In recent years, the renewed interest of people to the practice of traditional healing. However, most of the science community to seriously investigate this phenomenon in a hurry. Perhaps the only scientist who investigates the deep and long-healers, the former Soviet Union remains MD Karagodina Elena, Head of the Department of Social Work and Applied Psychology of the Academy of Labour and Social Affairs of Ukraine.
A psychiatrist by training, she has been studying since 1995 phenomenon of healing. Doctoral Dissertation Helena Gennadievna called "socio-cultural analysis of the phenomenon of psychic healers." Professor Helen Karagodina answers questions Options "Izvestia" Tatiana Bateneva.
— What was the purpose of your research?
— My interest in healing was originally a purely professional. The idea to evaluate the mental state of the healers was born at the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Advanced Medical Dnepropetrovsk Medical Institute in the early '90s. She expressed the Head of Department Professor Vladimir Poltavets. Initially, we were interested in the essence of experiences healers and mental skills, as well as the diagnosis of mental state. That is the question of whether all of the state of healers as a mental disorder. But gradually we came to the conclusion that it is necessary to explore the phenomenon of healing in a broader social and cultural context. So there was a model of social and mental skills of phenomena accompanying the practice of healing.
— How many people were surveyed, what methods?
— I surveyed 100 respondents healers who have been tested their abilities to the expert committee of Ukrainian Association of Folk Medicine, and 150 patients. For comparison we have studied a group of patients with a psychiatric hospital delusional disorder, which sounded the idea of healing. Using traditional methods of psychiatric and psychological studies, and sociological methods: structured interviews, questionnaires, monitoring the activity of healers in different health and religious groups.
— Can you draw a generalized psychological portrait of a healer — what is a man?
— Something like this: middle-aged, middle education, which has in the past dramatic experience of loss of life or traumatic experiences. This can be a serious illness or the loss of loved ones, their own serious illness, the loss of life orientation, and other crises. But this man has found a way out of a difficult situation and eager to share their experiences with others. Energetic, active, faithful, though not more than 40% identify themselves with a particular religion.
— Have you responded to a question about mental health healers?
— If we start from the characteristic of modern medicine scientific materialistic world, it could be argued that the various mental and personality disorders are affected three quarters of the healers. But I assume that the materialistic world — not only possible. Next to it is quite right to existence of a mythological or fantastic. And if we evaluate the healers in this coordinate system, as members of a particular subculture, their beliefs do not seem ridiculous, absurd. I think that is really mental disorders suffer no more than 20% of those who consider themselves a healer.
— Can you tell which people resort to their services?
— Such a goal in the study was not intended. But I wondered why people prefer to go to healers, although they have the opportunity to receive medical care in health facilities. It turned out that the most typical patients healers are those who suffer from chronic diseases, and is not satisfied with medical care. At the same time, patients who are most negatively evaluated outcomes in health and healers did not get the desired result. Those people who are not focused on an active role in the treatment process, did not get the desired result either in health care or healers.
— And what determines the success of treatment, the healers?
— We have found that a large positive value for the subjective assessment of the treatment were similar outlook of patients and healers. That is, if the person believes that the cause of his illness served as the evil eye or corruption, it is more likely to be satisfied with the outcome of healing.
— Therefore, by its very nature is more like a healer impact psychotherapeutic procedures than treatment in a physical sense?
— In general, the interaction of the classic doctor-therapist and his patient, too, is based on the similarity of views on the causes of suffering and the means to overcome them. It's kind of a game in which the leading doctor initially considered more competent in patient-driven problems. Their contact is aimed at making the slave gradually got rid of the incompetence with regard to their problems. Replace the scientific knowledge about the disease doctor on the myth of its nature — for example, illness or damage from the evil eye. If the patient and the healer of their share in the rest of the interaction is about the same. Now it seems to me that the mystical or religious interpretation of events is sometimes not less Doctors and constructive than scientific materialism.
— What, in your view, the prospects for healing practices?
— Given the experience of foreign countries, where medical care is both more affordable and better quality, we can assume that the interest in alternative medicine is gradually reduced. But do not ever come to naught. For example, in the second half of the '90s certain types of alternative health care use 57% of Australians, 46% of Germans, 49% of the French population. In 1997, among U.S. residents were registered 627 million visits to practitioners of alternative medicine and almost half — 386 million — to family doctors.
— How would you describe the results of studies done by you?
