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A study done by David Eisenberg of Beth Israel Hospital in 1990 found that Americans were spending $14 billion a year on alternative health care, including New Age practices such as meditation, touch therapy (including Reiki), positive confession, guided imagery, polarity therapy, aromatherapy, sound therapy, gemstone healing, magnetic therapy, spiritual healing, biofeedback, reflexology, iridology, urotherapy, homeopathy, emotional freedom techniques (EFT), hypnosis, and acupuncture.
That figure has grown dramatically since then. According to a report in the U.S. News & World Report for January 21, 2008, alternative medicine has gone “mainstream.”
In 1992 only 2% of U.S. medical schools offered courses in alternative medicines, but by 2004 that figure had risen to 67% (“More Medical Schools Teaching Spirituality in Medicine,” Lighthouse Trails newsletter, March 4, 2008).
The famous Mayo Clinic has a section at its web site on “complementary and alternative medicine,” dealing with touch therapy, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, cupping, biofeedback, and hypnosis.
Dr. Christina Puchalski, founder of the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the George Washington School of Medicine, was the recipient of the John Templeton Spirituality and Medicine Award in 1996.
A friend who read a pre-publication edition of this book observed, “If you go into any health food store it is like going into a New Age chapel.”
The New Age has indeed invaded the field of health care.
SOME POPULAR ALTERNATIVE CARE PRACTICES
A study on alternative medicine in the January 2008 report in U.S. News & World Report focused on the rapid growth of Reiki (pronounced ray-key). The report says the number of Reiki practitioners worldwide is in the millions, with half million in the United States and over a million in Germany.
Reiki is an occultic practice that allegedly channels “universal healing energy” for human benefit such as relaxation and physical healing. The word “reiki” is Japanese for “spiritually guided life force energy.”
It was developed in Japan in the early 20th century by Mikao Usui. During a 21 day program of fasting, meditation, chanting, and other pagan contemplative practices he allegedly experienced “the great Reiki energy entering” into him and found that he could use the energy to heal others. It came in the form of a light that moved toward him and entered the middle of his forehead (Mohan Makkar, The New Reiki Magic, p. 5). Usui allegedly began to heal with his touch and to initiate others into the “energy.” Reiki was established in Hawaii in the 1930s and from there spread to North America. The American International Reiki Association was formed in 1982.
The International Center for Reiki Training says:
“Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. ... Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect.”
That sounds harmless enough, doesn’t it?
Reiki has three levels or degrees of initiation, the third level being the master level. The degrees are called “attunements” whereby the student is brought into harmony with the reiki energy and taught how to channel it. The initiations are thought to create channels for the flow of Reiki. Paula Horan says, “Through this channel Reiki then flows in through the top of the student’s head, down through the body and out through the hands” (Abundance through Reiki, p. 18).
Reiki masters initiate people into the various levels.
Reiki is transferred or initiated by the laying on of hands. The Reiki manual is subtitled “The healing touch.” The Reiki practitioner places his hands on the same spot of the body for three minutes at a time, and the energy is supposed to be mystically drawn out by the recipient. Horan says, “... if I lay my hands on you to do a treatment, your body will naturally draw the appropriate amounts of energy it needs, and to the proper places” (p. 20).
Reiki is largely Hindu in its philosophy. It is described as “an energy incomprehensible to the intellect which flows through everything, transforming all realms of life ... Reiki is oneness” (Horan, Abundance Through Reiki, p. 10).
Reiki is founded on the Hindu concept that God is everything and man is part of God. One Reiki Master says that “Reiki will eventually guide you to the experience that you yourself are Reiki or Universal Life Force Energy. ... you and I are that same Universal Life Force Energy” (Abundance Through Reiki, pp. 9, 23).
Reiki is thought to open the chakras of the “astral body,” which is a Hindu doctrine.
Paula Horan said that her Reiki teacher gave her a new name, Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. He said to her, “I am giving you the name Laxmi, because in this lifetime, you will fulfill all of your desires” (p. 152).
The recipients of Reiki describe it as a powerful sense of warmth and security, “a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you.” It is not only supposed to provide healing but also to initiate the recipient into higher levels of spiritual transformation. The International Reiki Center says that “many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.” This is the mystical approach that bypasses thinking with an experiential connection with God or the “higher power.”
Reiki involves not only “life energy” but also spirit guides. The International Reiki Center web site says:
“Occasionally witnessing miracles. Feeling the wonder of God s love pass through you and into another. SENSING THE PRESENCE OF SPIRITUAL BEINGS, feeling their touch, knowing they work with you. Being raised into ever greater levels of joy and peace by simply placing your hands on another. Watching your life grow and develop as your continual immersion in Reiki transforms your attitudes, values and beliefs. Sensing that because of your commitment to help others, BEINGS OF LIGHT ARE FOCUSING THEIR LOVE AND HEALING ON YOU AND CAREFULLY GUIDING YOU ON YOUR SPIRITUAL PATH. This is the promise of a developing Reiki practice. ... THERE ARE HIGHER SOURCES OF HELP YOU CAN CALL ON. ANGELS, BEINGS OF LIGHT AND REIKI SPIRIT GUIDES as well as your own enlightened self are available to help you. ... There must be congruence, an alignment within you in order for the Higher Power in the form of Reiki to flow through you in a powerful way and in order for THE ANGELS, REIKI SPIRIT GUIDES AND OTHER SPIRITUAL BEINGS TO WORK WITH YOU.”
The Reiki practitioner is taught to get in tune with these spirit guides, to pray to them, and to yield to their control.
“Try the following prayer: ‘Guide me and heal me so that I can be of greater service to others.’ By sincerely saying a prayer such as this each day, your heart will open and a path will be created to receive the help of higher spiritual beings. They will guide you in your Reiki practice and in the development of your life purpose.”
Reiki is even said to open up “psychic communication centers”:
“During the Reiki attunement process, the avenue that is opened within the body to allow Reiki to flow through also opens up the psychic communication centers. This is why MANY REIKI PRACTITIONERS REPORT HAVING VERBALIZED CHANNELED COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE SPIRIT WORLD” (Phylameana Desy, The Everything Reiki Book, 2004, p. 144).
The Reiki Journal suggests that message therapy is an excellent tool for spreading Reiki.
Lighthouse Trails observes:
“If US News & World Report is correct in their assessment that Reiki, Yoga, and other types of healing practices are now mainstream, then Reiki is here to stay. One can only wonder if Reiki is going to become as popular in Christian circles as Yoga now has. If it does, then as with contemplative spirituality, the spiritual lives of countless people will be jeopardized and the Gospel of Jesus Christ seriously compromised.”
Ayurveda is a Hindu occultic folk healing system that claims to be four to five thousand years old. It is used by millions of people in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Fiji, and elsewhere in the East and has been growing rapidly in the West since the 1970s. New Age teacher Deepak Chopra has helped popularize it. After meeting Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (the Transcendental Meditation guru), Chopra founded the American Association for Ayurvedic Medicine in 1985 and later became the director of the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center for Stress Management.
Chopra’s 1989 book Quantum Healing promoted Hindu concepts, and his book Perfect Health (1991) was “the first widely read book on Ayurveda” (Wikipedia). His 1993 book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, which quotes “ancient Indian rishis” and claims that man does not have to experience aging, went into the stratosphere of book sales after it was recommended by Oprah Winfrey. In one day 130,000 copies moved off the shelves.
