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  • #76
    Consider the perspective below. Comment. Then we’ll talk.

    The healing by Dorjee was one of several uses of perceptual legerdemain that I have witnessed by traditional medicine persons. I came to believe that the shamanic application of sleight-of-hand for healing purposes is likely the aboriginal source of the entire craft of sleight-of-hand conjuring. For skillful practice of sleight-of-hand magic is a kind of shock treatment for the person watching – a way of jarring his nervous system, the immune system via the direct conduit of his senses. It is a potent technique for disrupting frozen patterns and fears, knocking loose the regenerative capacity of the body. Contrary to modern assumptions, sleight-of-hand conjuring probably originates not as an illusionary depiction of supernatural events, but as a practical technique for unlocking and activating the fluid magic of nature itself.

    David Abram
    Barrett L. Dorko

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    • #77
      To me, that appears to be congruent with what we know of "healing" (as in "resetting" the system).

      "The fluid magic of nature" is a poetic description of nervous systems interacting and intra-acting.
      We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are - Anais Nin

      I suppose it's easier to believe something than it is to understand it.
      Cmdr. Chris Hadfield on rise of poor / pseudo science

      Pain is a conscious correlate of the implicit perception of threat to body tissue - Lorimer Moseley

      We don't need a body to feel a body. Ronald Melzack

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      • #78
        It was as profound an experience of magic as any I’d yet tasted…(it contained) a dimension always operative beneath my conventional consciousness (and) I began to feel more palpably present.

        (This is) the purest hall mark of magic, the very signature of its uttermost reality. Magic doesn’t sweep you away; it gathers you up into the body of the present moment so thoroughly that all your explanations fall away: the ordinary, in all its plain and simple outrageousness, begins to shine.

        David Abram in Becoming Animal
        Barrett L. Dorko

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        • #79
          Nova is airing a segment on Feb. 2 title Magic and the Brain. I think it will eventually be available online to watch. I'll post a link if that's the case and I remember to do it. Maybe someone else will if I don't.
          "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris

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          • #80
            Thanks Jon.

            This has been showing up in Twitter feeds here and there.

            If anyone sees it, pointing readers toward this thread would be a good idea.
            Barrett L. Dorko

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            • #81
              A pretty good interview with the authors of this book showed up on this week's podcast of The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe.

              It begins at about minute 41.
              Barrett L. Dorko

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              • #82
                I am glad to see the word "magic" reclaimed, as I also want to reclaim the word "energy." Both are words I've avoided using because of their misuse. When they are used rightly, they are good descriptions of the amazing world we inhabit & work in.

                I saw a new client today. I'm still slightly confused by what she wants out of our time together. I think she's overthinking her situation, has been convinced of certain things by other MTs and a PT with whom she's worked, all of them nice, well-meaning people, but she has handed over her power to them. She tells me all about her postural distortions, which don't look all that significant, and how her body is pulling this way and that. I ask her how she feels and she says, "Well, I've been told that . . . " It's very difficult to get her to describe how she feels, she tells me instead what other people have told her is going on with her.

                When she walked in I had just finished reading Paul Ingraham's most recent article on fascial contractibility (sp?). She began telling me what brought her in and how she thinks she has some sort of fascial pull, but was asking me what I thought. I could not suppress a smile. It was okay. She knows me. We talked, I explained what I could at that moment.

                I got to work. What I was doing felt very right to her, at least she was clear about that. That was good. What was I doing? Doesn't matter all that much, except that is was kind of stretchy a lot, probably with more weight behind it than I get the impression Diane might use but not so aggressive as most fascialists. What was i thinking? She complains of feeling like she's being pulled in a direction, of not feeling comfortable in her body. I was thinking, well, I'm having a conversation with her body, trying to suggest to it that maybe it doesn't need to pull in that direction, suggesting maybe it could relax, knowing full well that in the end maybe it will decide yes, maybe no, maybe I have not yet communicated to it what it wants to hear.

                The lady liked what I did, said she felt good when she got up. We'll see how long that lasts. The thought occurred to me that were I a fascialist, i could have done the same thing and would have a different explanation for what I thought I was doing and why I was doing it. And were I focused on trigger points (and yes, I still do that) I might have done some of the same things and described them differently. But at this point I am constantly aware that the nervous system controls it all, and if I'm going to effect any change at all, somehow I've got to find a way to convince the brain that it wants to change in a direction that I hope will feel like an improvement.

                It really is rather magical, the body, how it works, the brain, the nervous system, our interaction with it. The verbal conversation with the client, the nonverbal conversation with the client, and trying to find a way to get past the client's concept of what is going on, which more often than not is not very helpful.

                What an incredible journey. What a fascinating way to spend the day.

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                • #83
                  Alice,

                  Your attempted reclamation of "energy" interests me. Personally, I gave up on it long ago. Those who use it it bodywork define it in so many ways that I wouldn't know where to begin. Long ago I quoted a physicist who pointed out that "energy isn't a "thing," it is a quality we use to describe the behavior of those "things" we know to exist.

                  Changing an adjective to a noun immediately defeats most who will object to its use in this way, and that's what many have done. This doesn't make them bad people, but they've fallen down a rabbit hole I watch but stay away from.

                  Magic, on the other hand, can be reclaimed as long as we understand its various manifestations. Dawkins does a wonderful job with this and they are explained here.
                  Barrett L. Dorko

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                  • #84
                    Well, when I use the word in a non-therapy setting, it's not so bad. For instance, when playing music for a dance, we'll talk about the energy of the music or of the dance itself. It's descriptive of the general experience, a feeling of excitement, heightened awareness, generally shared by those involved, and not meant to refer to any supernatural phenomena.

                    In personal interactions, particularly when doing massage with a client, there is sometimes a quality about the interaction that one might refer to as energy but I still hesitate to use it among MTs because of misuse of the word. However, I don't like being restricted in the use of language because of others' mistaken ideas. I'd like to be free to use whatever word best seems to describe the situation. So, I don't think you'll see me throwing it around freely any time soon but if you find me using it, you'll know what I mean and that I am not referring to "biofields" or any such thing, just as if I'm using the word "magic" to refer to the natural world or even interactions that I'm referring to my own amazement and wonder at how things work and not supernatural forces.

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