What is Spiritual Healing? An Overview

Spiritual healing

Spiritual healing restores the balance of body, mind, and spirit by channeling healing energies through the healer to the patient. Spiritual healing is non-invasive and can be by faith, therapeutic touch, distant, Reiki, psychic, crystal remedies, Johrei, or chakra cleansing.

There is little understanding of the energy type involved in Spiritual healing, even then many people trust this form of healing. Both the healers and patient reported experiencing some form of flow affecting their physical and or mental state in this kind of treatment. This energy is not the energy defined by Science but something spiritual or transcendental as claimed by Spiritual healers. Energy, as defined by Science, falls within an electromagnetic spectrum. As such, Science does not recognize this form of energy.

Although no conventional definition or specific theory supports Spiritual healing – numerous people have reported benefits from such treatment. The activation, connection, and channeling of some form of a universal energy field are common and central to almost all such healing process. The healer acts as a tool to channelize such forms of universal energy or energy from a higher source to the patient, balancing it and activating the body’s natural healing process. In many instances, the patient returned to normalcy with a change in condition. Many patients reported an instant cure of grave aliments even!

Therapist performing Reiki on a senior person

No one is aware of how spiritual healing works. Still, the majority believes it has something to do with an invisible energy field that connects and flows through everything in the universe. Some action on our part or some event disconnects us from this field, which affects our well-being. Spiritual healing reconnects us to this field to become a part of the universe and rejuvenate our physical and mental state.

However, there are plenty of historical documents and evidence supporting Spiritual healing. The scientific community has also investigated the phenomenon through controlled experiments, and statistical evidence supports the reality of healing beyond a reasonable doubt.

The word ‘spiritual’ is derived from the Latin word ‘spiritus,’ meaning ‘breath of life.’ As such, spiritual healing generally refers to a connection or a reconnection of our spiritual being with the healer’s universal energy field. This practice is a non-religious practice, and most often, this form of treatment is non-invasive. However, some forms of healing require the healer to touch the patient with bare hands, sometimes to feel the problem and more often to transfer the energy.

The healing process typically consists of the following steps:

  • The healer listens to the problem with the patient.
  • In some cases, the healer touches or looks at the patient to feel the pain or assess his aura or energy field strength.
  • The healer can gather and focus the universal energy on the patient.
  • The patient feels some form of vibrations or sensations when his energy levels improve.
  • This energy acts as an ailment and enhances the health and overall condition of the patient.

 Again, the energy does not travel from the healer in Spiritual healing. He is only acting as an oracle who can channelize the universal energy to the patient.

What are the Different Kinds of Spiritual Healing?

There are quite a few different kinds of healing practices. However, all such treatments’ central idea is directing subtle universal energy towards the patient for positive results. Below is a list of few treatments which are widely recognized.

Faith healing

Faith healing has some roots in the Christian belief that God can heal people through the Holy Spirit’s powers. The Gospels in the New Testament speak about Jesus curing physical ailments without the aid of conventional medicine available at that time. The faith healing process can involve prayers, visit to a shrine, and gestures (laying on of hands) to facilitate divine intervention for physical wellness.

Therapeutic Touch

Therapeutic Touch

In this form of Spiritual healing, the healer either places hands on or close to the patient to detect and manipulate the energy field. In the United States, Dora Kunz and Dolores Kreiger introduced Therapeutic touch in 1970s. However, they concluded that the healer only performed as an energy support system, and it was the patient who healed himself with support from the healer.

Distant Healing

For distant healing, the healer acts from a distance, which can be two countries apart. After getting the required information about the patient and his ailment, the healer starts the process of healing. In this kind of healing, the healer thinks about the patient and directs the patient’s healing energy, who often report feeling good vibes or sensations.


Reiki is a traditional Japanese healing practice. Rei means the ‘divine spirit,’ and ki or qi stands for the life-force energy. It is similar to hands-on healing, where the healer uses his palms to transfer qi or the life-force energy to the patient for his physical and emotional wellness. Mikao Usui (1865-1926), a Japanese, was the promoter for this form of spiritual practice known as Reiki.

Psychic healing

In psychic healing, the healer has extraordinary powers and treats the patient as per guidance from a spirit or nonphysical guide or guides. This method of spiritual healing is sometimes defined or described as energy medicine, paranormal, or parapsychology. This form of healing can involve telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and other psychic phenomena.

Crystal Remedies

Crystal Therapy

In crystal healing, semi-precious stones like quartz, opals, amethyst, among others, are placed on or around the patient’s body. The healers believe that crystals have healing powers and can help in balancing the energy field by promoting good energy while blocking bad energy and thus restore balance by encompassing the patient with healing energy.


