A New Twist on "Psychic Surgery"
A British woman suffering from debilitating back pain for many years is claiming she was healed by the spirit of a doctor who was alive in the 19th century, as reported a few days ago by The Mirror. In 2007, Barbara Phoenix, the “patient” in this case, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia – a condition of unknown etiology characterized by widespread pain and general discomfort which can make a person miserable both physically and mentally. A long regiment of pain treatment did not give Barbara relief. By 2012 she was in so much pain, she could not even leave her house.
Desperately, she decided to “try anything” which included “ghost doctors” at the suggestion of her friends who are in to all things paranormal. Enter Vincent Fuller, the man who claims to have the power to channel “spirits”. This means that the channeler (Vincent) would summon a spirit to take control of Vincent’s body. Channeling is an old parlor trick with absolutely no evidence to support the claims of the channeler, and an equally inverse amount of evidence to support the notion that channeling is nothing more than an acting performance.
Barbara met with Vincent, and he channeled a spirit named “Doctor Charles”. Barbara was satisfied with Vincent’s performance of Doctor Charles, and agreed to undergo the “procedure”, as described by Barbara:
“He told me to lie down on my stomach. Then suddenly, Vincent became Doctor Charles. He slipped into a semi trance, his eyes glazing over and he circled his hands in the air above me. It felt like my organs were moving, like I was pregnant and the baby was kicking. A woman in a nurse’s uniform appeared before Vincent. I could tell she was a spirit.”
Two days and £60 later, Barbara claims her pain was gone. So did something really happen? Yes, the most likely scenario is that Barbara experienced one of the many (and complex) versions of The Placebo Effect, a well-documented phenomena by which someone experiences a perceived improvement in health or behavior that can not be attributed to medicine or other legitimate treatment. Placebos are mostly bias and illusions – not real effects. It is the perfect excuse for the likes of quacks, charlatans, hoaxers, and scam-artists when trying to “prove” the efficacy of an alternative treatment.
In this case, “psychic surgery” by a “spirit” being “channeled” through a host.