These days with the prices of insurance and medical care people are looking to alternative ways to heal themselves of illness and disease. Some things are as simple as drinking ginger tea for stomach aches, or gargling salt water for a sore throat to some more intense things such as soaking their feet in certain minerals to extract toxins to heal their bodies of whatever is plaguing them. Some people refer to these as home remedies, or more popular is holistic medicine. Some Christian families are interested in these things but tend to ask themselves is holistic medicine Biblical? Or is it even safe to try some of the things we hear about? At a seminar given by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America it was stated that holistic medicine is not necessarily a process of healing, but a process of becoming whole.
Holistic medicine can also be describe as a health care system that creates a relationship that includes all those involved, which leads to achievement of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of health. Holistic medicine emphasize the need to look at the whole rather than looking at one specific aspect It includes everything from nutrition to environment and spiritual and lifestyle values a person has. The idea of holistic medicine focuses on education and responsibility to achieve balance and well being in a person’s life. Many think that holistic medicine leads people away from God and into paganistic activities. Alternative medicine is said to align our energy with the energy of the universe, causing our bodies to heal.
Much of the mainstream culture has lead health care providers and their patients to alternative medicines for healing. There are people who are at two ends of the spectrum who say conventional medicine is prohibited by the Bible and there are those who say that alternative medicine is prohibited by the Bible. Practices like acupuncture are treatments based on practices in Zen Buddhism and others like crystal therapy originate from new age mysticism. Simply because some treatments originate from other faiths and religions doesn’t mean that they would lead Christians away from God, just as other treatments wouldn’t lead those of other faiths away from their beliefs. Simply because you do something for health or to try doesn’t mean it takes your faith and spiritual values away.
The Old Testament says in Deuteronomy 18:10 and 11: “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or cast spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.” This verse in itself does not talk about holistic medicine the way we know it. It talks of using spells, witchcraft, and other things that are not of God and seen as things that would take one away from God. Things like massage therapy to help with depression, anxiety, and pain doesn’t seem like witchcraft or casting of spells. Yoga could be seen as alternative medicine to help back pain and muscle weaknesses. But it does not take away from the values of Christianity which so many people are worried about with alternative/holistic medicine.
The New Testament on the other hand tells us of the story of when Jesus healed a crippled man on a mat. He said to the man “Get up and take your mat and walk.” Obviously the words are paraphrased a little. A lot of times some Christians believe faith and prayer are good alternatives to traditional medicine. But like the alternative medicine prayer and faith can hinder one from healing in the best way possible. The New Testament also talks about praying without ceasing about your illness and taking them to be anointed by the elders of the church. While that is all good and dandy, but along with alternative medicine we also need to look into traditional medicines when some things don’t work. Not everything is going to heal people. Each person is different and will react differently to certain holistic treatments.
People of all faiths need to really look and research the alternative treatments they are looking into. There are some alternative medicines that are other religious practices in disguise to try many away from their faith in Christ. Not saying all alternative therapies are not religious practices meant to change the way some believe and what they value. As Christians, we can seek out alternative medicines that will help us heal faster. Things like acupuncture, massage therapy, aroma-therapy (which can help you sleep and relax), herbal therapy are not bad things, and are things that Christians and those of other faiths can do. They do not involve witchcraft, spells, divination, sorcery, doesn’t contact the dead or anything like that. If anything they unite our bodies and help them function differently than traditional medicine does.