These comments on the single
page in the book "Trick or Treatment" devoted to Spiritual Healing
They were written separately, before the
"Trick or Treatment" book review,
using the device of
putting quotes in colour and denoting the reason for quoting that part of
the page, as an error, or comment. I wrote these comments first because I
have been involved with spiritual healing since the early 1990s giving me
many years of experience as well as plenty of time to relate it to the
science I know. The number of errors made by Singh and Ernst is startling
high, easily avoided by anyone prepared to research properly and talk to
relevant people, and far beyond what is acceptable from those supposedly
carrying out a critical appraisal.
The interactions between a healer and a
patient for the purpose of improving health
The interactions between healer and healee are on a spiritual level and it
is for the healing of the spirit, which may or may not have a beneficial
effect on a specific physical condition, though often, usually, it does. In
any case the interaction is not primarily between the healer and the healee
but between spirit and the healee, the healer simply acting as a
facilitator, channel. The understanding of those of us with the sensing
ability to go beyond the physical is that it is the non-physical, the
spiritual, which is prime, not the physical. The physical comes, emanates,
from the spiritual, so healing of the spiritual has a beneficial effect on
Many different forms of spiritual healing exist:
faith healing, intercessory prayer, reiki, therapeutic touch, psychic
healing, Joheri healing, wart charming, etc. The common denominator is that
healing ‘energy’ is channelled via the healer into the body of the patient.
The “definition” of spiritual healing is incorrect. It is a fundamental
error, almost schoolboy, error to fail to research, consult and establish a
correct definition of a subject, topic, before discussing it, let alone
As pointed out on the National Federation of Spiritual Healers Web Site (http://www.nfsh.org.uk):
“Spiritual Healing is not Faith Healing. The term 'Faith Healing' implies
that the recipient needs to believe in a deity and that that deity is the
source of healing.”
“Spiritual Healing is not linked to a particular religion. Faith by the
patient is not required and healing can help people regardless of their
While reiki is, arguably, a
form of spiritual healing, along with, possibly, Johrei healing, the rest of
those listed, specifically faith healing, intercessory prayer, therapeutic
touch, psychic healing, wart charming, etc., are specifically not spiritual
healing. For example, spiritual healing does not require faith; I have no
religious denomination or faith, nor do most of my colleagues. Therefore,
there is no common denominator as claimed in the text.
Erroneous definitions and false premises are not a good basis on which to
begin anything, including, especially (?), a scientific investigation. If
particular scientists are unable to accept that, there is little chance of
them making progress as they are already out of their depth. There are many
of us with scientific and technical background who have no such problems.
It is a fairly trivial and naïve exercise to come up with ones own
definitions, premises etc., and then argue against something on that basis,
though hardly an exercise for, supposedly, high calibre scientists.
This ‘energy’ is supposed to enable the patient’s
body to heal itself.
The human body is, at root, energy, as is all of the material world; that is
basic physics, apart from anything else. The body is capable of self
healing, in that sense. In practice the energy structure includes the
non-physical bodies, without which the physical body would not exist.
Spiritual healing is at the level of the higher bodies rather than the
The term ‘energy’ needs to be put in inverted
commas because it certainly is not energy as understood by scientists, but
rather has a spiritual or religious basis.
There is no real definition for energy as no-one yet knows what energy
really is, according to Richard Feynman, among others. The usual
“definitions” are not definitions of energy at all, only descriptions of
what energy does, or is observed to do by means of the physical senses and
instruments at the present level of mainstream technology. Those of us with
higher level senses are ware of what else energy does apart from just in the
physical world, though there are different types and forms of energy at that
level as in the physical world, as well as them impacting on the physical
worlds as that is whence the physical came. There are also instruments which
appear to be able to detect higher energies, albeit on the basis of
secondary, perhaps even tertiary, effects.
All attempts to detect or quantify it have so far
It is completely untrue to say that “All attempts to detect or quantify it
have failed”. The work of Tiller, Oschman, Korotkov, Levichev, et al,
demonstrates that such energies exist. I have attended a number of
presentations, conferences, etc., and met many of those involved in such
Scientists of any great repute would list all such attempts and point out
any errors, in their view, of course, or refrain from such blanket
statements, though I have already mentioned researchers who have produced
positive results, at least from the point of view of those of us with the
knowledge and experience to understand what they are doing and how it
relates to the reality our senses tell us exists.
