When the 'Holiday Season' Is No Holiday at all for Those With ME/CFS
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Faith Healing Discussion

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by Carrigon, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. [takes moderator hat off]

    From the forum rules as far as I can see, everybody is welcome to discuss whether faith healing experiences are a) merely coincidental, b) the placebo effect, c) due to intervention by a deitie(s) or d) due to some kind of physical/scientific mechanism not yet fully understood. We can do that.

    Rachel xx
  2. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune Senior Member

    NorthEastern USA
    Man has let those children down...

  3. [takes moderator hat off]

    I did not mean religiously. I meant... although we may veer off into a discussion about linguistics here (a great realm for logical positivists)... good or bad. It has been implied (although this may just be my reading of it) that it is morally wrong to talk about personal experiences of faith healing.

    Of course not. I would seek all treatments that were known to be beneficial, weighed up according to my own judgement.
    I am really really not your average Christian though, and nor are those people in the Guardian article. (Again, another discussion I've had over and over is what is a typical Christian? Labels just don't get us that far... ahhh linguistics welcome back my friend.)

    Rachel xx
  4. Knackered

    Knackered Guest

    It's not that it's morally wrong.

    Here's an analogy: Imagine this was an AIDS forum, someone joined and said they'd had AIDS on and off for two months at a time, twice over the last three years, then after one month of being a member, they said prayer had cured them of AIDS.

    I'm not attacking you Rachael, I just want you to see why people had issues with your post.
  5. [again with moderator hat off]

    Well, my first reaction to that -- honestly -- would be "Have you had a blood test?" and "Please don't sleep with anybody until you have had it checked out by a doctor."
    In this case unfortunately, the only diagnostic test known to detect ME that is freely available is Romberg's Test, and no, I wouldn't dare recommend any kind of unprotected sex to those who believe they have been healed of XMRV.

    Maybe there's something else I'm missing? I am evidently way too close to this :Retro smile::Retro smile:

    Thanks for clarifying. :Retro smile:

    Rachel xx
  6. flybro

    flybro Senior Member

    Hi Free, can you see how difficult it has been for people that doubt your miracle to question you about it?

    I also slumped at your miracle cure announcment, not because I doubt your explanation, but because it feels like another nail in the coffin of biomedical research in the UK for ME.

    Had you posted under an ID without moderator status it would have been easier for the other members of the community to relate to you as an individual.

    Wearing a moderator hat does infer an element of 'experience/knowledge/authority/status to your post.

    I know it is a pain in the a*** but wouldnt it be worth mods having two ID's, that way influences of heirachial structures wont intefere with free and equal speech.
  7. Knackered

    Knackered Guest

    That's exactly it Rachael you've hit the nail on the head. There's no biological test right now (other than XMRV if that turns out to be the cause), you're claiming to have been cured of something that can't be seen, this makes it even more ridiculous than if a person claimed to have been cured of AIDS.

    How does this read to a psychiatrist who already thinks my illness is psychological?

    Do you think you've been cured of a biological illness? For example, the same way an AIDS patient could be cured of AIDS by prayer?

    Unfortunately 'CFS' covers a lot of people, some of them have a totally different illness to me, for some of us there's a clear biological role and there are tests to prove it, and not Romberg's Test either.
  8. Adam


    Sheffield UK
    This is new to me. Where have you heard this Rachel? I know the neurologists use it as a clinical diagnostic tool, but as I understood it, it is used to identify possible neurological disorders, MS for instance, andnot CFS, which most neurologists would not consider as neurological, but rather as unexplained neurological symptoms.

    I saw three neuorolgists over a period of about 3 years (because of poor reflexes/badly disturbed gait) and they did use Romberg's, but did not diagnose me as CFS/ME. They reported back to infectious diseases Consultant (who gave me CFS diagnosis) and who I stlll see twice a year to this day, 14 years after being admiitted to hospital (3 weeks on ward). 14 years disabled, with two 3-4 months periods of remission - years 1 and 2.
  9. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

    Near St Louis, MO
    Moderator note: Flex/Cameron it is a violation of the forum rules to post under two user names.
  10. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

    Near St Louis, MO
    Absolutely. The God of Abraham does not do for us anything we can do for ourselves. We have free will and if we use it poorly, there are consequences. If Moses had said no....
  11. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    Speaking out against Faith Healing and Miracle Cures Part 1

    I have privately protested the posting of the miracle testimonial. Until now, I have refrained from posting in the public forums because I don't believe that leaders on the same team should squabble in public. However, I cannot stay silent any longer. Those moderators who are too close to the issue have dominated the discussions and do not know when to recuse themselves.

