History of Psychic Surgery
Psychic Surgery came into popularity initially in the Philippines during the mid-1900s. It is a process, psychic surgeons claim, of removing diseased tissue such as cancer, foreign objects or materials, or bad spirits from the body without surgical equipment or tools, but by bare hands alone. Eleuterio Terte, a Philippines native, was supposedly the first person who performed psychic surgery in the 1940s. A number of psychic surgeons are presently practicing in the Philippines and Brazil, while occasional psychic surgeries are performed in the US.
Claims vs. Reality
Psychic surgeons claim to remove tumors or foreign matter, sometime even objects such as glass, by making an invisible incision with their hands and removing the offending material. However, there is no scientific evidence supporting the claims that tumors or any other materials have been removed from individuals who have been studied in regard to these claims.
On the contrary, investigation has consistently shown that people undergoing psychic surgery generally fall into one of two categories. The first category is composed of people who still have the tumors and whose lives are threatened by the lack of treatment. The beloved actor, Andy Kaufman, who went to the Philippines for a six week course of psychic surgery and died of his cancer but a few weeks after the psychic surgery, is a case in point.
The second population of people supposedly cured by psychic surgery turn out to have no history of disease, and have therefore been cured of nothing.
There is also a potential third category, which at present is not statistically supported. This is the small population for whom psychic surgery appears to be effective, which is attributed to the placebo effect, already known to be exceptionally powerful. There are people who become well because they believe the medicine or treatment will make them well, even if there’s no medicine or actual medical treatment in that which has been administered.
Theatrics of the Procedure
Although psychic surgeons appear to be inserting their fingers and hands into the patient’s body, their procedure has been widely debunked by magicians as adroit sleight-of-hand. The attending blood and other components such as organs that the psychic surgeons demonstrate as having been removed from the patient have proven, when verifiable, to be the blood and organs of animals.
Risks of Psychic Surgery
Theatrics of the procedure aside, the implications regarding individuals not receiving necessary medical treatment are obvious and the potential results quite serious. Since psychic surgery has not been proven effective, it is probably not the best form of an alternative therapy and patients suffering from serious illnesses such as mesothelioma are urged to seek proper medical care.