Spiritual Healing

Traditionally, spiritual healing is healing in which the healer is felt to be an instrument of the divine, allowing the power of the divine to heal through him or her. The healer acknowledges that he or she does not do the healing. In a sense, the healer is only the instrument through which the person seeking healing surrenders to the divine.

Many healers who do not call themselves “spiritual healers” acknowledge that they do not do the healing – this has become a well understood idea in healing — but to really live that fully is truly radical. Joel Goldsmith’s classic, The Art of Spiritual Healing, provides a taste of what spiritual healing is when lived fully and taken to its full conclusion. A Course in Miracles also embodies this radical perspective.

Energy Healing vs. Spiritual Healing

There is no standard definition for spiritual healing or energy healing and often they are considered to be the same thing. Both terms can refer to widely varying practices, and there are many ways in which they overlap.

Since everything is energy, energy healing can simultaneously affect all levels of life – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Depending on the leanings of the healer and client, an energy healing session can have a spiritual focus and impact. On the other hand, what a spiritual healer does may look exactly the same as what an energy healer does, and can also affect all levels. What, then, would distinguish energy healing from spiritual healing, and vice versa?

An exploration of this question is actually quite complex, and it becomes clear that our current institutions and language do not adequately describe the tremendous variety of emerging healing practices. The understanding that everything is energy points to the impossibility of separating out the spiritual from the material. Energy healing truly bridges the gap between science and spirituality, and yet our institutions are either secular or spiritual. A healer who works purely with energy may may feel more aligned with either the scientific/medical model or a spiritual/religious model.

Spiritual Healing

The key feature which distinguishes spiritual healing, at least in the traditional usage, is that the healer is seen as a vehicle for divine intervention. Many healers, however, also feel that they are divinely guided (regardless of the language used to describe this), and so even this key feature may not serve to distinguish spiritual healers from energy healers. Nevertheless, it could be said that spiritual healing in its purest form relies totally on the intervention of a “higher intelligence” — the healing occurs spontaneously without the healer making conscious choices. Usually a spiritual healer would not use particular techniques which are chosen based on some rationale of what technique works for a particular condition.

Spiritual healing often simply involves the use of prayer. Many miraculous healings occurred during the “miracle services” of renowned evangelist, Kathryn Kuhlman. Kuhlman never touched or even looked at those who received these healings. She didn’t know anything about human anatomy. From her point of view, she simply opened to the Holy Spirit, and had complete faith that all would be accomplished through this. A clairvoyant who observed one of Kuhlman’s services, however, was able to see how her aura flowed out energetically and interacted with the energy fields of those who were healed. This happened with out any specific intention or knowledge on Kuhlman’s part. The spiritual healer would not be able to say how the healing occurred, except to acknowledge divine intervention. The healer may even take the position that he/she sees only divine perfection in the one who seeks healing, and so would not even see disturbance or disease.

Spiritual Healing vs. Spiritism

Sometimes spiritual healing is very specific about the form of the divine which is being accessed for healing. Some spiritual healers refer to their work as coming from God or Source (or some other name for the divine). Others may say that angels and spiritual beings intervene. Yet another group of healers say that “spirits” of powerful healers who are no longer alive work through them. Both Rubens Faria and John of God, famous Brazilian healers, are said to channel spirits. Some would call this “spiritism” rather than true spiritual healing.

Energy Healing

Energy healing, on the other hand, usually involves some conscious use of knowledge of the human energy field, as well as specific techniques to address disturbances. Programs which are based on the medical model will have an assessment of the energy field, and techniques will be chosen that address the disturbances found. After the energy healing is done, the healer would re-assess the field to discover the outcome of the treatment. These programs, however, recognize the importance of intuition and usually allow for intuitive work on the part of the healer. They also include the spiritual aspect of a client’s life in the overall treatment and recognize that the energy field has “spiritual layers”.

