Is It Safe for You to Trust Your Health to the Holistic Health Practices of Today? – Program 7
|By: Dr. Norman Shealy, Dr. Robert Leightman, Dr. Jane Gumprecht, Dr. Paul Reisser, Dr. John Weldon; ©1994
|When a practitioner claims they can diagnose you based in the color of our aura or visual examination of your skin, hair or saliva, is it science or is it quackery?
Science or Quackery
Today on the John Ankerberg Show, four medical doctors and a Christian theologian will debate the question: Is it safe for people to trust their health to the new unconventional medical therapies? The New England Journal of Medicine reports that one-third of all American adults now seek out and use unconventional medical treatments and holistic health practices. By definition, an unconventional medical therapy is a practice that not in conformity with the standards of the scientific medical community. But if so, how can the public know which therapies are safe? Who has tested the principles upon which each holistic health practice claims it can cure illness? And what about harmful spiritual effects? Haven’t some holistic health treatments incorporated parts of occult belief and practice?
During this series, doctors representing all sides of these issues will discuss the individual holistic health practices by name, and express how they may impact your physical and spiritual well-being.
My guests are: Dr. Norman Shealy, the founder of the holistic health medical association in America. He is a neurosurgeon and former professor of medicine at Harvard university; Dr. Robert Leichtman, a medical doctor, who is also recognized as one of the premier psychics in America; Dr. Jane Gumprecht, a Christian doctor who has warned the public about many holistic health practices; Dr. Paul Reisser, also a Christian doctor, who has written extensively on the medical dangers of unconventional health methods; and finally, Christian theologian Dr. John Weldon, who did his Ph.D. work on the beliefs and practices of the eastern religions. We invite you to join us as we investigate the question: is it safe for you to trust your health to the holistic health practices of today?
- Ankerberg: Welcome! We’re talking about the very interesting topic: What about holistic health? Is it for real? Is it scientific? Or is it quackery? And we’ve had a lot of discussion going on. And we’re going to get some questions from our audience tonight and I’m glad that you’ve joined us.
- I’d like to kind of start the ball rolling with this question. I’ve got a lot of folks that have written in and they’ve said, “You know, there’s these people in holistic health that say if you’ve got something wrong with you and you really want to know, those other doctors don’t help you, what you need to do is spit into a piece of paper or something and send it to me.” And I always thought, you know, how many folks are really into that? And yet I’m finding there’s a lot of people into that. What’s that called, Dr. Shealy, and then what do you think about that?
- Shealy: That’s radionics, and if you believe in that I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.
- Ankerberg: What’s the basis? What’s going on here?
- Shealy: Well, there was a physician, actually—Abrams or Abramson, I’ve forgotten which—who had this funny machine with dials on it and it had nothing behind it. But he would psychically tune in and he used a proving, if you will, which could be hair, spit or photograph or any kind of thing to make diagnoses. And I don’t put much into that. In fact, I put less than much into that.
- Ankerberg: I’ve read some of the literature because they send me the stuff, too, and I’ve found—and maybe you folks can help, or Dr. Weldon, this might be up your alley here—and that is that the basis that apparently the person that was saying we’ll do the diagnosis…and they send back this big chart, you know: “You’ve got this wrong, you’ve got this wrong and you’ve got this wrong” and all you sent was your spit on a hanky or something. And I looked at it and it had to do with color therapy and it had the different auras. And apparently they could psychically check out the aura from that and, according to a certain color, they said, “You’ve got this wrong, you’ve got this wrong.” What’s going on there, Dr. Weldon?
- Weldon: That’s an example of how eclectic the New Age holistic health movement is. You can blend various techniques and treatments. Abrams’ Black Box, and radionics or psychometry as it’s also known, was intended to use any item from a person, be it a coin or hair or a piece of skin or whatever, and allegedly you could diagnose the individual through that. Now, they found that that obviously is quackery because diagnoses have been made when they’ve forgotten to put the blood sample in the box or whatever. And there are a wide variety of forms. Chromotherapy is usually intended to diagnose a person’s physical condition on the basis of the color of the aura. And depending on who you’re talking to, the primary color can be the spectrum of the rainbow. It can be red, blue, green, yellow, white or orange. And it’s just an illustration of how it’s so easy for any practitioner in holistic health to get involved in a wide variety of things.
- Ankerberg: Now, before we hear some more from our doctors, let me comment about color therapy. Have you ever heard someone claim they could see an aura surrounding another person? Some color therapists claim they can treat disease by examining the condition and color of any person’s aura. This alleged ability to see colors surrounding a person and to use that psychic perception to treat illness is called chromotherapy.
