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Author Topic: Spiritual Healing  (Read 5965 times)

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Online HairyHeretic

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2011, 03:37:25 PM »
Try tiny invisible demons, they may accept that :)

Online Oniya

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2011, 03:41:47 PM »
Try tiny invisible demons, they may accept that :)

Yes - which should rightfully be subject to spiritual means of treatment.  :)

Offline Hotaru37

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2011, 10:07:43 PM »
I believe there is a prohibition back in the OT about consorting with magicians of any kind. That'd be my guess.

I do remember something about that but I guess it would depend on your definition of magician.  Though when I think of magicians, doctors are definitely not the first thing that comes to mind. 

Offline Zakharra

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2011, 12:20:13 AM »
 Magicians, witch doctors, apocatharies....

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2011, 03:35:56 AM »
I think the reasoning is if you get sick and die, "God intended for you to die" and so seeking medical help is circumventing his wishes. I say 'He' in a totally personifying fashion, because the only people who would ever think like this probably think God is a giant bearded guy in a white robe living in a cloud kingdom...

Offline Lilias

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2011, 03:47:11 AM »
Keep in mind that 'healing', 'treatment' and 'cure' are not synonyms.

Treatment is a process that aims at a cure, which in turn is the removal of disease. It can reach that level, or not; there are plenty of chronic diseases that remain incurable, but treatable.

Healing, on the other hand, deals with the trauma and distress, physical and otherwise, associated with disease. By alleviating such distress (which, ironically, all too often stems from treatment side effects), it allows the patient's system to function optimally for their condition. If mental/emotional/spiritual turmoil can impact work performance or relationships, it can definitely impact the way the physical self deals with health issues.

Of course non-conventional healing methods can be used in situations beyond their scope, but that's only natural when people come to the point where they would do literally anything to get their health back. Don't underestimate the power of facing your own mortality.

Spiritual healing doesn't mean simply healing with the spirit, but also healing of the spirit, which is beyond the scope of medicine. And the spirit can be healed, even if the body dies.

Online Oniya

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2011, 09:38:25 AM »
I believe the question at hand, though, was why people would completely eschew standard medicine (i.e., doctors) and use prayer to the exclusion of all other methods when ill.

Offline Pointless Digression

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2011, 11:05:47 AM »
Okay, let me start by saying I'm pretty tolerant of modern religion and I'm also a believer of some paranormal things... and this extends to the ability to heal others through mental stimulation. So, no, I have no problem with believing that there are men and women out who channel their faith in a higher power as a conduit for their gifts.

But what I DO take issue with is when people hail these UNPROVEN abilities as a substitute for good old fashioned medicine. <CUT BY POINTLESS DIGRESSION>

I'm very interested in the juxtaposition of these two paragraphs. Basically, if you say that these abilities are UNPROVEN, how do you justify believing in "the ability to heal others through mental stimulation?"

Offline Lilias

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #33 on: May 13, 2011, 11:11:15 AM »
I believe the question at hand, though, was why people would completely eschew standard medicine (i.e., doctors) and use prayer to the exclusion of all other methods when ill.

Hence my third paragraph. Desperate people will push to extremes, and there will always be crooks ready to profit from human distress. Of course if you (try to) use something in a situation it was not meant to handle, it will fail. That is not to say that, properly used, such a tool or method will not work at all. Denying any merit to spiritual healing is as misguided as considering it a cure-all.

Offline Shadax

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #34 on: May 13, 2011, 11:44:05 AM »
As someone who practices Reiki 2 and has gotten some significant results, I still say first and foremost if someone asks me to do any healing, (beyond anything simple like a bump on the knee or the like,) "Have you seen a doctor?". Most other holistic/spiritual healers I know do the same - any that don't I avoid and would never recommend to anyone, regardless of how good they or other people think they are. In my opinion, avoiding the doctors is not conductive to helping the person who wants healing, so as someone wanting to help I will always bring that up and insist on it.

What people choose do do regarding their own health is just that, their choice. If they choose spiritual healing above all others then they have that right - But I will still talk to them about all other options, including doctors, that may help them. I think it would be irresponsible to do otherwise.


Online Oniya

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2011, 11:58:49 AM »
Hence my third paragraph. Desperate people will push to extremes, and there will always be crooks ready to profit from human distress. Of course if you (try to) use something in a situation it was not meant to handle, it will fail. That is not to say that, properly used, such a tool or method will not work at all. Denying any merit to spiritual healing is as misguided as considering it a cure-all.

Understood.  I'd actually commented on that back on the first page.  Used in conjunction with other treatments - I'm all for it.  Used to the exclusion of other treatments (especially proven treatments like proper antibiotics for curable diseases) - not so much.

