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Faith Healing


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 1, 2001
What's everyone's views on this? Has anyone had a personal experience?

When I was in my first job, in my mid-twenties, I used to suffer periodically from quite painful ear infections. One day I was suffering quite badly from such an infection (it was very painful and myear had completely 'bunged up') and my friend at work suggested I speak to one of the lads down in the foundry. He was at the time in his early twenties and, while not mentally deficient or anything like that, he was a bit 'slow'. However, he attended the local spiritualist church and was, I was told, a 'trainee faith healer'.

My friend, who was eager for an excuse to satisfy her curiosity about such matters, got him to come up to my office and have a go at 'healing' me. I must stress that I had a completely open mind about this. I was as interested as my friend to see what he would do and had already decided that it probably wouldn't work but, if it did, well and good. Whatever happened, I decided, I would be no worse off.

I sat in my chair and he stood behind me and put one hand on each side of my head over my ears and, according to my friend who was watching avidly, he was muttering a prayer to himself. As he stood behind me I felt my affected ear begin to feel rather hot (the same sort of sensation that your face feels hot when you blush).

After a couple of minutes, he took his hands away and said just to let him know if anything happened. Throughout the afternoon the hot sensation in my ear continued and, a couple of hours or so after my 'treatment', my ear 'popped', my hearing was restored and the pain was gone.

I told my 'healer' what had happened and he just smiled and said 'I thought so'.

I must stress again that I had an open mind about this at the time and, if anything, was rather sceptical.

I didn't suffer from any ear infections again, until two years ago, when I had the mother of all infections and was away from work for two weeks . . .:(

I am a believer Carole. As far as I know there hasn't been a single spiritual tradition anywhere at anytime that hasn't believed in healing. I am a Christian now, but I'm not as yet a regular church goer. I'm still looking for a church that feels right to me, and that includes the possibility of the laying on of hands.

I practiced an American Indian spiritual tradition for a time, which did include regular healing ceremonies. Everyone was considered capable of healing and was welcome to take part. When the shaman was asked to do a healing, everyone present would help from a distance. I laid hands on others and once requested a personal healing from the shaman. The shaman's healing was a singular experience in my life. I experienced a release of fear unlike anything I had felt before. I really don't know what it was he healed in me. It may have been physical or it may have been emotional. I was suffering from a love affair gone bad at the time. The physical concern which prompted me to request the healing never materialized. I've had a level of willingness to accept God's will ever since then that is much greater than I had before.

I personally believe that when we lay hands on another, we are only vessels that direct the healing energy of God. Heat is something regularly experienced by both the healer and recipient. There are many different styles of healing within some tribes, but my natural tendency is to pass whatever it is through my own body/mind. I had positive feedback from recipients, but that way is painful for the healer, and probably dangerous. I hope to learn the Christian way at some point.
No direct personal experience, but my mother went to a faith healer during her hunt for relief from her chronic back pain. She's very religious, and inclined towards evangelism, despite seeming fairly comfortable in the Church of Scotland, (which organization isn't exactly notorious for 'witnessing'). Before she went to the healer, she'd tried all the conventional pain remedies prescribed by doctors and specialists (essentially surgery and opiates), but while the faith healer was something of a last resort there was no doubt in my mother's mind that it would work.

It didn't.

So she tried again. And that didn't work either. (So far as I know, she only tried the 2 healers, both highly recommended, and neither of whom were able to do a thing for her.)

She didn't get any relief at all until her GP talked her into trying acupuncture (which at the time she was convinced was 'mere superstition'.) It worked better than anything else.
My lil' experience

I saw a faith healer in the single paranormal psychology class that I had in college.

To set the stage: the whole quarter, I sat behind and older, generally skeptical fellow in class. He thought the overall topic was interesting, but wasn't a "believer". He was an old southern buisnessman who needed an elective to round out his degree, hence his attendence in class.

About 2/3 of the way through the quarter, our teacher brought in an old souther faith healer. She was dressed a bit like Dolly Parton, was very Southern, and attributed her healing abilities to God. But other than a little spiel at the begining about her faith, she didn't bring it up. We were told she would pick some people in need, and the skeptical old dude in front of me was one of two people she picked. She accurately diagnosed that he had an old football injury that had been acting up for him, and she healed him by placing her hands in various places, holding for a moment, then moving on.

Every week after that, the skeptic guy was a believer, and said that his condition hadn't came back, and that he and the one other woman in class had a pleasant dream with the healer that was part of the healing process - that her presence was cleansing.

(Every time I re-read this passage, it sounds pretty "purple")

Of course, he could have been a plant to boister the idea that she was a real healer, but who would sit through a whole class just to be a plant? Plus, he seemed pretty honest to me.
OK, so if some people have this particular power of 'healing' what exactly might it be? With my own experience, I wasn't expecting to be healed, but I apparently was. I might add that my ear infections used to follow a route of gradually getting better and my hearing gradually returning rather than suddenly, as happened in this case.

