Monday, November 8, 2010

The Lack of Medical in “Medical Intuitive”

“Dr.” Caroline Myss alleges that she is a medical intuitive—someone who can diagnose illness using her own seeming “second sight.” Myss has no verifiable evidence of being able to diagnose illness, and she does not open herself up to medically verifiable tests, even though a medical intuitive’s abilities can easily be tested in double blind experiments. Rather, in place of evidence, she offers a continuous stream of anecdotes and testimonials.

On a more scientific note, An Experimental Test of Psychic Diagnosis of Disease (as featured in he Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine) showed no benefit in using any sort of psychic diagnosis as a form of diagnosing disease. In Emily Rosa’s experiments with TT (Therapeutic Touch) practitioners, she found that these “gifted” individuals could not even detect where a person was, let alone feel the energy of their bodies. Basically, there has been no scientific study that has been able to prove the validity of any medical intuitive’s abilities.

For something that has no medical evidence supporting it, I find it interesting that Myss would go around touting the term medical intuitive. The word “medical” seems to be a weasel word, instantly giving credibility to the “profession” by making it appear to have a science behind it. You might as well have scientific, anthropological, and geological intuitives. Doesn’t that make what they do sound like something worthy of respect? As for the term “intuitive”, this seems to be just a new, more respected term for psychic. I read a wonderful article from the Committee of Scientific Inquiry, entitled Psychics Aren’t Psychics Anymore, by Karen Stollznow, which discusses how this new buzz-word is all the rage in the New Age community. I give credit to those of Myss’ generation for bringing this word to the forefront of modern woo.

Either way, for someone like Myss, who acts like she has nothing to prove, the term medical intuitive and her bogus “PhD”, makes me think she does. So why doesn’t she open herself up to scientific testing? Simply put: she’s got a good gig going and knows she would fail any double blind experiment she was offered. I give props to her for being smart, but not for using a term like medical intuitive to deceive innocent people with a lack of understanding of how non-medical what she does is.


David E. Young, Steven K. H. Aung. An Experimental Test of Psychic Diagnosis of Disease. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 1997, 3(1): 39–53. doi:10.1089/acm.1997.3.39.

Rosa, Linda; Rosa, Emily; Sarner, Larry; and Barrett, Stephen (April 1, 1998). “A Close Look at Therapeutic Touch". Journal of the American Medical Association 279 (13):1005–1010. doi:10.1001/jama.279.13.1005. PMID 9533499.


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