16

There have been various claims that a process called 'Theta Healing' can achieve profound improvements in people's health. Various books and papers mention it, not to mention the fact that it's had some news coverage and conferences.

Though it seems unlikely it is true, could Theta Healing work? People in the news coverage talk of very quick healing of broken bones through this technique... how else would this happen, or would they simply be lying for the news report?

  • 8
    there's been many medical scams and hoaxes that are widely "supported" by celebs and therefore many people believe in them. Some are harmless enough that the placebo effect can help in mild cases, sometimes things go way wrong and people die as a result. In some of those cases the "healers" end up in prison. "Theta healing" is just another of those in a very long list of "faith healing" type scams. – jwenting Jul 7 '11 at 6:39
  • 5
    This web site is dedicated to "Unmasking the Cult of ThetaHealing" and one of its featured references is a BBC exposure of ThetaHealing as a fraud: thetahealing-unmasked.com – Randolf Richardson Jul 7 '11 at 10:03
19

No, the claims about Theta Healing have been thoroughly debunked

The claims that it can instantly cure cancer or facilitate the growing back of lost limbs should be an indication of its validity. If anyone was able to grow back a lost limb, this would have been widely noted.

Even if you consider the above claims to be plausible, perhaps her claim that god speaks to and guides her (Vianna Stibal, creator of Theta healing) directly are an indication that her methods are not based on science, nor on any proven method.

Skeptoid has a good explanation on Theta healing:

Theta healing is just another random "roll-the-dice and invent a New Age healing technique" based on some imaginary energy field. This one was invented in 1995 by a self-described "intuitive reader" who believed that she could project theta waves from her brain which would instantly heal the patient. Theta healing claims to immediately and completely cure cancer, severe injuries, and even psychological and financial problems.

In fact, a theta wave is not an energy field or a type of energy at all. It's simply the name of one type of waveform on an electroencephalogram. When an EEG shows a sine wave with a period of between 4 and 8 Hertz, neurologists designate that as a theta pattern. This waveform is observed when the subject is asleep or at rest, and in some types of learning involving short term memory.

Probably what happened is that this "intuitive reader" heard the term "theta wave", misinterpreted it to mean a type of mystical energy field generated by the brain; and then erroneously put two and two together when one of her customers reported some kind of positive experience. If you look at any web page about theta healing, you'll see all kinds of vaguely scientific sounding words thrown out there in meaningless disarray. There's nothing plausible about it and no description specific enough to test, but unfortunately, unscientific laypeople are all too often ill-equipped to recognize that such technobabble on a web page is baseless.

-

The BBC, certainly a reputable organization, did a comprehensive debunking:

Professor Ernst says such claims are "irresponsible, even criminal".

He believes that the ThetaHealing group try to distinguish themselves from the other 20,000 faith healers in the UK by applying a "veneer of science", but says "it's still nonsense".

Lastly, a columnist on the ABC Australia website has a good summary of why it is all a crock:

I did some more digging on Theta Healing: apparently it involves putting the patient's brain into a theta-state, operating at four to seven cycles per second. The practitioner then uses a highly dubious and often-debunked practice of applied kinesiology, where muscle response is tested to determine the patient's problem.

...

Moving on: Once the Theta healer has ascertained the medical issue, the big guns come out - DNA Activation. According to the website, the "master cell" of the "pinel (sic) gland" is activated, which apparently switches on bits and pieces of junk DNA, allowing the healer to treat disease, make you rich and get rid of wrinkles.

  • Skeptoid is wrong, they dont attempt to project magical theta waves, they get into this mind state so they can "command" things to happen in dna proportions, since they claim that theta mind state increases brain capacity. I believe most of this thing is pure hypnosis, self suggestion and placebo... but you still can achieve interesting things with meditation training that are usefull such as controlling metabolism, warming your body, ignore pain, learn things fast, memory, fast conditioning. – user23039 Nov 30 '14 at 13:21

You must log in to answer this question.

protected by Community Feb 5 '16 at 22:44

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .