dedicated to the discussion of the chinese internal martial arts of xingyiquan, baguazhang, taijiquan, related arts, and anything else best discussed over a bottle of rum
lenmccoy wrote:One is to suspend a washer from a string with your hand holding the end of the string. Concentrate on not moving your hand while at the same time think about the washer moving in a circle. Then concentrate on stopping the washer. Then think about it circling the other direction. I believe what is happening is that your subconscious mind is activating small muscles in the hand to move while apparently holding the hand still. I would assume there is some benefit to accessing the subconscious.
The ideomotor effect has been known for over 150 years, yet it is still not a widely known phenomenon. It tends to be used, rightly, as an explanation for dowsing and the Ouija board. Its scope however, is much wider than that and it should be a more widely known explanation for delusions, especially those of medical quacks.
The ideomotor effect is a classic example of how we can be fooled by our senses and ourselves. Many people believe in things because they have experienced them for themselves; they trust in the perceived infallibility of their senses.
The ideomotor effect is just one example of why we should use objective, scientific testing rather than rely on subjective, personal experience to work out what is real and what is not.
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