Why Woo-Woo Works by David R. Hamilton, PHD
  • Title: Why Woo-Woo Works
  • Subtitle: The Surprising Science Behind Meditation, Reiki, Crystals, and Other Alternative Practices
  • Author(s): David R. Hamilton, PHD
  • Publisher: Hay House, Inc
  • Year: 2021-09-21
  • ISBN-10: 1401961703
  • ISBN-13: 9781401961701


Why Woo-Woo Works” by David R. Hamilton explores the often misunderstood and disregarded world of alternative healing practices and spirituality known as “woo-woo.” Challenging the skeptics, Hamilton delves into the scientific research and personal anecdotes that support the efficacy of practices such as energy healing, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), psychic abilities, reiki, and more. He presents a compelling argument for the power of the mind-body connection and highlights the growing body of evidence that these so-called woo-woo practices can have profound healing effects on individuals.

Through engaging storytelling and accessible language, Hamilton breaks down complex concepts and invites readers on a journey to explore the potential of their own consciousness. Drawing upon his background in biochemistry, he provides a scientific foundation for concepts that are often dismissed as purely mystical or esoteric. “Why Woo-Woo Works” challenges readers to question their beliefs and broaden their perspective on what is possible in terms of healing and personal growth. Ultimately, Hamilton encourages readers to embrace the benefits of woo-woo practices for their physical, mental, and emotional well-being and find a sense of empowerment through their own experiences.


Book Review

Embracing the Power of Woo-Woo: A Journey of Healing and Transformation

In his thought-provoking book, “Why Woo-Woo Works,” David R. Hamilton provides an engaging exploration of alternative healing practices and spirituality that are often dismissed or misunderstood. Hamilton’s background in biochemistry coupled with his genuine curiosity and open-mindedness make him a compelling guide as he delves into the world of “woo-woo.” Through insightful analysis, personal anecdotes, and scientific research, Hamilton skillfully presents a persuasive argument for the effectiveness and profound impact of practices often considered outside the realm of traditional medicine.

One of the strengths of “Why Woo-Woo Works” is Hamilton’s ability to blend scientific evidence with captivating storytelling. He begins by sharing his own transformative experience with energy healing, where he witnessed astonishing recovery in his sister’s paraplegic friend after sessions with an energy healer. Hamilton then delves into the science behind these practices, explaining concepts such as quantum physics and the observer effect, which support the idea that our thoughts and emotions have a real impact on our physical health.

Hamilton highlights several alternative healing practices throughout the book, shedding light on their potential benefits. For instance, he discusses the power of emotional freedom techniques (EFT), a form of psychological acupressure. Through personal anecdotes and case studies, he demonstrates how tapping on specific meridian points can alleviate emotional distress and physical pain. One story that stands out is the remarkable recovery of a woman with fibromyalgia who experienced significant pain reduction after using EFT.

In addition to EFT, Hamilton also explores the healing potential of reiki, meditation, and the mind’s ability to influence physical matter. He shares a touching story about a young boy named Rhys, who underwent successful surgery without anesthesia using only the power of his mind. By highlighting these extraordinary examples, Hamilton dismantles the skepticism surrounding these practices and encourages readers to consider their potential for personal transformation.

While the book is primarily focused on alternative healing practices, Hamilton also excavates the realm of psychic abilities and intuition. Through compelling studies and personal anecdotes, he demonstrates how these supposedly mystical phenomena can be scientifically explained. Hamilton argues that by honing our intuitive skills, we can tap into an internal compass that guides us towards a more fulfilling and purposeful life.

Hamilton’s writing style is accessible and engaging, making complex scientific concepts understandable to a wide audience. He strikes a balance between providing scientific evidence and leaving room for personal interpretation, thereby allowing readers to form their own conclusions. Additionally, his humble and empathetic tone creates a sense of trust and encourages readers to explore the ideas presented with an open mind.

Although “Why Woo-Woo Works” is filled with thought-provoking insights and evidence, it does have some limitations. At times, the book can feel repetitive, recounting similar stories and examples multiple times. While this repetition may serve as reinforcement for some readers, it may become monotonous for those seeking more diverse perspectives.

In conclusion, “Why Woo-Woo Works” offers a compelling and well-rounded exploration of alternative healing practices and spirituality. David R. Hamilton artfully combines personal stories, scientific research, and accessible explanations to illustrate the power and potential of practices often dismissed by mainstream medicine. This book invites readers to question their beliefs, broaden their perspective, and embrace the power of the mind-body connection. Whether one is a skeptic or a believer, “Why Woo-Woo Works” provides a thought-provoking journey that challenges preconceived notions and encourages readers to embrace the transformative potential of alternative healing practices.


Traditional wisdom and alternative practices often dismissed as 'woo-woo' hold scientific validity and can complement conventional medicine, offering powerful tools for healing and self-understanding.”

Key Ideas

In “Why Woo-Woo Works,” David R. Hamilton explores several key ideas surrounding alternative healing practices and spirituality. Here are the main concepts discussed in the book:

  1. Power of the Mind-Body Connection Hamilton emphasizes the profound impact of our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions on our physical well-being. He explores scientific evidence to support the idea that our mind and body are intricately interconnected. By embracing this mind-body connection, we can tap into our own healing potential.