Cultural Bias Separates Science and Spirituality

The fact that the question would even arise as to what distinguishes energy healing from spiritual healing points to a cultural bias which separates the scientific from the spiritual. As we grow in our understanding and experience of the one reality which underlies these two seemingly different viewpoints, this separation should be bridged. Most people recognize the necessity of integrating complementary healing arts with our conventional medical system. This integration necessitates the development of a new paradigm which unifies what are often seen as contradictory approaches.


The Art of Spiritual Healing, by Joel S. Goldsmith. This book is a classic on spiritual healing.
A Course in Miracles (Workbook for Students, Manual for Teachers) — students of this course will find it is a teaching in spiritual healing.
Daughter of Destiny: Kathryn Kuhlman, Her Story by Jamie Buckingham. The only authorized biography of healer, Kathryn Kuhlman. This is a captivating story with a great deal of insight.
The Magus of Strovolos: The Extraordinary World of a Spiritual Healer (Arkana) by Kyriacos D. Markides. Fascinating reading about a spiritual healer from Cyprus.

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Spiritual Healing — 18 Comments

  1. I am 26 years old and ever since I was a child I have seen the energy that makes up the air. I was wondering what this is called and what gifts I could use it for.

  2. Hi Monica,
    Without a more detailed description it’s hard to know exactly what your are seeing. The ability to see energy is called “clairvoyance”. Chances are your “inner sight” is strong enough that you seeing the energetic level of life. I would imagine it looks different around people and objects.

    The ability to see energy can be useful if you want to learn how to shift energy in a positive way, as in energy healing or as a tool to help you make choices based on the quality of the energy of a place, person or thing.

    This is a very general response since I don’t have much detail about you and what you are experiencing.

  3. This seeing energy thing is exactly what I can do. Well, I am a kid though. I’m 15, but honestly most people can see it, it’s just that they dont realize it… literally, it’s a little harder for me to focus on it with people and certain objects but if i want it’s possible…

    I honestly think there’s a connection to meditation/”knowing about things” and energy… Obviously there is, but really, for the people who don’t know what
    I’m talking about I’ll try to explain.

    You go outside and look into the sky, notice where the sky is… Then don’t set your focus at the sky, but more… towards nothing… It’s like, if you focused on a cup sitting next to you, focus on the air instead of the actual sky you see.. After a little you should notice either little energy like…. small as hell everywhere in the sky, or moving bug things….. idk, I see both 🙂

  4. Hi Ashton,
    I agree that most people can sense energy but don’t realize it. In fact, we are sensing energy all the time but the culture doesn’t acknowledge that and we ignore it.

    Yes, there’s a connection with meditation and sensing energy. In meditation (some forms), we reach subtler levels of the thinking process. The mind becomes accustomed to functioning at a deeper level which supports sensing energy.

    What you are describing when you talk about looking at the sky is allowing your focus to soften. This is often recommended as a way to begin to see auras. What I love is that you’ve discovered this on your own!

  5. Wow, thanks… that makes total sense 🙂
    Now im going to get deeper into sofening my eyes hehe…

    But I wish I meditated more like i said, I can’t always connect to the energy, but usually if i try it works.

  6. I can see the energy of the sun and air. And also, when I don’t move a lot and close my eyes (regardless of whether I’m meditating or not) I see a purple light that moves and opens and closes really slowly. Rays emit from a it slowly. If I focus into it for a long period of time, I can look through one of the holes where the purple light emits. I did it before and went through a purple tunnel. It was like traveling in a spaceship. It was going so fast and little lights like stars and symbols were everywhere moving like a space ship in star wars. I feel like I’m going into a convulsion, too. Anytime I get that far, I either open my eyes to get out of it, or fall asleep.
    But I never know what happens afterwards when if I don’t open my eyes.

    I would like to know what this experience is, and how it can help me and others. Thanks.

  7. Hi Mindy, There are all sorts of “worlds” that can be explored in consciousness as our perception becomes more refined and we develop our 6th chakra. I am not an expert on interpreting these experiences. (You might want to check into the work of Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer).

