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?”
Between the price gouging and scandalous profit margins, Big Pharma has become the most loathed industry in America. Their sins have not only driven millions into the alternative market where consumers are being exposed to a whole new slate of misdeeds, but they have also spawned a phenomenon known as the Big Pharma Conspiracy Theory. Just how much of this theory is fact, how much is fiction, and how should Catholics regard it?
AR writes: “ . . . (M)y mother is very much into alternative medicine and healthy eating, etc, and I grew up going to an iridologist and have been amazed at some of the things she picked up on in my body. For instance, she noticed “irritation” in my lower back, and a few years later, due to strenuous activity, I thought I had developed a seriously problematic spinal condition, but doctors said I was either born with or it happened when I was a baby and was just aggravated by the activity. Anyway, even if you think iridology is bologna, it doesn’t seem to be problematic with our faith, as it’s not like its reading palms or anything whacky like that…it is looking at the iris and seeing if something is not quite right. BUT, I still wanted to check with you all.”
LV writes: “I’m so tired of trying to figure out if an alternative is related to the New Age or not. Are there any guidelines Christians can use to help them discern what’s okay and what isn’t from a spiritual perspective?”
Have you ever wondered why people are so convinced that therapies work, even when there is no science to prove it? Almost every New Age alternative has a website full of testimonials from people who really believe the technique worked. Are these people lying or just deluded?
SMB asks: “Do Phiten necklaces do all they claim?”
PL: “I know someone who was severely injured by an alternative medicine provider who charged an exorbitant amount of money and yet didn’t help him at all. Is there anything he can do to recoup his losses?”
New Age practitioners swear by them and claim you can tell just about anything about a person by reading it. Others believe you can use it to diagnose illness and change the way a person thinks. What is this remarkable tool?
KJ writes: “Dear friends of our family who are devout Catholics have become so disgusted with Big Pharma that they are turning to herbal medicine almost exclusively. In addition to how these natural remedies might be impacting them physically, what about their spiritual health? Isn’t this just a bunch of superstition?”
CB asks: “Just thought that I’d make you aware of another technique that is gaining adherents here in the Chicagoland area. It is the LifeLine Technique developed by Dr. Darren Weismann. He is gaining followers through his books and is training people to teach his methods. It’s classic New Age psychic/energy healing nonsense with a side of chiropractic thrown in (which is what draws most people into his practice initially.). You might want to address this in your blog.”