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Although CAM claims are similar to religious claims, CAM gained cultural legitimacy because people interpret it as science instead of religion. Holistic health care raises ethical and legal questions of informed consent, consumer protection, and religious establishment at the center of biomedical ethics, tort law, and constitutional law. The Healing Gods confronts these issues, getting to the heart of values such as personal autonomy, self-determination, religious equality, and religious voluntarism.

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Religion and Alternative Medicine: An Interview with Dr. Candy Gunther Brown

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To ask other readers questions about Healing Gods , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. I read this book having been floored by a pod cast between Al Mohler and Candy Brown the author of this book.

This is a well documented book almost to ad-nausea. The rest was primarily documentation! It is also a book that is heavy on studies and research. I found this to be a bit cumbersome at times. However, I took away several helpful things. Here are several ta I read this book having been floored by a pod cast between Al Mohler and Candy Brown the author of this book. Here are several take away points: First, we need to know why things are supposed to work not just the claim or personal experience of how we think they work. Second, we need to recognize the tendency of swinging away from western medication because of clear abuses and over dependency to approaches to healing that are more than we bargain for as Christians.

Third, many who practice chiropractic, acupuncture, therapeutic touch, Reiki, and certain kinds of massage are very good at using scientific language to cover up the anti-biblical philosophy about healing. However, as they gain the trust of their clients they introduce more and more of the underlying philosophy and thereby start to influence their clients toward the unbiblical philosophy.


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Fourth, I learned many buzz words that often reveal this underlying philosophy: Balance, energy, vital-energy, self-healing, detoxification etc. Fifth, those who become involved with these healing approaches are often sucked into more and more to the point that eventually their biblical worldview is morphed. Sixth, complementary and alternative medications are less than proven to be effective.

Many of them have been shown by rigorous testing to be nothing more than a placebo effect. Seventh, when you have to pay for something you tend to think it is not religious, but in this case CAM certainly is religious. Eighth, sadly and ironically Christians have been used to bring CAM into the mainstream. Ninth, when Christians want to use something that is of unbiblical philosophy we are often too good at arguing that the unbliblcial philosophy is actually biblical philosophy.

Tenth, many of the CAM practices do interplay with valid approaches to health stretching, eating nutritionally, being aligned , but it is dangerously mixed with new age theology if I can put it that way. Eleventh, the reason many of the practices are becoming the norm even in hospitals and with nurses are for reasons other than proven effectiveness and in spite of the fact that they are religious practices. Some of those reasons for hospitals and nurses are finances, female reaction to male dominance in the medical doctor profession, and competition for patients offering them what they want in reaction to western medication.

I still have questions in this area many of which I have not listed here. For example, I am still unsure how exactly to view chiropractic practice given the documented underlying philosophy.

However, I at least am equipped to ask questions to those involved in these areas to see if they realize the underlying Buddhism, Hinduism, and vague new age philosophies that are driving many aspects of these practices. An eye-opener for me. Brown's direct study of the rise and integration of complementary and alternative medicine CAM practices in American has opened my eyes to the inherent tension between religions and health.

All of the above topics and more are discussed in the context of the religious roots and how they have become mainstream treatments in the U. Overall, an excellent resource for any christian seeking to understand how the various "east asian influenced" practices may impact their belief and faith in Jesus Christ and God. Some of my favorite quotes: "If more people knew more about Complementary and Alternative Medicine CAM , some might think differently about how, where, or whether it should be used and who should pay the tab. Healing Gods, pp "What people do with their bodies may express and influence what they value more transparently that what people say they believe.

Where there is tension between beliefs and practices, actions may speak louder than words. Healing Gods, pp View 1 comment. Great job of giving the history of the various healing "arts" and very well documented. The Healing Gods is a fascinating book! She explains the history and religious philosophy behind them and why they are supposed to work. She shows ways in which CAM conflicts with Christian beliefs as well as other religious beliefs.

Her purpose is to show that CAM is religious and that it violates the beliefs of Christians and others who have a monotheistic religion. Throughout this book Brown The Healing Gods is a fascinating book! Throughout this book Brown shows that when choosing to participate in CAM, the patient is making a religious choice even though he may never have been informed by the CAM provider that the treatment is religious.

