The Healer is a new series on TLC centered around an energy healer named Charlie Goldsmith. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of energy healing, it encompasses two similar but not quite the same ideas, with one being the idea that energy healers can treat medical conditions by manipulating the patient’s energy field and the other being the idea that energy healers can treat medical conditions by channeling their energy into the patient. Given that there is no scientific proof for energy healing whatsoever, it should come as no surprise to learn that the most reputable medical institutions see it as either pseudo-science at best or outright fraud and superstition at worst.
How Did The Healer Become a TV Show?
With that said, The Healer managed to make it onto the TV screen for the simple reason that people continue to be fascinated with energy healing as well as other examples of quackery. Charlie Goldsmith might be the latest energy healer to reach this level, but he is the latest in a long line of them, who have been promoted from time to time by major media figures such as Oprah.
To be fair, the interest that a significant percentage of the population shows in these figures is understandable to some extent. A fair number of them target people who are struggling with problems that have no simple and straightforward solution that can be found with our current understanding of medicine. As a result, it is difficult to blame people who reach out for tenuous straws when either they or their loved ones are suffering. Of course, there are other reasons that people fall for quackery as well, with common examples ranging from belief in the proposed systems to feelings of having been let down by the medical establishment.
Regardless, there is no more reason to believe that Charlie Goldsmith possesses special healing powers than the same claims that were made about his predecessors. It has been claimed that his special healing powers are supported by a scientific study. However, it should be noted that the study was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, which has a reputation for being rather credulous when it comes to energy healing as well as other forms of quackery.
Furthermore, it is clear that the study is next-to-useless once its format is examined. Simply put, the research team chose participants based on no clear criteria for inclusion and a single criteria for exclusion, which was that the patient might have some sort of secondary gain. Moreover, they had no concrete method that could be used to gauge the impact of the supposed treatment but instead relied on a simple 10-point pain scale that the patients would self-report on, which was somehow made even worse by the fact that they failed to monitor the long-term outcome. Summed up, the study is essentially useless because it was neither blind nor controlled nor measurable in a meaningful sense, thus rendering it incapable of clearing even the most basic requirements.
On top of this, it is worth noting that Charlie Goldsmith uses some of the same strategies that other energy healers have used to manage expectations. For example, he has stated that his healing powers work in an eclectic manner, with the result that they can be effective on medical conditions that are considered to be complicated to treat but not so effective on medical conditions that are considered to be simple and straightforward problems for modern medicine to clear up. Speaking bluntly, this provides him with a great deal of wiggle room if his treatments don’t produce the desired results, which is one of the many deflections that energy healers like to use when their healing powers fail.