— For me, the result was the realization of multifaceted challenges and mental health problems, the need to develop a multidisciplinary approach to mental health, recognizing the priorities of social and psychological components of the foundations of psychiatry, and going beyond its "biological" model. For my test — I can not say. Now they really are separate for me, and I do not pretend to assess their understanding of the world as "absurd."
— Healing, judging by your data, provides an alternative to scientific medicine. Can you identify the psychological and social roots of interest in him?
— It also has local roots (socio-economic crisis, loss of previous life choices, problems in health care), and, of course, are more common. It seems to me that the modern "psychic" healing can be seen as a manifestation of the flow of the New Age — the complex social and spiritual and religious phenomenon, who gained power in Western Europe and North America in the 70 years of the twentieth century. Many researchers believe that it is also a response to the significant advances in medical technology, to "technologization" medicine, while the practice of traditional healers remain, both personally and culturally oriented.
— That is, many people do not like too complex, incomprehensible to the average person medicine?
— The vocational training system inevitably leads to the fact that doctors do not only speak a special, incomprehensible to the majority language, they think differently than their patients. The situation is different healers — and they say and think, as patients, they live in the same environment they share with their patients myths about the causes of suffering and how to overcome them. Therefore the services of healers will always be in demand. Moreover, in a population there will always be some people who prefer the services of healers by official medicine.
The History of a Disease
The subject N., 51 years old, examined in the process of testing bio-energy capacity in the attestation and expert commission of Ukrainian Association of Folk Medicine.
From a family business, was born in wedlock. Raised by his mother, who never showed his son warm feelings and concerns. Grew up shy, resentful child. As a teenager, became more acute sense of alienation from peers and relatives. While serving in the army suffered a head injury, apparently, with a slight concussion. Graduated in absentia, he worked as an engineer. He married at 21, first relationship with his wife was normal, further understood that the wife does not understand it, that the family prevents its spiritual development.
At the age of 40, learned about the possibility of extra-fission, and began to treat his wife and friends laying on of hands "on a whim", as he was sure of his psychic abilities. In the late 80's began to talk to other practitioners who completed courses Juna Davitashvili. In 1990 he began to feel the weight of the soul, depression. Explained this state that "won over" negative energy of patients. To find protection, began to visit the Orthodox church, praying. But still experiencing stress, anxiety, pressure from outside, especially at dusk. Began to realize that it is affected by any hostile force trying to destroy it.
One night the "mind's eye" saw a bubble separated from the ceiling, which promised to help, offered prayers. The whole day wandering the streets, turned to God, the cosmos, the answers received in the form of "echo thoughts." At night, woke up again, suddenly realizing that he had stolen the soul. Prayed in the church, after which it became a little easier, but in the third eye as if lit light bulb, through which the forces of evil explored all around. Realized that he was a puppet of the negative forces, "zombies." Turned to religion, lived for several years novice in a monastery. Then he returned to the world to help people for its healing abilities.
In medical practice focuses on spiritual healing, explains the biblical commandments. Diagnosed with "inner vision" — damaged organs sees "mind's eye" in the form of multi-colored spots. Treats laying on of hands, considering that at this time is the vehicle of the divine energy, which cures. Healing work of NI have broad market reach and are not only provided a means of livelihood, but also to give a sense of their own social significance.
In accordance with the criteria of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition case qualifies as a paranoid schizophrenic with an episodic course. Dynamics of psychosis reflects the laws inherent in the development of acute attacks of hallucinatory-delusional. In the survey period was in a state of remission.
On the one hand, we can see that healing and religious practices of the respondent provided the possibility of constructive processing of psychotic experiences. On the other hand, it is obvious and the effect of external components to overcome the psychosis — removal of a religious community, which provided him with emotional and social support. In the future, a new activity — healing — contributed to his social rehabilitation, allowed to feel their social importance and basic needs.
According to the materials EG Karagodina (Tauride Journal of Psychiatry. 2002. № 3).
TABLE understanding of the causes of diseases from customers who completed and did not complete the treatment by healers
The most likely cause of the disease (according to the ideas of patients) completed treatment (%) did not complete treatment (%)
Psychological trauma or problems 13,2 0
Damage, whammy 24.0 6.9
Witchcraft 16.5 0
Note: Customers who have not completed their treatment, initially had lower levels of religiosity, and less confidence in the reality of paranormal phenomena.
How to become a psychic. Rational explanation for the success of healers
Source: EG Karagodina Tauride Journal of Psychiatry. 2001. Number 2.