Chopra says that Ayurveda not only holds the key to personal healing but to planetary rejuvination, as well:
“Ayurveda is the science of life and it has a very basic, simple kind of approach, which is that we are part of the universe and the universe is intelligent and the human body is part of the cosmic body, and the human mind is part of the cosmic mind, and the atom and the universe are exactly the same thing but with different form, and the more we are in touch with this deeper reality, from where everything comes, the more we will be able to heal ourselves and at the same time heal our planet” (interview with Veronica Hay, InTouch magazine, http://www.intouchmag.com/chopra.html).
In India, Ayurveda is a recognized medical health system governed under the Central Council of Indian Medicine. Practitioners undergo five and a half years of training to earn the Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery, and higher degrees are available.
Ayruvedia means knowledge of life and it is said to be “a science of life that deals with the problems of longevity, and suggests a safe, gentle, and effective way to rid diseases afflicting our health” (Swami Sada Shiva Tirtha, The Ayurveda Encyclopedia, 2006, p. xix).
It claims to have been handed down from Brahma to other gods and obtained through meditation by an ancient Hindu sage named Bharadvaja and then passed along to other gurus (p. xxiii).
“It is said that they received their training of Ayurveda through direct cognition during meditation. That is, the knowledge of the use of the various methods of healing, prevention, longevity, and surgery came through Divine revelation” (p. 3).
It is one of the Hindu Vedic religious systems and is intimately associated with yoga. It was once a part of Jyotish veda, which refers to astrology. Jyoti means light.
It is based on the concept that all existence is part of God and man is divine and can achieve union with God through meditation and other practices. The objective of Ayurveda is to bring man into a divine wholeness in all areas of his life, physical, life purpose, relationships, and spirituality.
“According to Vedic philosophy life is Divine and the goal of life is to realize our inner Divine nature. AYURVEDICALLY SPEAKING THE MORE A PERSON REALIZES THEIR DIVINE NATURE THE HEALTHIER THEY ARE. Thus it is the responsibility of the Ayurvedic doctor to inspire or help awaken the patient to their own inner Divine nature. ... When patients are taught they have this Divinity within themselves, they feel a connection to life and God (however each patient defines God). ... Having someone recognize one’s inner Divinity and self-healing abilities develops confidence. Experiencing positive results from self-healing and spiritual development further generates confidence, health, mental peace, and Divinity” (pp. 8, 11).
According to Ayurveda, life is composed of five essential elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. These are not elements in the chemical sense but are “states of matter” (Aghora II: Kundalini, p. 31).
The five elements combine to form three types of human constitutions called doshas: Vayu (or Vata), Pitta, and Kapha. Vayu is a combination of ether and air. Pitta combines fire and water. Kapha combines water and earth. Each dosha is thought to control a part of the body’s function. Vayu controls movement and basic body processes such as breathing and circulation; Pitta, hormones and the digestive system; Kapha, strength, immunity, and growth.
An imbalanced dosha is believed to interrupt the natural flow of prana, or vital energy.
The practice of Ayurveda in a nutshell is composed of identifying the patient’s dosha, determining how it is out of balance, and bringing it into harmony through various tools such as diet, massage, enema, yoga, etc.
Each type of dosha individual is thought to have certain personality traits when they are in proper balance. Healthy Vayu types, for example, are adaptable and cheerful, but if they have excess Vayu they will possibly be very thin, have dry skin or bone problems, talk fast, become easily tired, forgetful, worried, fearful, or nervous (p. 18). Balanced Kapha types are loyal and calm, but when Kapha is excessive they tend toward being overweight, having bronchitis, being lethargic, too attached, and sentimental.
It is obvious that to ascribe such a wide range of problems to an unbalanced “dosha,” which is mythical and cannot be detected in any measurable sense, leaves the field wide open to runaway quackery.
Cancer in the blood is supposed to indicate excess Pitta; Osteoporosis, too much Vayu in the bones. Muscular Dystrophy is a Kapha problem (p. 20).
Types of disorder pertaining to the dosha are thought to evidence in the stool. Hard stools indicate a Vayu disorder “from the dryness caused by gas.” Soft or liquid stools reflect a Pitta excess heat. Moderate stools indicate Kapha (p. 19).
In fact, having lived in Asia for two decades, I would say that liquid stools indicate something more along the lines of an intestinal bug!
The Ayurvedic doctor must also learn to handle ojas or life sap. You have to be really careful with this stuff, because it “pervades every part of the body” (p. 21). Ojas is depleted by excessive sex, drugs, talking, loud music, insufficient rest, and high technology. Signs are “fear, worry, sensory organ pain, poor complexion, cheerlessness, roughness, emaciation, immune system disorders, and easily contracting diseases.”
Ayurveda teaches that as the body has its three doshas, the mind has three gunas. These are sattwa, rajas, and tamas. The Ayurvedic doctor tries to determine what type of mind the patient has, understanding that an individual might have a combination of gunas.
The Ayurvedic doctor wants to get everything working harmoniously, the gunas all aligned for mental health and the doshas purring along for physical well-being and the ojas flowing nicely.
This is just the very beginning of the mysteries of Ayurveda. A skilled practitioner must learn how to deal with the five different divisions of each of the doshas, the twenty gunas, the seven dhatus and three malas, the seven chakras, and the 72,000 nadis, and that is just for starters.
Ayurvedic remedies include herbology, nutrition, enema, sun bathing, exercise, bloodletting, fasting, exposure to wind, baths, inducing sweating, inducing vomiting, snuff therapy, inhaling powder or smoke, exercise, oil message, herb plasters, relaxation, sleep, yoga, mantras, acupuncture, surgery, aromatherapy, sound therapy, color, gem and ash therapy, astrology, psychology, architectural harmony, yagya (ceremonies soliciting the aid of Hindu gods), ethics, and spiritual counseling.
There is a lengthy chapter in The Ayurveda Encyclopedia on Yoga. Yoga means union and it is the practice of meditation with the objective of manipulating the chakras in order to achieve union between the individual and God or the higher Self.
The Hindu chakras are occultic centers of psychic energy and consciousness in the “astral body” or “subtle body.” They are “perceptible only to the enlightened mind.” There are supposed to be seven chakras, running from the base of the spine to the top of the head. They are the Muladhara (at the base of the spine, the place of kundalini), the Svadhishthana (in the pubic area), the Manipura (at the naval), the Anahata (near the heart), the Vishuddha (in the throat), the Ajna (in the center of the forehead, the Third Eye), and the Sahasrara (at the top of the head).
The chakras are symbolized in Hindu art by the lotus blossom, each chakra having a different number of petals. The Sahasrara, being the place of perfect enlightenment and union with God, is depicted as the “thousand-petaled lotus.”
The chakras are supposed to be connected by sushumna, “a spiritual tube within the spine.”
The prana, or life force or life energy or life breath, flows through the nadis, which are the ethereal nerves of the astral body. There are thought to be from 72,000 to 350,000 nadis channels. The nadis supposedly meet and connect with one another in the chakras.
Yoga seeks to direct the prana through the channels of the nadis up through the sushumna to the sahasrara and thus achieve Self-Realization or union with the divine.
Consider some statements from The Ayurveda Encyclopedia about yoga:
“Spiritually, yoga means the union of the red spirit force at the base of the spine with the white spirit force at the crown of the head; the union of the sun-spirit at the navel with the moon-spirit at the head; and the union of the small self with the Divine eternal Self” (pp. 297, 298). [What is called “white spirit” and “red spirit” here is called Shiva and Shakti in other Hindu writings.]
