DW asks: “Are you familiar with Splankna? It would fall under the general category of ‘Energy Psychology’ and uses three protocols: Neuro-Emotional Technique (N.E.T.), Thought Field Therapy (T.F.T.), and E.M.D.R. (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Because the basis of this approach uses the ‘Meridian System of Energy,’ does it possess the same issues as Reiki and other new age healing modalities?”
Reiki is in a class by itself because of its use of a spirit guide, which is of the occult. But there is one thing Reiki and Splankna do have in common – they are both based on a bogus energy form that does not exist.
First of all, the word splankna, transliterated, literally means guts or intestines. The verb form, splanknizomai, means to feel something deep in the gut or to have compassion.
The Splankna Therapy Institute engages in what’s known as “energy psychology” which it says “refers to the field of treatment protocols that seek to alleviate psychological symptoms via biomeridian manipulation. It uses the same energy system in the body that acupuncture and chiropractic are based on for the resolution of emotional trauma.”
According to Eastern medicine and philosophy, meridians are alleged energy centers which are believed to be paths along which energy flows. This “energy” isn’t the veritable (or scientifically substantiated) type which is commonly found in the body, such as electromagnetic forces, monochromatic radiation and rays from other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Rather, the type splankna relies upon is an energy force that they believe permeates the universe (and has never been proven to exist). Splankna therapists believe this energy is part of how the body stores the strong emotions that come with trauma.
“Through accessing this storage system while in tune with a trauma, the body can be facilitated to release stored emotional charges that are fueling psychological symptoms,” the Institute explains.
“When it is identified that a particular emotion is stored in the body from a trauma and is fueling a symptom, (i.e. anger at my ex-husband is fueling my depression), mind-body work facilitates the body’s own ability to release that stored emotion on an energetic level, thus removing some of the fuel behind the symptom.”
Splankna therapists then turn to a variety of forms of mind-body work to treat the patient – all of them unproven and commonly associated with New Age practitioners. Two of them are Neuro-Emotional Technique (N.E.T.), and Thought Field Therapy (T.F.T.).
For instance, a typical session begins with muscle testing, an alternative therapy based on the notion that specific muscle weaknesses can reveal organ dysfunction (such as a weak chest muscle reveals a liver problem). This diagnostic procedure has been scientifically tested and found to be without a shred of credibility.
From there, the practitioner will select one of several methods to physically access and manipulate the body’s alleged energy storage system, such as NET, TFT and EMDR, none which have much – if any – scientific credibility.
If the above information is not disturbing enough, what is truly bothersome is how this particular institute and other practitioners insist upon putting a Christian face on all of this.
“God teaches us in the Bible that all things were created by Him and exist in Him and through Him (John 1, Acts 17:25),” the Institute states. “It is the Spirit of God sustaining creation that causes us to be alive. So while the New Age community may think they’re manipulating an impersonal universal ‘life force,’ they are really tapping into God’s remarkable creation in the mind-body connection. God just isn’t getting the credit. Here at the Splankna Research Institute, we’re making sure He does.”
There are many serious problems with this reasoning, not least of which is the fact that the Holy Spirit and a universal life force energy are two different things – they can’t be made into one just by saying “we believe the life force energy is the Holy Spirit.” This is no more possible than saying your dog is a cat just because you started calling it one. We can’t change the nature of something just by changing its name. The universal life force energy referred to in splankna therapy will always be what it is, just as the Holy Spirit will always be as He revealed Himself to man – as a personal being.
Remember how He described Himself to Moses? He said “I am WHO am,” not “I am WHAT is.” One implies personhood, the other does not. (This blog gives even more reason why God and an energy force can never be the same thing.) There is also no evidence that the Holy Spirit exists in such a way as to inhabit people’s “meridians,” thereby subjecting Himself to manipulation by therapists.
The Institute goes on to admit that what they’re selling seems very “New Age” but they contend that proponents of the New Age are keeping up with advances in fields such as molecular biology and quantum physics and the so-called “energetic” level of creation but are wrongly applying pantheistic conclusions to them.
“Christians either reject the New Age philosophies and the new discoveries about creation, calling all of it evil, or accept the whole package without discernment or spiritual boundaries. Here at Splankna we’re committed to a wiser response. Rather than the enemy getting credit for the remarkable part of God’s creation, or Christians ending up in spiritual danger, why not remove the errant philosophies and redeem these created mechanisms for the Kingdom of God?”
This is a seriously confused concept that can only be coming from people who don’t understand pantheism or Christianity. And they don’t appear to be too up on their science either as they offer nothing but testimonials to back up their claims that splankna can help people with anger, fatigue, compulsive habits, fears and phobias, etc.
My advice is to save your money and go to a legitimate Christian counselor who respects both science and the faith.
NOTE: This blog was updated in 2018 to remove any reference to EMDR as being New Age due to new research on this subject. See this blog for more information.
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