When considering alternative medicine, be aware that providers differ widely not only in their skill and experience, but also in how they use these treatment options. Ask if the way in which the treatment option is given is constitutional, that is, treating you as a whole indivisible system, rather than controlling local symptoms (the more Western conventional medical mindset way of treating disease).
A clue in that area is whether or not the practitioner can give you a unified diagnosis and a coordinated treatment plan within their system of care for your entire pattern of problems rather than just one of them. You want to avoid practitioners who mainly use acupuncture or homeopathy or Ayurvedic methods to treat disease locally at a body part. You may need local treatment during acute health crises or flare-ups of your chronic illness, but your greatest progress stems from gradual constitutional treatment over time rather than treating one crisis after the next.
Similarly, subtle energy healing as an option is a complex topic. Many persons are capable of affecting a person’s subtle energy body in major ways and can further develop their capabilities with relatively brief training programs. However, many such individuals are less well trained in understanding the systemic implications of their abilities, and many have no background in any form of health care (a common exception is nurses who do therapeutic touch or healing touch).
Healing the Whole Person vs. the Body Part
Some energy healers send well-intentioned general positive energy to you overall that can help you superficially for a while, but likely cannot heal a deep-seated chronic disease. Some are very powerful in their ability and can force the physical manifestations of a specific disease to go away by blocking the energetic patterns that underlie the expression in the physical body — But they are not aware of the risks of suppressing the disease manifestations into the rest of the person as an indivisible network.
For example, I once heard an energy healer describe a client whose long-standing pain and disability from a leg injury had stopped in a matter of days, under subtle energy healing focused on recovery of the leg. At first I congratulated the healer and asked how the client was doing now, a year later. What she said distressed me – she acknowledged that the client’s leg was still pain-free with much better functionality, but now the client was suffering from horrible panic attacks, unable to leave home.
So, the treatment was powerful and seemingly “effective” – but it was directed to healing a body part (the leg), not the person as a whole. As a result, the deepest disturbance was simply blocked from expressing itself in the leg – encouraging it to move deeper into the person, up to the level of the brain. Then the disturbance in the person as a whole system had taken on the form of panic disorder and agoraphobia.
This was not really a desirable outcome – but neither the healer nor the client realized the possible connection. A different healer who incorporated an understanding of the need to heal the leg in the context of the person as a whole might have produced a very different result — healing both the underlying disturbance and the leg as a manifestation.
Distant parts of the network (the rest of the body) may experience adverse outcomes as a result of the suppression of local symptoms in one part.
At the same time, some energy healers have a true gift for helping people at a profoundly spiritual and integrated level. The treatment they provide is potentially as valuable in your overall package of care as any of the constitutional systems of treatment.