“The first five chakras have nadis that extend to the various organs or sense and action. The sixth chakra relates to higher mental or spiritual activity. Beyond the sixth chakra one enters the realm of the ‘non-describable’ and begins to merely ‘be’ in the state of unbounded eternity or Brahman. This is the goal of life--Brahman or Self-Realization. ... So we see that prana cleanses the nadis, and in turn the chakras. As they are cleansed, one’s spiritual life-force is allowed to flow higher, developing or utilizing the benefits of the higher chakras. As one is able to live with their higher chakras opened, life becomes more peaceful, graceful, and Divine” (p. 328).
The Ayurveda Encyclopedia explains that one can encounter internal voices through yogic mediation, and the practitioner is instructed to listen to the voices and follow their counsel.
“Just as with all spiritual experiences that are out of the norm of supposed societal acceptance, the hearing of inner sounds or voices (nada) has generally been associated with mental illness. Spiritual counseling reassures a person that their experiences and feelings are spiritual--not abnormal. Understanding nada helps persons feel comfortable when hearing any inner sounds. ... If a sound is heard, listen to it. If many sounds exist, listen to those in the right ear. The first sound heard is to be followed. Then, the next sound heard is also to be followed” (p. 343).
I have never read a more effective formula for demon possession!
Kundalini is mentioned many times in The Ayurveda Encyclopedia in connection with yoga. Consider this statement:
“Like a double-tongued snake, kundalini (the essential life force) has two mouths: internal and external. One mouth is stuck in the internal sushumna (a spiritual tube, running up the spine) that leads to Self-Realization. The other mouth is open to the external passage. ... When through the grace of a Guru, the kundalini is awakened, it may appear as a flash of lightning. Once awakened, the kundalini gradually rises up the sushumna. It cleanses karmic sludge out of the spine and the chakras, just as a hot iron rod cleanses the dirt from a hookah pipe tube. Persons may have experienced quivering, shaking movements of the body, or suspension of breath during meditation. This is the experience of the kundalini shakti cleansing the inner tube and chakras” (p. 362).
Kundalini is a Hindu concept that there is powerful form of psychic energy at the base of the spine that can be “awakened.” It is described as a coiled serpent and is called “serpent power” and is depicted in Hindu art as a hooded cobra. It is supposed to be located in the first of the seven “chakras” or power centers in the body. If the kundalini is awakened through such things as yogic mediation, tantric practices (e.g., fire worship, goddess worship, and tantric rites), intensive chanting and dancing, and the laying on of hands, it can be encouraged to move up the spinal column, piercing the chakras, eventually reaching the seventh chakra at the top of the head, resulting in spiritual insight and power through “union with the Divine.”
Kundalini is called the female Shakti, which is considered the ego or self identity, and the objective of the practice is to unite her with the god Shiva and thus unite the individual into the whole of the divine which is considered the real Self. “The purpose of Kundalini Yoga is to reunite Shiva and Shakti, to create the eternal form of Shiva, Sadashiva” (Robert Svoboda, Aghora II: Kundalini, p. 69).
Kundalini is often worshipped in the form of a goddess. She is called “the Great Mother Goddess Kundalini” (Aghora II, p. 13). Hindu guru Vimalananda encountered Kundalini as a goddess of crematory fire and death. “When Kundalini awakened for him, she took the form of the Tantric goddess Smashan Tara, the goddess of the burning grounds who enables one to cross over from the reality of life to the reality of death” (p. 21).
Kundalini is occultic. Biblically speaking, it is pure devil worship, because the serpent is Satan and the worship of anything other than the one true and living God is idolatry and thus devil worship (Deuteronomy 32:17; 1 Corinthians 10:20).
It is not surprising that Kundalini has resulted in many demonic manifestations and its own practitioners issue many warnings about its danger.
The Ayurveda Encyclopedia says, “Those who awaken their kundalini without a guru can lose their direction in life ... they can become confused or mentally imbalanced ... more harm than good can arise” (p. 336). Kundalini pratictioner R. Venu Gopalan says that “wrong awakening” of Kundalini is “a very dangerous situation” that can “really hamper a person’s life” and “can cause havoc” (Soul Searchers: The Hidden Mysteries of Kundalini, p. 269). He says, “Sadhaka who tries to awaken the Kundalini in haste can cause himself some irreparable damage including psychic difficulties” (p. 262). He says that it can even cause “cancer or other dreaded diseases” (p. 263).
The book Aghora II: Kundalini warns many times that “indiscriminate awakening of the Kundalini is very dangerous” (p. 61). It says, “Once aroused and unboxed Kundalini is not ‘derousable’; the genie will not fit back into the bottle. ‘After the awakening the devotee lives always at the mercy of Kundalini,’ says Pandit Gopi Krishna ... Those who ride Kundalini without knowing their destination risk losing their way” (p. 20). Kundalini practitioner Krishna had terrifying experiences and a near death crisis. In fact, the book says “some die of shock when Kundalini is awakened, and others become severely ill” (p. 61).
Kundalini is likened to a toddler grasping a live wire (p. 58). It is said to create sensations of heat and cold, tingling, electric current, inner sounds, inner voices, compulsive movements, loss of memory, a sense of an inner eye, drowsiness, and pain.
The Inner Explorations web site tells of a man who, while dabbling in the activation of kundalini, experienced touches by invisible hands and animals that would attach themselves to him or bite him or lick his face (http://www.innerexplorations.com/ewtext/ke.htm).
Philip St. Romain, a Roman Catholic substance abuse counselor and contemplative retreat master, wrote the book Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality (1990). He believes that Catholic contemplative practices put one in touch with kundalini, which is “a natural evolutionary energy inherent in every human being.” He began to have strange experiences through centering prayer, which involves emptying the mind and centering down into oneself. He said that after he had “centered down” into silence that gold lights would appear and swirl in his mind, forming themselves into captivating patterns. “Wise sayings” popped into his mind as if he were “receiving messages from another.” He felt prickly sensations that would continue for days.
If you play with fire, don’t be surprised if you get burned. The Bible warns the believer to be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8), which means to be in control of one’s mind at all times, to be spiritually alert and on guard against spiritual deception. This is impossible if one tries to empty his mind and meditate on his inner being. Furthermore, the Bible says that “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9), and if we look far enough into ourselves we will find darkness and not light. The Bible says that Christ lives in the believer, but it never instructs us to pray to him inside of ourselves or to search for Him there.
To participate in practices that are contrary to God’s Word, is called presumption, and God does not bless those who do such things. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14).
Returning to Ayurveda, it is important to understand that its Color Therapy and Gem Therapy are associated with astrology.
“In the Vedic texts on astrology (Jyotish) and architecture (Vastu Shastra), the colors are another name for different deities. ...
“Jyotish is the Vedic astrological system of which Ayurveda was once a part. This astrological system notes that gems are related to the various planets and produce a balancing effect to counter specific diseases. ... The color or vibration of the gems affects the human body. ... In the Ayurvedic tradition these stones are used to balance the three doshas and to heal specific diseases” (The Ayurveda Encyclopedia, pp. 372, 375).
It is very clear that we are not dealing here with something biblical or with innocent “science”!
In the section on Vedic Astrology, The Ayurveda Encyclopedia says:
“Jyotish means inner light. THIS SCIENCE HELPS REVEAL ONE’S INNER DIVINE LIGHT. Ayurveda and Jyotish were once a part of the same science, but later developed into two separate forms of healing. ... By looking at the planets, the 12 houses and their relationship in the astrology chart, one can determine health tendencies, planetary causes of disease, dharma, necessities for spiritual relationships, and tools for one’s spiritual path” (p. 655).
The Ayurveda Encyclopedia also recommends Architectural Harmony as part of the whole life balance of health.