So do some people have a particular power in their hands? No doubt with some people who claim to be healed, there is the 'placebo' effect, and, of course, some are fakes to boost the reputation of the 'healer'. But I'm convinced my 'healing', however it happened, was genuine.

For those of the Christian faith, Jesus is described in the Gospels as healing various people. Was he a faith healer, or are such powers natural to the Son of God??

carole said:
OK, so if some people have this particular power of 'healing' what exactly might it be? With my own experience, I wasn't expecting to be healed, but I apparently was. I might add that my ear infections used to follow a route of gradually getting better and my hearing gradually returning rather than suddenly, as happened in this case.

So do some people have a particular power in their hands? No doubt with some people who claim to be healed, there is the 'placebo' effect, and, of course, some are fakes to boost the reputation of the 'healer'. But I'm convinced my 'healing', however it happened, was genuine.

For those of the Christian faith, Jesus is described in the Gospels as healing various people. Was he a faith healer, or are such powers natural to the Son of God??


Let me preface all that I say by stating that I'm not an expert on this subject. Everything I have to say is based on my personal experience, or based on my personal belief, neither of which can be proven in any way of course.

Healing is such a vast subject. I really know nothing. I have no more of a hot-line to God than anyone else does. That said, I will share what I think may be helpful. Last question first; both are true I think. Christians do believe that such powers are natural to the Son of God, but Jesus is reported to have said His power came from His faith in His Father, but that His Father was also our Father, and that everyone had the potential to heal as He did if they had faith.

Yes, one could attribute some healings to the placebo effect, but that would be difficult to do with other healings. I personally believe we all have the same potential, but for some mysterious reason, certain people have a greater natural affinity for it than others. I also believe there are fakes out there of course. You will always fine crowds of fakes wherever you find anything considered supernatural. I believe that with only a few minor exceptions, healers will not charge for their services. As far as I know in shamanistic traditions, it is understood that you will make a contribution to the shaman after you have requested help. The shaman would never ask for payment though.

I think it's important to understand that shamans work with spirits. Sometimes they are nice, sometimes they are not. Please do not be mislead by new-age practitioners of shamanism. I think virtually none of them have a clue as to what they're dealing with. Indigenous peoples all over the planet have practiced shamanism for many many thousands of years. These old traditions are true secret societies. Please don't suppose that what is shared with outsiders is really relevant to their practices. I will not speak ill of anyone's spiritual tradition, (save one). We all have our own path to walk. I would just advise becoming as informed as possible before deciding which path to walk.

It doesn't seem that anyone needs to be a believer to be healed, oddly enough, but I think it helps. And as mentioned in an earlier post sometimes those who believe are not healed. What exactly is this power to heal? Well, I believe that if we pray to become a vessel that directs God's healing energy, He will allow us to do just that. Even though American Indian shamans may use spirits to heal, a "white" shaman addresses the Great Spirit (God), before calling his spirit helpers. (Some believe that there is no such thing as a "white" shaman, because the nature of the old traditions is that they always combine the dark with the light.) I don't know if that's really true, but I think it may be. There are many lesser "gods," but I do believe with all my heart that the healing most of us would want comes from God most high. God bless you and keep you.:)
Churches want faith-healer's claims tested

Faith-healer or spiritual charlatan, American evangelist Benny Hinn still manages to pack in the crowds. Jason Gregory reports


A MODERN Christian "crusade" led by American television evangelist Benny Hinn, a self-professed miracle-worker and faith healer, will be unleashed on Brisbane later this month.

More than 30,000 believers hoping for some kind of healing of body, mind or spirit, are expected to raise the roof of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre for two shows – sandwiched between shows in Chicago and Ohio – on June 25 and 26. They are his only shows in Australia.

Apart from those watching television during the vampire hours, relatively few Australians know of Hinn although his Orlando Christian Centre ministry, founded two decades ago, earns up to 0 million a year and is said to have a weekly world TV audience of more than 50 million.

In the US "disbelievers" have marred his church and concert hall performances by protesting outside venues and accusing the 51-year-old Lebanese-born tele-minister of preying on the sick and elderly.

Watchdog groups have been lobbying US Congress to pass legislation making it illegal to hawk anything that cannot be proven to deliver what it promises, and authorities have also been investigating his growing wealth.

His visit, along with that of fellow millionaire faith healer Kenneth Copeland next month, have been pre-empted by Australian church authorities who believe claims of miracle healings should be investigated by government.

St Paul's Theological College academic dean Reverend Dr David Pascoe said a secular authority was needed to test claims of "miracle healings" to protect people's rights.

"Some (evangelists) appear to be their own authority and if one of the Government's charges is to protect people's rights, then a secular authority could do that – we do it for consumer goods," Dr Pascoe said.