Healers view themselves as instruments of a
higher power with healing ability bestowed upon them from above.
That statement is untrue. Healers do not regard themselves as instruments of
a higher power. Various people have knowledge, abilities and skills.
Healer’s abilities simply derive from a particular form, combination, of
knowledge, abilities and skills. They are no more “bestowed from above” than
those of anyone else.
Most state that they have no idea how their
treatment works, but are nevertheless convinced that it does.
Healers are, generally, well aware of how what they do for a patient,
healee, works. They may not be able to express it in ways that mainstream
scientists understand, or accept. However, those of us with a scientific and
technical background are well able to relate it in scientific terms, at
least as far as the present level of science allows.
The patient on the receiving end often feels
sensations of warmth or tingling as the ‘energy’ apparently enters the body.
Patients, healees, often do feel sensations of warmth, also other
sensations, including the occasional coolness. There is no “apparent” about
the energies; we feel, see and, sometimes, hear those energies.
Consulting a healer usually involves a short
conversation about the nature of the problem.
That statement is incorrect, or, at least, severely lacking. An initial
“consultation” usually involves a fairly detailed conversation including
notes of name, address, background, history of health problems, experience
of complementary therapies, name and address of doctor, present and past
medication, etc., as well as the current problem, or problems, or problems.
The healer then starts the healing ritual.
There is no ritual, certainly not in the religious sense and, arguably not
in any other sense either. Healing begins with a “tuning in”, for which
there is guidance but tends to be individual to each healer and rarely
involves anything much in the physically visible sense.
It could equally be argued that a medical practitioner goes through the
“ritual” of getting his/her stethoscope out, putting one end to their ears
and the other on the patient’s chest, etc.
Initially this can be diagnostic by nature.
In that the first act is to sense the aura generally, and to assess the
state of the chakras (energy centres) that is, broadly, correct, though the
“diagnosis” is on the spiritual level and anomalies connected with any
particular physical condition tend to be secondary, even tertiary.
For instance, the healer’s hands may glide over
the patient’s body to identify problem areas.
It is not the patient’s physical body that is of greatest importance.
Sensing is at the level of the non-physical bodies on which the physical
body depends for its existence. Any sensing of problem areas (in the
physical body sense) is, usually, by the way they are reflected in the
non-physical bodies. For example, as well as feeling and seeing chakras in
other that optimum condition, I have sensed a "hot" swelling in the aura
around an upper arm that I already knew was causing problems, a "hot, fiery"
sensation in the region of the lower chakras (later being informed, by the
person concerned, that his pelvis had been broken by a falling heavy metal
plate and he had suffered serious gastric problems, both some years
previously), an anomaly in a woman's arm that turned out to have been broken
at one time in the previous few years (she had said there was nothing wrong;
he daughter later brought her back to see me to confirm that I did have
reason to know there had been something wrong), etc., etc. Those anomalies
were in the non-physical bodies, though resulted from what had happened to
the physical body. there have been times when I have sensed something at
that level while not being within physical touching distance of the person's
physical body. That is not particularly unusual.
Eventually the healing starts, and ‘energy’ is
supposed to flow.
The healing, arguably, starts at the first meeting, before the formal
healing begins. There is, as already mentioned, no “supposed” about it; the
energies are able to be sensed by the higher senses, broadly the higher
level equivalent of the physical senses. They have also been detected by
instrumented means (Tiller, Korotkov, Levichev, et al.).
Many patients experience this as extremely
relaxing, while healers often feel drained after a session.
Many patients do, indeed, find the experience extremely relaxing, in fact
almost all do, in our experience. However, healers do not “often feel drained after a
session”. Healers channel energy, not give it of themselves. So, on the
contrary, healers usually benefit from the healing themselves as a little of
the channelled energy tends to stay with them. If healers do give of
themselves, they are not carrying out the healing process correctly and that
situation is almost always confined to inexperienced, novice, healers. Our
Healers' Group always feels very relaxed after giving healing; no one goes
away feeling in the least "drained"; totally the reverse.