“The focus of this book has been on healing prevention, and rejuvenation through Ayurvedic balance. This balance is achieved by living in accordance with nature’s laws. ... The Vedic science of architecture, Vastu Shastra, integrates the sciences of Ayurveda and Jyotish by providing the link between humans and the astrological influences. Vastu considers the magnetic fields of the earth, the influences of the planets and other heavenly bodies essential elements when designing commercial or residential buildings, temples, and even towns, villages, and cities. IT IS BELIEVED THAT ARCHITECTURAL STRUCTURES ARE ALIVE, influenced by natural laws, just as the health of humans is influenced by nature. ...
“For example, in Hindu religion, the deity of the sun is said to ride on a chariot pulled by seven horses or deities. They are called the seven rays of the sun. It is important to have these rays enter eastern windows for health reasons. ... Yet these seven deities also happen to be called the seven visible colors of the spectrum ...
“Since the focus of Ayurveda is holistic (i.e., all-inclusive), it is useful to consider harmonizing or balancing the external influences involving architectural structures. ...
“Persons living or working in a Vastu-built structure experience the enhancement of health, general well being, and prosperity” (pp. 658, 659).
Ayurvedic Music Therapy, too, is associated with mystical union with God.
“From the earliest days in India, music was another form of attaining spiritual union ... The musical path towards Self-Realization was one lacking intellectual analysis or discussion. Merely by playing music, one would gradually merge with the eternal Divinity” (p. 367).
The Ayurveda Encyclopedia reports that musicians in the West are blending classical Indian music (which is associated with seeking union with God) with jazz and other sounds to create New Age music.
Healing Mantras also play a role in Ayurveda. They are said to “help balance prana, tejas, and ojas” and “strengthen the five elements” (The Ayurveda Encyclopedia, pp. 362, 364). Both the doctor and the patient use mantras during an Ayurvedic session, since “they empower all actions on a subtle level, infusing the cosmic life force into the healing process” (p. 363).
It is claimed that “Ayurvedic physicians can recognize an illness in the making before it creates more serious imbalance in the body” (p. 6).
If this were true, their patients would never get sick, never have a disease, and never die because they would always be able to catch the problem before it even had a physical manifestation.
My friends, beware. Ayurveda is pagan from beginning to end! There is no effective way to separate any true medical help it might offer from the idolatrous religious package. The best thing for the believer to do is leave Ayurveda completely alone.
Homeopathy is also associated with occultic principles. (We would note that the terms “homeopathy” and “naturopathy” are sometimes used interchangeably, but we are using them according to their official meanings.) It claims not only to be able to provide physical healing but also to “transform and improve a person’s emotional and mental state” (Dana Ullman, Homeopathy A-Z, p. 5).
As we will see, homeopathy is the treatment of illnesses with occultic water.
Homeopaths usually criticize the practice of traditional medicine and the use of pharmaceutical drugs. Dana Ullman, for example, accuses doctors of medical child abuse for prescribing drugs to children (Elaine Lewis, “An Interview with Dana Ullman: Treating Children with Homeopathic Medicines,” April 2005, http://www.hpathy.com/interviews/danaullman2.asp). While it is true that modern medicine is not infallible and can be wrongly used and abused, it is also true that it has provided mankind with wonderful remedies that did not exist even a few decades ago. The invention of vaccines and antibiotics alone has resulted in a tremendous increase in the quality of life in modern society. Through the practice of modern medicine, people routinely survive diseases and wounds that would have killed them 50 years ago. The negative attitude toward modern medicine that runs rampant throughout the holistic health care field is foolish.
Homeopathy was developed in the 18th century by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). His book Organon of the Art of Healing remains the foundational text in the field. At the 1960 Montreux International Congress on Homeopathy, the 160th anniversary of the Organon was celebrated. The congress said, “The Organon is for the homeopath what the Bible is for the Christian.”
David L. Brown observes that Hahnemann was “drawn like a magnet to occult ideas” (“New Age Medicine: Homeopathy,” Logos Resource Pages). He rejected the Christ of the Bible, identified with Eastern religions, and took Confucius as his model. One biographer says, “The reverence for Eastern thought was not just Hahnemann’s personal hobby, but rather the fundamental philosophy behind the preparation of homeopathic remedies” (Samuel Pfeifer, Healing at Any Price, 1988, p. 68). He was a follower of Emanuel Swedenborg, who taught his followers to enter an alternative state of consciousness in order to commune with spirits. Hahnemann called the occultic practices of Franz Mesmer “a marvelous, priceless gift of God” by which “the vital energy of the healthy mesmerizer endowed with this power [can be brought] into another person dynamically” (Organon of Medicine, 6th edition, pp. 309, 311). Hahnemann held to the panentheism view that God is in all things.
At the heart of homeopathy is the Hindu concept that there is a vital force or life energy that permeates all things (Keith Souter, Homeopathy: Heart and Soul, p. 19). Homeopathic remedies are thought to “act upon the Vital Force to restore balance within the body.”
David Brown says: “If you know New Age and occult philosophy you will recognize that what is in focus here is pantheism, that is, the belief that divinity or life force is inseparable from and immanent in everything. Leading homeopath Herbert Robert put it this way, relating homeopathy’s vital force to a pantheistic deity in his Art of Cure by Homeopathy. He said the ‘vital force’ of homeopathy was part of ‘the moving Energy, the activating Power of the universe,’ as being ‘passed on in all forms and degrees of living creatures,’ and as permeating the universe. Daisie and Michael Radner see the connection between homeopathy and occult energy fields. ‘Like Chinese medicine, homeopathy posits an energy field or vital force. Disease is a disorder of the body’s energy field, and the way to cure it is to manipulate that field. The energy field of the medicine stimulates that body’s own fluid to induce healing.’”
Homeopathic remedies are so highly diluted that they are nothing more than water. The dilutions are done according to the “Centesimal scale” of 1:100. 1C (or CH1) refers to one part of an original tincture of some substance mixed in 100 parts of water. One part of that super diluted mixture becomes the next “tincture.” At 3C “the mother tincture will be diluted to one in a million” and at 6C “the dilution will be one in a billion” (Homeopathy: Heart and Soul, p. 23). Homeopathic doctor Keith Souter admits that a 12C solution is “unlikely to have even a single molecule of the original compound left.” Yet he recommends 30C or 200C potencies (p. 26)!
Dr. H.J. Bopp of Switzerland, who has studied homeopathy carefully, says: “Any patient receiving a homeopathic treatment at CH30 should be under no illusions as to its composition. There is no longer any of the named material substance in his pill or liquid whatsoever.”
Homeopathic practice claims that the diluted solution is effective because it has undergone a process known as dynamization or potentialization, which makes it possible to contact and retain a hidden power in the liquid. Keith Souter calls potentialization “one of the bedrocks of homeopathy” (p. 19). Hahnemann “believed that spiritual reality was more important than material reality” and “came to regard the ‘spiritual essence’ of a drug a smore important than its physical substance” (The Hidden Agenda, p. 99). Hahnemann “insisted that not only the diluted medicine but the actual process of diluting a medicine--the shaking and mixing--imparted healing powe to the substance. ... The vial containing the medicine had to be struck against a leather pad a number of times, so that the drug could be ‘dynamized’ and act’ spiritually upon the vital forces’ of the body” (pp. 100, 102).
Homeopathic practitioner Andrew Weil says:
“Homeopaths use remedies containing no drug materials, yet they believe in the existence and therapeutic power of some other aspect of the drug--of its idea, if you will, or its ghost or spirit. Truly HOMEOPATHY IS SPIRITUAL MEDICINE consistent with its founder’s views on the relative importance of spiritual verses material reality” (Health and Healing, 1988, p. 37).