Candy Gunther-Brown – The Religious Studies Project

She shows that many CAM providers have been intentionally deceptive in promoting their treatments to hospitals, clinics, and individuals. CAM treatments that Brown writes about extensively are: yoga, chiropractic, acupuncture, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch. As someone with a chronic illness, I sometimes receive suggestions from others regarding testing and treatment that they believe I should have. These suggestions often fall under the category of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

CAM is something that I have been largely uncomfortable with due to the lack of scientific evidence of its efficacy. After reading this book and learning about the religious basis for CAM treatments, I have concluded that most CAM treatments are things that I cannot participate in with a clear conscience before God. Shell Everson rated it really liked it Nov 07, Valerie Boehne rated it it was amazing Sep 04, Cindy Dyer rated it really liked it Jun 10, Stephanie Erwin rated it it was amazing Mar 09, Brance Gillihan rated it really liked it Jan 31, This made me want to find out more.

Before the s, most Americans had never heard of CAM, and if they had, they generally regarded it with suspicion. By the end of the twentieth century, doctors were prescribing CAM, and Christians were practicing it in church. And many of the most popular CAM practices are not only historically, but still today, premised on religious assumptions that have less in common with Christianity than with religious traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Western metaphysical spirituality.

So CAM became popular despite its medical and religious contexts, and this invited explanation of how and why this cultural transformation had occurred.

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You seem to suggest that it is not possible to take part in most CAM treatments in a non-religious, secular manner? This premise reflects a holistic, monistic worldview that diverges from both biomedical materialism and historic Christian theology. Biomedicine focuses on material factors in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Thus, healing can be achieved simply by unblocking or rebalancing the flow of vital energy—without Christian insistence on repentance, faith, and reconciliation between humans and a personal God, or prohibitions against seeking spiritual help from sources other than God.

In other words, many people try CAM without intending to practice religion. Novices typically start off wanting only physical benefits, but over time, they tend to embrace a broader CAM philosophy that fundamentally transforms their religious worldviews. Many examples and sociological studies bear this out. Kristin is not unique. A national study Park et al. Typically, the primary motive switched from exercise and stress relief to spirituality. A survey Greeson et al. The study concludes, moreover, that mental health benefits of secular mindfulness can be attributed to increases in daily spiritual experiences.

I am not claiming that CAM practices are inherently or essentially religious. Rather, theoretical and empirical research in fields such as religious studies, semiotics, phenomenology, ritual and performance studies, art and architecture history, psychology, neuroscience, and machine learning suggests possible mechanisms for observed effects. Participation in CAM can shape perceptions through an interplay of sensory experiences, framing effects of assumptions and values that are explicitly or implicitly communicated, and cultural associations that remain available even when overtly religious language has been removed.

For instance, CAM can produce and heighten awareness of sensory experiences, such as touch, taste, and smell, which constitute primary, pre-cognitive, pre-verbal epistemologies. Pleasurable and painful sensations can elicit intensely positive or negative emotional responses that are highly motivational, providing assurance of religious ideas or metaphors that produce mental or spiritual states.

Perception results from a combination of stimuli and hypotheses; people tend to look for evidence that confirms, rather than disconfirms, hypotheses. CAM initiates seek evidence that their new practices are beneficial. Perceiving benefits, they infer causation and assign credit to the religious systems signified, thereby interpretively jumping over secular linguistic frames in a quest to go deeper in beneficial practices. Psychological research in extinction and relearning suggests that once someone learns an association, for instance of a yoga pose with Hindu ideals, the associations do not disappear even when spiritual language is removed or replaced by other associations, such as science.

People make transitive inferences—for instance, experiencing positive sensations from mindfulness, associating mindfulness with Buddhism, and assigning credit to Buddhism for benefits. Individuals who perceive that they gain direct sensory experiences of ultimate reality are particularly open to adopting new religious beliefs that explain, legitimize, and give meaning to their experiences. In this way, religious systems may offer interpretive lenses for bodily practices, and subsequent sensory experiences can be perceived as confirming the associated religious worldviews.

Thus, the interaction of religious frameworks and direct sensory experiences can powerfully shape religious perceptions and may induce religious combinations or transformations in worldviews.