I recently watched the movie Kumaré, about American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi who transformed himself into Sri Kumaré, an enlightened guru from a fictional village in India. He adopted a fake Indian accent, grew out his beard and hair, and came up with his own message and yoga moves to teach his future disciples. Vikram struggled as he went further into this charade about the moral implications of this experiment. One way he tries to keep some morality is by keeping his main message to people that they don’t need a guru and that they can “find the guru within themselves”.
This message is one of the same messages given in energy healing. It is not the healer that heals the patient, but the healer that helps the patient heal himself. In her book Hands of Light (1987), Barbara Brennan states that,
“No matter how miraculous the result, the healer really induces the patient to heal himself through natural processes, even though they are beyond what is considered to be natural for those who are not familiar with healing” (p.147).
In the same chapter, Barbara Brennan describes 3 things that an energy healer has to offer people with physical illness that they often will not get by seeking someone in the medical profession:
- A broader perspective and understanding of the causes and cures of disease
- Access to information in the energy field about a physical illness that may not be available through the traditional medical methodology
- Helping the patient to enhance his own healing abilities
Here is an overview of each benefit.
A) Broader Understanding of the Causes and Cures of Disease
When someone gets a serious illness, there are different responses. Illness can be understood through a physical, emotional, or spiritual lens. Energy Healing will encompass the spiritual approach, and may recommend a physical and emotionally-focussed approach as well.
Physical Causes and Cures (Body)
From this perspective, something caused you to get sick and now you need to find a way to become healthy again if possible. For some things, we don’t look any deeper than this. We seek a doctor, take recommended treatments, and go from there.
Some people will wonder about what caused their illness. They may seek reasons in their physical environment by exploring their relationship with their physical body – diet, exercise, sleep, medications, environment and more. Changing patterns in relationship with your physical body can bring healing to an illness.
Emotional Causes and Cures (Mind)
Some people will look deeper at their emotional relationships to see how these may have impacted or exacerbated their illness. Gabor Maté is a Canadian medical doctor who has shifted his understanding of illness from a purely biological one to an emotional-related one. He has written multiple books exploring the relationship of the mind-body link of both mental health issues, physical illness, and addiction. He demonstrates their connection with scientific research, case histories, and his own experience. For illnesses that stick around, shifting emotional patterns and family dynamics can offer healing to illness that the medical options on their own won’t have the capacity to heal.
One example is ADHD. The common medical perspective is that it is an illness and needs to be treated with medication for a lifetime. Yet people can heal from ADHD by exploring their emotional patterns and family dynamics. Gabor Maté writes in his book Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder (2012):
“People often ask if one can “grow out” of attention deficit disorder – a good question, for healing is a matter of growth. And the answer is yes. It is not curing that ADD children need: they need to be helped to grow. What is required is not a change in parenting techniques but a change in parenting attitudes, based on a deeper understanding of the child. The adult with attention deficit disorder needs also to gain a deeper understanding of herself, to undertake the task we will later describe as self-parenting” (p. 141-142)
Spiritual Causes and Cures (Spirit)
Next are people who will want to use a spiritual lens to get a broader sense of their illness. They look at illness as a teacher in their lives. They can look at what an illness is giving them in their lives that they aren’t receiving elsewhere. Illnesses can bring suffering and pain and at the same time wisdom and insight. Spiritual insight can initiate change in foundational patterns people have in their lives and bring healing to illness.
Some people will look at their life with the perspective that they chose this life, this illness, and even their family before they were born. Once you start reading books by spiritual leaders you will realize that many of them have this perspective including some of my favorites – Ram Dass and Paramahansa Yogananda. From this broader perspective a person can realize that illness is neither good nor bad but a tool to help them with something on their spiritual journey. Ram Dass talks about the role of karma in regard to illness. From the karmic perspective, sometimes illness is related to past-lives.
How To Combine Mind-Body-Spirit Approaches
My perspective is that a combination of each perspective is needed on a journey towards healing an illness. Certainly, exploring one avenue may bring you the desired results, but when you broaden your perspective you open yourself to more avenues to healing.
If the spiritual lens doesn’t fit with your world-view, then start with the physical and emotional lens. If the medical lens doesn’t fit with you, consider exploring your reasons why. They may be well-founded, but you may be making your life overly complicated.
Sometimes the Medical Path is All That is Needed
I remember when one of my sons was younger and he was having frequent bloody noses along with his cold and occasional fevers. Early on I went to my doctor who was curious whether it was allergy related and referred him to an allergist. While waiting months for this appointment, his symptoms were getting worse. I took him to a naturopath. She determined that it was a sinus infection and referred me back to my doctor to get antibiotics. The naturopath also recommended probiotics. The antibiotics and probiotics were what my son needed, and he got better. We didn’t need to explore an emotional or spiritual lens in this scenario.
