Here is a stark account of the physical and spiritual distress suffered by one of our readers as a result of undergoing a round of Reichian treatment.
For a whole year after undergoing surgery for a rectal polyp, I suffered pain that no conventional medical doctor was able to alleviate. In 1993, I came across an article entitled, “The Benefits of Touch Therapy.” It included the following announcement: “With your health and physical and psychological comfort in mind, we are pleased to announce the opening of a new Reiki and Bioenergetic Office in the Center for Natural Medicine.” Alas, in my naiveté, I swallowed the bait. Here, I thought, was an ideal course of treatment for every ailment. And so I went for a round of treatment. There they made me lie down on a couch and, with Eastern relaxation music playing in the background, the touch therapist proceeded to apply his hands to my whole body.
The first effects of this treatment manifested themselves the very next day. I was seized by a great sense of fear. I felt a tightening in the stomach and had the impression that someone was tearing the skin off my face. Gradually the symptoms became stronger and more varied. A noise arose in my head, which developed into a burning sensation in the face. I felt something pressing on my back and chest. The worst thing was the sense of a pair of hands crushing me and running all over my body. Lying on the couch, I felt someone else’s hands whirring around me. The faster they whirred, the harder that pair of paws fell on my body, causing me intense pain. I also felt teeth tearing into my skin and claws scratching me. The most intense pain was occasioned by what felt like piercing needles between my skin and body along my spine. All these sensations occurred simultaneously, and as a result I could no longer sleep.
I soon recognized this as an assault by evil spirits. Deprived of sleep and driven to utter despair by these attacks, I decided to commit suicide. Commending myself to God’s mercy, I slashed my wrists, but at that moment a neighbor called me on the phone. I immediately asked him to come over and call an ambulance. After sewing up my wrists, the doctor at emergency asked me why I would want to take my life. I told him that I had undergone a round of occult treatment, that I was suffering demonic attacks, and that I could not stand the torment any longer. On hearing this, the doctor began to make fun of me. He tried to convince me there were no such things as evil spirits. Convinced that I was suffering from delusions, he sent me away to a psychiatric hospital for two months.
Then I understood that my only hope lay in Jesus. Day and night I called on the Lord to save me. And thanks to my earnest prayers, frequent reception of the sacraments, fasting on bread and water, and also the prayers offered up for my intentions by members of a local Renewal in the Holy Spirit group, the attacks of the evil spirits almost completely went away. And even though some of these manifestations still return from time to time, I no longer fear them. Now I treat them as a goad to a more intensive prayer life and total trust in Jesus. I understand now that God in His love allowed me to suffer these attacks of the Evil One so as to galvanize me into a more intensive prayer life and more frequent reception of the sacraments.
I take this occasion to warn everyone against resorting to healers of every description, bioenergetic therapists as well as unconventional healing methods and techniques, for in so doing they expose themselves directly to the action of demonic powers.
Reiki (the channeling of “universal life force energies” for the purposes of purification and healing through the hands of a therapist who serves as a healing medium) is one of many occult healing methods. All such practices entailing esoteric rituals and techniques (magic) are dangerous in that they bring us into contact with an invisible world that is forbidden to man. In seeking, even with the best of intentions, to control spiritual and material reality through the harnessing of occult powers and knowledge, we open ourselves up to the action of evil spirits. All magical practices flow from Satan’s rebellion and sin of disobedience to God. The practice of magic amounts to a kind of pact with the devil, and it is this that enables all kinds of clairvoyants and healers to command spectacular powers of divination and healing.
The Church unequivocally condemns occult healing practices. “All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service, and have a supernatural power over others — even if this were for the sake of restoring their health — are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2117).
Only Jesus can truly heal. When we accept Him has the one Lord of our life, He can always heal us spiritually and sometimes, when He wills it, physically as well. When we are united with Jesus through faith, we also experience suffering and illness as an expression of His grace and a way to salvation. One of our readers, a seventy-eight-year-old woman, writes: “I have been suffering from pain in my legs for almost twenty years. Now, with the aid of a cane, I can only get around in the house. My grandson drives me to church. But I cherish this pain as my greatest treasure. When it gets worse, I thank God for His goodness. I have a large family, with grand- and great grandchildren. Everyone can draw from this bountiful Spring, which never runs dry.”