Although Hinn calls himself a pastor, he has no theological training and therefore cannot have his claims censured by higher authorities.

Brisbane Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby said he was "disappointed" by people attracted by signs and wonders holding unreal expectations.

"The Church would come down on us like a tonne of bricks if we made outlandish statements proven false because Rome carefully investigates acts of wonder or awe," Archbishop Bathersby said.

In 1998 when Hinn, who claims God appeared before him when he was 11, was last in Brisbane he attempted to ban the media from entering the entertainment centre.

Hinn claims that during his stage shows he cures the seriously and terminally ill, those with long-time drug habits and leanings towards witchcraft.

He asks for "gifts, your best seed (money) or donations" as he performs the acts. He imparts the Holy Spirit by touching people, with a small puff of the lips or by throwing it into the audience like a cricket ball.

Currently Hinn is requesting donations to enable him to take the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. Three years ago he was asking for million to build a "World Healing Centre" and although the funds were raised the plans were abandoned.

Hinn says the massive donations (able to be given via credit card on his website) he receives are no different to those collected by mainstream churches.

Australian Catholic University theology professor Tony Kelly said despite the church almost accepting a long history of craziness on the fringes, "all types of snake oil" should be treated with extreme caution.

"Bad publicity for the whole range of spiritual values should not be tolerated and churches need to be, while recognising God can work in mysterious ways, explicit in not letting simple devout people be exploited and they must give firm guidance on this," he said.

"Any person who is humbly trying to do the work of God needs some money but once self-promotion and amassing huge sums of money takes over, it is not a good sign. The work needs to be God-directed, non-profitable, and carry the spirit of poverty and humility."

For those of the Christian faith, Jesus is described in the Gospels as healing various people. Was he a faith healer, or are such powers natural to the Son of God??

The version of this that I was given by an evangelical charismatic church was that Jesus had no special powers at all, so it was the holy spirit that did the healings and Jesus just knew to be in the right place at the right time.

This theory starts to get really dodgy when you bear in mind that charismatic christians believe that they can summon the holy spirit, so in effect, many of them believe that they can do whatever Jesus is said to have done.
One of my daughters had a healing experience a few years ago when she was about 13.

She'd badly sprained her wrist and it was painful. A friend of mine asked her mate, who was apparently a healer, to look at it.
He held his hands around the wrist for a moment, not touching her at all.

Daughter says she felt a sort of bolt of heat hit her wrist at the painful point, after which the warmth spread up her arm and down to her hand. The wrist felt instantly better and she took off the sling and bandage. The wrist looked normal and she was able to use it right away.

The healer was a bloke in his 50s called Graham. He was tall, ginger and rather fat, and walked with a stick. A very nice bloke though, courteous and humorous.
I was told he was diabetic and remember thinking, he's not long for this world, which sadly he wasn't. :(
Folk belief about this is that they can't heal themselves.
Otherwise they'd turn their energies towards their own health and general well-being and be tempted to use the healing ability for profit instead of for doing good.

Also, their own suffering reminds them of the need of those in pain to be healed, and of course recalls the suffering of Christ who was himself a healer.

Couldn't they just pair up and do each other?

This kind of thing always reminds me of Vineyard founder John Wimber, who was famed for revitalising the charismatic movement in the 1980s and early 90s. One of his main selling points was his healing ministry, and many many wonderous claims were made as to its achievements.

Unfortunately for Mr Wimber, they came to b*gger all when he got throat cancer.
It should be a fairly simple matter to test the abilities of a faith healer under controlled conditions. Has it ever been done?
Nigerians divided by TV miracle ban

By Sam Olukoya
BBC, Lagos

Nigeria remains deeply divided over a ban imposed last month on television stations showing so-called "miracles".

Programmes showing miracles have disappeared from screens in compliance with an edict from the Nigeria's National Broadcasting Commission, which took effect from the beginning of May.

The NBC, the body which regulates broadcasting, says some of the miracles shown on television are false and stations can broadcast miracles only when they are verifiable.

But members of the Christ Embassy, one of the largest churches which used to show healing services, have now gone to court to challenge the NBC.

Financial loss

Avid viewer Akangbe Olusola said television schedules were less interesting as a result of the ban.

But some Nigerians like Ayodele Ojo say they are glad that television viewers are no longer inundated with church serivces showing miracles.

No-one can stop the work of God
'Prophet' Temitope Joshua

"The truth of the matter was that the airwaves became polluted with miracle programmes," he said.

"It got to a point that when you turn on your television set virtually all the stations are showing the same programme."

The services showed spectacular scenes of people being healed of ailments that appeared to defy orthodox medicine.

In the month since the ban came into force, many television stations are believed to have incurred huge financial losses.

"Private television stations thrive on revenue from sponsored religious programmes," said Longe Ayode of the Lagos-based Media Rights Agenda.

