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Old 8th March 2019, 02:19 PM   #1
DreadNiK
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My 'woo' experience

So i like to think I'm pretty skeptical. I'm fairly sure I am and this isn't changing that but I thought it worth reporting here...

Over the past 6 months I've been having chronic insomnia, low energy, the same recurring dream runny nose getting really bad and blocked up, was pretty miserable. About two weeks ago I suddenly realised my posture was awful and that improving it help me breathe easier. I decided I needed physio and saw one this week. In the meantime my symptoms had all improved from me maintaining a better posture but it was very exhausting still. I'm on phone which dkesnt help posture so gonna keep brief but basically the physio did this guided relaxation and really light touch massage/manipulation. He is into the mind body connection and primal nature stuff. Reading up it sounds like this was reiki or similar. I am feeling amazing, still up and down as I improve but I seem to be aware of my body better and am able to continue relaxing and loosening up. I do recognise a lot of manic behaviour at the moment as I over breathe and am feeling good for the first time in months but I am more able to catch myself and slow down than I can remember. I suspect this boils down to an anxiety issue either caused or causing or interconnected with muscle tension and bad posture and it got bad enough that I realised i needed to do something and started doing something and the degree the physio is actually causing or at least helping that is obviously unclear...
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Old 8th March 2019, 05:58 PM   #2
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Your self-awareness and learning to relax and even meditate has nothing to do with "woo".
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Old 8th March 2019, 07:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DreadNiK View Post
...that is obviously unclear...
Pretty much applies to your post. I've no idea what your are saying.
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Old 8th March 2019, 08:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Pretty much applies to your post. I've no idea what your are saying.
Whew! I thought it was me.
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Old 9th March 2019, 10:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Your self-awareness and learning to relax and even meditate has nothing to do with "woo".
This is kinda what I'm trying to say.

As I mentioned, i was feeling manic, and the later in the day it gets at the moment the harder it gets to catch and using a phone gets more uncomfortable.

The tldr is felt like crap for months, finally thought posture was issue, saw physio who performed what i thought was classed as alternative therapy aka woo and now am able to relax and even meditate and be more aware. Thought it was worth reporting as a datum from a usually skeptical of this sort of thing person and possibly worth discussing here
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Old 9th March 2019, 06:54 PM   #6
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Better posture, deeper breathing, simple techniques for stress reduction, body/mind/emotional awareness: These are not woo-woo.

"Light touch massage," not woo-woo either.

The physical, personal attention engages the parasympathetic nervous system in a heightened placebo effect. Again. This isn't woo-woo.

If your practitioner included dubious claims of cures, and that there was some kind of qi or ki to be balanced, then those claims would fall under the woo-woo department.

But even if your practitioner hauled out Reiki and esoteric stuff. I'd still recommend you continue the sessions and techniques, especially if they are helping you deal with your anxiety and work through it.
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Old 9th March 2019, 07:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DreadNiK View Post
The tldr is felt like crap for months, finally thought posture was issue, saw physio who performed what i thought was classed as alternative therapy aka woo and now am able to relax and even meditate and be more aware. Thought it was worth reporting as a datum from a usually skeptical of this sort of thing person and possibly worth discussing here

You had a problem with stress, you got a massage and learned some simple calming techniques. There's no woo there. I don't think this means chiropractors should be able to call themselves doctors, but your improvement was real.

Even if it's all just a placebo, it's an effective one for you.
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Old 14th March 2019, 03:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DreadNiK View Post
So i like to think I'm pretty skeptical. I'm fairly sure I am and this isn't changing that but I thought it worth reporting here...

Over the past 6 months I've been having chronic insomnia, low energy, the same recurring dream runny nose getting really bad and blocked up, was pretty miserable. About two weeks ago I suddenly realised my posture was awful and that improving it help me breathe easier. I decided I needed physio and saw one this week. In the meantime my symptoms had all improved from me maintaining a better posture but it was very exhausting still. I'm on phone which dkesnt help posture so gonna keep brief but basically the physio did this guided relaxation and really light touch massage/manipulation. He is into the mind body connection and primal nature stuff. Reading up it sounds like this was reiki or similar. I am feeling amazing, still up and down as I improve but I seem to be aware of my body better and am able to continue relaxing and loosening up. I do recognise a lot of manic behaviour at the moment as I over breathe and am feeling good for the first time in months but I am more able to catch myself and slow down than I can remember. I suspect this boils down to an anxiety issue either caused or causing or interconnected with muscle tension and bad posture and it got bad enough that I realised i needed to do something and started doing something and the degree the physio is actually causing or at least helping that is obviously unclear...
Just curious, have you ever had a sleep study? Sounds like you could benefit from a CPAP as your symptoms suggest sleep apnea. The nasal issues are probably compounding an existing breathing problem when you sleep.

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Old 23rd March 2019, 10:40 AM   #9
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sorry for the delayed response - I believe I was having an experience similar to what happens when people become 'born again {whatever}' or some sort of woo nutbar...like a flat earther - I started addressing my posture, and also gave up smoking (just about) at the same time.