Offline Hotaru37

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #36 on: May 13, 2011, 12:04:05 PM »
I feel the same way.  used together is great.  but one can't be switched for the other. 

Offline Jude

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #37 on: May 13, 2011, 12:24:32 PM »
Denying any merit to spiritual healing is as misguided as considering it a cure-all.
Why is it misguided when there is not a shred of double-blinded, properly controlled evidence that any of it actually works in the least?

Online HairyHeretic

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #38 on: May 13, 2011, 12:26:13 PM »
Do you consider it possible that it might work, but that we might not have the means to measure it at this point in time?

Online Oniya

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Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2011, 12:35:34 PM »
Why is it misguided when there is not a shred of double-blinded, properly controlled evidence that any of it actually works in the least?

Anything that makes the patient 'feel better' is going to have an impact on their recovery.  Whether that's a placebo, hearing about well-wishes, a person laying on hands, or a get well card, there is an impact.  A patient that has 'given up' and has lost the feeling that recovery is possible is far more likely to take a turn for the worse.  That's the reason that I would personally consider it as having merit as part of a comprehensive course of treatment.

Offline Pointless Digression

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2011, 12:39:11 PM »
Do you consider it possible that it might work, but that we might not have the means to measure it at this point in time?

Hey there, Hairy. I realize the question was directed at Jude, but I'd like to take as tab at your question.

Whether or not we have the means to measure how a treatment works is not the same question as to whether a treatment works. Patient outcome is easy (if not simple) to measure, and studies have been done looking at the effects of reiki.

For instance, researchers at the University of Exeter investigated studies published through January 2008 and concluded that most were poorly designed and "the evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition." (Lee MS and others. Effects of reiki in clinical practice: A systematic review of randomized clinical trials. International Journal of Clinical Practice 62:947-954, 2008.)

In addition, I question the basic premise underlying Reiki. The idea that practitioners can sense and manipulate "energy fields" had a lot of egg on its face in the early 90s, when the therapeutic touch community was called onto the rug by a ten year old girl. Emily Rosa demonstrated that 21 therapeutic touch  practitioners could not detect her alleged "energy field."

During the tests, the practitioners rested their arms on a flat surface, about a foot apart. Emily then hovered her hand, palm down, a few inches above one of the subject's palms. A cardboard screen prevented the subjects from seeing which of their hands was selected. The practitioners correctly located Emily's hand only  44% of the time. (Rosa L and others. A Close Look at Therapeutic Touch. JAMA 279:1005-1010, 1998)

It might be interesting to investigate whether reiki practitioners can actually sense or transmit "energy," whether reiki "attunements" actually enhance anything, and whether feelings of warmth are accompanied by any measurable change of skin temperature. But I doubt that the reiki community would be any more eager than the TT community to have its fundamental concepts tested.

Offline Jude

Re: Spiritual Healing
« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2011, 12:46:35 PM »
@Hairy

I recognize that it's definitely possible.  Unfortunately, it's also possible that all of human civilization will be wiped out by an ill-timed/placed gamma ray burst any second now.  Just as you're not preparing for the .00000000001% chance of your life ending at this very moment, it's equally as unproductive to engage in implausible, unestablished, disconfirmed spiritual healing techniques.

@Oniya

It's true that the placebo effect derived from a false treatment can help a patient recover, but there is literally no difference from the placebo boost you get from reflexology or acupuncture and the heightening of spirits you would get from being visited by an old friend, watching one of your favorite movies, or engaging in some other mood-lifting activity.  I think one of the reasons people often get confused by issues like these is that they don't understand what the extent of the Placebo Effect actually is -- it's a completely subjective, nonspecific response that is not associated with healing of any sort, just an alleviation of subjective symptoms.

The Placebo Effect does not repair your body, it simply makes your complex internal cognitive balance disregard more negative stimuli; it's basically yet another exercise in confirmation bias:  I think I should be getting better, so my subconscious filters out some of the pain.

That isn't to say all spiritual healing techniques aren't worth the tradeoff however.  I mean, take prayer for instance, I really doubt it works, but it takes so little effort that I would never tell a sick person not to pray or have others pray for them.  It doesn't take valuable time or resources that someone who is in poor health could better use in different directions.  If you want to mediate, sure, why not.  If you want a massage, go for it.

I'm all about the cost-benefits analysis, but this requires a real, critical glance at what the benefits actually are.  And damn near anything that you actually would have to pay for in the spiritual healing realm does not have a benefit that justifies the cost.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 12:50:03 PM by Jude »