A sponsored one-hour programme costs as much as ,000 to broadcast via satellite with some churches sponsoring about 20 hours of programmes a week.

The television stations have now replaced the money-spinning programmes with non-commercial music shows and documentaries.

Business as usual

The NBC has threatened tough action against any stations that contravenes the ban.

Livinus Okpala of the NBC says the commission is fully resolved to enforcing the ban.

The sanctions for erring stations include fines, suspension of broadcasting and even the loss of their broadcasting licence, he says.

But Temitope Joshua, a "prophet" notable for performing miracles on television, says: "No-one can stop the work of God."

At his Synagogue Church of all Nations, it is business as usual as he performs "miracles".

People seeking cures sit together holding placards with bold letters stating the nature of their ailment.

Healing sessions, like the ones performed in Joshua's church, normally attract hundreds of thousands of people during special miracle crusades - including celebraties.

Frederick Chiluba, attended one such miracle session while he was president of Zambia.

'Marketing strategy'

Many of these churches also invest a lot of money to advertise on billboards.

The billboards compete for space on Nigerian roads with product adverts.

Mr Ojo says churches are advertising miracles as a commercial gimmick to attract more members.

"These people are not preaching the gospel, they are advertising miracles. It is a marketing strategy to woo more people to their churches knowing that the more people they have, the more money they get."

For him church members are like customers from whom those who run the churches make money.

Perhaps it for this reason that some Nigerians see churches in the country as business ventures.

This has led some to call for churches to start paying taxes.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/06/08 08:09:54 GMT

Posted on Sat, Jul. 17, 2004

Couple claim small miracle

They, others say prayer healed premature infant

By Mary Meehan


A prayer. A plea. A petition.

A whispered hope that God listens and responds. Faith in what can't be explained -- a miracle.

Alexis Berit Lewis needed one badly the day she was born.

She was born 10 weeks early, weighing 2 pounds, 9 ounces, and her heart seemed to weaken with every th-thump. A structural problem in the heart made fluid gather around it, and bleeding in her brain worsened her fragile condition.

The way her father, Tim Lewis, remembers, he was told that hope was fading and that it would soon be time to say goodbye.

A few floors below the neonatal nursery at Central Baptist Hospital, Lewis' wife, Kim, sick with worry about her daughter, was on the verge of a stroke, her blood pressure spiking. A diagnosis of Crohn's disease, a painful, chronic intestinal disorder, made conceiving difficult. Kim, 28, had lost five babies to miscarriage and had spent 19 days in a hospital bed, filled with drugs intended to keep Alexis from being born. Every day that labor was delayed improved the baby's chances a little.

But on April 7, with Kim's blood pressure increasing the possibility of a stroke, the doctors could put off delivery no longer, and Alexis was born.

The baby, said Dr. John Walker, a neonatologist, "was extremely ill."

Tim Lewis said that's when it happened. A friend of the family, Don Lloyd -- Brother Lloyd -- happened to be at the hospital praying for another family. Tim Lewis caught sight of him in the lobby and hurried him to Kim's bedside. There were grandparents in the room, but there was no sound as the Pentecostal preacher invoked the Lord's name.

"The whole room felt it," said Tim Lewis, 41. "It felt like the temperature in the room just dropped." Lloyd told him to check on his daughter. God had his hands on her, working. Alexis would be OK.

And she was.

Within hours, Lewis said, his daughter's condition improved dramatically. The physical problems that put her life at risk healed. Doctors thought they would have to install a shunt in the child's head to help address the bleeding in the brain, but that hasn't been needed. Kim Lewis felt a sense of peace and relaxation.

Even Walker and Dr. George Veloudis, the physicians caring for Alexis, said that aggressive medical treatment was crucial and that her recovery couldn't be explained medically.

"I believe it was a miracle," Veloudis said.

Lloyd and Walker, who also prayed with the new father, said this kind of thing is not uncommon.

"I've had a lot of healings through my ministry," said Lloyd, whose main work is with prisoners and drug addicts. He added, with cheerleader enthusiasm, "God is great! God is good!"

Walker, although more subdued in his description, agreed it's not uncommon to find healings that science can't explain. "God created natural laws. Sometimes it (healing) is accomplished by his hands through those natural laws and sometimes outside of those natural laws." Walker said his deep personal faith makes prayer an important part of his life. He doesn't pray with every family, only those that seem receptive.

Do miracles happen?

Long before medieval scholars purportedly debated how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, great minds have dissected miracles and faith.

Christianity is rooted in the miracle of resurrection, said the Rev. Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology and Academics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.

Those early experiences of the Christian church, he said, are a sort of golden age of miracles. Walk on water. Heal the lepers. Feed the masses with loaves and fishes.

Miracles were an important part of convincing folks that Jesus and his apostles were saying something worth believing.

