I watched this last night. not what I was expecting but still interesting. this wasn't a scientific experiment since there is really no objective way to gage degrees of 'feeling good'. some of the new age treatments seem to have left more an impression than others.
At the low end of the scale (based on the person's feedback doing the 30-day experiment), he seemed to not really get much (if anything) out of these:
* Spring Equinox Ritual/and other new age gatherings. (pretty rediculous but no more or less arbitrary than other rituals). The benefits seem to be social, making friends, etc. external to the practice.
* hot coal walking / expressive dance - releases particular fears perhaps, but this was also social based....since the effect would be no where the same if someone did it alone without the encouragement and congratulations of others.
* Reiki - no affect on him, but he did say he felt 'relaxed' from laying down. a teenage cancer survivor was interveiwed. she was getting western treatment in addition to reiki, but placed a heavy emphasis on the reiki healing as the cause of her beating the disease.
*accupuncture / cuping - the cuping produced circular red marks on his back like hickies. it was dumb and he said it felt good for only 10 minutes after. the accupuncture he said felt good after - but again no apparent long-term gain.
the man's ailments prior to this experiment were back pain (due to a football mishap years prior) and occupational stress (sales/marketing).
at the end of the 30-days he said he felt less stress and more ability to just roll with situations as oppossed to conflicting with them. more easy-going in effect. The show didn't display his diff in demeanor, but I took his word for it.
I remember after a did skydiving I felt more relaxed and more in-tune with senses...that lasted for a week after a jump. after 3 jumps, the feeling was less intense immediately after the jump, but the calmness lasted longer.
there is something to be said about whatever method of relaxation/comfort someone decides to connect with. With most of new age treatments, it's power is believing in it. unfortunately, thats also people's weakness. the costs of alt med are alarming. it's a $50 billion a year industry.
if I had a flaky back and was stressed from work, I'd just get a hottub installed - it'd be cheaper.