beforehand coded as painful.

One can truly turn into “licensed” in acutonics, TAT and REMAP. In truth, the cachet of certification and its implied legitimacy might be achieved in any variety of pseudoscientific practices employed by social staff: Licensed Angelic Life Function Coach, Licensed Avesa Quantum Healer, Licensed Biofield Tuning Practitioner, Licensed BTB Feng Shui Grasp, Licensed Cuddle Get together Facilitator (which sounds a bit creepy), Licensed Dream Coach, Licensed Flower and Gem Essence Therapist, Licensed Humanistic Sand Tray Therapist, Licensed Intuitive Healer, Licensed Matrix Energetics Practitioner, Licensed Neurokinesis Practitioner, and Licensed Theta Healer, amongst others.

Just like the creators of acutonics, TAT and REMAP, entrepreneurs have fabricated elaborate (allegedly) therapeutic techniques, both by combining established pseudoscientific practices or, in some instances, simply making stuff up on their very own. For instance, Bodytalk makes use of a modified type of utilized kinesiology quackery to

. . . simply ask your physique what communication circuits have turn into compromised and during which order these strains of communication must be re-established for the quickest potential therapeutic course of to happen.


Your practitioner makes use of the BodyTalk Protocol Chart to find out the weakened or damaged power circuits in your bodymind complicated which might be being highlighted by your innate therapeutic knowledge


The practitioner then frivolously faucets you on the highest of the top, which stimulates your mind and causes it to provoke corrections to the damaged circuits. That is just like how the CPU of a pc runs and executes packages. [Actually, it’s not.] This tapping prompts the mind facilities in a means that causes the mind to reevaluate the bodymind’s state of well being after which align the frequencies inside the bodymind to match the method that was created.

That is adopted by faucets to the sternum and navel for equally laughable functions.

Implausible hardly begins to explain Bodytalk, but this social employee claims it eradicated allergic reactions, meals poisoning and jet lag, in addition to “balanced” an irregular heartbeat, ADD and ADHD.

Lastly, within the “you’ll be able to’t make these things up” class, we discover Aura Infusions, which apparently is made up and utilized by this single practitioner. (No “certification” in Aura Infusions is obtainable.)

Every Aura Infusion is rigorously blended to usher in greater energies, restore your power electrical system and stability your temper. The bottles are ready individually, with the utmost care and a spotlight to guarantee a excessive vibration product. A Herkimer Diamond is ready for every bottle, which harmonizes the formulation of botanicals and gems, and prepares these energies to be transmitted to the aura. The Herkimer diamond is positioned inside every bottle, which potentiates the botanicals and gems within the formulation. The impact of vibrational alchemy permits your unique energetic blueprint to emerge in response to your personal tempo. . .

Sometimes, these botanical blends are sprayed into the air round you as you benefit from the aromatics. Your Aura Subject will come into contact with the synergistic vitality of the spray. Additionally, the air-borne molecules of the excessive grade aromatherapy oils are taken into the olafactory [sic] bulb, the place they’re translated into impulses acquired by the limbic mind for rest, centering, and settling and balancing of feelings.

The reply is “no”

Returning to the query the authors ask within the title of their article, however don’t reply – Ought to social staff be engaged in these practices? – I might reply most emphatically “no”. What, then, as additionally they ask, to do about it?

Social staff are regulated by the person states within the U.S., every with totally different legal guidelines, guidelines, and necessities for licensure. Complaints might be filed with regulatory boards or, if the alleged wrongdoer is a member of the Nationwide Affiliation of Social Staff, with that group.

But when the prevalence of pseudoscience in drugs is any indication of how properly a state regulatory system works to fight quackery, that is clearly not the answer, though it’d supply some deterrence. There must be a concerted nationwide effort to stamp out pseudoscience in all of healthcare. Sadly, since drugs and different healthcare professions have deserted science as a regular, and legislators fail to successfully regulate quackery (actually, they commonly incorporate it into regulation), that isn’t going to occur anytime quickly.