'Spiritual Healing' is a natural universal energy that activates the self-healing capabilities of the person.  Healers have an ability to link with and channel this energy to their patients thus activating a patient's self-healing capability and bringing about a state where the patient's mind, body and emotions are in harmony; the result of which is an improved sense of well-being and health.

'Spiritual Healing' is also one of the most widely used therapies in Complementary Medicine and many doctors are registered healers; Healing is often available in hospices, clinics and in some doctors' surgeries.  Despite the name, 'Spiritual Healing' is not related to 'Faith Healing'; it does not depend on the beliefs of either healer or patient for it to work, and works equally well on plants and animals, neither of which are known for their faith or suggestibility.  The term 'Spiritual Healing' refers to healing of the human, or animal, spirit and does not have any religious connotations.  It is practiced by members of all religions, and those of no religion, with equal effectiveness; the only requirement is a desire to help fellow beings on this planet.

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'Spiritual Healing' is a very gentle therapy thus healing sessions are also very gentle.  In a typical healing session, the healer would first ensure that you, the patient, were comfortable.   He/she would then discuss any problems with you and, if it was your first visit, explain what he/she would be doing; this would most likely be followed by guided relaxation exercise (usually just focussing on breathing, nothing physical) which could be followed by a visualisation exercise.  The healer would then start the actual 'healing' by standing behind you and placing his/her hands gently on you shoulders; this helps the healer attune to you and assists in the channelling of the healing energy (the healer could also attune by holding your hands or just sitting in front of you for a short time).  Once attuned, the healer will then place his hands on, or above, the body at different positions to which he/she is drawn; this will usually include the area which you feel is causing trouble.  The healer will be sensitive to your modesty at all times and will not touch any inappropriate areas; however, if you prefer not to be touched at all, tell the healer before the treatment has begun.

During the healing session, you may experience hot, cold or tingling sensations from the healer's hands or from within yourself; or you may feel nothing at all; or you may become aware of a feeling of peacefulness and calmness within you.

Both controlled medical research and anecdotal evidence have shown Healing to be beneficial for a wide range of problems including stress, eczema, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, wound healing, medication side-effects, arthritis, MS, ME, injuries, and recovery from illness or surgery.  Healing can also help to alleviate the pain and discomfort of those who are terminally ill, as well bringing a sense of peace and tranquillity; and often dispelling the fear of death.  Bereavement is another area where Healing can make a difference.

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However, no-one, neither a medical practitioner nor a healer can promise a cure and healers, from the member associations of the Friendly Group, are forbidden by the Codes of Conduct of their respective associations from doing so.  Healing complements medical treatment; it is not an alternative to medical treatment.  Furthermore, a healer must always ask whether you have consulted your doctor about your medical condition and formally advise you to do so, if you have not.  A healer is forbidden to countermand or comment on the advice or treatment prescribed by a doctor to you.

Remember though that it is not necessary to have a medical condition to visit a healer; many people receive Healing regularly simply because it gives them a sense of well-being and helps them to cope in their everyday lives.

Healers belonging to member associations of the Friendly Group are required by their associations' Codes of Conduct and by their Professional Indemnity Insurance to keep records on their patients; normally these are concise, recording details of the session and a brief personal history.  These records are confidential (in compliance with the Data Protection Act) and the information is only accessible by the healer and the patient.  Many healers are prepared to heal a patient in his/her own home; however this should be discussed before the first appointment is agreed.  Many healers do not charge, but some do (this could be a fee or a donation); once again, this should be discussed prior to the first appointment.

There is no fixed number of Healing treatments; ideally, Healing should cease when you and the healer are mutually agreed that it is no longer necessary - though you may still wish to continue with Healing, but less frequently, in order to maintain your sense of well-being.  However, you are within your rights to terminate the treatment at any time, though it is nevertheless courteous to advise the healer of your intentions as most healers are genuinely concerned about their patients' well-being.

If you are unsure about a healer's credentials, then request to see his/her Association Membership card; this is proof that the healer adheres to a mandatory Code of Conduct and has Professional Indemnity insurance. This does not mean that healers, who do not belong to associations, are not good healers and are not respectable.

Most of what has been described above refers to Contact Healing or 'laying-on-of-hands'.  However, healers are often asked to include in their Healing thoughts, or prayers, those who are unwell and in need but cannot, for one reason or another, visit a healer to obtain Healing.  In cases like this, healers use a technique usually referred to as absent, remote or distant healing.

There is no set formula for distant healing; some healers will visualise the patient being in the room with them and channel healing to the patient as if he/she were present, some will channel healing energy to the distant patient using a picture or description to help them focus, some work with only a name or a list of names.  All of these methods work, one method is not better than another; it is just a matter of what suits a particular healer.  Distant healing is also very conducive to group healing thus a patient can receive healing from a number of healers who are all at distant locations; many healing associations run distant healing groups (they are usually accessed through the association's web page) and a patient can be receiving healing from many healers.  Feedback shows very good results for 'Distant Healing', especially when it is performed by groups.

Distant healing obviously lacks the emotional support, counselling and personal empathy aspects of Contact Healing but, on the positive side, the healer is more detacthed and this can be an advantage in terms of channelling healing energy.  There are healers who just do 'distant' healing and with very good results.