  2. Scientific Exploration of Woo-Woo Hamilton integrates scientific research and principles to demystify practices like energy healing, EFT, psychic abilities, and reiki. He presents evidence showing that these alternative healing modalities have measurable effects and highlights their ability to create positive changes in individuals’ lives.

  3. Quantum Physics and Consciousness The book delves into the world of quantum physics to explain how the observer effect and the interconnectedness of particles can support the effectiveness of woo-woo practices. Hamilton argues that our consciousness has an influence on the physical matter, opening up possibilities for healing beyond traditional medical approaches.

  4. Personal Transformation and Empowerment Hamilton shares personal stories and case studies to demonstrate how embracing woo-woo practices can lead to significant personal transformation and empowerment. Through practices such as meditation, intuition development, and energy healing, individuals can tap into their own innate abilities and find healing in various aspects of their lives.

  5. Skepticism and Open-Mindedness Hamilton addresses the skepticism and prejudices often associated with woo-woo practices. He encourages readers to approach these practices with an open mind and evaluate them based on scientific evidence and personal experience rather than dismissing them outright.

  6. Mindfulness and Emotional Well-being The book emphasizes the importance of cultivating mindfulness and emotional awareness for overall well-being. Hamilton discusses the role of practices such as meditation and EFT in managing stress, reducing anxiety, and enhancing emotional resilience.

  7. Personal Responsibility for Health Hamilton emphasizes the idea that individuals have an active role to play in their own healing journeys. By embracing woo-woo practices and taking charge of their thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, individuals can advocate for their well-being and contribute to their own healing and growth.

  8. Placebo Effect One of the central ideas is the placebo effect, where beliefs and expectations can lead to real physiological changes in the body. The book discusses how beliefs, rituals, and intentions can influence health and well-being.

  9. The Power of Gratitude Gratitude is a recurring theme in the book. Hamilton explains how cultivating a sense of gratitude can positively impact mental and physical health. It’s not just a feel-good practice but has real physiological effects.

  10. The Role of Emotions Emotions play a significant role in our well-being. The book delves into how emotions can affect our health, immune system, and even genetic expression. It emphasizes the importance of emotional well-being.

  11. Intuition and Gut Feelings Hamilton discusses the science behind intuition and gut feelings. He explains that our intuition often arises from our subconscious mind processing vast amounts of information, and learning to trust it can lead to better decision-making.

  12. Living with Purpose Living a purpose-driven life is linked to better health and happiness. “Why Woo-Woo Works” encourages readers to find and live their purpose, as it can be a source of profound fulfillment.

Overall, “Why Woo-Woo Works” invites readers to expand their understanding of healing beyond traditional medicine, fostering a sense of empowerment, open-mindedness, and exploration of the mind-body connection.


Target Audience

The book “Why Woo-Woo Works” by David R. Hamilton is targeted at a diverse audience interested in exploring alternative healing practices, spirituality, and the mind-body connection. It is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Seekers of Wellness and Personal Growth Individuals interested in holistic approaches to well-being, personal growth, and self-improvement will find value in “Why Woo-Woo Works.” The book offers insights and practical tools that can help them enhance their physical, emotional, and mental well-being, empowering them to take an active role in their own healing and growth.

  • Skeptics and Open-Minded Individuals The book is particularly beneficial for those who may be skeptical about alternative healing practices. Hamilton presents scientific evidence and thought-provoking arguments that challenge preconceived notions, encouraging readers to approach woo-woo practices with an open mind. It provides them with an opportunity to explore the potential benefits and broaden their perspective on the mind-body connection.

  • Health and Wellness Professionals Practitioners in the field of health and wellness, including psychologists, therapists, and coaches, can gain insights from “Why Woo-Woo Works.” The book provides scientific research and case studies that support the integration of complementary and alternative healing techniques into their practices. It offers a broader toolkit to help professionals support their clients’ well-being.

  • Science-Minded Individuals Readers with an interest in the intersection of science and spirituality will appreciate the scientific approach Hamilton takes in exploring woo-woo practices. By delving into concepts like quantum physics, consciousness, and the mind’s influence on matter, the book provides a bridge between traditional scientific thinking and the metaphysical realm.

  • Individuals on Their Healing Journeys Anyone who is on a personal healing journey, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, can find inspiration and guidance in “Why Woo-Woo Works.” The personal anecdotes, case studies, and practical techniques shared by Hamilton offer a roadmap to embracing alternative healing practices and unlocking the potential for personal transformation.

In conclusion, “Why Woo-Woo Works” is recommended reading for a wide range of audiences, including seekers of wellness, skeptics, health and wellness professionals, science-minded individuals, and those on personal healing journeys. It provides intriguing insights, scientific evidence, and practical guidance that can empower readers to explore the vast potential of alternative healing practices and the mind-body connection.

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This book review may contain excerpts and references from the reviewed work, used under the doctrine of fair use. The purpose is to provide a critical analysis, commentary, and evaluation of the book. The use of these excerpts is done for non-commercial and educational purposes, aimed at fostering discussion and understanding. The author acknowledges the original copyright holder's rights and asserts that the use of such material is transformative, adding value through the inclusion of informed opinions and insights. This review intends to comply with the principles of fair use under copyright law and does not seek to infringe upon the author's or publisher's rights.

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