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Nine Ways to Discern If an Alternative Therapy Is Safe for Christians

DG asks: "There are so many alternative medicine practices out there. Some of them sound very suspicious to me and refer to 'life force energy' and 'spirit guides' but some sound okay. I even know of a Catholic chiropractor who prays before treating people but he's a Reiki Master! How does a Catholic know which ones are compatible with our faith and which ones are not?"  

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Why Acupuncture Remains Scientifically Unconvincing

JE writes: "I am seeking advice on acupuncture to help with back pain and depression.  I have researched a little on valid health websites and have found some information that acupuncture might work.  From a spiritual perspective is it as dangerous as practices reiki, or is there some gray area?”

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Bowen Therapy

NOTE: This blog was updated in December, 2019, to reflect updated research.

This is the first of a two-part question from AR: "I have been helping out an elderly women that mentioned that she has used, and would like to use again, something called Bowen Therapy.  I looked it up and on one of the sites, I did see some link to meridian/accupuncture and it had a ying/yang symbol, but it really seems like simple stimulations and trying to move toxins out of the body...like what would happen if one simply had a massage. Anyway, do you have any info on this therapy and any concerns?  Some of this new age stuff is obviously problematic, but I can't help but think that some "alternative" medicine is much better than the 'treat the symptom' form of western medicine."

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