The book The Science and the Art of Homeopathy by J.T. Kent says: “In the universe, everything has its own atmosphere. Each human being also possesses his atmosphere or his aura ... it occupies a very important place in homeopathic studies” (p. 108). Kent says the homoeopath must learn to see “with the eyes of the spirit” (p. 120).
The Swiss Journal of Homeopathy says that the homeopathic cure has an occultic mind of its own. It “knows just where to locate the originating cause of the disorder and the method of getting to it” and “neither the patient nor the doctor has as much wisdom or knowledge” (No. 2, 1961, p. 56). This is exactly what is said for Reiki “energy.”
Many homeopaths use radionic pendulums (to detect and analyze human “energy fields” and to occulticly “douse” for answers to questions) and astrology in their diagnosis. They also communicate with spiritualists in their search for cures. Dr. Bopp interviewed a woman who prior to her conversion to Christ had worked in a homeopathic laboratory of high standing in France. She said that when she was interviewed for the job she was asked for her astrological sign and queried as to whether she was a medium. When she passed the interview and was hired, she learned the secret of the inner working of the laboratory, that they researched new treatments by questioning spirits during séances! This woman renounced homeopathy after she was converted.
What about homeopathic healings? They could either be demonic or psychosomatic. Dr. G. Kuschinsky, who wrote a basic course in pharmacology in German, said, “Homeopathic substances may be admitted in the realm of suggestion, seeing that they possess neither main nor secondary effect.”
Dr. Bopp concludes with this warning:
“It would be naive to expect a clear response, a telling disclosure from doctors or chemists who give homeopathic treatment. There are to be sure some honourable and conscientious ones seeking to utilize a homeopathy detached from its obscure practices. Yet THE OCCULT INFLUENCE, BY NATURE HIDDEN, DISGUISED, OFTEN DISSIMULATED BEHIND A PARASCIENTIFIC THEORY, DOES NOT DISAPPEAR AND DOES NOT HAPPEN TO BE RENDERED HARMLESS BY THE MERE FACT OF A SUPERFICIAL APPROACH CONTENTING ITSELF SIMPLY WITH DENYING ITS EXISTENCE.
“HOMEOPATHY IS DANGEROUS! It is quite contrary to the teaching of the Word of God. It willingly favours healing through substances made dynamic, that is to say, charged with occult forces. Homeopathic treatment is the fruit of a philosophy and religion that are at the same time Hinduistic, pantheistic and esoteric.
“The occult influence in homeopathy is transmitted to the individual, bringing him consciously or unconsciously under demonic influence. ... It is significant frequently to find nervous depression in families using homeopathic treatments” (Homeopathy Examined, translated from French by Marvyn Kilgore, 1984).
Reflexology, which is also called zone therapy, is the technique of “applying pressure to specific reflex points to stimulate the body’s own healing powers.” It is based on the concept that different parts of the foot correspond to and are somehow connected to various parts of the body. By massaging the foot (or hand) the practitioner can allegedly detect problems and help maintain physical and psychological health.
It is a very popular practice, with millions of people using it each year.
While some reflexologists are basically foot massagers and only claim to stimulate relaxation and reduce stress, most go far beyond this. TreatYourFeet.com says reflexology “creates a physiological change in the body by naturally improving your circulation” and claims that it is “an effective technique for regaining better health.” The book “Feet Don’t Lie” says that “feet are a reflection of inner health,” promises that the client will “live a healthier, happier life,” and even claims that the feet can predict the future -- “where you are going is recorded in your soles.” Body Reflexology claims to be able to reverse the aging process.
Many reflexologists work on the occultic principle that the body has an energy field that can be manipulated. They call it “life force.” William Fitzgerald, who invented modern reflexology in 1913, called it “bioelectric energy.” He believed that ten vertical zones of this energy called meridians run through the body, and by rubbing one part of the foot the practitioner can supposedly manipulate the organs and bones and tissues in that particular zone. Mildred Carter says, “By massaging reflexes ... you send a healing force to all parts of the body by opening up closed electrical lines that have shut off the universal life force” (Body Reflexology: Healing at Your Fingertips, p. 7). She also says that reflexology is “the healing miracle of the new age we are entering” (p. 8).
Many reflexologists use the New Age technique of visualization. The Holistic Health Handbook instructs the practitioner to “visualize yourself as being a channel for healing energy that flows through your hands” (p. 184). Eunice Ingham, a disciple of Fitzgerald, describes reflexology as “opening the blocked meridians and channeling the healing power through visualization” (Stories the Feet Have Told Thru Reflexology, p. 29).
It is obvious that reflexology is based on occultic principles and should be avoided by God’s people.
Iridology is the practice of examining the iris of the eye to diagnose an individual’s state of health, both psychological and physical. Similar to reflexology, iridology claims that each part of iris represents a corresponding area in the body.
Iridologists commonly diagnose “imbalances” which they treat with vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements (“Iridology: What Can the Eyes Really Tell,” http://your-doctor.com/patient_info/alternative_remedies/various_therapy/fraud_topics/bogus_tests_tx/iridology.html).
In controlled experiments iridologists have performed statistically no better than chance in determining the presence of disease (Stephen Barrett, “Iridology Is Nonsense,” http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/iridology.html)>
Acupuncture is the placement of needles at various points in the body to block pain and bring healing.
Its popularity has exploded in the West since the visit of President Richard Nixon to China in 1972.
It is based on the Eastern philosophy that there are pathways in the body that facilitate the flow of occultic energy called chi or qi (pronounced chee). A disharmonious flow causes physical and psychological ailments and the flow can be manipulated and harmonized through various practices, such as yoga, acupuncture, qigong, and reiki. The energy flows through the body along pathways calls meridians. There are fourteen primary channels that are (allegedly) manipulated with acupuncture (Jeffrey Singer, “Acupuncture: A Brief Introduction,” http://www.acupuncture.com/education/theory/acuintro.htm). The acupuncture points are supposed locations where the meridians come to the surface of the skin.
It is also based on the occultic concepts of yin and yang, which are the two opposite forces of the Qi energy. If the yin and yang are out of balance, ill health results, and they must be brought into balance through the various occultic techniques.
There are said to be between 360 and 2,000 acupuncture points.
Acupuncture diagnosis is often done by examining the tongue and teeth, listening to the breath, smelling body odor, inquiring about fever, perspiration, appetite, defecation and urination, pain and sleep, and feeling the body for “palpation” in the mystical “ashi” points.
Other forms of acupuncture are ELECTRO-ACUPUNCTURE (the use of weak electrical impulses to stimulate the needles), AURICULOTHERAPY or AURICULAR ACUPUNCTURE (performing acupuncture on the ear), ACUPRESSURE (applying pressure to the meridian energy points), MOXIBUSTION (applying heat to acupuncture points), and CUPPING (stimulating the points by suction).
Though some modern practitioners in the West are trying to divorce acupuncture from its occultic origins, it is not possible. It is occultic and mystical rather than medical. Felix Mann, first president of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, admitted, “The traditional acupuncture points are no more real than the black spots a drunkard sees in front of his eyes” (Acupuncture: The Ancient Chinese Art of Healing, p. 14).
Harriet Hall, a family doctor who analyzed the research into acupuncture, concluded: “Acupuncture studies have shown that it makes no difference where you put the needles. Or whether you use needles or just pretend to use needles (as long as the subject believes you used them). Many acupuncture researchers are doing what I call Tooth Fairy science: measuring how much money is left under the pillow without bothering to ask if the Tooth Fairy is real” (Stephen Barrett, “Be Wary of Acupuncture, Qigong, and ‘Chinese Medicine,’” http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/acu.html).
