They used to be called psychic or clairvoyant healers, those folks who claim they can cure with their sixth sense. Nowadays they might call themselves "medical intuitives." These highly sensitive body readers say they can do a systems and organs check without the distracti0n of your actual physical presence. Many prefer to analyze over the telephone.
But here's what you need to know before you book a session to have your ailments discerned without history-taking, blood tests or X-rays. First of all, "medical intuitives" aren't regulated - anyone can claim the title. The allopathic doctors open-minded to work with intuitives warn about the bogus practitioners littering the landscape.
Second, while medical intuition has some compelling anecdotes on its side, research into the phenomenon is in its infancy. Some scientific explorations do seem to confirm the existence of ESP, but medical intuition specifically has not fared well in controlled experiments.
If you're still willing to consult with this kind of diviner, keep in mind that ethical practitioners don't "view" you without explicit permission, and won't announce that you have a particular disease. They'll tell you instead about the energetic and emotional factors they detect at work in your body, and might suggest getting certain areas checked out by a regular health care provider.
And, yes, there are medical intuition schools these days, so you might want to look for someone who's taken a professional training course.
what the experts say
"The vast space around us that seems empty is filled with information. Our brain and mind together are senders and receivers of that information. Medical intuition is essential in every physician. There are 5,000-plus tests - how would they know which ones to order if they didn't have intuition? They add to that their training, knowledge and deductive reasoning. Occasional rare individuals can spontaneously, without training, make a proper medical diagnosis intuitively. I have met four. There are a lot of flaky, spacy people out there who are not accurate. Nothing is 100 per cent accurate. Personal biases have a tremendous impact. That's the same with (intuitives and) physicians."
NORMAN SHEALY, MD, neurosurgeon, PhD in psychology, president, Holos University Graduate Seminary, Fairgrove, Missouri
"When you test (medical intuitives), the hit rate is usually pretty dismal. People who work in the healing professions have to learn to recognize subtle cues. Intuitives could be picking up on these kinds of things. If that's all they're doing, there's probably nothing wrong with it, but it's probably safer to have it done by someone with more training. We applaud parapsychologists for trying to do their experiments with good methodology but disagree that they have produced believable evidence for paranormal powers. The results could have been produced by natural means. The reason anecdotes are useless is that you can always have a lucky hit, or the statements made in advance are so general that you can retrofit them and make them seem to fit the diagnosis."
BARRY BEYERSTEIN, professor of psychology, Simon Fraser University, member, executive council, Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
"We research parapsychological phenomena. In ESP research we have (positive) results - there are no adequate conventional explanations for some of the data. We're beginning an emphasis on medical issues. In a pilot study we showed non-professional intuitives the photo of an envelope that contained the name of a person (and asked them what the person's illness was). You don't want to give them anything they can infer from. We did not get significant results. There are no well-controlled studies of medical intuition with good results that I'm aware of."
JOHN PALMER, PhD in psychology, director of research, Rhine Research Center, Durham, North Carolina
"Our school of thought defines medical intuition as an information-gathering tool that provides a portrait of what is going on within a client's body. It's not a diagnosis and it's not a treatment modality. The medical intuitive is expert at attending the body and expert in sourcing where the information they're hearing or seeing is coming from. (The information gathered is) one piece of the puzzle, not the be-all and end-all. It may (help) get at the subtler pieces that a person's health team may find useful."
LORI WILSON, social worker, medical intuitive, founder, Inner Access 101, Guelph
"In session, I will get the feeling of what my client has gone through. I will see pictures at times. It's really important that the person having intuition help others get to the place of their own intuition. I do not want to end up being the source of authority always."
MARY MARZO, holistic psychotherapist
"As a diagnostic procedure, I would not rely on intuition 100 per cent. But when science and your basic medical knowledge say one thing and your gut feeling tells you something else, it behooves you to look at a situation again. (In such instances) I've ordered certain blood tests and been proven right. Medical intuitives are keenly aware that the body, mind and emotions cannot be divided."
FRANCES EDDLESTON, naturopath, RN