The divine energy that faith healing uses to treat or cure illness is something that few people fully understand. The practice of faith healing as a form of primary medical care is seen as controversial by many people. Faith healers attempt to work with spiritual energies and issues that cannot be measured scientifically. Anyone who is interest in faith healing will want to understand some of the common concepts of the different traditions.
Diagnosis of Conditions
One of the unique aspects of faith healing is that diseases are not diagnosed based on a strict medical criteria. Certain types of faith-based healing perceive illnesses at being problems with the soul or spirit that are manifesting biologically. Other healing traditions use charts or spiritual rituals in order to determine the source of the illness or pain. Few faith healing traditions specifically address medically diagnosed conditions as physical problems.
Mechanism of Healing
Although the exact details can be very different, the mechanism for all faith healing involves transferring some type of divine energy to an individual. This energy could be used to enhance the spirit or power of the individual. Most traditions feel that divine intervention by a deity causes the healing. Other faith healing philosophies believe diseases are healed using good energies to draw bad energies out of the body.
Rituals and Totems
All faith healing traditions have rituals or totems associated with the process. Rituals can be religious ceremonies, physical movements or incantations from sacred texts. Additionally, some faith healing requires the use of totems. Totems are physical objects that are meant to focus, contain or absorb divine energy. Successful completion of the ritual usually indicates healing has occurred or will occur soon.
Another common trait of most faith healing traditions is the requirement that the people being healed believe in the practice or faith. The person seeking healing must believe in the ritual, healer or religion in order for the process to be successful. People who do not have faith do not always receive healing. Some traditions also require recipients to perform some spiritual practice or ritual in the days before or after the healing.
Although there is not scientifically measurable proof that faith healing is effective, it can have some positive effects on people. This is especially true for individual with conditions that cannot be treated medically. Faith healing relieves stress, increases happiness and provides optimism. These can have positive effects on health when fighting a disease.