Blog Post

Can You Heal Yourself?

MF write:  "Nowhere can I find a Catholic critique of The Healing Code by Alex Loyd. Highly suspicious, misleading, pseudo scientific quackery at the very least, and at worst, a dangerous New Age scam that exploits the vulnerable with strange techniques cloaked in quasi-religious terminology. . .

"There are 2 versions marketed, one aimed at Christians, where the author, Alex Loyd, claims to be an ordained minister and co author, Dr. Ben Johnson, a born again Christian.  References to the Trinity Broadcast Network, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and Joyce Meyer are included on the website.

What is especially alarming is Alex Loyd claims that  this "code" was "revealed to" him in 2001 during a 3 hour plane trip, dictated to him after years of prayer.  

The techniques used are a series of hand and fingertip manipulations placed around areas (healing centers) of the head and neck while implementing the codes.

The other version leaves out the Christian messaging, and describes the codes as a powerful self healing system of energy medicine 'discovered by' Alex Loyd, and references Dr. Oz on Oprah to support his claims."   I am not aware of two versions of this book; however the version I own contains a theory that is based on the existence of a putative form of energy that has never been scientifically substantiated. Essentially, the codes are a regimen of energy medicine that was founded by a naturopath named Dr. Alex Loyd, in 2001. According to Lloyd, the codes activate a self-healing mechanism that lies dormant in the human body. It works by  pointing the finger at an area that needs treatment while intensely focusing on it and directing positive energy at it.  By doing so, "an individual can direct positive energy to areas that need treatment by focusing intently in a meditative state." This pointing process is usually done after prayer of the recitation of a "truth statement." They can be practiced on one's self, another person, and even animals.

As MF states, Lloyd claims to have received these codes through a revelation from God after praying for 12 years for a cure of his wife's debilitating depression.  A friend, Dr. Ben Johnson, personally applied these codes to himself and claims they cured his ALS.  Johnson then left his medical practice to work with Loyd with whom he co-authored the book, The Healing Codes. (Please note that Johnson was the only doctor featured on a DVD promoting The Secret, which is the latest version of the Law of Attraction theory, so he definitely espouses New Age views.)

Lloyd followed up this book with another, known as The Success Codes.

Joe Schwarcz, is director of McGill University's Office for Science and Society wrote a blistering critique of The Healing Codes in the Montreal Gazette in 2011 that is definitely worthwhile reading for anyone who wants to know about this theory from a scientific point-of-view.

For instance, he thoroughly debunks Lloyd's theory of "cellular memory", which "refers to the supposed ability of the cells in the human body to store a person's habits, interests, tastes and memories."

Advocates of cellular memory claim this is what explains why organ transplant patients exhibit the habits and talents of the donor. The only problem with this claim is that there's not a shred of evidence that it's true.

"Cellular memory advocates claim that traumatic experiences imprint themselves into cells where they 'act like tiny radio stations transmitting destructive energy patterns causing disease, chronic pain and shutting down the body's immune system'," Schwarcz writes.

"True healing, they claim, cannot be achieved unless these destructive patterns are removed. According to our inspired naturopath, Lloyd, once those destructive patterns are removed, the cancer just 'melts away every single time.' Quite a claim. Quite absurd. But quite marketable to the gullible and the desperate. It's so simple! To be healed, you just use your fingertips to direct healing energy at the body's four healing center, according to a specific code. Of course each disease has its own code. There's even one for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Never mind that there is no record of anyone anywhere, ever having been cured of this terrible affliction."

Lloyd must have been confronted by Christians about the compatibility of his New Age ideas with the Christian worldview and published this paper which is riddled with the usual distortions and Scriptural cherry-picking.

For example, even though the concept of the "energy" upon which the Codes are based was referred to as "the New Age god" in the Pontifical document Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life, Lloyd insists that he doesn't see this as a god (even though he's referring to the same putative energy as all New Agers see as god) and that this should make everything okay.

Lloyd also has a bizarre habit of arguing with anyone who criticizes his work. Check out the Amazon page for the book and click on any negative review (less than 4 stars) and you'll find comments from Lloyd after many of them, pointing out how wrong they are and explaining why his work is perfectly legit. Here's a sample of how he "patrols" all reviews of his book.

I must admit, I share Schwarz's recommendation that people invest the sizable amount of money needed for this program ($700+) into more scientifically founded treatments.

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2019 Update: This blog on the Healing Codes by Harriet Hall is excellent! Check it out here.