Before moving on and looking at what kind of evidence demonstrates that a particular therapy really does something, it is important to consider the supernatural. According to the Bible, some things, including healing, can happen by supernatural means.
By the supernatural, I am referring to things that happen independent of the normal physical laws of nature. Biblically, supernatural happenings are due to the involvement of the spirit world.
Considering the supernatural is important because there are some alternative therapies like “Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, reflexology, Deepa Chopra’s Aryvedic medicine, Larry Dossey’s healing words and many others”1 with non-Christian spiritual beliefs underlying them. This is also true of a number of alternative therapies that deal with life energies. Practitioners of these therapies say that “true health results from a balanced flow of this energy through the body and unblocked exchange of this energy with one’s environment.”2
In my blog posting, entitled, Alternative Medicine – Important Questions, I commented on the fact that many therapies, alternative to those of traditional Western medicine, are becoming common place and that many of these therapies are based on belief systems quite different from that of Christianity. I raised the question, when seeking out advice about these therapies, “Is the advice good?” and “How do we decide?”
One way to consider various alternative therapies is to consider whether the therapy really does what it claims to do. Many, appropriately, want some evidence that a therapy may help before embracing it.
Over the past 15 to 20 years alternative forms of health care have gone from being on the fringe to being main stream. Years ago when we had sickness, we relied on family remedies that had been passed on from generation to generation and, if these failed, we had conventional Western medicine. Today, in many ways, we are less likely to be satisfied with our age old family remedies, and we are increasingly suspicious of conventional Western medicine. (Our suspicion of traditional Western medicine play a smaller role when we are faced with very severe problems, such as a major car accident) Instead of trusting in traditional Western medicine, we are increasingly looking to alternatives such as:
Worldview and Ethical Issues from a Biblical Perspective