The Dangers of Eastern Alternative Medicine (III)


The entire gamut of Eastern or New Age medicine consists of highly questionable techniques, irrational methods and occult philosophies. In addition to the few examples given in Part II are:

Qigong (Healing energy)
Feng Shui
Bach Flower therapy
Behavioural Kinesiology
Remote healing
Ayurvedic medicine
Subliminal therapy
Astara’s healing science
Actualism (agni yoga or “light work”)
Bio energetics
Astrologic medicine
Cayce/Reilly massage
Chakra healing/balancing
Colour meditation (colour magick, colour therapy, colour healing etc.)
Creative Force Techniques
African holistic health

This is not an exhaustive list. Some therapies appear to be integrative medicine disguised with “scientific” terms and spiritual-sounding euphemisms.

But as a Christian there are seven main ways you can detect when someone is introducing you to an Eastern or New Age therapeutic technique:

1. Such therapies are based on psychic energies, forces or vibrations. They are based on manipulation of mystical energies or they rely on psychic anatomies e.g acupuncture, muscle testing, reflexology etc.

Of course, anybody that is controlling an “energy” or force is utilizing demon spirits. The Holy Spirit of God cannot be controlled.

2. The practitioner relies on supernatural knowledge, powers or abilities, such as psychic healing, psychic surgery, clairvoyant diagnosis or shamanistic medicine.

No matter how educated or “innocent” these experts appear to be, they are in touch with the spirit realm and whatever you allow them perform on you can have spiritual consequences.

3. The technique lacks validation by mainstream science although it’s widely promoted. There is usually no verifiable scientific explanation for why it works.

This is one of the reasons why it is dangerous, because you are risking your health by following a therapy that may worsen your situation.

4. Such techniques are often touted as being able to cure almost anything. For example, homeopathy and acupuncture are alleged to cure a wide range of diseases and anomalies which have unrelated causes.

This is the jingle of snake oil hucksters who offer placebos to the desperate and naïve.

5. The practitioner’s explanations about the therapy is either bizarre or just senseless.

For example, an Astrologic medicine expert will say that diseases are caused by movements of planetary bodies.

A colour therapist will tell you that certain colours affect your energy levels and determine your wellness.

An Iridologist can look into your iris and give you a disease diagnosis. That’s akin to divination.

6. The main “proof” the practitioner offers to validate the therapy are claims of satisfied clients. The fact that something works doesn’t mean it’s godly.

Some experts may even claim to have performed the same technique on respected Christians in order to persuade you, but don’t take the bait. Therapies may seem to work and still be false.

7. The therapy involves meditation, rituals, channelling, altered states of consciousness and other spiritistic elements. They may talk about God or ‘the spirit’ doing the healing work but it’s a cover up.

For example, the Astara healing science is based on the use of crystals, etheric contacts, scientific prayer, imagery and visualization and tapping the magnetic energies of the “White Light.” It’s as New age /occult as you can get. [1]

Whenever the issue of alternative healing practices is discussed, there are four major approaches Christians have towards it:

(a) An unwillingness to research a practice before adopting it.

It amazes me that even with modern easy access to information and knowledge with a few clicks of the mouse, many Christians still luxuriate in ignorance about the occult sensations going in our world. This is sheer laziness.

If someone recommends for you a healing technique you have never heard of, be critical; ask questions.

Let the person tell you in plain English how it works and what it’s about. Find out the person’s religious worldview and how he/she began utilizing it.

Go to the Internet, research where the technique originated and whether it has scientific validity.

Find out what principles underlie it. There is nothing blissful about ignorance.

(b) The will to believe in them in spite of contrary scientific data.

This approach is as subversive as rank ignorance, because even though you show the person how unscientific and irrational the technique is, he/she still affirms a blind faith in it.

One thing Christians must realize is that, just as belief in the truth of God’s Word sets us free, all that the enemy requires for us to be enslaved is to believe his lies (cf. John 8:32).

You may not be directly involved in the occult (and the enemy too knows you may avoid it), but the devil can lead you away from a Biblical worldview.

By making you believe that there is an impersonal energy or vital force that needs to be “balanced” in your body or there is a “universal mind” principle that you can apply to attain physical or emotional wellness, he can lead you astray.

It often happens so subtly that the unwary Christian doesn’t even realise he/she has bought into the occult views of the world, nature, human body and soul.

(c) A legitimization of the occult and mystical aspects of the technique on the basis of speculations.

This happens when the client, though aware that the practice is rooted in pagan or occult principles, yet tries to rationalize it as part of his cultural heritage or some “science” which is yet unknown.

Denying evil or giving it another name will not lessen its effects, and a nostalgic view of ancient cultures need to be checked.

When we become Christians, we become citizens of the kingdom of God and no longer submit ourselves to the pagan dictates of our cultural heritage (Phil. 3:20).

(d) A personal bias in favour of the method merely because it “worked.” This is pragmatism. It is based on the cliché: “The end justifies the means.” But this reasoning is problematic [2].

Even without integrating the spiritual implications, seeking any type of treatment for a specific ailment can be injurious to one’s physical health.

For example, if you have urinary tract infection and you go to a doctor, he will examine you, ask questions about the symptoms, sexual history, lifestyle etc. A urine test is conducted to know the pathogens involved, and based on the result, he writes you a prescription.

But when you seek alternative or New age medicine, the practitioner assumes there’s an imbalance in your “life energy,” and recommends a herbal tea to “unblock your chi.”

If you have malaria, he recommends homeopathy and when the symptoms persists, he/she uses therapeutic touch or reflexology. But when the symptoms become worse and you go back to the hospital and you may have complicated a simple problem. The infection or malaria might have affected your kidney or liver!

God doesn’t smile at pragmatism. The Bible furnishes us with examples of people who were ‘pragmatic failures.’ Abraham was pragmatic, he sired Ishmael through Hagar. He had a son quite alright, but it was a son that was cast out.

King Saul was pragmatic, he felt Samuel arrived too late, so he went ahead to offer sacrifices which only the priests could offer. From there, he began to slide into apostasy.

That a thing works doesn’t mean it’s safe or spiritually permitted for you as a Christian. The real question must be, does God approve of it?


[1] Paul C. Reisser, Teri K. Reiser, John Weldon, New Age Medicine: A Christian Perspective on Holistic Health, Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988, see pp. 147-52.

[2] John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, 1996, 503.



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