Tong Ren Therapy

This has got to be one of the most disturbing videos and some of the most irresponsible “reporting” I’ve ever seen in my life.

The introduction to the story sends up one of the biggest red flags that what you’re about to hear is 100% crap.

“From chronic illnesses to late stage cancers; one Massachusetts man says he has come up with a therapy that can heal almost any ailment”

One of my rules of thumb when considering a claim of a medical treatment is that if it claims to be a universal cure all then there is pretty much a 100% chance of it being garbage. Of course,just about every woo woo “therapy” claims to be able to cure cancer.

So,what exactly is Tong Ren? Apparently it’s a acupuncture/voodoo hybrid that this guy,Tom Tam, just made up out of thin air. You just tap the “energy” points on the doll with a tiny hammer and somehow this is supposed to heal you. I noticed that when they did close ups of people who were supposed to be tapping a specific point,that they were tapping randomly all over the place almost.You would think that if it actually worked the way its claimed then the accuracy of the tapping would be of the up most importance since you have to make sure the healing “energy” is directed to the correct point.I mean,if I had a brain tumor I wouldn’t want to lose all that healing because people were tapping the back of the neck or the upper back.Here is the “Theory of Tong Ren from Tam’s website.

“For any healing system, there has to be a supporting theory, no matter where the theory comes from or whether it makes sense. The theory of the collective unconscious is the basis for Tong Ren Therapy. Without proof all theories are merely conjecture. Proof may be found in research or empirical data. Tong Ren has not been proven by any expert research. This type of research involves financial support, political support, development of modern science, and case studies by a qualified practitioner. The proof for all of my theories is only through the experience and results of my patients and myself. Of course I have no doubt that Tong Ren Therapy works. No one can deny the work we have done or the results we have achieved or argue about it.”

Need I say more?

The anecdotal evidence is pretty typical of alternative medicine techniques. The patient is undergoing standard medical treatments for their disease and doing the alternative techniques on the side,but if they start to get better all the credit goes to the alternative “therapy” and not the chemotherapy or whatever standard treatment they were involved in.

Doing some research I found that the Tong Ren proponents are already trying to parade around the fact that Harvard Medical/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have initiated a pilot study. Here is what they are doing:

“The purpose of this study is to obtain preliminary evidence of the efficacy of the Tong Ren Healing System in improving symptoms from treatment or disease through an anonymous cross-sectional survey of participants of Tong Ren Healing sessions. We will collect self-report surveys from attendees at 6 different sites for Tong Ren Healing group sessions in Massachusetts. A self-administered survey has been developed for this study to assess the following: conditions for which people seek treatment; duration of treatment; other treatment modalities sought for condition; reports of changes in symptoms and conditions; for those who report improvement, extent of improvement. Although the primary population of interest is patients with cancer, we will collect surveys from all attendees to assess impact of Tong Ren on other chronic conditions. Approximately 300 participants will take part in this study. Results will be used as preliminary evidence for future research in this healing modality.”

So basically,its just a survey of people who at least already believed enough in it to go to a session and to self evaluate the effects-anecdotes.This is hardly anything in the way of proof of Tong Ren. The sad thing is that usually the public only hears about the results of pilot studies such as these which are almost always positive,especially a survey study which does nothing but help to establish the claimed effects of a treatment so real studies can be formulated,but then the public never hears the results of the actual conclusive studies which come out to be dead negative.Name me one time you’ve turned on the news and heard them say “remember the positive pilot study on (insert treatment) we told you about 10 years ago? Well the phase four conclusive studies have come out and the results were negative”. I know I sure haven’t!

At the end of the story they tell us that Tom did not want to be interviewed for the story.Strange. I looked up other news stories about Tong Ren and he declines being interviewed for them all. Mr.Tam cites his reason for not being interviewed on that be feels “critics have made unfair accusations”. What kind of nonsense reporting is this? If someone makes fantastical claims but refuses to be interviewed for a story on it then DON’T DO THE STORY! Whats the point of this other than to do an easy fluff piece which does nothing but harm to people who need real help?

For more on Tong Ren straight out of the horses mouth you can go to TOMTAM.COM. There you can find the Holy Trinity of woo woo with “Tong Ren Astrology” . Acupuncture,voodoo and astrology combined? Sounds reasonable to me. You can also sign up for the upcoming training course….only $300! Or,you can buy a “TENS machine” and give your Tong Ren doll electric shock therapy for only $85. Think of all the illness you might have caused when you were a child blowing up G.I Joe action figures with a M-80.


16 Responses to “Tong Ren Therapy”

  1. Um, yeah. He claims to be able to heal BY TAPPING ON A DOLL WITH A TINY HAMMER. Why does ANYONE over the age of 8 believe that???

