Indian leads spiritual healing project in Britain

July 31st, 2011 - 5:01 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 31 (IANS) Hospitals in Britain under the National Health Service are offering patients “spiritual healing” under a project led by an Indian-origin man.

The 205,000-pound research project features “healers” who pass their hands over the patient’s body to channel “healing energy” to affected areas in a 20-minute session.

Sukhdev Singh, a consultant in gastroenterology is coordinating the research. He said he has been encouraged by the results so far.

“For many of the individuals we see, conventional treatments do not provide the complete answer. By being able to offer healing therapy, we are able to offer complementary methods of treatments which have been showing good results,” Singh was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

Though supporters of spiritual healing claim the energy can lessen pain, critics have branded the theory as “voodoo”.

They say the healing has “no scientific basis”.

For the two-year study, the NHS Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield has employed three healers, who are recruiting 200 patients suffering from bowel conditions.

The patients are divided into two groups - one which receives five sessions straight away and the other after a three-month delay.

The group that has had the treatment will then be compared to the one that has not.

A patient, however, said she refused to join the trial.

“How a person running their hands over you can make a difference, I really don’t know. I think there is a certain amount of pandering to people’s desperation,” she said.

“The healing appeared to be based on the Buddhist spiritual practice of Reiki, which is ironic when Christian doctors and nurses are warned about praying for their patients,” she said.

The Healing Trust, Britain’s largest healing organisation, healing works by correcting “energy flow imbalances”. It said the therapy is usually “non touching”, and patients remain clothed.

Alternative medicine such as healing or homoeopathy have been gaining acceptance in Britain. Several NHS units allow volunteer healers to operate in hospitals.

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