The ability of a patient to effectively stabilize (lock) and thus prevent rotation of his/her joint against forces applied by one of the authors (C.F.B.) appears to vary with the nature of the substance with which the patient is in proximity. C.F.B. believes the patient’s nutritional needs can be evaluated by determining which of several substances is most effective in strengthening the weakened patient. The purpose of this study is to determine why such changes in physical strength occur. Bottles of pills were placed one after another on the supine patient’s abdomen and chart recordings of force vs. time were made for the most effective strengthening agent and for an inactive placebo substance as the patient attempted to resist shoulder flexion. In the first set of trials, the tester was unblinded and the patient blinded. These same substances next were placed in opaque cloth bags so that both the tester and the patient were blinded and charted again. Finally, recordings of force vs. time again were made for the strengthening agent and the placebo substance, with the tester unblinded and the patient blinded. The tester, C.F.B., favored a signature hypothesis in which some electromagnetic emanation from the beneficial substance made the patient strong. Another author, P.R.B., favored a mental influence hypothesis, whereby C.F.B. made the patients strong through a subconscious mental influence reflecting his belief that a particular substance would be beneficial. When C.F.B. was unblinded, the patients were weak (yielded) in every placebo trial and were strong (locked the joint) in every trial with the active agent. When C. F.B. was blinded, patients again were weak with one compound and strong with the other; but C.F.B. correctly identified the active and placebo substances in only 8 of 27 patients. These findings support the mental influence hypothesis. Neither C.F.B. nor the patients were consciously aware of any mental interaction. When strong, individual patients could hold against peak forces on average 20–90% higher than the forces that caused them to yield when weak.
Keywords: motor function—nutritional testing—mental influence—electromagnetic signature
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