I wrote this a couple of months back and then decided not to post it, but am doing so now – I’m posting without editing, so all errors will remain…
So I’m doing a little looking into a thing called The Healing Codes. Keeping an open mind as far as I can, but it’s really difficult to come at something when it’s presented in just the same way as so many (other) snake-oils: multiple packages, testimonials but no concrete claims, price points high enough to keep the registers ringing but low enough to be afforded by desperate people who have already spent all their money on numerous remedies to put on credit card. You know, that kind of thing.
Venturing into their website I was kind of expecting to be met with quite a lot of weasel words and unspecific claims – indeed the disclaimer at the bottom of the page does seem to more or less negate any of the other claims the body of the site appears to make – but actually on many occasions it is claimed that this therapy is proven, in various ways. Specifically, on a blog I came across, the creator of the Healing Codes responds to some posters’ scepticism by saying:
“They were tested for a year and a half with medical tests. The results of that testing are still unprecedented in medical history. According to medical experts, this medical test does NOT respond even 1% to placebo. You can find out about this test and everything else I say here at our website and in our manual.”
Ok, so (aside from the apparent contradiction implied by ‘medical tests’ and ‘this test’, which we’ll put down to a grammatical slip) you’ve got me.
It’s one thing for an alternative therapy to claim that it is effective in a way that would not be demonstrated by ‘medical tests’ – in those instances there’s no possible falsifiability, no basis on which to make an informed decision, only trust and faith. It’s quite another thing to claim (or in this case imply) successful testing and make an appeal to ‘medical experts’. At the very least that enables us to analyse the trial itself and see how it was run, look at the data and open it up to discussions of statistical significance. I’m doubly intrigued by this one because I’d be fascinated to read a protocol which compares “a form of energy medicine” to placebo with positive results – as far as I’m aware this has never been demonstrated before, which makes this quite a claim.
So off I dutifully trot to the website to look into further details of these tests.
They’re not linked to on the homepage, nor are they under ‘what are the Healing Codes?’. Under the tab ‘success stories’ we find the statement “…we tested it for 1 1/2 years…”. Note the first person plural. But although this repeats the claim, it does not help us “find out about this test”, so it can’t be that.
Maybe it’s listed under FAQ then. Given an extraordinary claim, I would have thought that “where’s this extraordinary evidence to which you allude?” would be a frequently asked question indeed. Unfortunately, the FAQ section is only accessible to subscribers, which is a first on me. Haven’t seen that before. I will confess to having to hold my nose very slightly at this point, but here we go. Time to become a member.
Once signed in, the FAQ section becomes available. The heart leaps: FAQs include variations on ‘I’m not noticing a difference – is this working?’, so it seems the difficult questions aren’t being swept under the carpet. But first, ‘Could Results From The Healing Codes Just Be Placebo?’ – this must be where my search for the unholy clinical trial data will come to an end.
“Dr. Alex Loyd: We routinely see faster results with animals, infants, extremely old people, and people in comas than we do anyone else. The significance of that is that if The Healing Codes worked by placebo, you would not see any results at all with animals, children or people in a coma. Because in order for placebo to work, you have to trick the person into believing it’s true and infants, animals, and people in comas can’t be convinced that something is true because they’re not conscious in that way. Results ever since the inception of The Healing Codes with animals and infants and really old people has been significantly faster than with anyone else.”
So while skimming over the fact that the working of the placebo effect is very poorly understood and indeed does have an effect on animals and babies (albeit through the process of conditioning), this again simply makes an anecdotal statement while appealing to the language of science and evidence.
These aren’t the trials you’re looking for.
And those are all the places I could reasonably expect to find them, I would have thought.
Within the text of the “success stories” tab, it is stated that “Our focus 100% of the time, and every healing code, is for the issues of the heart – only.” Beneath this are links to testimonials claiming success in treating everything from jellyfish stings to acid reflux, melanoma to Lyme disease in dogs. None of which, to my limited knowledge, could be categorised as ‘issues of the heart’. Nor, in my view, can irritable bowel syndrome. I humbly submit to be corrected.
The reason this exercises me so much is the sheer dishonesty of the thing. Consider the grey area between “The only thing the Codes address is stress” / “Medical advice is outside of what we do” and anecdotal claims of efficacy against back pain and prolapsed bladder. Sure sounds medical to me. In fact every time I hear the term ‘prolapsed bladder’, the words ‘medical advice’ tend to be more or less the first ones to spring to mind.
Now, I would not for a second doubt that stress plays a part in the healing process and in health in general, but that’s not the same as claiming that “Numerous health experts say that the number one killer on the planet is stress.” – we’re going to need a source for that one.
Equally, being aware of the psychological aspects of physical healing is really important, which is why it’s such an exciting field of study right now and why it should (and will) be investigated further. To claim with no corroborating evidence that one has discovered how this works is dangerous, irresponsible and immoral. You can “…activate a physical function built into the body that consistently and predictably removes the #1 cause of illness and disease from the body…”? Cool! That’s utterly new in human history. Totally unprecedented. So show us. Prove it.
Particularly if you’re telling us that “we have hundreds of pages of results”, show us. Hell, show us one.
And before you shoot me down and tell me this shit doesn’t matter, allow me to remind you that this man is claiming to be able to cure cancer. This matters.
Since writing this I’ve had some brief correspondance with the lovely (albeit arguably somewhat evasive) people at The Healing Codes. Will update the blog when I get the chance, but for now suffice to say the dog ate their homework.