Keep an Open Mind

I approached my first encounter with an animal communicator very skeptically; frankly

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Last month, I introduced a series of articles we’ll be running about forms of “energy medicine” available to dog owners. In this issue, author CJ Puotinen returns with the second installment of the series, describing flower essences, animal communication, and kinesiology.

Forgive me for addressing these topics again in this space, but in my experience, they need a personal introduction, as they can be difficult to accept. This is partially because they are not well-supported by the “gold standards” of evidence-based medicine, such as randomized, double-blind trials or even by meta-analysis of medical literature. They are not even well-explained by current scientific tools and techniques.

Nancy Kerns

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Personal experience opened my eyes to them anyway. Some 17 years ago, I approached my first encounter with an animal communicator very skeptically; frankly, as a fresh journalism grad, I relished the chance to expose her as a fraud. Within minutes, my skepticism was in shambles. She not only accurately described the quirky behavior problems my young Border Collie displayed – which I had not yet described to her – but gave me the most helpful advice for dealing with those behaviors that I ever received. I couldn’t explain this in a million years, but I believed in it, whatever it was.

I used to be skeptical about kinesiology, too. One year, when I was attending the annual conference of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, Carolyn Blakey, a wonderful veterinarian who used complementary and alternative medicine, invited me to dinner. Our dining companions were two other holistic vets; the three of them probably had a century of medical practice among them. Dr. Blakey introduced me to the other vets, giving WDJ a warm review. One veterinarian, Dr. Howard Rand, asked me if WDJ had ever done an article on kinesiology. I cheerfully admitted that “muscle testing” was one of those things I just couldn’t buy; it was too “woo-woo” to put in the magazine.

After exchanging a smile with Dr. Blakey, Dr. Rand asked, “Would you be willing to try an experiment?” He had me press the tips of my forefinger and thumb together, making a circle; he made a similar circle, looped through mine. He told me he would ask me some questions, and invited me to answer with some truths and some lies. Dr. Rand didn’t ask which answers were which; this became plainly and perfectly apparent. He would tug at the circle my fingers made as I answered – and danged if my circle didn’t come apart every time I gave what only I knew to be an untruthful answer. Dr. Rand wasn’t diagnosing disease or prescribing a treatment, yet the principle behind muscle testing clearly worked. The vets laughed at the astonished look on my face. “Um . . . We’ll have to write about that someday!” was all I could say.

Not all practitioners of these techniques are as skilled as the ones described above – but neither are all conventional medical practi-tioners. Alternative techniques are often worth a try.

-Nancy Kerns

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