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Spiritual healing


[Subterm of Mind-body medicine - related techniques: all types of energy healing systems]

[Synonyms: distant healing; faith healing; intercessory prayer; paranormal healing; psychic healing; Reiki; therapeutic touch]

The direct interaction between one individual (the healer) and a second (sick) individual with the intention of bringing about an improvement or cure of the illness.


Spiritual healing can be traced back to the Bible (New Testament) where it was listed amongst the gifts bestowed on the faithful. It has always had its adherents and in recent years has gained widespread popularity.

Traditional concepts

Spiritual healers believe that the therapeutic effects result from the channeling of ‘energy’ from an assumed source via the healer to the patient. The central claim of healers is that they promote or facilitate self-healing in the patient. Typical treatment session: The healer discusses the problem with the patient in order to gain some understanding. Subsequently, the patient may be asked to lie or sit down and the therapist may scan the patient’s body with his or her hands at a distance and channel healing ’energy’ through his or her body towards the patient. Course of treatment: One treatment is rarely deemed to suffice. A typical course may consist of eight or more single sessions.