Spiritual healing is a collective term for various types of alternative practices related to restoring wholeness of body, mind and spirit by calling on energies or forces beyond the human condition. While the specific process varies from one tradition to another, all forms of spiritual healing have to do with connecting with supernatural resources that are capable of bringing about healing, assuming that a restoration to wholeness is within the Divine or Universal will. It is not unusual for this kind of alternative healing to make use of common elements such as oil or water, coupled with chanting or prayer as part of the process.
While some people tend to think of spiritual healing as a phenomenon connected with traditions such as New Age, Reiki, or ethnic-based faiths, spiritual healing is found in many different faith traditions. Various Christian denominations utilize a combination of anointing with oil or water with the use of vocal prayer in order to ask God for healing. Many alternative faiths believe in the ability to connect with natural energy in the universe and channel that energy to treat a number of physical, emotional and spiritual ailments.
The use of touch in spiritual healing is very common in many traditions. A person designated as a channel or spokesperson will physically touch the individual seeking relief from some sort of ailment. Depending on the circumstances and the traditions associated with the particular faith, the channel may place his or her hands on the shoulders or head of the seeker. The channel may hold hands with the seeker if appropriate.
However, psychic spiritual healing does not necessarily involve physical contact. Some traditions call for the channel to hover the hands over the body, often in the general area of the ailment. For example, the channel may hover the hands over the head and the heart, seeking to use spiritual energy to clear any blockages between the mind and the heart that are thought to cause anxiety, depression or other mental issues that impact the emotions.
Some practitioners of spiritual energy healing also believe that healers and seekers do not have to be in close proximity for healing to take place. In this expression, the prayers and petitions of the healer or group of healers helps to direct healing energy to the seeker, helping to facilitate recovery from whatever type of discomfort he or she is experiencing.
It should be noted that in many traditions, faith or spiritual healing is viewed as a complimentary healing activity that may be combined with traditional medicine, herbal therapies or other forms of natural healing. The idea of approaching the physical or emotional malady from two different angles is often seen as providing additional ways or channels for God or universal energy to intervene and bring about healing.
When spiritual healing is practiced within the traditions of an established faith, there are usually specific practitioners or ministers who are authorized to perform the rituals associated with asking for a healing. However, adherents of belief systems that are less structured often find that enrolling in spiritual healing courses of some type can broaden understandings of this form of alternative healing. The courses often include information related to the use of and related practices to bring about personal healing as well as the use of spirituality healing in small or large groups.