A NETful of Health Related Pseudoscience in Canterbury

By Michael Edmonds 27/03/2012

What happens when you combine chiropractic manipulation, homeopathy, dietary advice and ample amounts of pseudoscientific marketing spiel? The answer would appear to be NET (Neuro Emotional Technique).

NET claims to be  a “mind-body stress-reduction technique that uses a methodology of finding and removing neurological imbalances related to the physiology of unresolved stress.”  Using chiropractic manipulation accompanied by “NETremedies”, a series of homeopathic remedies designed to “help safely activate your body’s natural healing abilities”, NET claims to have a wide range of applications (often a red flag for pseudoscience), e.g.

“NET Practitioners are nearly unlimited in their ability to address the physical and behavioral stress-related conditions of their patients. These conditions include headaches, body pains, phobias, general anxiety, self-sabotaging behaviors, organ dysfunctions and so much more. It’s important to note that NET does not cure or heal the patient, but rather, NET removes blocks to the natural vitalism of the body, ‘allowing’ the body to repair itself naturally.”

“Removing blocks, natural vitalism, “allowing the body to repair itself naturally”?  (My woo-dar is now bleeping frantically)

Although the description above suggests that NET is related to  emotional health the NET website makes it very clear that it is not related to psychotherapy/counselling  (implausible deniability perhaps?)

“NET is about fixing the subluxation and not the emotions”

“NET is not counseling. The term “emotional” can conjure up images of clinical counseling, which NET, in fact, does NOT employ.”

So through chiropractic manipulation plus a bit of homeopathy, NET appears to claim to be able to treat emotional related conditions, which is no doubt why free introductory treatments were offered to earthquake stressed Christchurch residents this past weekend.

If I were in a cynical mood, I would suggest that these free sessions were exploitative, using the quakes to pray on stressed Cantabrians luring them in with a free treatment in order to introduce them to a whole new variety of pseudoscience – sort of a pseudoscientific Amway.

 However, for the moment I will listen to the better angels of my nature and suggest that this is merely the misguided application of an unproven and unlikely health therapy by well-intentioned, but scientifically illiterate health providers.

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