Chiropractic is hugely popular. There are about 70,000 licensed practitioners in America alone, and several million people are treated annually.
Most patients who visit for the first time do so for lower back pain, neck pain, and headaches.
Chiropractic was developed in the late 19th century by Daniel D. Palmer (1845-1913), an occultist who attended spiritualist meetings. He practiced magnetic healing and admitted that chiropractic was an outgrowth of this. At a coroner’s inquiry in 1905, Palmer refused to take the oath “so help me God,” protesting, “I don’t want any help from God” (“Osteopathy and Chiropractice,” Nov. 11, 2004, http://quackfiles.blogspot.com/2004/11/osteopathy-and-chiropractic-little.html).
A foundational doctrine of classic chiropractic is “vertebral subluxation.” This refers to “a myriad of signs and symptoms thought to occur as a result of a misaligned or dysfunctional spinal segment” (Wikipedia). It is not something that can be seen or measured, which is in contrast to the medical definition of spinal subluxation as “a gross misalignment of a joint that can be objectively measured.”
“The chiropractic vertebral subluxation complex has been a source of controversy and confusion since its inception in 1895 with critics both inside and outside the profession due to its metaphysical origins and claims of far reaching effects” (Wikipedia).
Palmer’s son, Bartlett (1882-1961), who was also involved in the occult, was responsible for popularizing chiropractic and establishing it as an acceptable medical practice. He believed that the relief of subluxations was a cure for basically all disease (“Chiropractic,” Citizendium). He was opposed to vaccination and rejected the germ doctrine of infectious disease, which is foundational to modern medicine and which has been so beneficial to mankind.
Palmer, who rejected the teaching of the Bible, believed that an intelligent natural healing energy called Innate flows through the body and is connected to the “Universal Intelligence” or “Great Spirit” that permeates the universe. This is based on the pagan doctrine that God is in everything, and that man is separated from God because of sin. Palmer’s Innate is comparable to the Taoist chi. He believed that Innate flows through the nervous system and can be blocked. Chiropractic, which means “done by hand,” manipulates or adjusts the spine to remove the blockages and enable the body to maintain its innate healing ability.
Chiropractic has branched into many occultic practices in recent decades. Chiropractor George Goodheart invented Applied Kinesiology. Bernard Jensen invented Iridology. Scott Walker invented Neuro Emotional Technique. John Thie invented Touch for Health. John Diamond developed Behavioral Kinesiology.
The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs describes why it is such a short step from chiropractic to all sorts of occultic mysticism:
“It is important to understand the logical connection between chiropractic, the potential for dabbling in the psychic world, and muscle testing. Classic chiropractic theory easily lends itself to the acceptance of a psychic realm as related to health. ... That Goodheart might have used psychic means to develop his system of applied kinesiology would not be surprising. Furthermore, although elements of the chiropractic profession are scientifically oriented and practiced responsibly, chiropractic itself often rejects the safeguards of the scientific method; historically, it has opposed medical science and rejected any findings disproving its theories. Chiropractic, for example, was founded upon a false theory of subluxations being the cause of all disease, and its early concept of the ‘Innate’ is difficult to distinguish from psychic energy in general.”
Some chiropractors themselves warn about this New Age infiltration. Writing for the Institute for Chiropractic Ethics Phillip Lawrence wrote:
“In my 20 years of practice I have painfully observed my beloved profession heading steadily toward eastern mysticism, new age, and occult philosophies and practices. I feel saddened and angered that our grand and distinguished science of healing is rapidly becoming bastardized with these quasi-science modalities. When patients tell me they’ve been to other chiropractors that have read their auras, told them to sit under pyramids, advised them to have psychic readings, or have said that their problems are the result of bad karma, I feel both disgust and anger at the sheer buffoonery of such advice. ... Crystals! Acupuncture! Yoga! Damp spleens! Visualization techniques! What’s next? A séance communicating with D.D. Palmer? The reason the medical profession has such esteem in patients’ minds is that at least they draw the line somewhere. Where is our line?” (http://www.chiroethics.com/archives/what_is_next.html).
There is no evidence for the theory of subluxations, and chiropractic diagnosis and remedy is infamously subjective.
“One committee against health fraud sent a healthy four-year-old girl to five different chiropractors for a physical checkup. One claimed the child’s shoulder blades were ‘out of place’ and that she had ‘pinched nerves to her stomach and gallbladder.’ Another said that the child’s pelvis was ‘twisted.’ A third said that one hip was ‘elevated’ above the other and that spinal misalignments might cause her headaches, digestive problems, nervousness, and other disorders in the future. Another predicted that if her ‘shorter left leg’ were not treated she would have a problem in childbirth. The fifth found hip and neck problems and adjusted them without bothering to ask permission” (Ankerberg and Weldon, Can You Trust Your Doctor, p. 234).
The problem of chiropractic dependency seems to be great. I have personally known of many people who visit their chiropracticioner regularly for adjustments. Dr. Andrew Weil says:
“Chiropractors are quite successful in making patients dependent on them. I have never heard of a patient being told he or she has a normal spine on a first visit to one of these practitioners. There are always subluxations. Must patients are told they must come in for regular manipulation to make the adjustment ‘hold.’ The tendency of chiropractors [is] to seduce patients into long and costly therapy” (Can You Trust Your Doctor, p. 235).
There are several types of chiropractors today. The article on “Chiropractic” in the Citizendium divides them into four categories: Traditional Straights deal with subluxation and promote a broad scepticism toward childhood vaccination, pharmacology, and medical care. Objective Straights also focus on correcting subluxations, but they encourage their patients to consult medical physicans when necessary. Mixers use more diverse diagnostic and treatment approaches, including naturopathic remedies and physical therapy devices. Reform chiropractors integrate their practice into contemporary medicine and do not subscribe to the Palmer philosophy or the subluxation theory.
Thus, not all chiropractors are involved in the occultic theories and practices. Some merely use physical adjustments and massage to remedy neuromusculoskeletal ailments rather than dealing at an occultic “innate” level, and they do not condemn modern medicine.
Macrobiotics is a largely vegetarian diet (some fish is allowed) that incorporates occultic principles of eastern mysticism. Its practitioners admit that it is not just a diet but “a philosophy of dynamic living.” The Bible-believer will want to know exactly what that philosophy is and whether it is in accordance with God’s Word.
The term “macrobiotic” means “big life” or “the way of longevity.”
It was brought to Europe in the early 20th century by George Ohsawa, a Japanese philosopher, and to America in the 1950s by students of Ohsawa, the most prominent of whom was Michio Kushi. Many of the first customers and owners of alternative food stores were students of macrobiotics (“Health Food: Macrobiotic Brown Rice,” Natural Museum of American History, http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object.cfm?key=35&objkey=97).
The diet itself focuses on eating whole cereal grains, such as brown rice, as staples (50-60%), supplemented with vegetables (25-30%), beans and legumes (5-10%), and miso soup (5%). It avoids the use of highly processed or refined foods (“Macrobiotic Diet,” Wikipedia).
It is not merely a dietary plan, though. Its “core teaching” is “that God, nature, the Universe and all aspects of creation are simply, One” (Verne Varona, “A Guide to the Macrobiotic Principles,” http://www.macrobiotics.co.uk/articles/principles.htm).
“Briefly put, it’s an idiosyncratic version of the ancient concept of yin and yang. According to oriental philosophy yin and yang are opposing yet complimentary forces which are presumed to exist throughout all elements of the universe. It’s necessary to maintain a balance and harmony between yin and yang ... Everything is assigned yin and yang qualities. In dietary counseling and practice, these designations are used to explain how a supposed imbalance in the diet results in a health disorder. The imbalance isn’t explained nutritionally, understand. It is explained philosophically” (The Hidden Agenda, p. 107).
