PC writes: “It is said many times on your blog that there is no scientific proof of “energy.” It can be argued that there is no scientific evidence of God either. How do we as Catholics share the potential dangers of energy practitioners with loved ones?”
To begin with, comparing scientific proof of the existence of this “energy” known as qi, chi, prana, etc. with proof of God’s existence is comparing apples to oranges. Why? Because Christians don’t claim to be able to manipulate God or His power in a way that effects healing. We pray to Him, and lay hands on one another as a sign of intercession, but that’s as far as it goes. The rest is left up to God. Unlike energy workers, we don’t claim to take control of, or channel, God’s power and manipulate it in a person’s body.
Energy practitioners, on the other hand, claim to be manipulating a force in order to effect healing. (They call it “balancing” or “restoring”.) In order for this to be true, this force must be measurable in some way. Obviously, a person can’t manipulate “nothing” (sorry for the 2 negatives). And this is precisely where they run into trouble with science. If you can move it around, you have to be able to measure it in some way.
After all, other forms of energy that can be manipulated and measured have been proven by science – such as sound waves, electromagnetic fields, radiation – all of which have been proven to exist according to the laws of physics. So if this “chi” energy exists, there’s no reason why it can’t be proven by scientific standards along with all other known forms of measurable and manipulative energies.
But according to Victor Stenger, Ph.D., Professor of Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii (an atheist – so he has no “horse in this race,” so to speak), the “energy” known as chi, ki, qi, prana, etc. has been eluding science for centuries.
“Physics, a science that can measure the magnetic dipole moment of the electron . . . to one part in ten billion . . . surely should be able to detect any electromagnetic effects in the body powerful enough to move atoms around or do whatever happens in causing or curing disease,” writes Stenger.
“Such a thing has never been hinted at in scientific medicine. Neither physics nor any other science has seen any sort of evidence for a new form of energy that demands that we go beyond well established physical theories and come up with a new explanation.”
Stenger has written extensively on this subject and says any form of alternative medicine that stakes its claim on the existence of an unknown bio-energetic field, “whether therapeutic touch or [traditional Chinese] acupuncture, should be asked to meet the same criteria as anyone else who claims a phenomenon whose existence goes beyond established science. They have an enormous burden of proof . . .”
As of this writing, no one has ever been able to meet this burden of proof, which is why all energy medicine remains in the realm of pseudo-science.
Our Learn to Discern series contains two books that address energy medicine in much greater detail – Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch. These booklets were designed for use in evangelizing those who are involved in these practices!