here, I cite from a recent Australian Broadcasting Corporation audio interview of a naturopath who claims to have what most would call paranormal or supernatural diagnostic and healing powers [see 001., below]; then, her qualifications from her web page biography [see 002., below]; and finally, also from her naturopathy web page and various other pages at her clinic [see 003., below]:
001. ND Reilly states in "Modalities - Medical Intuitive Trijntje Reilly" (2012-04-30)[downloaded 2012-04-30; my comments are in unquoted bold]:
"[the host is Mary-Lou Stephens (MLS)] this afternoon on modalities we are looking at [...] the realm of the medical intuitive [...via] Trijntje Reilly [...]";
Wikipedia actually has an article on this (here) which states: "a study on medical intuitives concluded that 'patients relying solely on psychic diagnosis as the basis for therapy are at risk of serious medical problems going undetected.'" I should think so. It adds "the James Randi Educational Foundation has offered a $1,000,000 USD prize to anyone who can prove under controlled conditions that he or she can diagnose or cure an illness using intuition or prove the existence of auras. To date, only one medical intuitive has taken the challenge using an experimental protocol that she helped to design. She failed to diagnose any documented illness beyond the level of chance." That, too, is not surprising. What is rather surprising is the lack of skepticism by the host of this interview. She doesn't utter a peep of disbelief or ask for any kind of EVIDENCE. It is rather interesting that the ABC page for the presenter states "exercise your imagination."
"[...ND Reilly] I was born in Holland [...] we have our clinic [...]";
yes. And an abundant amount of information it does provide by via the WWW.
"[...MLS] you do all kinds of things at the clinic. You are a naturopath [...and regarding] this field of being a medical intuitive [...] how does one become a medical intuitive? [...]";
I think the worn joke here is 'I knew you were going to ask that question.'
"[...ND] I did a course and tapped into the alpha level of consciousness [...aka] the superconsciousness [...] I went down into these levels at this particular course [...] we were asked to identify certain situations of people that were overseas [...] I went into rapid eye movements [...] I was able to identify all the different things about this particular person that I had never ever met [...]";
cue the woo. Wikipedia's definition of "alpha level of consciousness" is "alpha waves can be seen in persons watching movies or television narratives in which they are fully engrossed, mostly unaware of their surroundings." Perhaps that's what the ND is talking about. I guess scholars of the New Age can talk about the lineage of many of these terms like superconsciousness. I guess if you are doing mental "levels" then you are taking your mental elevator.
"[...ND mentions] Dr. Bernard Jensen that I'd actually studied with over in America [...]";
likely the most famous iridologist.
"[...she says] I actually prayed for the gift of healing [...and speaks of her teacher, someone named Bernard who was] doing readings, automatic writing and also spiritual healing [...] he showed me how to breath [...then] put your hands over her [...and] ask whatever you believe whether it is nature, or god, or Buddha or Jesus to flow through you [...] and things will start happening [...] my hands just took off [...like the native American] hand tremblers [...so] my hands just took off and it went to pressure points and it went to different areas of the body where I could actually identify certain things [...and coming to mind would be] herbs i'd never even heard of [...] I had never had a day's experience in acupuncture and yet I could identify where these acupuncture points were for specific parts of the body [...]";
'I had no control over my hands, it was god.' Interesting that figmentation is claimed to lead to some kind of real-world-accuracy! Then again, acupuncture meridians don't exist and neither do their points, physiologically speaking. And since all of this is anecdote...
"[the ND continues] I believe it is [...] a spiritual energy that flows through me that actually does it [...] people would only have to give me their name, their address, and their date of birth and all this information would flow [...] I have experienced wonderful results with people all over the world [...] if it's for a diagnosis all I need specifically say is their name, their address, and their age and I will then zoom-in on what is going on for them and my hands will take off and start writing specific things [...I] tap in to their vibration [...] with the distant healing energy it is very very similar I usually do ask for their symptoms, and then I zoom in on that and send them healing energy and I've been getting fantastic results [...]";
wow. Quite a claim of efficacy.
"[...MLS] what kind of problems are they presenting with? [...ND Reilly] physical and emotional [...] it's body, mind and spirit [...] arthritis to cancer to Parkinson's, you name it, all sorts of different things [..] depression and anxiety [...] I've certainly been helping a lot of people with that [...]";
again, an efficacy claim.
002. her biography page states ND Reilly's "qualifications" include:
"1982 certificate: study of colon irrigation [...]1984 diploma of naturopathy, Queensland Institute of Natural Science [...]";
ah, yes, science subset naturopathy.
"1984 certificate Iridology, Iridologists International (Bernard Jensen), 1984 Certificate Instructor of Iridology, Iridologists International (Bernard Jensen) [...]";
so lots of iridology.
"1986 First Degree Reiki, The Official Reiki Program [...]";
not to be confused with other 'laying-of-hands' knock-offs.
003. her web pages state [what out, I'm not kidding about this, her clinic map indicates that it is Northwest of Deception Bay!]:
003.a. regarding naturopathy, in "Naturopathy, Natural Health Care Clinic Naturopathic Services" [vsc 2012-04-30], in part:
"naturopathy is natural medicine [...] one of the longest traditions of any healing system, and is the forerunner of modern medicine [...] wise healers, shamans, medicine men and medicine women [etc....]";
having studied naturopathy now for more than 15 years, I disagree with this supposed lineage. I actually think it is a crock. What preceded modern medicine is prescientific medicine. And it was both ineffective and scary, more often than not. One could argue that dumb-assedness is also one of the longest traditions, wherein for most of the history of the human race, they knew ALMOST NOTHING. So, in some major sense, this historical romanticization of premodern knowledge [which is of course by no means perfect] is quite a reversal of values: elevating ignorance to a virtue and imbuing such ignorance with results it simply didn't have.