For example, the macrobiotic diet typically avoids tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, spinich, beets, avacodos, sugar, coffee, honey, chocolate, commercial milk, cheese, hot spices, fruit, cream, yogurt -- because these are allegedly “extreme yin.” On the other hand, poultry, meat, eggs, and other things are avoided because they are “extreme yang.”
In the Old Testament, God’s people freely ate fruit, milk, and honey (Numbers 13:23-27), caring not a whit about their supposed “yin” qualities. God Himself described the Promised Land as a land “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8).
There is no support for the yin/yang concept in Scripture. It is a lie of the devil and brings people into an occultic bondage. Macrobiotics is intimately associated with earth worship, self-worship, pantheism, monism, reincarnation, and many other gross and very dangerous spiritual errors.
The macrobiotic practitioner finds himself caught up in a whirlpool of legalism in regard to eating. He is told not only what to eat and what not to eat, but also when to eat it (e.g, wild plants and fresh greens in spring and round vegetables and root vegetables in winter), how many times a day to eat it, how to cook it (e.g., over a flame rather than by electricity or microwave, using only cast iron, stainless steel or clay cookware), and how to prepare it according to the time of year (e.g., steaming in spring and summer). Composition of dishes and choices of foods are adjusted according to season, climate, sex, age, and many other things. The conscientious macrobiotic practitioner is even instructed as to how he must eat his food (chewing each bite from 50 to 100 times).
Macrobiotics doesn’t stop there. It instructs the practitioner to take short baths or showers with warm or cool water, to wear only cotton clothing, to avoid metallic jewelry, to use products made only from natural ingredients, to avoid computer use, etc. etc.
The macrobiotic practitioners on the Internet claim to be free, but it is a very strange sort of freedom!
Mishio Kushi, a leading macrobiotics practitioner, says:
“We lead our life in a simple modest way, eating macrobiotically and develop a spirit of gratitude to everyone and everything. This way, it becomes easy to attain the order of the infinite universe which is our life itself--eternal and everlasting” (Kushi Institute literature and promotional materials, quoted from The Hidden Agenda, p. 108).
This is obviously a pagan philosophy that is contrary to Scripture. Observe that he is thankful to “everything” but not to the Almighty Creator God, and he believes that everlasting life is gained by a macrobiotics lifestyle rather than through faith in Jesus Christ. This is a false gospel, and the child of God should have nothing to do with it.
Macrobiotic counselors diagnose their patients through iridology and other bogus methods.
Dr. David Sneed describes a woman named Bonlyn Walls who began delving into macrobiotics after visits to a New Age food store. She says, “For one thing, I was looking for a low-sugar diet. And I liked vegetables and fruits and whole grain foods” (The Hidden Agenda, p. 103). There is nothing wrong with these foods, of course, but the problem is that she was gradually drawn into occultic idolatry. She says:
“Looking back, that diet became an idol to me. I ate macrobiotically to save myself from disease and an uncaring environment, to avoid modern fast-paced consciousness, and from a deeply spiritual connection to the earth, to my food, and to my own existence” (p. 104).
By God’s grace she came to understand the error of macrobiotics and turned away from it. In retrospect she says, “That diet was a very real snare to me.”
Sneed describes another woman who went “completely nutty” over macrobiotics, not allowing anyone to come near her while she was eating, throwing away all clothing made of non-cotton fibers, walking on stones, not answering the phone. “She had shut herself off from the real world, in a little room of anger and fear and magical thinking” (p. 31).
The Journal of the American Medical Association and the AMA Council on Foods and Nutrition have issued warnings that strict followers of macrobiotics are in “great danger” of malnutrition (Wikipedia). “Scientific studies in the United States and Europe have shown that a strict traditional macrobiotic diet can lead to a variety of nutritional deficiencies, especially in protein, amino acids, calcium, iron, zinc, and ascorbic acid. These deficiencies can result in drastic weight loss, anemia, scurvy, and hypocalcemia. In children, a strict macrobiotic diet can cause stunted growth, protein and calorie malnutrition, and bone age retardation” (Alternative Medicine Encyclopedia).
1 Timothy 4:4 says, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.”
Naturopathy in the United States was developed by Benedict Lust, who founded the American School of Naturopathy in 1902. It is built on the following three basic principles:
“(1) The body has a natural drive to maintain equilibrium--symptoms of disease are only indications that the body is striving to heal itself. (2) The root of all disease is the accumulation of waste products and toxins due to poor life-style habits. (3) The body contains both the wisdom and the power to heal itself--provided one does what enhances rather than what interferes with this power” (The Hidden Agenda, p. 109).
All three of these principles are half truths, and half truths can be whole lies. While it is true that the body has a natural drive to maintain equilibrium, it is not true that all symptoms of disease are indicative of the body trying to heal itself. While the accumulation of wastes and toxins due to poor life-style habits is the root of some disease, it is definitely not the root of all disease. And to say that the body has “the wisdom and the power to heal itself” is only partially true, because there are dramatic limits to the body’s healing power, regardless of what diet you eat or how you live.
Dr. David Sneed says:
“A naturopath believes in a world of physical toxins in which most people are poisoning themselves through what they eat. Foods filled with addictives, high in sugar, and low in fiber are the culprits, they say. Now, as a physician, I’m certainly interested in seeing a person achieve a low fat, high fiber diet. ... What is not proven is the importance naturopaths place on various toxins, both those which occur naturally within the body and those that come from such external sources as pesticides and chemicals” (p. 109).
Homeopathy, acupuncture, and “oriental medicine” are among the set of core subjects taught at naturopathic schools. Oriental medicine refers to the belief in the occultic chi energy that allegedly flows through the meridians of the body and the balancing of yin and yang.
Many naturopaths are involved with other New Age practices such as mind control, reflexology, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga, and are “reluctant to support vaccination treatments, even for the routine prevention of such things as measles, mumps, polio, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussus” (The Hidden Agenda, p. 111).
The official name for this procedure is Structural Integration, and an estimated one million people have received the treatment.
The popular name Rolfing comes from its inventor, Ida Rolf (1896-1979). She was a student of osteopathy, homeopathy, chiropractic, and yoga.
Rolfing is a type of deep massage therapy that is advertised as a treatment to ease pain and chronic stress and improve performance in professional and daily activities. At its heart, though, is the belief in an occultic energy field.
Rolf described the practice as an attempt to “realign the random body into an orderly, balanced ENERGY SYSTEM that can operate in the field of gravity” (Positive Living and Health, 1990, p. 325), and, “Rolfers organize the body that the gravity field can reinforce the body’s ENERGY FIELD” (Rolf Institute, Boulder, Colorado, 1971). This refers to the eastern occultic energy field.
Dr. David Sneed says that Rolf “reported changes in her subjects’ ‘energy bodies,’ which were confirmed by an ‘aura reader’” (The Hidden Agenda, p. 85).
Rolfing also holds to the unproven idea of muscular “armoring,” which is said to consist of esoteric barriers that are built up against one’s physical and psychic wounds in life (p. 86). Rolfing supposedly releases memories and emotions and melts the “armoring.”
Applied Kinesiology (AK) is the “alternative medical” practice of using manual muscle-strength testing to diagnose physical health. (It should not be confused with “kinesiology” or biomechanics, which is the scientific study of human movement.) It is based on the premise that every illness is accompanied by a weakness in a corresponding muscle.