Johrei means the purification of the soul. It was introduced in Japan by Mokichi Okada in the 1930s. The practitioners of Johrei believe that the spirit or the soul is the origin of all diseases, and purification of the soul can cure all diseases. Again, this form of spiritual healing can be practiced anywhere and by anyone who knows the process. Johrei reached the United States in 1953 ad is widely recognized in many countries.

Chakra healing or unblocking

As per Vedic literature, Chakra or wheels are energy centers in the human body from the base of the spine to the temple. The seven main Chakras are Crown, Third eye, Throat, Heart, Solar Plexus, Sacral, and Root Chakra. Chakras need to stay open, balanced as blocking of Charkas can lead to physical or emotional distress.

Chakra Cleansing
The Seven Major Chakras as per Vedic Literature

Consequently, each Chakra is associated with organs or functions which are close to its location. Chakra cleansing or unblocking is a form of spiritual healing that involves Yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation.  

What does Science say about Spiritual Healing?

The majority of the scientific community and doctors are skeptical and do not consider this a proven treatment method. Spiritual healing has to go through further extensive research before everyone affirms it as a conventional treatment form.

Although a few earlier (before 1999) reviews showed positive results in support of contact and distant healing, current trials and clinical studies cannot draw any definitive conclusion in support of this kind of healing. However, 57% of the tests showed a positive treatment effect, which implies that this form of treatment merits further study.

However, the psychological explanation for positive effects in spiritual healing denies the healer’s role and attributes the benefits to standard cognitive and behavioral techniques. It states that such recovery is either a spontaneous remission or a placebo effect. And though the healer genuinely helped the patient, it was not through any mysterious or energy field, but by the power of their own belief that they would get better, cured, and healed. 

In the absence of a reliable scientific method or evidence, spiritual healing requires further investigation and study before being accepted by the medical community as an effective form of therapy. However, many people recognize this form of treatment, and the growing number of healers only indicates belief and popularity. 

Spiritual healing needs proper research, study, and assessment as this could lead to a significant advancement in health management with a significant implication in reducing the cost of treatment. It should not be challenging to integrate such benefits with conventional therapy to benefit the patient. 

What do the Patients Experience during such Healing?

In the absence of a conventional definition for such sensations, the best that can be said is that the patients experience a flow of energy in during spiritual healing. When a kid is jumping around, we usually describe him or her as full of energy and contrary when he or she is sick. This sensation is almost the same kind of feeling which injects fresh vigor and life into our being.

The following feelings or sensations are common:

  • A sensation of comforting warmth
  • A cold sensation
  • A sensation of some type tingling
  • A sensation of mild charge
  • A sensation of movement
  • A feeling of reducing or floating pain
  • A feeling of intense emotions
  • A feeling of relaxation and sleep

However, many have reported feeling absolutely nothing during sessions of spiritual healing. Whatever the feeling or sensation, the healer typically provides necessary support either by explaining or through his actions.

It often takes multiple sessions to benefit from spiritual healing, and the patient may not feel anything during the initial sessions. Sometimes the benefits or increase in energy levels are experienced after a few days.

Again, in distant healing cases, the healer focuses on the patient in his mind and directs the patient’s healing energy, who often report feeling some perceptions.

Who can Benefit from Spiritual healing?

Healing therapy
Healing therapy of Arthritis Patient

The simple answer is anyone. Spiritual healing does not require you to have a belief in a particular religion or faith. If you feel stressed from anxiety, fear, anger, or any other long term ailment or something that keeps you down, you can try this form of treatment. Mental health patients can benefit a lot from spiritual healing. Below are some ailments (not exhaustive) which can benefit from this kind of treatment:

  • Mental depression
  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Low energy levels / feeling down.
  • Bipolar mental state
  • Digestive problems
  • Migraine
  • Insomnia
  • Cardiac patients
  • Severe diseases like Cancer

In many cases, Spiritual Healing can act as a complementary treatment. Even though the energy transfer mechanism is not fully understood, there has been improvement in the patient’s condition.

Final thoughts

Spiritual healing is an ancient practice since time immemorial. Apart from the Bible, most religious scriptures have some reference to such a form of healing. In the modern world, this form of healing is widely recognized and has also gained acceptance and popularity. This form of healing is not only cost-effective but also risk-free as there are no side effects.

However, the scientific community is skeptical and yet to comprehend the fundamentals underlying such practices. Instead of an in-depth study or objective assessment and proper analysis, the benefits are attributed to the placebo effect without acknowledging the healer whose presence facilitates such effect.

Likewise, spiritual healing can effectively supplement conventional treatment. In long-standing mental illness, such therapies can work as cost-effective replacement therapy. This form of healing can boost both self-confidence and self-healing. Finally, a proper scientific investigation and validation, will help define the real efficacy and embrace this age-old practice along with conventional health care.


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