Cure or Heal?

Sometimes people ask me “Does energy therapy cure/heal [insert your disease or illness of choice here]?”  I usually take a deep breath, and try to figure out how to address the verbal dichotomy that is “Cure versus Heal”, and then explain how energy therapy works.  Problematically, because most people want a short, pat answer, some view my extended explanation as an attempt to muddy the waters, or even deceive them.

First, let’s talk about what is meant by curing, and then compare that to healing.  To cure a person, means to restore a person to health, to remove the symptoms and their cause(s), and provide a full remedy of the person’s disease.  Essentially, it means returning the person to full and healthy function, with no symptoms. Also, curing someone usually refers to a disease, illness, or other condition rather than an injury.  Normally, no one speaks of curing a broken leg, or a hangnail, or a gunshot wound, or anything like that.

Then, what is healing?  From the Medical Dictionary, we have this definition: “the process of returning to health; the restoration of structure and function of injured or diseased tissues. The healing processes include blood clotting, tissue mending, scarring, and bone healing.” Also, “the process of helping someone return to health.” And from the website of the National Institute for Health, we have this definition: “the process of bringing together aspects of one’s self, body-mind-spirit, at deeper levels of inner knowing, leading toward integration and balance with each aspect having equal importance and value.”

Healing is related to curing, of course, and sometimes the two terms are confused and/or misused. But there are a few things you should remember, that are really important.

  1. No one outside ourselves can heal us.   That is because…
  2. Healing is a natural, internal process. That means our bodies heal themselves.  Our minds heal themselves.  No one external to us, heals us. Someone or something may HELP us to heal… may accelerate or assist in the healing process… may aid us in removing blockages to healing… but ultimately, we heal ourselves.
  3. Even after a cure, there is usually a need for healing of some sort.

But… aren’t you an energy healer?”puzzled look

These things may sound odd coming from someone like me… someone who is an energy therapist–a Reiki Master in multiple forms of Reiki and an EFT practitioner.  And I will admit: there was a time when I made the mistake of calling myself an energy healer.  But I stopped doing that some time back, when I realized how wrong that is.

I don’t care who is helping you with your health issues: chiropractor, surgeon, osteopath, dentist, acupuncturist, medical physician, Reiki practitioner, psychiatrist… doesn’t matter. None of those people can HEAL you.  And if one of them says they CAN heal you, you should tread carefully and keep a tight grip on your wallet.

Many people are capable of helping us heal.  A surgeon may help me by removing a malignant growth, or correcting a damaged organ, and then my body is able to focus on healing the damage. An acupuncturist may help my body to heal, by realigning and balancing the qi (chi or life energy) along the meridians, but after that my body must heal itself by properly using that energy. A dentist may remove an abscessed tooth that is poisoning my body, but after that removal it is my body that heals the removal wound and filters the toxins from my body, allowing me to return to a state of health. In all cases, it is MY body that does the healing.

“Healing after curing?”

Yes, there is very often a need for healing after curing.  Let’s say, for example, that someone is a cancer sufferer. And let’s say further that the cancer sufferer is subjected to radiation therapy that effectively kills the cancer cells, and is declared “cancer free” by their oncologist.  Great!  They are cured!

But let’s also look realistically at the aftermath of that cure.  For many people, radiation therapy is a lifesaving godsend that carries its own burden of problems. The side effects of radiation therapy are numerous and varied, and can be debilitating and discouraging. Depending on the person’s reactions to the radiation therapy, and the particular side effects, he or she may need ongoing medical treatment, or even therapeutic counseling.

If I sound like I am condemning conventional medicine, don’t think that! If I fall from a ladder and break my arm, the first place I’m going, is the closest Emergency Room!  But after they set my arm and put a cast on it, it’s up to me and my body to do the actual healing.  If I accidentally ingest a poison, I definitely want to have the help of a physician in counteracting that poison, with whatever substance they feel is best. Afterwards, my body will work hard at doing whatever is necessary to get me to one hundred percent, or as close to that as my 60-plus years will allow.

Maybe it seems like I am splitting hairs, but I don’t think so.  Words are important, and have power to set up our expectations for us. So, if someone asked me, “Hey, can Reiki cure cancer?” or even “Can Reiki heal cancer?”, I would have to say that it can’t directly cure or heal cancer, or at least that I cannot say whether it will or not.  (After all, I do believe in miracles.)

However, I do know that Reiki can help a cancer patient deal with the effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.  I do know that Reiki can help relieve pain (provide palliative care) that may sometimes accompany cancer. I know that studies have shown that people heal faster and more easily when they are relaxed and free from anxiety or stress, and Reiki is well-known as a relaxation technique and stress reliever.  And, above all, I know that Reiki… and other forms of energy therapy… can dramatically help the human body to heal itself faster and more completely.

And, I know that EFT can help overcome and heal long-standing problems such as (but not limited to) PTSD, phobias, insomnia, addictions, limiting fears and beliefs, and even physical ailments that have their roots in emotional issues.

“So, is energy therapy a placebo?”  

Some people may think that Reiki, Acupuncture, EFT, Qi Gong, or other forms of energy therapy are placebos, simply because there is no consensus among medical professionals showing that they “cure.”  However, there have been blind studies that have shown that Reiki and other forms of energy therapy have aided in the healing process of human beings.  Further, Reiki has been used to help animals heal—horses, dogs, cats, even birds—and we can’t say that animals have an agenda or a mindset that would allow any form of energy therapy to affect them as a sugar pill might affect a human being.File written by Adobe Photoshop? 4.0

Probably, if any other energy therapists read this article, there will be a few who get their backs up about what I say here.  Many people are convinced that THEY do the healing, rather than the individual healing himself or herself.

Some people say that I should give God the glory for all healing, and honestly, I can’t disagree with that.  God made us. God indwells us.  So, when I say, “We heal ourselves,” that is not shoving God out of the picture. God is in us at all times, and also is a part of our healing process.  If it makes you more comfortable for me to say, “God and I are responsible for my healing,” that’s fine.  I can’t fault it.


For further reading…

Why People Don’t Heal, and How They Can by Caroline Myss

The Energy Healing Experiments: Science Reveals Our Natural Power to Heal by Gary Schwartz, PhD

The Animal Reiki Handbook by Kathleen Prasad


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