Who Is Amy B. Scher?

Amy B. Scher is a proponent of energy medicine and things like astrology and homeopathy. She claims to be a “science geek,” but how could anyone who understands science think that tapping on the breastbone will fix the thymus?

Is the thymus the master gland for the immune system and connected to the entire energy system? Does tapping on the breastbone affect it?
An email correspondent asked if I was familiar with Amy B. Scher. I wasn’t; and after reading about her, I am not impressed. She is a so-called “energy therapist”, and “mind-body-spirit healing expert” who has written four books, most recently How to Heal Yourself From Depression When No One Else Can. I have no interest in reading her books. She was interviewed in a podcast, and her own words told me everything I needed to know.

Her medical history reveals multiple errors on her part. She had some kind of debilitating health crisis that was hard to diagnose. It started with headaches, nausea, and other nondescript symptoms and progressed to neuropathy, inability to walk, and confinement to a wheelchair. She was even bedridden for a time. It was finally diagnosed as “chronic Lyme disease“, or CLD. (1) She readily accepted a fake diagnosis that is rejected by science but is promoted by so-called “Lyme-literate” medical doctors (LLMDs). CLD and LLMDs have been extensively covered here on Science-Based Medicine. (2) Her second mistake was to indiscriminately try “all available conventional and alternative methods” of treatment, including a year of antibiotics and a trial of hyperbaric oxygen. Her parents went into debt financing this wild goose chase. When nothing worked, (3) she travelled to India to get an experimental stem cell transplant, which “seemed to work” for about a year, after which her symptoms returned. (4) Next, she embarked on a quest to explore her “inner landscape”, assuming that unconscious thoughts, beliefs, or emotions might be impacting her healing process. She claims she discovered that unconscious beliefs and thoughts were affecting her physical body. (5) She adopted untested techniques from energy psychology (such as tapping rituals and rewriting unconscious scripts) to clear her unconscious beliefs and became convinced that she had healed herself. (6) Without submitting her beliefs to any kind of testing, she proceeded to tell the world, writing books and working with hospitals and organizations to teach her energy techniques to thousands of people.

In the podcast interview, she says she “discovered that some of the patterns I had in my life were crushing my spirit”. She says, “I lived in deep fear of being who I really was”.

She teaches methods to access the unconscious. She teaches “the Sweep technique” to sweep out unwanted beliefs like “I don’t matter”. She teaches “micro-movements”, tiny steps like tapping for 30 seconds or massaging the ears. She offers many different tools, saying that if one technique doesn’t work, you can simply try another. She claims the thymus gland is the master gland of the immune system and is connected to the entire energy system. She claims that tapping on the breastbone will affect the thymus gland underneath, sending a force of energy through the thymus gland to “swoosh out” stress and stressful emotions.

Rather than defending her techniques, she tells clients “Just try it. What do you have to lose?” She believes symptoms are neither good nor bad but are simply the body’s communication system. She struggled with depression when she didn’t even recognize it as depression. She felt blah and teary and exhausted but says she was never clinically depressed. And now she believes she is qualified to teach depressed people how to heal themselves? Has she tested that belief? Of course not!

She made herself three promises and encourages others to do the same: “tell yourself the truth, lighten the F up on yourself, and take action”. She advises clients to “trust the Universe”.

She accepts acupuncture, Ayurveda, and Reiki, muscle testing, and even astrology. She believes in inherited trauma, that life traumas can be passed down through the generations like DNA, that the Holocaust continues to affect the descendants of survivors, and that we inherit an energetic imprint. She believes that empaths “take on the energy around them”. And yet she claims, “I’m such a science geek. I love lab tests. I love the science of everything”.

Conclusion: Fantasy, not science

The interviewer on the podcast, Tami Simon, is the founder of Sounds True, a multimedia publishing company whose mission is disseminating spiritual wisdom. Are Amy Scher’s beliefs spiritual wisdom? I don’t know, because I don’t know what “spiritual wisdom” is; but I sure as heck recognize that they are not science. She calls herself a science geek but comes across as a gullible fantasizer.

This article was originally published in the Science-Based Medicine Blog.

Dr. Hall is a contributing editor to both Skeptic magazine and the Skeptical Inquirer. She is a weekly contributor to the Science-Based Medicine Blog and is one of its editors. She has also contributed to Quackwatch and to a number of other respected journals and publications. She is the author of Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly: The Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon and co-author of the textbook, Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions.

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