Medicine seeks to heal ailments related to the body by treating the body itself. This doesn't always provide relief from the ailments, since it is possible that physical ailments are merely side effects of a disturbance in a person's consciousness, energy or mental status, though this stance is not supported by conventional science. Psychic healing is an alternative and complementary therapy system that is said to work on the principle that physical ailments can be improved or cured by manipulating a person's energy, soul or other intangible life force.
Psychic healing is a spiritual practice. Using psychic healing requires both the patient and the practitioner to believe in an ethereal life force that exists within each person. Although psychic healing is considered a low-risk and non-invasive alternative therapy, it still carries risks. Metaphysical healing is not a substitute for conventional medicine. It is recommended that psychic healing should be performed in conjunction with treatment from a licensed physician or other medical professional.
The term "psychic healing" is a catchall phrase, encompassing a variety of practices from therapeutic touch, qi gong or qigong, Reiki, distance healing, acupuncture and acupressure as well as less formalized practices such as a laying on of hands. Different practitioners of these methods of healing hold different beliefs and practices, but they ultimately seek to accomplish the same goal. Healing using psychic methods seeks to manipulate the patient's internal energy or spirit to encourage the body or mind to mend.
Due to its esoteric nature, evaluating the success of a psychic treatment course is tricky. There are no clearly documented cases of psychic healing, although plenty of unsubstantiated, anecdotal and unexplained success stories exist. Skeptics insist breakthroughs using psychic healing are due to spontaneous remission or the placebo effect. Since there is no definitive, tangible proof of an internal energy or life force, it is almost impossible to say whether the methods used in metaphysical healing practices do or do not affect the outcome of an ailment or illness.
Finding a practitioner involves the patient researching the different methods used and then evaluating his personal comfort level with each of them. A person who is afraid of needles may not be at ease with acupuncture, which uses small-gauge needles to pierce the skin at certain points of the body. A person who is uncomfortable with being touched for extended periods of time may wish to avoid a laying-on of hands or acupressure. It is also important for the patient to find a practitioner he likes and trusts.