- Most color therapists, they can accurately diagnose the physical condition of the body in two ways: first, by psychically seeing and evaluating the condition or depth of color of the alleged aura; or second, by evaluating the condition of the chakras, the alleged psychic centers within the body that supposedly the mystical energy passes through. Now, once these two evaluations are done, color therapists then claim they can prescribe an appropriate color treatment to correct the color deficiencies of a person’s aura. In doing so, they claim this will heal that person’s physical ailment.
- But the basic problem with color therapy is that this area is filled with many conflicting beliefs and practices. For example, one color therapist will claim that in order to cure a person’s heart disease, the primary aura color to be enhanced is red. But another color therapist trying to heal the same person’s heart disease would say that the aura color which needs to be enhanced is the color yellow. These assumptions make color therapy completely unscientific, and any objective verification is impossible. In essence, chromotherapy should be labeled as either an occult practice or quackery.
- Ankerberg: What’s Rolfing. Ida Rolf came up with it, and what is it?
- Gumprecht: Well, Rolfing is part of what they call “bodyworks” which stem from Reich who was a psychiatrist. And I notice that Dr. Shealy approves of Reich. Reich was a compatriot of Freud and he also joined the Communist Party. Both the Communist Party and Freud kicked him out of their circle because he was so far out. But, nevertheless, he came over to the United States. He was trying to research what this basic energy is that causes all things to happen as far as health is concerned. And he based it on the orgasm and so it’s called orgone energy. He also then had a system of thinking about, which is called character armoring. And that has to do with muscle tension and all that sort of thing. Out of this grew such things as Rolfing, Feldenkrais, Alexander and there is another one.
- Shealy: Actually, that’s a misinterpretation of Alexander. Alexander was a ballet master, and I don’t think you could say it grew anywhere out of Reich. He noticed that postural abnormalities affected people and that their personality and other aspects of their health seemed to be adversely affected by posture.
- Gumprecht: But out of this also grew such things as scream therapy and where you get somebody down on the floor and you jump on them and pound on them; this type of thing.
- Ankerberg: Why would you do that?
- Gumprecht: Well, to release all the tensions, all the stress.
- Ankerberg: To release the energy or get that energy, the primal flow, going again?
- Weldon: Well, I think it’s interesting that Reich got his original ideas from the spirit world.
- Gumprecht: That’s right.
- Weldon: That’s the lowest common denominator that you keep running into.
- Ankerberg: So that’s what orgonomy is. What’s polarity therapy?
- Shealy: It’s another one of those what I would call somewhat “spacey” things where people put their hands on you and hold it, more than anything else.
- Gumprecht: But also involved in that is a type of meditation which is like yoga where you get yourself into an altered consciousness.
- Ankerberg: What does the person do to the other person? What is polarity therapy?
- Reisser: It’s another energy balancing kind of a concept. But I just have a question, because you don’t feel good about some of these things. What if somebody came up to you and said, “Well, I’m doing this, this and this and a black box and spit in a tube or whatever, and I’m getting 80% accuracy with this method.” Is anything okay as long as it’s 70 or 80 or 90 percent accurate, no matter what?
- Ankerberg: Now, before we hear some more from our doctors, let me interrupt and just say a word about polarity therapy. Like Therapeutic Touch, polarity therapy is the practice of channeling psychic energy from the healer into the client. This is done to allegedly restore or balance the body’s supposed repository of mystical energy called chi or prana.
- Now, polarity therapy was founded around 1948 by Dr. Randolph Stone, who was an occultist as well as a disciple of a mystical Hindu sect. He earned his doctoral degree in chiropractic naturopathy and osteopathy.
- Now, how does polarity therapy claim to work? Well, Dr. Stone believed that sore spots on the body determined where chi or mystical energy blockage points exist. He developed a polarity zone chart to identify the corresponding organ or part of the body which would respond to treatment of the sore spots. Stone thought that by channeling psychic energy through the therapist’s hands, the flow of psychic energy would allegedly restore the corresponding body organs.
- Now, this practice, plus the additional methods such as acupressure, bioenergetics, yoga, self-hypnosis, and practices such as one’s diet, special exercises, and mental affirmations, these all are assumed by polarity practitioners to help maintain physical and spiritual health.
- But, the practices of polarity therapy have never been scientifically established to work on the basis of their stated principles. Further, as in Therapeutic Touch, this practice should be identified as an occult method of treatment, as it is really a form of psychic healing involving energy channeling and potentially, spiritism.
- Now, along with other forms of psychic healing, the potential dangers of polarity therapy include : misdiagnosis, mistreatment, and the many consequences of occult influence. Because of the scientific research and biblical warnings, we advise people not to trust their health to the unfounded claims of polarity therapy.