I've been having some quite nutty thoughts at times, and I suspect there's a grain of truth somewhere in some of them, but, possibly in part due to my skeptic nature, I've been able to debunk myself pretty much all the time.

I'm still not quite right I don't think, but the issue seems to be with my back and posture - I'm typing this on a light touch split keyboard and switched to using a trackball mouse and it is definitely helping, and I've been starting to focus on core strength exercises, and I'm steadily improving.

Sleeping better too thanks, I've always had a little bit of trouble with getting to sleep. I was using some white/nature type noise on my phone app at first but I don't seem to need it now. I think a lot of this relaxation type stuff is best used as a crutch to give you a chance to address the physical issue, which in my case I'm pretty sure is my core/back having weakened rapidly over the past year - I think if I rely on the relaxation, it might just allow my muscles to further weaken and actually make things steadily worse...
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Old 24th March 2019, 08:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DreadNiK View Post
sorry for the delayed response - I believe I was having an experience similar to what happens when people become 'born again {whatever}' or some sort of woo nutbar...like a flat earther - I started addressing my posture, and also gave up smoking (just about) at the same time.

I've been having some quite nutty thoughts at times, and I suspect there's a grain of truth somewhere in some of them, but, possibly in part due to my skeptic nature, I've been able to debunk myself pretty much all the time.

I'm still not quite right I don't think, but the issue seems to be with my back and posture - I'm typing this on a light touch split keyboard and switched to using a trackball mouse and it is definitely helping, and I've been starting to focus on core strength exercises, and I'm steadily improving.

Sleeping better too thanks, I've always had a little bit of trouble with getting to sleep. I was using some white/nature type noise on my phone app at first but I don't seem to need it now. I think a lot of this relaxation type stuff is best used as a crutch to give you a chance to address the physical issue, which in my case I'm pretty sure is my core/back having weakened rapidly over the past year - I think if I rely on the relaxation, it might just allow my muscles to further weaken and actually make things steadily worse...
I'm genuinely perplexed by pretty much everything you've said so far, mate.

I don't get where "woo" comes into this.

You had a bad back and trouble sleeping, so you've been sorting your posture out... So, where's the "woo" bit come into it?

Unless you reckon your back was buggered by a translucent specter from beneath the earth, or that your back has been corrected by a white witch who lives in a bin behind the local Aldi then I fail to see the issue here.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DreadNiK View Post
I think if I rely on the relaxation, it might just allow my muscles to further weaken and actually make things steadily worse...
Of course muscles need to be used, or they "get flabby." But the above doesn't follow. The relaxation techniques are a good adjunct to whatever medical attention you are receiving.

I wish you well.
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Old 24th March 2019, 10:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gilbert Syndrome View Post
I'm genuinely perplexed by pretty much everything you've said so far, mate.

I don't get where "woo" comes into this.

You had a bad back and trouble sleeping, so you've been sorting your posture out... So, where's the "woo" bit come into it?

Unless you reckon your back was buggered by a translucent specter from beneath the earth, or that your back has been corrected by a white witch who lives in a bin behind the local Aldi then I fail to see the issue here.
sorry, yes I see it is unclear - the woo part is the physio, who is definitely leaning to what would be considered 'woo', and I have found what he has taught me so far useful, as far as I can tell. He seemed to want to continue down the light touch relaxation which is a very strange experience and frankly started to freak me out a little bit, so I asked to focus more on building core strength and we did some yoga exercises for core strength.

I have actually spotted some elements of the yoga in the karate kata I did - which helps explain the otherwise fairly pointless 'kata' - it is just a form of light training and focus/meditation. this seems kind of obvious and not something I didn't know before, but I certainly wasn't really aware of it, I just knew it was 'training' rather than being aware of how a particular kata started with a core stretch, then the rest of it was moves that focused on the core, and another was focused on moving between overly slow moves under muscle tension juxtaposed with sudden, loose fluid moves. Again I just saw 'a difficult kata that I had to do' and did it well, rather than really grasping what the purpose of it was.
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Old 24th March 2019, 10:32 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by DreadNiK View Post
He seemed to want to continue down the light touch relaxation which is a very strange experience and frankly started to freak me out a little bit
Light touch relaxation is in essence what Reiki does, and Reiki is in the woo-woo department. It's the claims of "healing" and pseudoscience life/spirit force that make it woo-woo. The focused contact of a reiki-like treatment often engages the parasympathetic nervous system and the release of the body's natural pain suppressing endorphins resulting in a natural high.

It's also an emotionally intimate contact that can be a nice placebo experience or a tad creepy if you feel your emotional-personal space is being violated.

