Blog Post

Winging it with Wingwave Therapy

therapistWe recently received a question about a new coaching tool known as the Wingwave method. What is it and is it associated with the New Age?

Wingwave is described as “an emotional coaching tool” that allegedly leads to a quick reduction in performance stress while increasing creativity, mental fitness and emotional stability.

According to this Wingwave document, this is accomplished by having the patient follow the rapid finger movements of the coach with his or her eyes, from left to right, and right to left, to simulate the eye movements associated with the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep. During this awake version of REM, the patient is instructed to think about a stressful, irritating or important event.

“During the REM phases of the intervention, these limiting emotions disappear amazingly fast and quite perceptibly and are replaced by subjectively palpable feelings of relief, strength and ability to act constructively and positively in light of the challenging task,” the paper explains.

Supposedly, this is because, with Wingwave coaching, emotions begin to move or flow again so patients are no longer “stuck” in the fear or anxiety associated with stressful events.

The whole process takes one to two hours to complete.

Wingwave is presented as being a “Combination of Methods” one of which is a darling of the New Age movement- Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP is supposedly a “user’s manual” for the brain that can help change people’s habits and behaviors by reprogramming their brains. This therapy relies upon the same premise as the large group awareness programs associated with the New Age’s Human Potential Movement in that it posits a person’s ability to effect their destiny through the power of the mind.

Another component, and one that is even more problematic, is what the site refers to as the “Myostatic or O-ring test from kinesiology” which they falsely claim is “well researched” and “highly reliable.” It is nothing of the kind. Otherwise known as muscle testing (aka applied kinesiology), this is a pseudoscientific diagnostic method that relies on muscle weakness to determine organ dysfunction.

Proponents claim diseases can be evaluated through specific patterns of muscle weakness which they can heal by manipulating or unblocking alleged body energies along meridian pathways, or by infusing energy to produce healing in certain organs. (The energy they are referring to is a putative energy force known as qi, or chi, or universal life force, and which has no scientific credibility.)

The method was discovered in 1964 by a Michigan chiropractor named George Goodheart who combined elements of psychic philosophy, Chinese Taoism, and a belief in an Innate Intelligence.

The “O-ring” method refers to one of the diagnostic procedures in the muscle testing toolbox which has the patient form an “O” with the thumb and a finger on the same hand. The diagnostician then evaluates the patient’s health according to how difficult it is to pry open their fingers. Needless to say, the method has no scientific credibility.

Although Wingwave enthusiasts like to use a lot of very scientific talk on their sites about “bilateral hemispheric stimulation” and various brain functions, there is very little in the way of research. I was able to find only a handful of studies - all conducted in Germany on small control groups

Because of its association with practices that have been proven to be bogus, I have my doubts about these studies and would want to see more peer-reviewed science before investing in any kind of Wingwave coaching.