"if you have ever seen a dog or a cat eat grass you have witnessed naturopathy practiced instinctively by an animal [...]";
hmmmmm. Dogs are omnivores, cats are carnivores. And if we want to go all "instinctively", if the dog eats the cat which can happen, is that naturopathy too? Is a cat filled with grass more medicinal for the dog, therein?
"I will run through your medical history with you [...] I will also record your vital statistics and contact details [...] in some circumstances I may want a urine sample [...] I may also want to consult any recent X-rays, blood tests, allergy tests or other medical documentation you have - it is always a good idea to bring them with you when you come [...then] I will conduct my own diagnosis - for this I use iridology (I am a Dr. Jensen-qualified iridology instructor) and my native gifts as a medical intuit [...]";
ah, ye old iridology. Which is considered bunk. If her intuition is so powerful in terms of DISTANCE as she said on the radio, then why is she even bothering to do iridology, and take a history, and all that other stuff? Just a thought.
"herbal medicines, vitamin and minerals, nutritional advice, iridology and other natural therapies are all used to treat illness, amplifying and encouraging the natural healing forces in the body to support the body's own healing abilities and processes [...] wise healers, shamans, medicine men and medicine women have been using ingredients from nature to treat, heal and cure their clients from all types of ailments, conditions and diseases";
and if you notice, she directly sells a lot of these things. I thought iridology is a diagnostic, not a treatment? The forces, by the way, are usually vitalistic figmentations much like her previously mentioned "healing energy". I really don't think the, say, medicine-before-effective-modern-medicine is the romantic success it is being posed as here. Just as I don't think iridology is the useful diagnostic it is being posed as here.
003.b. regarding iridology, in "Iridology - Iris Interpretation and Diagnosis - a Natural Health and Life Diagnosis Tool" [vsc 2012-04-30], in part:
"iridology is an eye interpretation technique which correlates markings in the iris (the colored portion of the eye) with the person’s internal states. Iridology concerns itself with your physiology or physical condition [...]";
and yet, not surprisingly [based on the company that iridology usually keeps in the sCAM arena], it doesn't work. Here's a US optometrist speaking out about this pseudoscience in 2011 (here).
"iridology does not diagnose diseases, iridology diagnoses or analyzes tissue conditions in specific areas of your body. This reveals inherent strengths and weaknesses of organs, identifying deteriorating conditions before serious symptoms appear. Both these interpretive techniques are accurate, reliable and extraordinarily useful in determining the true state of affairs in your life. The markings or signs in the iris indicate the condition of your organs and systems of your body. They will show your constitutional strength, areas of congestion or toxic accumulations and inherent strengths and weaknesses [...] what is happening throughout your body [...]";
hmmm. So, the things wrong with you are not diseases, they're just what's wrong with your physiology [which is basically a disease] diagnostically speaking [double-talk, gobbledygook]. I completely disagree with the ND's 'accurate, reliable, useful' claim. Ah, ye old physiological homunculus.
"the internal physical condition of chronically-afflicted patients can be better monitored in the iris of the eye than by possibly any other method: including modern imaging techniques such as MRI and CAT scans [...]";
"many clients feel an immediate relief and lightness as their fears of the unknown are eliminated and they become empowered with knowledge of what they can do to eradicate the problem [...]";
I prefer to be empowered by actual scientific knowledge.
003.c. regarding colonics, in "Colonic Irrigation - Spring Water Detox at Middle Path" [vsc 2012-04-30], in part:
"cleansing your colon is one of the fastest ways to detox your system. It will give you an instant feeling of well-being, and is a powerful first step in restoring a vital and vibrant life. Almost every chronic dis-ease is directly due to the influence of bacterial poisons absorbed by the colon. A toxic colon can significantly contribute to 80 per cent of all diseases and debilitating health conditions [...] a safe effective quick detoxification that will improve your health instantly";
gastroenterologist's disagree with these claims. Here's the 2011 synopsis "Colonic Irrigation 'Offers no Health Benefits'."
003.d. regarding intuitive distant diagnosis, in "Medical Intuition - the Foundation of My Distant Diagnosis Service" [vsc 2012-04-30], in part:
"what is medical intuition? My gift is healing and I am known as a medical intuit or medical intuitive [...]";
"similar to distant energy healing where beneficial healing energies can be stimulated at a distance, medical intuition allows an intuit to perceive medical conditions at a distance. This means I can carry out accurate diagnosis of ailments, conditions and disorders without the need for you to visit my clinic [...]";
again, so why have a clinic people can go to? Lonely perhaps? Again, if these diagnoses are shown to be accurate under controlled conditions, you win a million dollars from the JREF!
"my clients around the world appreciate the convenience of a quick, effortless and accurate appraisal of their health and well-being without leaving their home [...]";
"the cost is AUD$49 which you can pay with your credit card [...]";
003.e. regarding spiritual distant healing, in "Distant Energy Healing Service" [vsc 2012-04-30], in part:
"what is distant healing? My gift is healing and I am a medical intuit or medical intuitive which allows me to operate at a distance, energetically. This allows me to perceive conditions and imbalances for clients - wherever they are - as well as direct specific energy to stimulate an individual's healing - wherever they are in the world [...]";
take the Challenge! FFS!!!
004. overall note:
this ND should take the JREF's Challenge and win a million dollars, since she claims such emphatically successful results. Her medical intuition could be tested, or her distance healing, as well as her iridology.