My Experience with a Mind-Body-Spirit Approach
When I had a depression many years ago when I lived in Vancouver, I started with a physical approach by making sure I got outside every day even though I rarely wanted to. I always felt a little better after I went for a bike ride. I also explored it an emotional level with a therapist and decided to make some big changes in my life – quitting my job and moving back to Ontario. Next, I started to explore it at a spiritual level and that’s when I found a deeper healing. Depression was a teacher in my life whether I wanted it to be or not.
B) Energy Healers Have Access to Information in the Energy Field
A second benefit of an energy healer is that they have access to information in your energy field. An energy healer uses their sixth sense to attune to a person’s biofield and chakras. When a person presents with physical illness, an energy healer can sometimes look at a person’s energy field and receive information or offer healing in a way that attending to the body or mind cannot. I’ve written a general overview of this process in the Anatomy of an Energy Healing .
Both of my sons have had eye surgeries and have had reactions after receiving anesthesia. They would become wild as they awoke after surgery and it was scary for both parents and kids. When my youngest was going to receive his final eye surgery, I had an energy healer do a healing on him. She was able to give me tips on how to support him during and after surgery. She received these insights by tuning into his energy field. We used warm blankets on his feet to help him ground. I was by his side as they gave him anesthesia. She gave a healing to help his eye heal more quickly as well. All these things contributed to a better experience for all of us. The energy healer was able to access information that was beyond the scope of a medical provider and personalized towards my son.
C) Energy Healing Helps People Enhance Their Own Healing Abilities
The best healings come when a healer helps you enhance your own healing abilities. When I do an energy healing I tell them that I do an energy healing that aligns with their intention. We all have the capacity to heal, and my experience is that energy healing will often amplify the healing of both mental health problems and physical illness. When an energy healer works on your biofield, the positive impact on your biofield can help your physical body do what it needs to heal. In addition, if you’re doing things already in your life to help improve your health, energy healing is like a boost to your other efforts.
Additionally, I find that psychotherapy is a way to deepen one’s healing abilities in combination with energy healing. Many of us want a quick answer – tell me what the cause of my illness is and what I need to do. You may think you want to know these things, but once you start examining the layers of illness in relation to mind, body, and spirit, you will realize that this journey takes courage. You will have to make changes in your life that you may strongly resist. You may have to look at different parts of yourself that you don’t want to. You may find yourself saying, “I’ll do anything but that”. Be gentle with yourself if you find these pieces in yourself. The reasons for our resistance served us at a time in our life even though they’re not helping us in the same way anymore.
Shifting Unhealthy Patterns to Healthy Ones
In a deeper exploration of the roots of my depression I was able to see deeply held patterns in my life that had served me in a positive way growing up. Over time these patterns didn’t serve me anymore and I became depressed. Now I’ve gotten to the point where often I can recognize that I’m in an old unhelpful pattern and I’ll shift how I react to a situation. No one else is encouraging me to change my thoughts or behaviors, I’m able to recognize situations that I need to make a change. My own healing ability has been amplified.
If you spend decades embroiled in an unhelpful pattern, it takes time, willingness, and compassion to change that pattern. Fortunately, this journey is available to us all and there are people willing to guide and be with us along this path.
When Illness Persists
Sometimes an illness will not be cured in this lifetime. An illness may appear and a person will not recover and may die from it. A spiritual lens can help a person make sense of it when it doesn’t make any sense as to why it appeared and you aren’t seeing the changes you want no matter what you do.
When an illness persists there are many thoughts and emotions to sift through – Fear, Anger, feeling like a victim and more. An illness’ appearance may not have any rational understanding. Miracles certainly can happen in the most dire of circumstances, yet many times this is not the case. Like any healing modality, energy healing doesn’t bring a guarantee of a return to health. Yet unlike other modalities, the spiritual lens in energy healing can sometimes bring peace in a difficult situation.
Want to learn more?
Books to Explore Illness from an Emotional Lens by Gabor Maté
- Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder
- When the Body Says No: The Hidden Cost of Stress
- In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addictions
Books to Explore Illness from a Spiritual Lens
- Be Love Now by Ram Dass: Chapter Seven – The Way of Grace
- Hands of Light by Barbara Brennan: Chapter 15 – From Energy Block to Physical Disease
- Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
 Brennan, Barbara (1987). Hands of Light. New York: Bantam Books.
 Maté, Gabor (2012). Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder. Toronto: Vintage Canada.