    When you say you are going into convulsion, I don’t know what you mean, but it might be advisable to consult with a health care provider to make sure there isn’t a physiological problem at the basis of this experience. Sometimes it’s hard to tell. It doesn’t sound like that, but it’s always wise to check these things out.

    As for how this experience might be helpful, I really don’t know. I tend to not pay too much attention to experiences like that. In spiritual healing what matters is your intention to facilitate another’s healing and then allowing “spirit” to do the work.

  8. Thank you for your comments.

    I will look into the people you named.

    Also, I realize part of my statements were unclear. I never actually go into a real convulsion. It feels like I as long as I keep my eyes closed. But the very second I open my eyes, it disappears.

    I have consulted with health care professionals that prescribed pysch drugs. I tried so many combinations, and they did more harm than good. And they did not stop the experience. So I stopped taking them. Currently, health care professionals say my health excellent and nothing is wrong with me.

    Thanks for reading.

  9. Hi,

    I have stumbled upon these comments while searching for something else related to meditation. I am compelled to respond to these comments because, like Ashton and Mindy, I have been able to “see” energy, especially in the sky and weather for many years, and sometimes around peoples actions. I have mentioned this to other people (when I feel comfortable enough to do so), but no one I know understands. I have never heard any other person share they can see energy in the sky until your website.

    In fact about 3 years ago I began to feel a more intense global-type energy in the “air”. I have a window office in a high-rise building and would find myself occasionally “called” (by my Spirit?) to look out the window. This looking was not so much for the view, but rather a sensing of/for something “behind the view”, like something was trying to talk to me. I knew, or felt, at that time something big was about to happen. And not just to me, or even locally, but to the whole world. Over the last year as the economy has melted down, I believe that what I was sensing at that time was/is the impact of that.

    You mentioned that this was clairvoyance. I never knew that is clairvoyance. Can you guide me to other resources? I am also experiencing many unusual things from my meditation and yoga practices over the last year. I finally picked up the book, ‘Meditation for Dummys’ and that has helped me understand some of what’s going on so that it’s not as frightening as it was at first. However, I think I will need to try to budget some money soon and find a teacher or visit an energy consultant.

    I’m a professional women working as a supervisor in a government job and these experiences aren’t conducive for everyday conversation: “Say Charlie, do you meditate, and if you do, does your body make unusual involuntary movements, does your head circle around, and btw why is there a red dot on my throat and it feels so hot–could that be my chakra?”

    I’d like to find people that can relate and provide guidance.
    Thank you for letting me express this and for any advice you might provide.


  10. Hello Angela,
    We have a page of recommended books on this website that would give you a lot of information. Also, attending a local class in energy healing — like Reiki or Healing Touch — will put you in touch with others who share these experiences.

    We also have another website, http://meditationoasis.com, where there are some blog posts on experiences in meditation with lots of peoples’ comments.

    It really does help to connect with others having these experiences and receive validation for what you perceive from books. Best wishes!

  11. Hello all my name is Trevor, I also have been able to see energy for years. I am able to see auras as well though not all of the time. Sometimes I am able to see energy above entire cities in this cause its usually a purplish pink.

    When I was a young boy my mother taught me to meditate I have been doing so ever since. I guess my reason for posting here is this, one morning when laying in bed with my mom when I was young my mother said to me, “I have an abudance of energy today” then she went on to say “here, see” as she rubber her finger on the side of my face I could feel and here a resonance coming from between her fingers and my face. Is this normal? Has anyone else ever actually heard energy? I have never known what to make of this siutation. I have always felt my mother was extremely “in tune” but wasn’t sure if I made this up or if I actually heard this. I have never experience anything like this since.



  12. Hi Trevor,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Yes, some people hear energy. It’s less common than seeing it or sensing it kinesthetically, but it does happen. You can sense energy in many different ways!