I've personally seen so-called "energy work" induce altered states of consciousness that the individuals either liked and wanted more or were seriously creeped out and felt violated. You have the right to insist upon your personal boundaries. If the therapist violates those or does something without your permission, seek someone with better professional standards.
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Old 26th March 2019, 12:19 AM   #14
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It may be worth considering that therapies can work despite the woo element. A therapist may sincerely believe that she's unblocking your chi flow or whatever, but as long as she's actually giving you an effective massage, her theories about what she's doing may not matter all that much from your POV.
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:45 AM   #15
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I know of a Danish surgeon who's a member of the weird cult Toward the Light (Wikipedia):

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I AGREE

If in need of the kind of surgery (spinal, I think) that he provides, I would probably ask for a different doctor if I had a choice, but I don't think that he would still be working at a Danish hospital if his medical decisions were in any way influenced by his esoteric beliefs.
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Old 26th March 2019, 05:42 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mackenberg View Post
It may be worth considering that therapies can work despite the woo element. A therapist may sincerely believe that she's unblocking your chi flow or whatever, but as long as she's actually giving you an effective massage, her theories about what she's doing may not matter all that much from your POV.
This also happens to be the only defense I accept for the use of "chi" or "qi" terminology in martial arts. The only martial art I ever studied was presented in a very mechanical & geometrical way; move this limb in this direction, see how you've opened up this other angle, feel how some of your weight shifted forward from foot to foot or from heel to ball, detect where your center of gravity is relative to your feet and what it would take to move the COG to where your feet can't support it anymore, prepare a punch by pushing your hips this way with this leg & then flexing these muscles in your torso to twist your shoulder forward before you move your arm at all... and then at the end he'd sometimes throw in something like "this is what some martial artists are talking about when they say to let your chi settle and connect you to the Earth" or "some people would call that letting your chi flow up through your whole body from the ground into your hand". It's often easier to perceive one's own body movements in a wholistic way instead of by engineering-like application of angles & specified sequences of muscles to flex individually, and chi can be just a useful shorthand for that more natural flowing-like concept of how to do exactly the same physical thing.
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Old 27th March 2019, 08:40 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
This also happens to be the only defense I accept for the use of "chi" or "qi" terminology in martial arts. The only martial art I ever studied was presented in a very mechanical & geometrical way; move this limb in this direction, see how you've opened up this other angle, feel how some of your weight shifted forward from foot to foot or from heel to ball, detect where your center of gravity is relative to your feet and what it would take to move the COG to where your feet can't support it anymore, prepare a punch by pushing your hips this way with this leg & then flexing these muscles in your torso to twist your shoulder forward before you move your arm at all... and then at the end he'd sometimes throw in something like "this is what some martial artists are talking about when they say to let your chi settle and connect you to the Earth" or "some people would call that letting your chi flow up through your whole body from the ground into your hand". It's often easier to perceive one's own body movements in a wholistic way instead of by engineering-like application of angles & specified sequences of muscles to flex individually, and chi can be just a useful shorthand for that more natural flowing-like concept of how to do exactly the same physical thing.
this is pretty much how I'm viewing it - I had a period a few years ago of some really bad headaches of the kind I hadn't really had before, and realised it was because I'd taken up drumming and probably didn't have the kit set up right or wasn't sitting right on the stool, and since I'd had no actual lessons I almost certainly had bad stick techique and poor dynamics, once I sorted all that out a bit they seemed to stop - this is similar to me now using a trackball and light touch split keyboard, it means less pressure is going through my arms into my core, which apparently can cause headaches (travels up to the neck etc)

I do also think there's a subconcious element to some of what I've been noticing - I think when someone has the 'right' and 'relaxed' posture other people can subconsciously pick up on that, similar to how superheroes are drawn in 'heroic' poses' and villains are drawn in 'twisted or hunched - evil' poses - which would help explain why a mysticism developed around it, as subconscious effects such as placebo are basically, I agree, the only thing we have any evidence for of all these things people all 'magic' or whatever

the difficulty I was having at first and which has given me a greater understanding of how someone might undergo a religious or 'woo' conversion, is that I've been noticing what are clearly valid observations, such as about the deeper purpose of some karate kata that I'd never really thought about before, or that (I didn't mention this yet but I swear it is true and it could be coincidence perhaps) my sister called me in the morning out of the blue a few months ago, we see each other probably every other month maybe a bit less, and rarely communicate beyond the occasional whatsapping unless something particular is happening, anyway, she called because her partner had woken her up due to her physically crying in a dream, and she called me because the dream had been that I had been paralysed in a mosh pit (was never a massive mosher as it hurt my head and neck to do it a lot lol) and it had been so vivid she wanted to speak to me to reassure herself. I'm pretty sure this was her subconscious having picked up on my posture having degraded...
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Old 27th March 2019, 08:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
It's often easier to perceive one's own body movements in a wholistic way instead of by engineering-like application of angles & specified sequences of muscles to flex individually, and chi can be just a useful shorthand for that more natural flowing-like concept of how to do exactly the same physical thing.
.

Coincidentally, that was exactly how I used to teach martial arts and other movement skills. I referred to principles such as "alignment" and "extension" rather than "chi" but the concept was the same; if you can create an effective metaphor and then teach them how it feels to embody that metaphor, they tend to learn the necessary mechanics without over-intellectualizing the details.
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Old 28th March 2019, 10:53 AM   #19
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