"We don't see that kind of extraordinary frequency anymore," he said. "It doesn't mean that God doesn't continue to answer prayers."

In fact, most religious traditions involve some form of miracle and asking for God's assistance in times of crisis. In that way, he said, prayer is likened to "a confession that we are weak creatures, that we cannot control every element of the world."

"I think there is a longing in the heart of every human being of there being that kind of personal God" who listens and responds to prayer, Moore said.

It can be more difficult to believe in miracles today, he said, when scientists seem to have an explanation for "every act of human existence," even suggesting that religious faith is connected to the reaction of hormones in the brain.

There is also the question of when God decides to answer prayers. Why Alexis and not some other child?

Moore said God listens.

"We do not know why God answers prayer in the way that he does," he said. "We do know that God is good, and we can trust him."

Does science hold answer?

There is a reason people believe in miracles, said Barry Beyerstein, professor of biological psychology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and a member of the Center for Skeptical Inquiry, which debunks claims of the paranor-mal.

Believing in miracles makes it easier to get through the day. "A bit of self-deception can be a good thing," he said. If there is an all-knowing being in charge of the world, it seems like a slightly less scary place.

But, he said, "I'm very dubious about supernatural claims and miracles and that sort of thing because they fly in the face of science in general."

In the case of medical miracles, Beyerstein said, families often simply don't correctly interpret the medical information they are given. If a child has a 98.7 percent chance of not surviving a certain cardiac ailment, the doctor would express the seriousness of the prognosis to the parents. There would still be, he said, that small chance rooted in medical experience that the child would survive.

In decades of exploring the topic, Beyerstein said, he's never seen anything that couldn't be explained scientifically. He said even scientifically conducted studies, which show prayer aids in healing, don't show that patients who heal faster live longer. "It's a strange God that would make some indices on your medical chart that make you heal faster and not survive longer," he said.

Even if something appears miraculous, he said, "why would the laws of nature stand aside in that case and not in some other case?"

The basic laws of nature "don't bend because you are a nice person or an evil person or whatever," he said.

For Tim and Kim Lewis, though, it's a matter of faith. And now it's sharing the story of their beautiful thriving girl, pink and smooth, whose head at three months is still perfectly round because she is rarely laid down. They hope what they see as their miracle will help others believe. And when Alexis grows up, she'll hear how special she is.

Even the skeptic can't fault the outcome. "I doubt that prayer had anything to do" with the child's recovery, Beyerstein said. "But that shouldn't reduce the joy."

A tiny marvel

My mum, who is an ordained Minister in the Spiritulaist Church, works as a Healer.

She and her colleagues believe that they're not the ones doing the healing, but are channeling spirit, and having witnessed her in action (so to speak) it's amazing.

She doesn't claim to cure the dying etc (as some do) or work medical miracles but she can really ease/heal pain. She simply places her hands on the subject - usually on their back, as it is more comfortable for them, and the heat that is generated by her hands has to be witnessed to be believed. It's difficult to put into words, but it genuinely helps.

She even works as a Healer at her local Hospice - they're believers in complementary therapies - whatever helps the patient works in their opinion.

I was a total sceptic when she first embarked on this, but she's been 'working' for about 7 years now, and I'm very proud of her.
The generation of heat seems to be a factor in this. What sort of heat is it, I wonder? Why not just put a hot water bottle on the afflicted spot?

I found this link, in which faith healing is described as a form of psychokinesis . . .

carole said:
The generation of heat seems to be a factor in this. What sort of heat is it, I wonder? Why not just put a hot water bottle on the afflicted spot?

Also can a third party feel/measure the heat? Is it possible to pin the source down - you say it comes from her hands? If so can she make her ahnds hotter when not healing?
I have witnessed a healing, done as a demonstration. The healer's hands didn't touch the patient's body at any time, yet after the session the patient said she could feel waves of gentle heat during the session. No one else in the room felt anything, and I'm not sure how it could be measured as she said she felt the heat internally (it was like warm water,she said). Whether there was actual heat, or she felt the heat because she expected to on some level is hard to say. I saw the patient the next week and she said she had really enjoyed it as a novelty, but felt no better or worse after it,other than having had a nice lie down on the healer's couch for a few minutes.

A full on, well-funded and serious experiment into this would be fascinating.
Peter Popoff Pops Up!

I was watching an infomercial last night for the healer Peter Popoff! He can be found peddling his wares here, where for a small fee you can purchase the Guaranteed Answered Prayer book. Last night he was offering a small sachet of Miracle Spring Water, imported from Russia, and apparently its good stuff. A tearful woman told of the miracle of her house being filled with brand new furniture (as apparently God is rather good at home furnishings, get that, Martha) and some other guy claimed he received a cool $2500 of unexpected money after receiving this miraculous liquid. Yes, there's no godlier feeling than when the Lord blesses you with a fantastic new lounge set.
Imagine my dismay upon putting my phone down when I saw this, showing Mr. Popoff to be an utter fraud who was exposed on Primetime TV by James Randi, after which he went into hiding for a few years.
But he's back folks! And smacking people on the head and healing them, just like Jesus did. And all for a mere 50K a month, because God needs money. Kinda makes you wish there was a Hell, huh?
I went to see a 'healing evangelist' type show years ago and was amazed at how easily fooled people are.