  2. there is real big money in plausable but failed therapies. ime puzled as to what is the mind set that suposes something to be beneficial on a whim. i have a friend who is a homeopathy practisioner and we have some good arguments. she’s genuine but my objection is that a dilute preparation of water has allready got a molecule of almost anything in it on its way through the rain cycle and filtration through river beds and rocks. if this is a medicine we’re allready drinking it every day. there argument would be that science is too restrictive in its aproach to testing its veracity and negates its worth to suseptible people. genetic profiling should answere that question one day though despite it being an it works because of the gaps in your knowledge argument. where have i heard that before? there are cures in nature and i would not put it past pharmasuitical companies to supress working cures in favour of resellable discomfort alleviators however voodoo acupuncture seems distinctly freudian in its conotations ” a guy shoving a prick in a doll” come on.

  3. You’re all missing the point. This has absolutely nothing to do with tapping a doll, and everything to do with healing with the mind. The doll is just a tool. Something to focus the mind on. You don’t even need the doll. You just need to access the mind field. I travel in the same circles as some of these Tong Ren healers, since I too am in the alternative healing world. Holistic nutrition and bodywork. I have seen things I can’t explain happen to very ill people who decided not to subject themselves to invasive and risky medical treatments. Nothing short of miraculous. Don’t ask me to give you scientific or even semi-rational explanations because I have no idea how or why these people were healed. I just observed it. You don’t have to believe it, but don’t take away the hope from those who are seeing results. “Those who say it can’t be done should not interrupt those who are already doing it”. Don’t remember who said that, but it’s very wise. Most of you commenting probably aren’t facing a cancer diagnosis either. When you are diagnosed with cancer, you suddenly become open to anything. Keep that in mind in case you ever are in those shoes.

  4. DisgustedWithMedicalFraud Says:

    So, you’re saying that anything goes when it comes to the the desperately ill, as long as it LOOKS LIKE some desperate people are getting cured – no real evidence is produced; the facts are unimportant. I would bet that the people who recovered were either using evidence-based medicine as well, which was really responsible for the cure, or they are part of the segment of the population that was wrongly diagnosed or experience spontaneous recovery, or they took a preliminary diagnosis (based on a CT scan, for example, notorious for false-positives), they they went to a quack in the first place to get a phony diagnosis or to find out that the illness is gone. A phony live-blood cell analysis, for example, by a quack will invariably reveal parasites and a variety of other ills that are miraculously cured by overdoses of vitamins, herbs, and…drum roll…Tong Ren Energy healing. The only way to know what is really going on is to do scientific inquiry. I can understand wanting to sustain hope, but fraud is fraud is fraud.

  5. DisgustedWithMedicalFraud Says:

    I just want to add that I have personally seen, with my own eyes, several desperately ill friends and acquaintances die after avoiding evidence-based medicine in favor of so-called “healing” crap. I am not saying that conventional medicine would have saved them, but if you insist that what you see with your own eyes is therefore valid, then what about what I have seen with my own eyes: people dying from “alternative” practices. These practiioners and their adherents aren’t counting the sick, dying, or deceased victims of their practices; they are only counting the (presumed, and unverified) “successes.” I mourn my dead friends who fell into that trap.

  6. nobbiecat Says:

    I have to comment on this subject….I recently went to a tong ren guinea pig session….yeah funny that is what it is called…. Some people are helped others are not… My mother who is 78 has had back pain for many years…scoliosis…cant walk for very long without having pain…yoga has helped her a little…
    Well…the class worked on her back…tap tap tap…..on the doll…..
    she can now walk …it has been almost a week…We went shopping today and she kept going from store to store…in the past she could only handle going to a few stores before her back hurt, and she always used tylenol before shopping…
    now….no tylenol….and no back pain….wow…i dont care what you all think…it worked for my mother …where nothing else worked.
    We also saw many people there that were helped…one young girl who had brain tumor…which has shrunk since tong ren…maybe coincidence…who knows…

    all i know is that I was skeptical…but i now feel differently….if i were you i would go to a session before making judgements…

  7. Doubters? Try it! Don’t just be afraid and add endless drivel to the internet expounding your personal “insights” on what is or might be real. Just TRY IT and hopefully understand it before you really need it… it works. End of story.

  8. tongren.writer Says:

    I just wanted to answer of few of the issues raised above.
    Tong Ren is a modailty, a method of manipulating energy flow. That energy flow just promotes self healing. So Tong Ren just promotes self healing.
    Tong Ren is completely compatible with conventional medicine and patients are adviced to continue seeing their doctors and tell them about the therapy. Most of them do exactly that.
    We have healed patients who were not accessing conventional medicine, including late stage cancer patients whose doctors had given up on them.
    The vast majority of Tong Ren healing is performed for free so there is no fraud.
    We actually use a magnetic tipped hammer.
    Most people bring a lot of skepticism to Tong Ren. No amount of talking, or posts, like this web site, convinces people of anything. Tong Ren speaks very well for itself.
    For anyone who wants to criticize Tong Ren with any credibility, you are more than welcome to try it. I practice Tong Ren healing on Second Life, all for free. If you do not have a real medical issue, please bring someone with you who does. Tong Ren works through Second Life with complete anonymity.
    Tongren Writer (in Second Life)

  9. Free your mind Says:

    What are all you skeptics afraid of ? Are you afraid that it really works and that there are no side effects. Why are you denying our God given ability to heal? For all you critics that think you know it all without observing and sitting in on a few classes don’t babble about something you absolutely know nothing of. Please do not claim that you researched this thoroughly when you just clicked a few websites read a few books. Did you attend some classes spoke with some people ask about their condition when they first got their and how their condition is presently? You say we are taking credit form traditional medical treatments. What about the many that refused these medical treatments that have also gotten better? What will you do if you get ill?