  13. I have been a spiritual healer for many lifetimes. I do agree that there is a divine energy helping the healilng. That being said, the divine energy is not there if you do not recognize the divine comes from within.

  14. Interesting perspective, Demetra. Actually, I don’t think there’s anywhere that the divine energy is not!

  15. Thank you for a very thoughtful explanation of what can be esoteric terms. If I may, I would love to share some of my experiences with you.
    I had been doing teaching and healing work for about 15-20 years. I studied Course in Miracles and was on the staff for many years at the annual AIDS, Medicine and Miracles conference.
    For about a year, I had been looking for someone who could take my healing to the next level. I always believed that healing miracles were possible, I just didn’t know how.
    I was doing massage and healing work at the local Unity church and I heard they were bringing in a guy from China, Dr. Sha, to teach about healing. I really didn’t pay much attention.
    Then one evening I was checking my emails and I came across a flyer reminding me he was coming that night. My partner was in the bedroom, crashed out after work. He had been complaining for a long time about always feeling sluggish and low energy. I had made a lot of suggestions, but you know, there’s only so much you can say to your partner before it becomes nagging! I called out, “Hey, I forgot to tell you. There’s some healer from China coming to Unity tonight. Supposed be a master of I Ching, Feng Shui, Tai Chi, some other stuff. His name’s Dr. Sha.” I figured “we’re not going anywhere”. Next thing I know, my partner’s standing in the doorway, fully dressed, saying “let’s go!” I was shocked!
    That evening, I watched Dr. Sha do spiritual healing on a very large woman with no cartilage in her knees who could barely walk with her cane. He did several kinds of healings and by the time he was done, she was walking up and down the aisles without her cane, sobbing at the amazing transformation that was happening in her life. My heart and soul said “yes!”
    My partner and I have both studied pretty intensely with Dr. Sha for several years now. We have helped hundreds of people and even had some miracles of our own. I have a friend who says that the healing blessing I gave her made her migraines go away after years of pain medication. We have a couple friends who tell us the blessings we gave helped to heal their babies in the hospital – that they saw the difference right away and it kept their babies from surgery, or worse. And a few days after doing a demonstration with one of our colleagues, she came up to me and said, “Thank you for what you did for my friend.” I said, “Ummmm….You’re welcome. What did I do?” She said, “My friend said you just looked at her and healed her.”
    Please don’t misunderstand. I know who I am. I am the same guy who believed that healing miracles can happen, but didn’t know how. I know that I wasn’t the one causing those healings. They came from the same place all healing comes from, the Divine (or whatever name you want to use). And they came from Love. But, those are more miracles than I ever experienced in my practice before I met Dr. Sha. I am so very glad that I did meet him, that my partner did want to go that night, and that the Divine has shown me this way of working with people.

  16. Hi, I have been seeing a practitioner for a couple of months for an injury which over time has affected my whole body and well being, I knew on meeting him that he was a natural healer, he has an amazing energy about him, I felt it on our first meeting, in his aura and in his touch. I came to him for treatment for my injury, but we have ended up embarking on a wonderful and beautiful journey of re-awakening and discovery, we have made such remarkable progress in a short period.
    My question to you is, can a healer leave a residual energy signature on a person in form of a physical mark?? He done something on one session which was remarkable and beautiful and emotional, I could feel his hands on me when I was meditating that same evening. The next day and for two days after, a friend noticed a ‘rash’ on my neck and shoulders, it didn’t hurt in any way, but was warm, on closer examination the rash looked remarkably like a pair of handprints. I would dearly love your feedback on this as I truly believe that he gave me a piece of himself in form of his energy to help me relax, be calm and to assist in the healing process of my body, mind and spirit in general. I will be discussing this with him on our next session. Many, many thanks. George.

  17. George, it’s wonderful to hear you are having such a good experience with the healer you are seeing. I’m sure he will be the best resource for understanding the rash. With or without this visible sign, your work with your healer is obviously having a profound influence which will always be a part of you.