I was just thinking to myself, this is such tripe, it's embarrassing, we're all going to start laughing in a minute- when there was a surge of people staggering to the front and lining up to be slapped on the head. Could hardly believe my eyes.

At work later that week I didn't notice many letters from patients cancelling their treatment due to having been healed. :rolleyes:

Public displays like that though are bound to be fraudulent. I was there out of curiousity and had no illness but nearly everyone else present had good reason to want healing to happen.

Informal, spontaneous healing is the sort that most people seem to have success with, if anecdotal evidence is to be believed.
Like in 'The Green Mile' but less spectacular!

My ex mother in law had a spell of going to church and to prayer and 'healing' groups. She's a sort of 'elective hypochondriac', ie she imagines illnesses for herself to get other people to worry about her. One time she was 'healed', which caused her a big problem- how could she bask in the glamour of being 'healed' while still commanding attention for her previous ailments? :D
I've had a couple of experiences with this sort of thing, and I still have very mixed feelings about it all.

My first experience was with a Spiritualist church. You sit through your regular sermon, and at the end, various church member communicated with the spirits about whomever the spirits "voiced" an opinion on. I went with a friend. He fed them info, and got a very accurate reading. I just agreed with whatever they said, and they were off in left field. There was a very fertile looking couple there, and all the spirits seemed to be telling all the members that this couple were going to have lots of babies. Just by looking at them, I would have had the same thoughts, with no help from the spirits.

My second experience consists of two "Native American" pipe smoking ceremonies. I didn't doubt the fellow at first, but as I got to know him, he seemed to be on the hunt for victimized women. I know that he claimed to have studied out west with a shaman for many years. I don't know anybody who can back that claim up. The first ceremony was very pleasant. I was more open to suggestion at the time, and thought that I felt "something". What that something was, I can't say. The second ceremony consisted of basically the same group of people, only we were switched around so that different people were positioned where the spirits would enter the circle. I did not care for that experience at all. I can't honestly say why. Maybe it was the changed positions, maybe somewhere back in my mind I was starting to have doubts.

My third experience was with someone who did reiki. I wanted the experience, but didn't believe at all that this guy was going to redirect my energy, blah, blah, blah. I had several sessions, all during very warm weather. There was no physical contact, but I did get very warm during the sessions. He placed his hands over various chakras and did some chanting. What I find most interesting about these sessions is what happened afterwards. I got very, very cold. While I was sweating just moments before, suddenly I was chattering, covered with blankets, and drinking hot tea like it was January. While I can't say the purpose of the sessions, which was to help my back, actually came about, I certainly felt a very unexpected effect.

So, after saying a whole lot of nothing, I would have to say that I am open that it could happen, but I do not necessarily believe in it.
I was "ambushed" and healed a couple of years ago.
I was with a client and complained of a splitting headache, when he just reached out and grabbed my head without warning.
I stared to shy away as he reached out but once he touched me I was stuck to the spot! A great rush of heat went through my head and the pain just went.
No warning, no power of suggestion, no run up to it, just near instant pain relief. I asked "what the hell did you do" and he just grinned and said "nothing special".
He had never indicated in any way that he was anything other that a typical person, certainly not a preachy or new age type.

Until that happened to me I would have dissmissed it all as placebo effect. Now......................:)
carole said:
The generation of heat seems to be a factor in this. What sort of heat is it, I wonder? Why not just put a hot water bottle on the afflicted spot?

I was told the reason I felt warm during the reiki treatment was because of the "energies" moving around, and pushing through "blockages." Once everything stopped moving around at a pace that was more than normal, then I cooled off. It's supposed to be like any physical activity that gets your blood flowing and your heart beating faster. It makes sense, if that is actually what is happening. Are there any theories floating about regarding heat and other sorts of faith healing?
I've read that you can raise and lower the temperature of areas of the body under hypnosis. As the body itself regulates blood circulation in order to help with temp. control, it would seem perfectly possible to tap into this control and overide it. It's been proved that with biofeedback you can learn to control your heart rate. Raising the temp. of infected or temporarily damaged tissue is probably beneficial in many cases. So you wouldn't need God, spirits or anything supernatural to bring about the effect, just an operator. Of course it wouldn't always bring about a cure though it may offer relief.
However, every-one's entitled to their own belief system so long as it gets results. :)
From the Observer. It's quite long, but i think it offers good insight into How TB Joshua (previously mentioned) works. There's no fancy cars, hallelua's or gold plated alms boxes. Maybe he's the real deal?

