Anecdotes and reports of miraculous healing, outside of the realm of orthodox medicine, on the basis of faith, where ‘the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk,’ and so on, are dime a dozen. Their bottom line is evident in some of the most baffling examples of the power of mind on the human body. While the instant riposte, on such claims, has always been that of awe, on one side, nothing but an element of utter disbelief and contempt ciphers all logic, on the other.
Scientists have no respect for miracles. But then, it is everyday knowledge that science has recognised the existence of such as yet unexplained phenomena. Psychotronics, a word coined by Zden?k Rejdák, a Czech psychologist and scientist, in 1967, for the study of parapsychology, was hailed as a new branch for inquiry into ‘mindful’ outcomes — one that sought to uncover puzzling clues to the anatomy and physiology of wonder cures, or weird forces. To cull one example. When persons ‘will’ themselves to death — a ‘voodoo practice’ — past or contemporary scientific knowledge cannot explain the basis of such a paranormal happening, or what is accepted as real or imagined curse by most of its ‘tribal’ practitioners.
Hence, the dividing line — although it may not be unusual for one to have experienced psychosomatic disorders, some time or the other, in the form of headaches, other illnesses, or lingering health issues, that follow a mental or emotional upset. This brings us to the essence of the topic under review. If the body can produce disorders, by itself, under the influence of the psyche, it can also follow a pattern of affecting a cure for such ailments by abolishing or counteracting on its previous instructions to the nervous system, from where it caused such problems in the first place. This is an important principle that must be borne in mind when considering any form of ‘wonder’ treatment, even though orthodox or traditional medicine may make use of any of them at some point — the power of faith, the laying of hands, or prayer, or hypnosis being the most prominent — jointly or separately, or any other therapy [e.g., placebo], towards effecting a dramatic cure.
Faith healing has been in vogue from time immemorial. Physical contact is not a requirement for the healing effect to ensue, as may be a prayer or televised communication, in a majority of cases. Though the laying of hands, for effecting a cure, has been studied for a long time, in this form of ‘divine’ healing, it has not been well understood, notwithstanding the fact that rare, spontaneous cures, even in cancer states, have been reported under the ‘technique.’ The most popular proposition, for proponents, is faith healing produces ‘good results’ in patients suffering from ailments, especially pain, or other flare-ups, greatly influenced by the mind — for example, asthma or allergic rashes.
Estebany, though not a direct corollary of faith healing, is yet another example. The healing outcome is attributed to a medium, named after Oskar Estebany, a Hungarian psychic, known for his healing abilities, who would hold injured mice in his hands, at intervals, for some time, under the control of another control group doing likewise in clinical experiments. The mice in his hands would heal more quickly than other treatments. Plants and seeds too bloomed rapidly in his hands. In one clinical trial on human subjects, however, two depressed persons, did not gain any benefit when they held a bottle each containing seeds soaked in water and ‘touched’ by the healer.
Other experiments showed that the Hungarian psychic could actually help increase the biochemical reaction in test-tubes, as also the red blood cell [RBC] count in hospitalised patients. In the recent past, there have been several reports of psychic healers who can produce wavelike patterns, in a devise called the cloud-chamber — which can detect cosmic rays and neutrons emitted from radioactive substances. Some researchers suggest that such assays may permit for an alternative explanation on how hypnosis [or, suggestion] influences the human mind.
Psychotronics was first hailed as a new, bright tool for diagnosing certain mind-body illnesses and their subsequent treatment. This included the use of extrasensory perception [ESP]. To highlight a well-known corollary. Have we not heard of elderly women in the countryside who can cure eczema, or place a ‘spell’ against a bad toothache, cure people of asthma, stammering and paralysis, even today — a family attribute handed down from one generation to the other. There is also clinical evidence of one Russian psychiatrist who knew how to put a ‘hold’ to cure erysipelas. May be, the inescapable truth is that our organs of sense have lost their pristine keenness, thanks to technological progress and misuse. You may also blame it on our nonchalant attitude — where we have lost our congenial ability to sense the world around us, unlike our forebears.
New theories supporting the claims of faith-healers have been propounded by some researchers. They speak of particles called leptons, which are smaller than atomic nuclei, and have the ability to pass through living and non-living objects. Other investigators claim that such microparticles are, in fact, carriers of thoughts and feelings, and information about the universe — of the past and future. They contend that the phenomena of clairvoyance and telepathy, the two principal components of ESP, may take place through the interaction of lepton ‘gas’ with material objects and the human brain. The human body, they also assert, is nothing but our visible core. Spreading far around it are two concentric lepton shells. When two persons approach one another, the ‘shells’ come into contact, offering a channel for the transmission of information. For example, the case of a mother and child, or two lovers, where the shells are common. They account for their ‘togetherness’ — each with a different ‘feeling,’ or connotation.
As a matter of a fact, there have been remarkable instances of faith healers, or sooth-sayers, ‘curing’ hundreds of ‘patients’ in-stadia and ‘kill pain’, over television, during surgeries conducted thousands of kilometres away. Some faith healers have gone a step further. They claim to have cured obesity, infertility, high blood pressure, diabetes, skin diseases, and, to top it all, AIDS. Their explanation is in line with a whole, new idea, “We heal, because we can project on people their own biological field, irrespective of distance.” The reason being — all living cells generate electromagnetic pulses. This is best explained by way of experiments on very high frequency [VHF] radiation from living organisms — just as much as physicists are conducting studies on electric and magnetic fields which carry suitable information on the condition and functioning of our body organs. Yet another area of intense research is infra-red radiation and its effects on the human body, not to speak of its potential for diagnosis of more than a handful of illnesses. This has enabled focused data compilation, because signals transmitted by the brain, liver and the heart contain valuable information which are difficult to be obtained by other mechanical means.
The whole area of investigation quantifies Eastern philosophy, yes — how the mind relates to the body in health and sickness. It also explains the therapeutic benefits of biofeedback through which the relationship between the human mind and body is used for medical treatment — especially in psychosomatic and functional disorders.
In view of the fact that no instrument can as yet determine the general state of the environment, much less the dimension of its influence on man, science has to play a paramount role for the good of mankind. To broaden our outlook, activate our hearing, eyesight, other senses and perception range — and, help decipher the direction of the magnetic field, which, probably, holds the key to unravelling certain sensational forms of healing.
There has been an array of ESP, UFO experts’ mediums with extraordinary healing powers undergoing voluntary experiments to help anyone reveal hidden telepathic, psychokinetic or telekinetic healing talents. In a much-publicised ESP assay of the kind, a subject was shown a fighter aircraft on a missile attack on a computer screen. If he made the ‘perfect’ decision to knocking the ‘target’, within 3-7 seconds, the computer attested to his power of perception. In another experiment on electromagnetic impulses, a Chinese acupuncturist ‘figured out’ that such radiations can transmit genetic information. To ‘prove’ his idea, he designed a tool consisting of two VHF chambers connected by a channel. He placed a duck in one of the chambers and chicken eggs in another. He correctly ‘vouched’ that when the eggs hatched, the chicken would be web-footed like ducklings.
This is, indeed, the nitty-gritty of unconventional, ‘belief healing’ — a theme song that is no more than a question of faith. Yet, the fact is, conviction, in the philosophy of faith, happens to be the touchstone of belief. More so, because extraordinary healing, or wonder ‘therapies,’ will continue to inspire, haunt and torment our psyche and scientific understanding. Faith healing is no exception, thanks to its ‘touch’ and ‘go’ complex mumbo-jumbo — but, a miracle no less.