It was invented in 1964 by chiropractor George Goodheart (d. 2008) and is one of the most popular chiropractic techniques in the United States, with 43% of chiropractors employing it in 1998.
“Goodheart combined the occultic philosophy of early chiropractic theory concerning the body’s supposed Innate Intelligence with ancient Eastern practices designed to regulate supposed mystical life energies within the body. ... Applied kinesiology is thus a blending of the theory and/or practice of chiropractic and ancient Chinese Taoism. ... various occultic and spiritistic books ... employ [muscle testing] toward that end ... That applied kinesiology is used in occult practice is not surprising given the fact that Goodheart himself is a psychic who developed his system by psychic methods” (John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Can You Trust Your Doctor? p. 167).
Goodheart associated Applied Kinesiology with the flow of chi energy along the occultic meridians. The AK book Infections: A Lifetime of Health for Your Child suggests that the Applied Kinesiology practitioner can find the reason for infection by evaluating and correcting “the energy patterns within the body.”
The most common Applied Kinesiology test is the Delta, whereby the patient resists as the practitioner exerts downward force on the arm (“Applied Kinesiology,” Wikipedia). Other tests include assessing the patient’s gait and pressing “trigger points” to analyze supposed muscle weakness,
The “tests” are entirely subjective and their interpretation depends solely upon the particular practitioner. There are no absolute standards that can be applied.
The practice involves New Age hocus pocus and visualization. In “therapy localization,” for example, the practitioner places a hand over an area suspected to be in need of therapeutic attention and “the fingertip is hypothesized to focus the mind on the relevant area,” which allegedly results in a change in muscle response (Wikipedia). “The hand is thought to become a sort of psychic ‘conduit,’ able to locate the point of impaired function, allowing the practitioner to successfully ‘treat’ the symptom. Some practitioners claim that they use their hands to ‘sense’ various energy imbalances in different organs, much in the manner used by practitioners of psychic healing” (Encyclopedia of New Age Belief).
AK is also used to test the emotional responses to situations by performing muscle testing while the patient visualizes various situations (http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Applied_Kinesiology.asp).
Nutritional deficiencies are detected by placing various items on the patient’s tongue or placing the items in his hand or touching them to various parts of the body, and then re-testing for muscle strength. “If the muscle tests ‘stronger,’ the substance supposedly can remedy problems in the corresponding body parts. Testing is also claimed to indicate which nutrients are deficient. If a weak muscle becomes stronger after a nutrient (or a food high in the nutrient) is chewed, that supposedly indicates ‘a deficiency normally associated with that muscle’” (Stephen Barrett, “Applied Kinesiology,” http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Tests/ak.html).
Applied Kinesiology even claims to be able to detect problems before they arise, which leads to a regime of preventive checkups. “In this case patients are encouraged to have a general diagnostic checkup, even when they feel fine. ... Proper treatment is then applied before the underlying ‘problem’ has a chance to manifest outward illness” (Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs).
Once diagnosis is made, the prescription typically involves massage, chiropractic “adjustments,” and often overpriced vitamins, susupplements, and homeopathic remedies.
Research has proven Applied Kinesiology to be bogus.
“A few researchers have investigated kinesiology muscle-testing procedures in controlled clinical studies. The results showed that applied kinesiology was not an accurate diagnostic tool, and that muscle response was not any more useful than random guessing. In fact, one study found that experienced kinesiologists made very different assessments regarding nutrient status for the same patients” (http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Applied_Kinesiology.asp).
Neuro-Emotional Techniques (NET) was developed in the 1980s by Scott Walker, a chiropractor. It is adapted from Applied Kinesiology and is based on the same pagan principle that the body’s occultic energy or chi must be kept in balance.
NET focuses on the emotions. It claims that negative emotions can create “locks” and imbalances in the nervous system called a Neuro-Emotional Complex (NEC). The NEC can also, allegedly, manifest as a spinal subluxation or an imbalance in an acupuncture meridian. This, in turn, causes ill health.
NET claims that the locks and imbalances can be tested through muscle testing, body reflex points, and semantic reactions.
The patient is instructed to think of an issue that is upsetting and is then tested.
The diagnosis and prescription are purely subjective, of course.
NET is said to be able to diagnose problems and feelings, access the subconscious, discover early traumas, and act as a biofeedback loop, to teach people what they are feeling (http://healing.about.com/od/net/a/net_jgazley_2.htm).
TOUCH FOR HEALTH
Touch for Health was developed by chiropractor John Thie. It is a form of Applied Kinesiology but it moves even more deeply into the realm of the psychic. Thie claims that the life energy can be regulated and manipulated by mental power alone. This is the New Age practice of visualization. “In fact, you do not even have to make contact with the body. You can simply follow the meridians in your mind’s eye, through concentration, and produce much the same effect” (Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs).
Thie believes that “we are all one with the universe” (“Touch for Health: An Interview with John Thie,” Science of Mind, Sept.1977).
Behavioral Kinesiology, which was developed by a chiropractor named John Diamond, takes Applied Kinesiology to its highest occultic level.
Diamond says that “Life Energy” is the “source of our physical and mental well-being” and is the same as the Chinese chi. The thymus gland, which is a lymphoid gland located beneath the breastbone at heart level, is said to be the “seat of the Life Energy” and “monitors and regulates energy flow in the meridian system.”
According to BK, muscle testing can be used for basically anything in one’s life, testing what type of music to listen to, what color to paint one’s house, what foods to eat and which vitamins to take.
BK claims that life energy is depleted by things such as shaking one’s head, frowning, looking at a depiction of a cross, synthetic or refined foods, sunglasses, the musical note C, hats, cold showers, microwaves, perfume, even artificial light. “According to BK ... most things in our modern technological world are conspiring against us, depleting our ‘life energy’” (Encyclopedia of New Age Belief). Further, people with depleted energy can deplete others by being in their presence or even by appearing on television!
If BK is true, it would mean that the individual should spend much of his life testing things in order to be sure that his life energy is in proper order and scrupulously avoiding any and everything that might be destructive to his energy field. I wonder now many people have become paranoid psychotics through such a philosophy!
We are forbidden to adopt the ways of the heathen (Jeremiah 10:2). Things associated with idolatry and pagan darkness are demonic, and the Bible forbids us to participate with such things (1 Corinthians 10:19-21). The Word of God warns, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).
Delving into secret or occultic realms is forbidden. This is the very essence of divination and wizardry. See Leviticus 19:31 and Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
As for diet, there is no biblical diet that is required for God’s people today as there was in the Old Testament. Paul warned that vegetarianism as a legalistic practice is a doctrine of devils, and he taught that all things are good to eat if received with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:1-5). For the Christian, diet is a matter of health and personal preference, not a matter of Bible doctrine.
We should beware of an overemphasis on diet. It can become idolatrous. The Bible teaches us to put our focus on the spiritual rather than the physical. “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).
We don’t live in paradise. We live in a cursed world and a body of death (Rom. 8:22-23; 7:24). Life is short at best, and no matter what kind of diet you adopt you will plenty of problems and sicknesses and will eventually die.
The Bible says we should die to self and live for Christ and for His gospel’s sake (Mark 8:35). Christ’s Great Commission instructs us to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mat. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15; Acts 1:8). Finicky eaters are a nuisance rather than a help in this work. My wife and I have lived in South Asia for nearly two decades, and I thank the Lord that we have not had to worry about maintaining some sort of strict diet.
The previous study is excerpted from the August 2008 edition of THE NEW AGE TOWER OF BABEL by David Cloud. This book is available from Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, www.wayoflife.org (online catalog), firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail).
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