Triumph and despair

When serious injury threatened to end his rugby career, the tough Afrikaner, Jaco van der Westhuyzen, turned to the only man who could save him: a Nigerian faith healer

Xan Rice
Sunday February 8, 2004
The Observer

Sure, I believe in miracles. I've seen them with my own eyes. From an early age I was very religious. Both my parents were Dutch Reformed Christians. But it was not until 2000 that faith healing and TB Joshua, the Nigerian they call 'the Prophet', came into my life. I had just broken into the Springbok team when I ruptured my posterior cruciate ligament playing against Western Province one Sunday in August 2000. The doctor took X-rays and said I needed to have an operation that Wednesday. I was really down, because I desperately wanted to go on the end-of-year Bok tour.
Here I must give credit to my wife. Her family are charismatic Christians, which means they stand up in church, clapping and singing. She, or rather her brother, had shown me this video of the Nigerian faith healer TB Joshua. I saw all the miracles he performed, such as curing people with HIV, freeing people from their wheelchairs, healing those with cancer. My wife said to me: 'You're pretty religious. Your faith is strong. I think you should give it a go.' I was sceptical at first and I wasn't too sure about the miracles. I read about them in the Bible but I thought: 'Can this be true?' Still, I decided not to have the operation and to take a leap of faith instead.

Our church group landed in Lagos on a Sunday. We drove for about 45 minutes before coming to a very basic church site - 10 people to a wooden bench. It was just phenomenal to see how primitive Christianity can be while at the same time remaining so powerful. At each service, there are between 10,000 and 20,000 people, mainly poor blacks. Their riches are their faith. At five o'clock in the morning, there are 3,000 people queueing outside the church gates to get the best seats.

For the first few days we had discussions with the disciples and talked about religion and its power. Then, on the Saturday, 'the Prophet' came out and delivered his message to the congregation, even though there were people in the church, scared of his powers, who wanted to kill him. It was a real eye-opener. But these doubters could not get near him. He said to us: 'There's somebody here who wants to kill me.' If the guy does not come forward, the Prophet will identify him and the person ends up confessing to what he was planning.

Towards the end of the service about 300 of us gathered in what they call the 'healing line'. The Prophet walked down the line, identifying illnesses. When he came to me, he said I should remove my leg brace. He looked at me and it was like he had x-ray vision, like he could see immediately what was wrong with my knee. Moving his hands around as if he was tugging a rope, he seemed to pull out all the dirt and other stuff that was in my knee. Then he said to me: 'Stand up and run.' The brace had been on for weeks and running should have been impossible. Well, I trusted my faith and started to run - and at full speed. There was no pain.

Back home I had another x-ray, and it showed the ligament was fine. The doctor could not believe or explain it. News of what happened started to spread and the wife of Ruben Kruger, the former Bok and Blue Bulls flanker, called me. Ruben had a brain tumour and his wife wanted me to take him to see TB Joshua. We went back to Lagos, Ruben's brain tumour was healed and he has had no more symptoms since then.

All the time, TB Joshua stressed that it was not him doing the healing, but the Holy Spirit operating through him. And we did not have to pay for anything, not even food. He even gives people money to buy plane tickets. He did that with me. Another Bulls and Bok player, the young lock Wium Basson, had developed terminal cancer and also went to see the Prophet. But he died soon after coming back to South Africa. You know, initially when I went to see TB Joshua it was for a quick fix, to make the Bok tour. Maybe Wium felt the same. I know for certain that he did not know the Lord as well as he should have at that time. If your faith is not right, the Lord will tell TB Joshua not to heal you. But Wium did make peace with God in Nigeria and that, for me, was the miracle. In going to see the Prophet, he probably saved himself from going somewhere else when he died. Luckily in South Africa religion is important; we often pray before matches. Most of my team-mates were not too sceptical about the faith healing. A few of the guys did give me some stick, teased me, but, really, I did not mind. I knew truthfully what had happened to me out there.

Back home, and I think here in Britain, too, religion can become too commercialised. Often it's not something you really believe in: it's just something that's there, that you do to make you feel good. I think it would be good for faith to play a bigger role in rugby, where there is a stigma that players are merely hard blokes without feelings.

Was it strange for a white Afrikaner to seek help from a black Nigerian faith healer? I think the older generation, such as my grandparents, would have found it very difficult to fathom. But for me a person is a person and everyone has a soul. Whether you are black, white, brown or yellow we are all the same in that respect. I never thought of TB Joshua as a lesser person than me. In fact, I envy him because he has such a deep, meaningful relationship with God.

