During the last 20 years, there were many alternative methods that emerged, each with its own set of adherents, disciples and promoters. The sheer variety of such methods or modalities make it difficult for the average person to understand, much less to choose which one is best for him or her.
From my own observation, any type of healing modality will surely have success in healing some, but not all. The placebo effect will heal 40 percent of the patients brought to a healer. And his followers will drum up that small percentage of success and ignore the 60 percent that failed.
Because not all types of healing will work for everybody, it would be best for a patient to see different types of healing modalities, provided they are safe and noninvasive.
There are many ways of classifying these types of unorthodox or alternative healing modalities. In practice, there is a great deal of overlapping among them. And sometimes, one successful modality will split into several similar types with hardly any distinction from the original one except the personalities of their advocates.
For the purpose of simply understanding these various types of healing modalities, I have classified them into five categories depending on where the source of the healing power comes from. This classification is simply for theoretical and pedagogical purposes and may overlap with one another in actual practice.
The five types of healing modalities I have classified are as follows:
1. Pranic or magnetic healing. In this type of healing, the source of healing comes from the bio-energy or magnetic energy of the healer. Included under this category are such techniques as laying on of hands, magnetic passes, Reiki, Mahikari. In a sense, therapeutic massage and our local hilot will fall under this.
2. Mental or psychic healing. Here, the source of power comes from the healer’s psyche or mind. Under this category will fall such methods as visualization or imagery healing, distant or telepathic healing, prayer, shamanic healing, hypnosis.
3. Vibrational or energy healing. The healing energy may come from such objects as quartz crystals, music, shaman’s drums, Tibetan singing bells. Even color therapy may fall under this category because colors emit energy that can heal.
Under this category may also fall such healing modalities as power pendants, magnetized or blessed water, relics of holy persons or saints, like those of Padre Pio.
4. Spiritual or mediumistic healing. In this type of modality, the healing power is believed to come from the spirit or nonphysical entity and not from the healer or any physical object. The healer then is just a medium or channel of healing energy of the spirit. Examples of this type are the English spiritual healers, Harry Edwards or Tom Johansson, Brazilian and Filipino faith healers and psychic surgeons such as Jose “Ze” Arigo, Dr. Cheiros, Eleuterio Terte, Tony Agpaoa. While in a trance, they are believed to be guided by a spirit entity who does the healing.
Christian charismatic healers, Christian scientists and similar healers who call upon the Holy Spirit to heal a sick person also would logically fall under this category.
5. Divine healing. This is a type of healing involving direct intervention by God. The healing done by Jesus Christ and the holy men of India, or saints of the Christian and other religions will fall under this category. This type of healing is always miraculous and defies all human laws of physics, biology, chemistry and medical science.
Christ the healer
In practice, the healings done by Jesus Christ can be classified under various categories. They overlap and cannot be limited to one category. For example, he healed by laying of hands (magnetic healing,) by telepathy (as when he healed the centurion’s servant who was at home), by use of some objects which he magnetized or empowered, such as mud, saliva. Or by simply commanding a dead person, such as Lazarus, to rise.
The miraculous healings reported in such sacred places as Lourdes in France can be considered divine healing, because they are believed to be a result of direct intervention by God.
The above classification of the different modalities of healing is, of course, not comprehensive or complete. I am sure there are many other types of healing which can be classified differently. But this classification can at least help us to understand the more common types of alternative healing modalities that exist in the Philippines and other parts of the world since time immemorial.
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