    Free your mind

  10. I wish the medical community would subject itself to the same standards of scientific rigor they want to impose on “alternative” therapies. My mother died in the hands of doctors who were constantly prescribing drugs with horrendous side effects — some of which were subsequently taken off the market. In addition, they were always suggesting some “experimental” therapy that was incredibly expensive and (of course) had no scientific testing. At least most of the alternative therapies I’ve heard about have less chance of causing liver and kidney failure than massive doses of prescription drugs.

  11. wow this thread have no respond for around five months……. too early to withdraw when you guys starts the flame. Come on and give it another shot and I sure it will be more “fun” for the name of science ; As for myself, I find it interesting to see some of the skeptic guys giving naive comments and believe them self is on top of the world while other real patients and benefactors from tong ren telling them their non-fiction stories. The “fun” part is to see HOW they trying sooooo hard to deny them. I am a tong ren therapist for many years and I can say I treated more patients than many full time doctor that working in a hospital. What interesting about it is, most of my patient are happy with my treatments and recommend me to their friend and relative. Oh did I mention that I only treat patient with severe cases like stage 3 and 4 cancer, HIV, MS, etc. I find many of the skeptic sites are entertaining and I hope you guys ready for the consequences in the future when we hit the mainstream. A lot of health issue now a day is consider non treatable, so I wish you or your family can be healthy all your life without the need of our healing. Only time can tell the truth(sometime), and I believe I have plenty of them since I know how to keep my self healthy and I still young (mid 30s) enough to see the coming of the new medicine.

    I will end it here, no need to thanks me to keep this going ;

  12. You people are babbling idiots.

  13. I follow your blog for a long time and must tell you that your posts always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

  14. The other thing that’s mentioned is that Harvard is supposedly “studying” Tong Ren. That’s a bit of a stretch, as you will see if you follow the link, which leads to a study entitled A Pilot Investigation of the Tong Ren Healing System: A Survey Study. It looks like nothing more than a survey of users of Tong Ren to me, and its purpose is unclear. Personally, if the people doing the survey are using this survey to see if there is anything to Tong Ren, this is about the worst way possible to find out. All it will end up doing is to collect testimonials,

  15. When a modern-day couple decides to discover through past life regression if their lives were linked in the past, a passionate 1930s love story emerges….

    […]Tong Ren Therapy « The You Tube Skeptic[…]…

  16. How about any naysayers just pipe down and experience it before you say anything about what you can’t really understand? Are you suffering with any ailments? Go there and try some treatments. There are Tibetan Monks that can melt snow using their body heat by meditating and we have seen that. We can be skeptical but it still happened. People walk on fire, I did it myself. I was skeptical but it happened. Instead of just embarrassing yourself and speaking so negatively about something you know nothing about, go experience it for yourself and then when it doesn’t work for you, maybe you can still just keep quiet, because it works for so many other people, that would just be the right thing to do. Have some decency and respect for them. So what if it doesn’t make sense to you. They don’t care when they feel better and recover from their ailments, what you people are saying here. HAHA. Placebo is a very powerful unexplained thing too but it happens. Homeopathic medicine works and many people think it’s a joke too. It isn’t relevant what anyone thinks or says because it still happens and folks are still benefitting from Tong Ren, homeopathy, Reiki, and other modalities that seem wacky to those who have not had any luck with it. Say what you will and try to analyze it and fit it into a little box so you can feel more safe, but it will still continue on without you. The mind and body are not something we can understand yet, so why not just leave this one alone? Anyone could attempt to explain it to you but you have already made a decision so why would anyone try and convince you? Whoever is posting this page is pretty negative. I have met Tom Tam and been to his classes and I was the biggest skeptic of all. I experienced it for myself. Did you? If not then just keep quiet because you truly have no concept of what is going on there. It’s simple and natural without any voodoo or magic. “Chi” has always been a concept in TCM and martial arts spanning back centuries in Chinese culture. Acupuncture has worked longer than any western medicine approach to date so writing off an entire culture and its medicine techniques is purely ludicrous. Questioning is necessary but speaking derogatorily about the topic is altogether another issue. I’d never read another article here after running into this nonsense. But hey, you will probably go on posting your words without my approval….Enjoy…

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