Now I'd love to go back to Nigeria and get my spiritual batteries recharged. During the weeks we were there you could feel the presence of the Lord the whole time, even as we slept. Whenever I hit a bad patch in rugby or my life, I just think back and remember what that was like. The big thing I've learnt is that this life is just a dress rehearsal for what's to come.

The life facts

Jaco Nicolaas Boshoff van der Westhuyzen was born in Nelspruit on 6 April 1978. A boy wonder, he made his Super 12 debut at fly-half for the Natal Sharks in 1997, at the age of 19, and won an international call-up against New Zealand three years later. He has since worn the Bok jersey eight times and played at full-back against England and the All Blacks in the 2003 World Cup. Last year's South African Super 12 player of the season joined Leicester Tigers for their 2003-04 campaign.

Here's the original link:
I've been a bit wary of adding my experience to this thread but *oh well* here goes- warning it is a bit long.

When I was 16 I attended Meditation Classes with a small group of friends.

The classes also involved various techniques such as Aura Cleansing and various other things that I can't recall as it was 10 years ago. We did however do a group hand-holding thing that again I can't remember what the purpose was but was meant to be a relaxation thing.

I was slightly sceptical of the classes so I wasn't particularly enthusiastic, I only went because I had been asked to make up numbers, not out of any great need to learn Meditation.

I thought the "Tutor" was a walking cliche and towards the end of the session I was getting really bored.

At the end of the first session we had to do this hand-holding thing again and I found my friends had been quick about backing off towards another part of the circle so I had to hold the Tutor's hand because no one else would really go near her (she was really OTT).

This was the first time she spoke to me personally and as she held my hand she began coming out with some very personal details relating to my family. I initially thought that I may have encountered her before, then it was "Eh? how do you know this??".

I have to say that I had never met her before and I certainly had not even given her my name when we entered the room, we had just been asked to sit down and listen.

She told me that there was someone in my family who was a powerful psychic, not on my father's side but on my mother's. It wasn't my mother, it was my grandmother and that I had the gift too.

I'm really pulling a face at this and trying not to give too much away as my grandmother had been involved in the Spiritualist Church and had been reputed to have been a very powerful Medium but it was something I had never had much dealings with and never experienced myself.

She then went on (still holding my hand) that I was a "healer" and would I put my hand on her neck?

I cannot stress enough that at this point I was desperately trying to get my hand back and I was mouthing "Help" at my friends who were sitting laughing at me.

In the end, in an effort to get it over and done with I agreed to place my hand on her neck. She explained that she had a mole on her neck that had become some form of skin cancer/melanoma
that had returned after numerous attempts at cutting it out under local anaesthetic and various other treatments.

She then pulled the neck of her t-shirt down and removed a plaster that had been covering this melanoma. It was pretty gruesome, black, crusty and again I was pretty much cringing and desperately wanting to get out of the room.

She told me to place my left hand over the mole/melanoma and try and focus/visualise healing power coming from my hand.

I was visualising nothing, the only thing going through my head was "I can't believe I'm doing this" and "This is gross" but:

I definitely felt the palm of my hand become warmer until it was a lot warmer than body temperature. It was centralised to my palm- I didn't feel it in my fingers or near to my wrist.

After 5 minutes she told me that I had finished healing her and thanked me.

I was stood there saying "Is that it then?" and apparently it was.

I returned to the class the following week (it was free, I didn't have to pay anything towards it and I was intrigued by this experience).

As soon as my friends and I walked in the room she called over to us and said something along the lines of "It's going!" meaning this mole/melanoma. She then pulled back the plaster covering it and I had to agree that it was definitely a lighter colour than it had been before.

The week after this, a similar situation happened, we were walking in when she called us over again and showed me her neck. Again it certainly looked "healthier" than it did the first day we met her.

After a number of weeks and reports on its condition, we went back and found that she no longer had to wear a plaster to cover it (she did this because of the size of the crusty scab and it would also catch on her clothing and bleed). In the end the mole returned back to "normal" and the skin that had been covered by the scab cleared.

My friends began calling me Carrie and it took years to live down.

She insisted that I had healed her yet I didn't particularly *believe*.

I imagine there are quite a few reasons that the woman's neck healed whether it was my doing, I don't know.
Interesting story, Quixote - again there's that mysterious 'heat' being experienced . . .

BTW, have you tried 'healing' anyone else since then?

Never *formally* like that. Although before this I was always in demand from my family if anyone needed a massage or back rub.*

That sounds daft or possibly scandalous...

but my dad who suffered with a bad back always said he felt better if I rubbed his back with liniment or Tiger Balm than my mother. The same applied to my friends.

My friend who is a martial arts instructor showed me some books on certain healing techniques that involved the placing of hands and postioning chi/qi? I truly can't remember but he tried to explain to me that it was a similar experience. I'll have to grill him next time I see him and get some details.

edit-* I have to add but not in demand for healing... the experience with the Meditation Tutor was the one and only time.