PRANIC HEALING

(Investigator 186, 2019 May)


History

No specific date or origin is known for Pranic Healing, believed by practitioners to be a system of natural healing, although it has been practised for millennia.

In modern times, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) and anthroposophist followers, and Chao Kok Sui, a Filipino of Chinese decent, have promoted this type of occult healing system.


Theory

Proponents claim that in addition to our physical body, we also have a spiritual body consisting of three auric layers. It is claimed that this "spiritual skin" is perceptible to clairvoyants and can be detected by Kirlian photography. It is also claimed that Pranic Psychotherapy using Pranic Healing techniques helps to alleviate psychological and emotional problems by removing negative energy from the body.


Practice

In Pranic Healing, the healer passes a hand over the body "scanning" for "hollows" and "protrusions." These are said to indicate "pranic depletion" and "pranic congestion" respectively. Prana supposedly being an "energy", "life force" or "breath of life" postulated by vitalists, which in fact, cannot be measured by scientific methods.

By sweeping his hands over the aura, the practitioner supposedly automatically "seals" the holes in the outer aura through which the prana leaks out. After sweeping, the "bioplasmic waste" is deposited in a bowl of salt water or simply flicked into the air. Occasionally the procedure is accompanied by invocations to God or to angels.

Sui also claims that proficient healers can effect remote healing and that pranic healing can be used for treating, among other diseases, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, leukemia, tuberculosis and venereal disease.


Assessment

Kirlian photography, while supposedly proving the existence of an aura in the metaphysical sense of a "life force" radiating from a human body, does exactly the opposite. Inanimate objects that one would assume to possess no "life-force" such as plastic, stones and metal objects, also reveal auras. Kirlian photography has nothing to do with proving the existence of a life force but rather evidences an electromagnetic anomaly which is produced by a reaction between the photographic paper and the object placed upon it, a phenomenon well known to physicists as a corona discharge in air.

The claim made by psychic healers that the aura can be divested of the "negative vibrations" simply by performing a stroking motion presupposes that the aura extends well beyond the body and that clothing is no barrier. In fact a two to three millimetre radiation is the maximum.

One only has to consider the implications of this in everyday situations to see just how ludicrous is the concept.

In balancing Pranic Healing against science-based medicine, the question of whether or not such a "life force" exists is paramount. David Aldridge, Ph.D. states in the Fall, 1993, issue of Advances, the journal of the Fetzer Institute that:

"(The) notion of "energy field" is the sticking point between orthodox researchers and spiritual practitioners. If such a field exists, researchers maintain, then it should be possible to measure it by physical means, which no one has yet done to the satisfaction of modem science".

Likewise, there is no evidence to support the claims that Pranic Healing can cure any of the ailments mentioned above.


References

Aldridge, David. Advances, Fetzer Institute. Fall 1993.
ATN Channel 7, 1989. Exploring Psychics Live. July.
Brindley, G.S. 1970. Physiology of the Retina and Visual Pathway. Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd.
Co, S. 1991. Pranic Healing, American Institute of Asian Studies, Chino, California.
Copen, B. Magic of the Aura. Academic Publications. UK.
Edwards, Harry. 1992. "Heigh Ho, Come to the Fair." the  Skeptic. 12(1): 41-42.
_______________ 1992. "All About Auras." the Skeptic.12(2):41-42.
McKay, C. 1932. Extraordinary Popular Delusions. Page & Co. NY.
Randi. James. 1982. Flim-Flam! Prometheus Books. Buffalo. NY.
Raso, Jack. (Ed. Stephen Barrett) 1994. Alternative Healthcare: A Comprehensive Guide. Prometheus Books.
Watkins, A.J. and Bickel, William S. 1986. "A Study of the Kirlian Effect." Skeptical Inquirer 10 (3):244-257.
Watson, Lyall. 1974. Supernature. Coronet Books. Hodder Paperbacks.


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