Many of you reading this are familiar with the famous letter to the editor of the New York Sun published in the late 1800’s. It began:
I am 8 years old. Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If it’s printed in the Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?
The editor answered (in part)… Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists, just as love, generosity and friendship exist…
Not believe in Santa Claus? You might as well not believe in fairies!
…even if you don’t catch him coming down the chimney, what would that prove?
…Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not! But that doesn’t prove that they are not there.
No Santa Claus! Be thankful that he lives… ten thousand years from now he will continue do make glad the hearts of children.
Recently I received a similar letter from a young student:
Dear Mr. Dorko,
I am 20 years old. Some of my teachers say there is a human energy field. Papa says, “If it’s on Barrett’s web site, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth. Is there a human energy field?
Virginia (a P.T. student)
No, Virginia, there is no human energy field. Despite all the efforts made by thousands of researchers over many, many years, and all the money spent by government and private institutions, no one has ever demonstrated its existence.
Believe in the human energy field? Why, you might as well believe in fairies! Of course, there are many people who do believe in both of these things, and, it seems, these beliefs are dependent upon similar reasoning. Reasoning such as; “Just because you can’t see or measure something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. After all, nobody can prove it isn’t there. Nyah, nyah, nyah (Or words to that effect).”
They say, “Once I did this stuff that’s supposed to alter the “flow” of the human energy field and my patient got better. So there.”
Don’t despair, Virginia, these arguments are meaningless to any real scientist, and they are the best the true believers can conjure up. Remember, if someone seems not to understand the purpose of science, you can’t very well expect them to have learned the rules.
A human energy field? Be thankful it doesn’t exist. We’d all be tripping over those belonging to our friends and patients. “Bad” thoughts would be evident in the color of our aura, and our lack of “loving intent” would disrupt treatment.
Still, it is a fact that this thing that has never been seen or measured is used to explain the effects of many forms of care, and to justify a number of “therapies.” As long as someone gains from such things, they will endure. The problem with most of this is that the person doing the technique seems to gain a good deal more than the person receiving it.
The human energy field as a concept will never die. It will endure as long as humans want something to believe in, something ethereal and mysterious.
It will be with us as long as people feel that the known nature of the universe is not intricate and surprising enough to induce wonder and awe, although, for me, it certainly is.
I hope this answer helps you understand something about your teachers. And I hope you come to see that what we understand about the human body when we truly study it is more than enough to fill our hearts with the wonder and awe that others seek.
Barrett L. Dorko, P.T.