March 3, 2024 at 2:25 am

A 9-Year-Old Girl Once Debunked “Therapeutic Touch” For Her Science Project And Became The Youngest Published Author In A Peer-Reviewed Medical Journal

by Trisha Leigh

TherapeuticTouchDebunked9yo A 9 Year Old Girl Once Debunked Therapeutic Touch For Her Science Project And Became The Youngest Published Author In A Peer Reviewed Medical Journal

If there’s one thing that having kids teaches a person, it’s that much of the time, adults make things unnecessarily complicated.

There is an easy way, even a simple one – but we’re just convinced that things have to be hard to be effective.

Which is possibly why a young girl managed to debunk a popular theory called “therapeutic touch” even though plenty of trained professionals had failed.

Emily Rosa was taught by her parents to be skeptical, and to think for herself.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/LindaRosaRN/CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED

She posited that “therapeutic touch” – in which a practitioner would move their hands above a patient, claiming to health them by manipulating an “energy field” – didn’t have any basis in science.

The people who practice this say they can sense the energy field above the human skin, and that’s where Emily went with her experiment.

Source: Shutterstock

For it, she asked practitioners to sit behind a cardboard screen with a towel over their head and their arms placed through two holes. Then, she flipped a coin and, depending on whether it was heads or tails, placed her hand a few centimeters above their left or right hand.

She asked her subjects to identify which of their hands she was hovering above in order to prove they could sense these “human force fields.”

14 practitioners agreed to be a part of the study – far more than had been willing to submit to rigorous scientific testing – and they didn’t even get it right 50% of the time.

Source: Shutterstock

More like 44%.

“If they go to a clinic and they heal people, then you would expect them to feel the energy field all of the time. They were correct about half the time – about waht you’d expect from guessing. Of course, they came up with excuses. One said the room was too cold. Another complained that the air conditioning blew the force field away.”

Emily’s test was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association when she was just 11 – making her the youngest person published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

If you found that story interesting, learn more about why people often wake up around 3 AM and keep doing it for life.