- Reisser: Is anything okay as long as it’s 70 or 80 or 90 percent accurate, no matter what?
- Shealy: If it can be proved that they really are getting 80% accuracy, I would not say whether it is okay or not. It is something certainly worth looking at. I think anything can be studied.
- Weldon: I think you can get 50% accuracy from just living. Most people are going to get better regardless. What I find interesting is that Dr. Shealy likes some things and other things he doesn’t like. Some things seem really far out to him. It seems very far out to me to pick up the phone and call someone 1,200 miles away and have them help me diagnose somebody sitting in my office. Now, on what basis is that a scientific medical technique?
- Ankerberg: I think that’s a fair question. Why do you choose some but not others? And that one, I think that you’d have to admit that some people out there, you know, it sounds pretty far out. But why do you choose that one and not some of the others?
- Shealy: First and foremost, I’ve tested that one on two people who, statistically speaking, have been extremely accurate. That’s all. It’s an empirical test. And Dr. Leichtman, for instance, is 96% accurate in telling what a person’s personality is like—three pages’ worth. Better than a psychologist can do. That to me is reproducible.
- Ankerberg: Alright, it works. We’ve talked about this thing of “works” quite a few times. Let me give you an illustration I asked Kubler-Ross and I want to see what, Robert, you would say, and also, Norm, what you would say on this. Do you believe that there is such a thing as an evil power in the world?
- Leichtman: Sure.
- Shealy: Yes.
- Ankerberg: Okay. How evil?
- Leichtman: Evil enough to generate wars and genocide and awful things that kill millions of people off per year.
- Ankerberg: Okay. Would it be so evil that it would dress up as something good to damn you forever? To fool you?
- Leichtman: I suppose it could. Yes.
- Ankerberg: Is it possible that that could be working in the situation we’re talking about and that’s why it works? For example, Kubler-Ross told me she had a complete physical healing when she went into her altered state of consciousness. She was a straight agnostic. She didn’t believe anything. She was just like Bernie Segal who said, “I don’t believe it’s going to work.” And then it worked on her and the mystical experience gave her the worldview. Okay?
- But I said to her, I said, “What if there is such a thing as an evil power” and Jesus Christ agrees with both of you at that point: there is such as thing as evil power, the devil. And the Bible says that he is a murderer from the beginning; he is a liar from the beginning; and he actually dresses up as an angel of light to deceive people. [John 8:44; 2 Cor. 11:14] And Jesus said, “Watch out. Be aware. Because some day false prophets, people that do miracles, people that can do these wonderful things that can happen are going to show up, but the fact is they’re false prophets and they can damn your soul.”
- Now, the question is, would this be a trick that, if Satan will let it “work,” because he doesn’t care…and the Americans are so pragmatic. Hey, if it works, who cares? Like this scientist we were talking about. “I’ve been working with it for two years and it’s got my attention. I don’t know what their purpose is for me or why they’re doing this, it’s just working.” Is there a possibility for this?
- Leichtman: It is certainly a possibility and there are no easy answers here. What we have to watch out for is the fact that perhaps sometimes we too easily condemn something on the basis of doctrine or theory. And we are looking at what really is going on. We must accept the fact that God is a powerful force in our life today. And we can call upon God through our prayers and meditations. And healing by faith does occur. And if you go around always snipping at someone’s heels all the time, I think you’re probably creating more fear and probably doing the work of the devil more vigorously than anyone else. You have to proceed somewhat optimistically.
- Ankerberg: Dr. Weldon, you would believe from a Christian point of view that there is healing. So you’re not against healing per se, but what’s the difference here?
- Weldon: I think God heals and I think the devil heals too. You can find legitimate cases of healing in all kinds of occult groups. The question is, what is the result of that healing? For example, a German theologian, one of the leading authorities in the world in this area who has counseled over 20,000 people, has thousands of case histories. He has established frequency ratios for those passively and actively involved in the occult and he has found that there is not a genuine true healing. There is a physical healing, but there is a transference—this is an occult healing—there is a transference to the emotional and the spiritual so that the illness is really brought about on a higher level. And he has established that in about 90% of the cases. So, in other words, what you have is a Faustian bargain in operation where a person is physically healed but in the long run a greater illness is brought about, and that involves a spiritual illness with a false worldview that does in effect end up damning their soul.
- Because this is what the real issue is: it’s a spiritual warfare. And when people die, they are going to be held accountable by God. If their sins are not forgiven, they will be separated from God forever. And if the devil can get people into a false worldview to make them think salvation is not necessary, whether it’s through medical techniques or whatever, it’s a good bargain for him.