Sunday, June 12, 2011

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Is Energy Healing Kosher?

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

image003Someone asked:

Do you know of any types of "energy medicine" that both WORK, and are completely free of both halachic [Torah law] and spiritual problems?

Gutman’s answer:

     “Energy medicine” is generally placed in two categories; theorized energy, such as “spiritual” energy, and measurable energy, such as electromagnetism.

     There is a general (Jewish) rule when dealing with so-called spiritual energy. When the energy is said to be coming from, or through, the healer to the patient, then this is to be completely avoided. This advice is not just directed to the patient; it is an even stronger warning to the so-called healer. This practice leads to an imagined field of energy that actually becomes palpable and can create havoc in a person’s life. It has been known to cause severe mental problems. As a small, but common example, after a healing session, an energy healer of this type might vigorously brush his arms to rid himself of the remaining energy that he still feels weighting them down!

     If the energy is said to be the patient’s own energy, something that is coming from the patient himself, and the “healer” is merely “waking it up,” “unblocking it” or such, then, in my opinion, any benefits from this practice are usually psychological, but not spiritually dangerous. Physiological healings can also work, but their benefits usually last for a very short time, and the malady generally returns.

     As for the energy healings that involve a proven energy, using such things as magnets or light, there is some evidence that these devices can help when used by professionals, but be warned, today there are literally thousands of devices on the market, and quite of few of them are dangerous (and many completely ineffective).

     My advice is, if someone is sick, first go to the mainstream doctors and if they are unable to help or if you have some problem with their suggestions, then look to the alternative or complimentary forms of medicine.

     I also strongly recommend preventive “medicine.” The Torah tells us to “greatly guard our souls.”[i]  This basically means that we are to protect our lives by living a healthy life style. Guard your health. Do such obvious things as not only not smoking, but avoiding all exposure to cigarette smoke. Take advantage of a wise and proven healthy diet. Live a physically and mentally active life. Enjoy spiritual optimism. This alone can add years to your life. Have good friends and family. They will bring you joy, and joy gives strength to the mind and body. Make it a daily practice to look around to see whom you might be able to help. When you help others, G-d always helps you. These are all pleasant and easy things to do.

     Doing these simple things will protect your precious health and greatly reduce your chances of having to seek out healers.     


[i] Deuteronomy 4:15

1 comments:

Yishai said...

What about qigong exercises in which one person by himself tries to build up his energy? Is this a bad idea too? "Medical qigong" in China involves one person "sending" energy into another, but most qigong is by onesself.

Anyway, on the topic of preventative medicine, you're very right. One thing we've known for years is that eating too much meat and dairy causes heart disease and other health problems, taking years off people's lives. Vegans, for example, tend to have cholesterol levels so low that they virtually never have heart attacks. The Gemara says not to eat meat more than once a week, even if you're rich. If people followed this advice (as R' Lazer Brody has recommended), many deaths could be prevented.

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