Spiritual healing is the curing of disease through powers outside the limits of medical intervention. It is based on the concept that whatever one truly believes can be made to happen.
Virtually every ancient culture and religion believed that a specific person in the community, was chosen by the spirit(s) to heal both physical and mental, illness through supernatural powers. These healers were refer ed to as medicine men, priests, or shamans, and they were called upon to intercede with the spirits on behalf of their followers. For example, the Bible refers to miracles a complished through faith and the transfer of positive thoughts from the healer to the sufferer. Whatever its origins, spirtual , healing has always involved a belief in a universal healing force.
Spiritual healing is performed by people who claim to be endowed with the gift of though or energy transference, which gives them a special link to a person in need of healing. One type of spiritual healing, is practiced by Christian Scientists, who elect to treat themselves and their loved ones through prayer and faith in God rather than depend on a physician. Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step support groups also rely heavily on spiritualism. Therapeutic touch, which is practiced by countless conventional doctors and nurse as a routine part of patient care, is closely related to spiritual healing. Many observers believe that when a skilled, compassionate physician or nurse touches or clasps the hand of trusting patient, an actual transference of healing energy takes place.
\When It Is Used
Spiritual healers attempt to cure various acute and chronic diseases, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and even AIDS.Many people who go to spiritual, healers for help have already exhausted the capabilities of more orthodox practitioners.
No one can explain how spiritual healing works. Conventional physicians concede that there are hopelessly ill patients who miraculously recover, and in some of these cases, spiritualism is a factor. Spiritual healers contend that such cures are accomplished when patients become one with God (or with their own concept of a superior power). Western researchers have studied psychic phenomena, including healing, in the United States and Europe, but they have yet to produce tangible results that are convincing to skeptics. Still, a growing number of conventional physicians, foremost among them cancer surgeon and author Dr. Bernie Siegel, are emphasizing the power of spirituality in the healing process. Most physicians report that patients who have a reservoir of spiritual faith tend to confront serious illness with unusual strength and calmness.
What To Expect
Although some spiritual healers claim to have accomplished healing at a distance through the power of their thoughts, most practitioners work at the side of the patient. To prepare themselves for a healing session, they may spend time in prayer and meditation. Deep breathing, chanting, and other relaxation techniques contribute to the trance like state that many healers enter for their work.The healers remain passive until they feel they have been overtaken by healing power, which is then transferred to the ailing person. This transfer may be achieved solely through concentration, or it may involve a laying on of hands.
- Because many people seek out a spiritual healer as an act of desperation, they are vulnerable to charlatans. While trust in the healer is a critical factor in the success of the encounter, financial commitments should be made with extreme caution.