In response to ‘Evidence Based Treatment’ M. Blumenfed 19th Tamuz5778


Given the respect Mrs Blumenfeld garns as a world-class social worker, therapist and author, her opinions on alternative therapy are all the more so, surprising. The facts are, that scientific research has been made on alternative practices. Dr Bernard Grad of Mc Gill University, Montreal, conducted a study (with several control groups) which conclusively proved the effectiveness of hands on healing. This study was later replicated under strict double-blind conditions by Dr Remi Cadoret and G.I. Paul at the Manitoba University. Results showed significantly faster wound-healing in Healer-treated mice. Read more about it in ‘Vibrational Medicine’ by Robert Gerber M.D. (pages 290-297).

Quiet apart from that, the ancient practice of blood-letting is mentioned in the Gemora as a valid medical Procedure. Other alternative therapies are also approved of by Chaza’l, see Rabbenu Bachai (Shemos 28, 15) and Shiltei Hagiborim Chapters 46-49, who recommend the usage of the fascinating healing powers of Gem stones. See also Sefer Shoroshei Hasheimois and Sefer Boruch Avrohom on the reliability and accuracy of Dowsing.

As far as ‘evidence based treatment’ is required, Chazal’s testimony is beyond doubt.

On a more basic level, readers may want to consider whether ‘scientific evidence’ really supersedes recommendations of friends who have tried and tested a modality, in real life.

(Name withheld), Energy Healer & Professional Dowser

 My Response:

            I read your letter with interest. I am glad there are some studies being done; however, from what I know about studies in general, these studies are about very specific benefits of alternative healing and not the wide range touted by healers. As I already mentioned about bloodletting through leeches in which it has a proven narrow benefit using leeches specifically in healing of the mouth following a removal of a tumor. Not the wide range of ascribed to it by Medieval practice.

            In addition, there is a book, Rabbi Belsky on Alternative Medicine by Rabbi Chaim Yisrael Belsky, and the book blurb describes the book as (the exact quote) “ The View of Rav Yisroel Belsky, zt"l, on New Age Medicine. In light of the recent confusion as to the permissibility of various systems under the category of "Alternative Medicine," several students of Rav Belsky, zt"l, together with people who are knowledgeable on this topic, decided to collect and organize his words, writings, and speeches on this matter. This book enables anyone -- both Torah scholars and laymen -- to recognize the nefarious nature and the prohibition inherent in these practices, and the serious obligation to distance oneself from them. Among the many topics discussed: Acupuncture Kinesiology Homeopathy Hands-on Healing Dowsing And much more ... Learn the true nature of these practices and ideas according to halachah and hashkafah from one of the greatest Torah luminaries of our generation.”

            There are a great many responsa discussing healing in the gemorrah. One example is the responsa of Rav Sheira Gaon who said we should not use the remedies in the gemorrah as Chazal's remedies were beneficial for those times but today, expert physicians should be consulted about whether or not alternative remedies are harmful to a person.   I would obviously be curious to understand how you state what you do in context of this responsa of R' Gaon. 

            In addition, although I do not claim to be an expert scholar about these responsa, or about the various studies available in every single topic, my purpose in writing the article, is, like all my other articles, to educate. If this back and forth elucidates this topic for readers and prompts them to do more extensive research, I will have accomplished my goal. It is no different to my goal in educating my clients to good and bad therapy and how to know the difference. I get satisfaction in hearing that clients are asking their therapists if they are in supervision and who those supervisors are, because of my articles, and my ethical colleagues are not intimidated by these questions; rather they are happy to see their clients empowered. If you have solid research and Torah on your side, if you have read Rabbi Belskys words and have what to answer, to explain to your clients, then you will have no problem with my article. 


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