With other forms of spiritual healing, however,
there is no personal contact between the healer and the patient.
Healer’s techniques vary but there is no need for physical contact at all.
Healing involves structures and energies that are not in, or not entirely
in, the world as perceived by the physical senses. To put it scientifically,
healing deals primarily with structures and energies that are partly, or
mostly, outside Minkowski/Einstein Space-Time.
Sessions can be conducted as great distances,
over the phone or the internet.
Because healing is outside physical world space-time, of course distance is
irrelevant; similarly with telepathy, remote viewing and other matters at
that level. Discussions and conversations may take place over the telephone,
or internet; the healing does not as it is separate from, over and
above, physical world considerations and restrictions; as do forms of
communication at that level, of which I have some experience.
Some healers offer services for free, while
others charge up to £100 for a half-hour session.
Healers I know do not charge but ask for a donation to cover the cost of the
room; the cost are barely covered and often subsidised by the healers. I
know healers who charge for their time, simply in lieu of them using that
time to earn money by other means. I have never met a healer who charges
anywhere near £100 for any session, let alone for half an hour.
What is the evidence?
The concept of healing ‘energy’ is utterly
That is an opinion, a personal one, with no substantiation, let alone
“proof”. It is an unqualified opinion with no evidence, reasoning, references,
etc., is not science and not what would be expected of “real scientists” as
opposed to “scientists with an agenda”. There is a large body of research by
well qualified scientists to show that the “concept of healing energy” is
entirely plausible. On each of the subjects of healing energy, energy
medicine, the human aura, etc., I have scores of references. Either my
literature search capabilities comfortably exceed the combined capabilities
of Messrs Ernst and Singh, or there are other reasons for those references not being
mentioned; cannot be bothered, bias?, etc.
Many clinical trials of various healing
techniques are available. Some initially generated encouraging result, but
about twenty of these studies are now suspected to be fraudulent.
The authors fail to state how many proved positive compared with the twenty
that “are now suspected to be fraudulent”. Suspected by whom, on what
grounds? Suspicion is not proof, though it does happen to be in line with
the authors’ prejudices; perhaps that is why they are so ready to turn
anonymous suspicion into something far greater than is justified.
In addition, there are fundamental flaws in experiments I have seen on
television programmes, as well as those I have read about, flaws that are
blatantly obvious to all the healers I know, though not obvious, it seems,
to those who dabble in fields they do not understand.
More recently, rigorous trials have emerged and
shown that spiritual healing is associated with a large placebo effect – but
The placebo effect is defined as, for instance: “An
usually, but not necessarily, beneficial that is attributable to an
will have an effect, i.e., the effect is due to the
In other words it is in the mind, which conventional medicine, mainstream
science does not understand. Simply saying that the effect of something is
equivalent to something that is not understood and therefore we understand
that effect, is nonsense. It is a mind effect because the physical world is a
construct of mind, which exists at levels beyond the physical. Healing works
at those levels; hence the confusion in the limited intellect of limited
scientists, purveying and working with limited science.
Typical of the sensible approach is:
”Is spiritual healing a valid and effective therapy?”
R D Hodges PhD, A M Scofield PhD
JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE Volume 88 April 1995
Spiritual healing is biologically implausible and
its effects rely on a placebo response.
Implausibility is opinion without reasoning, let alone proof. Besides,
healing is at a level above physical world biology. There are connections
and they have been researched. Either the author’s literary research
capability, in this instance, as well as others, is very poor, or those
sources have been wilfully ignored.
At best is may offer comfort; at worst is can
result in charlatans taking money from patients with serious conditions who
require urgent conventional medicine.
The medical system in the United States is expensive, as is private medicine
(as opposed to the national Health Service) in the U.K. and elsewhere. Are
all those practitioners “whiter than white”? There is also the fact that
mainstream medicine also kills a large number of people. The third largest
cause of death in the United States in 2006 was the medical profession.
In practice, healing provides more than comfort. From their "scientific"
point of view, the authors give an opinion but offer no evidence to support
it. in addition is is an opinion on a subject that they have comprehensively
demonstrated they know nothing much about, though they appear to believe
that that do.