A video that helps

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What to believe when you don’t believe everything you hear?

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So in my quest for things that help around the web, I ended up searching for something about the effects of being bullied as a child on you as an adult, and ended up on this site.

Most of the posts were people telling their own stories, but one poster mentioned that he had found something very helpful called ‘faster EFT’. I had never heard of this, but although it sounded quite new-agey and shady, I figured that there would be no harm in finding out more. Apparently there was a ton of free youtube videos So even though the mere name of the channel made me cringe with the anticipation of disappointment, I figured I had nothing to lose by just having a look. Fully prepared for someone to drag up something religious ten minutes in, I went ahead and watched the first film.

What ‘fast EFT’ turned out to be, at first glance, was a method for interrupting negative thoughts, memories, emotions by tapping with your fingers on certain ‘acupressure points’. Well, the BS alarm started to tingle already there, but ok. A lot of people say that there’s something to this, and the first video I watched the guy talked a lot about the placebo effect, how your mind can actually effect physical change in your body, and I thought – okay. I’ll try it. All this flim-flam sounding talk about ‘meridians’ and ‘energy’; I figured was just a way to sell it to people who get off on stuff like that. I could swallow that. I mean, who knows; there’s a lot of things we don’t really understand about the brain, etc.

And it actually seemed to help a little. Focusing on a negative feeling, really feeling it, then distracting yourself by shifting your focus to something physically demanding attention on the surface of your skin, like tapping fingers, then taking a deep breath, relaxing and thinking about something more pleasant. It actually worked – and why not? Breaking a negative thought and relaxing should work, right? Impressed and pretty excited that perhaps this wouldn’t be one of those times where everything sounded promising right up until ‘God’, I went on to browse more of the videos, thinking who knows what other useful stuff might be in there?

Of course, it couldn’t last. I clicked in on a video that was supposed to be about speeding up your metabolism. Ok… metabolism to me seems a little too physical to be easily controlled by your ‘mind’, but… who knows? A lot of people apparently have had success. Perhaps it would just turn out to be a way of tricking yourself to not feel so hungry? It could work, right? Right? I’m never one to buy any method wholesale anyway, but rather glean small tips and tricks that work for me personally, and that’s what I’m always on the lookout for. Maybe there would be something like that in there? Hopeful, I clicked the video.

So, it starts off with someone successfully overcoming their fear of driving. Ok, fine. I’m sure distraction and relaxation could have some beneficial effects on fears and phobias. Well, managing to relax alone would surely help a little. Alright. Get to the metabolism part. And the man in the video says ‘it doesn’t just work for metabolism; it works for everything’. Everything that has to do with your body, I assume, as he seems to be a firm believer in placebo effects and the power of suggestion. I’m pretty undecided on how much I believe that stuff, but I’m willing to keep an at least semi-open mind about it. But then it happens. He ruins everything for me.

He says that he took a bunch of his ‘patients’ or students or what you want to call them to a casino, and my heart just drops. I know what’s coming next. And sure enough, they have been tapping on themselves saying how much they want to win, that they’re going to win, and of course they win lots of money – on slot machines nonetheless! Why!? Why did you have to go and utterly destroy all my trust and respect for this, this method that had actually helped me? Now I can’t believe a word you say anymore! I felt… betrayed, to be honest. I had thought that this was some very simple way to manipulate your emotions to feel better – all of a sudden it turns into the bloody ‘Secret’!? The disappointment was total, so big in fact that I left a comment to the effect on the video – me, who never comments on anything!

I should have seen it coming, of course. I’m far too old to fall for anything like this, but… I just wanted to steal my little bits that worked for me and be off in peace… I didn’t want the BS thrust in my face like this. I got a response to my comment, which basically said ‘I don’t know why it works, but it does’. This I can’t understand. It’s one thing to not know exactly how something works – I mean, I don’t know exactly how a slot machine works, but I guess it has some sort of randomiser inside it, and some mechanics to turn the cylinders and if a certain number matches up, there will be a certain payoff. But if there is suddenly some way for a human brain to influence the outcome of the mechanical or digital components of a slot machine – wouldn’t that be quite a revelation? Would this guy, who seems content with just saying ‘oh the power of the mind’ be interested in knowing HOW on earth this works? I know I would! Because I can’t see how it would be physically possible. How, exactly, does it work? And why do people never seem to ask that question?

This is my issue with so much of the stuff that so many people seem to just accept and never reflect on. Religious stuff, new-agey stuff, all those murky areas where I just want to shout WHY do you think this would work? HOW – by which mechanisms – do you think this would work? And I feel alone, with so many people just buying it without stopping to think ‘hold on… is that actually physically possible’. So – what can I believe in when I don’t believe in everything I hear?