    I also think that it's important for me to speak up, because currently, it appears as if the whole Administrative team has one opinion. I may risk losing my position on the team by speaking up, but the rest of you should know that not all of us share the views expressed thus far.

    The miracle thread was originally posted in the alternative treatment section. This implies that faith healing is a treatment for ME/CFS. I was willing to look away, trying to be a team player, even though I felt that the story should not have been labeled a treatment.

    When I stated among the other Admins/Mods that I would not have joined the forums if I had read an account like what was posted on the miracle thread, I was taken to task. I was accused of hypocrisy, with them pointing out that I was the one to have started the prayer thread. Yeah, prayer (compassionate thoughts/loving kindness). That was not evidence that I believe in miracle cures. For the record, I don't.
  12. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    Speaking out against Faith Healing and Miracle Cures Part 2

    Some of you might wonder why I feel the need to speak out against faith healing and miracle cures. If I don't believe in these things, then why do I need to comment at all? Well, for over 13 years, I have watched as my clients have spent precious time, money, and hope on miracle cures and faith healing. I started my medical massage practice with a curious interest in treatments and remedies that I had no experience or knowledge of. My skepticism grew as I watched their dashed hopes, their dwindling savings, and their delayed treatments all contribute to the worsening of their quality of life. I have witnessed hundreds of cases like this - none of them have been cured - but it took the death of two that I had come to care a great deal about before I would decide to speak out.

    Story #1
    Barry had been diagnosed with Stage III Prostate Cancer in 1996. Though he allowed surgeons to remove his prostate gland, he refused Chemotherapy or Radiation treatment. He refused treatment solely because a close friend convinced him that he could have a miraculous recovery using a protocol developed by Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez. The friend provided him with convincing testimonials from other patients who had been cured.

    Barry became a patient of Dr. Gonzalez (refered to as 'Nick' by his patients) and started a program of twice daily coffee enemas, pancreatic enzymes, nutritional supplements and a special diet. His progress was monitored by hair analysis.

    Barry was refered to my medical massage therapy practice in 1997 and requested weekly 1 1/2 hour massages from me. I watched week by week as Barry's functional levels declined over the next few years. Several times, I tried to talk to him about his program, suggesting that he reconsider his options. His response was that he had FAITH that this program would cure him. He believed that God had directed him to Nick and that he would be healed. He described his worsening symptoms as 'detox'.

    While Nick's hair analysis was showing improvements, Barry's cancer was metastesizing. He never gave up hope and in his last months, he used all the strength he had to get on the bathroom floor to do his coffee enemas. When severe lymphedema set in and his children finally insisted that he go to the hospital, Barry was days away from death.

    The NCI website now has an information page about Nick and cites a 2009 article published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
    Story #2
    When Esther was first diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer, her friends bought her a gift certificate so that she could get a treatment from me. She was the wife of the local chiropracter and had a strong belief that alternative therapies could cure her. Over the next few months, she came to see me on a regular basis. She was also persuing various other treatments including acupuncture, Reiki, and sessions with a Faith Healer who claimed that she, herself, was healed through prayer.

    During one session with me, I could feel that the area around her right rib cage had become hard and inflammed and I urged her to get it checked. Sadly, the cancer had now spread to her liver. At this point, Esther stopped all treatments except the one with the Faith Healer who told her that she had to pray in order to shrink the tumor (plus continue her 3X per week Faith Healing sessions).

    I didn't hear from Esther again until 2 weeks before her death. She called me asking if I would come and do some gentle massage/touch with her in her home. The Faith Healer was telling her that the tumor was almost gone, but Esther now had doubts. I visited her and climbed onto her bed to treat her, gently putting my hands over the area where the tumor had grown. "It's not going to get better, is it?" she asked. I shook my head no. She cried in my arms, telling me that for the past few months, she had done nothing but follow the Faith Healer's advice. She shut out her husband and her children and had spent all of her time praying constantly to get rid herself of the cancer. She regretted that she hadn't listened to her oncologist who told her that she had only months to live. Had she listened, she would have spent every minute she could with the people she loved - her 4 young children, her husband, her friends. Now, she only had a short time left and was too weak to engage with any of them.

    Esther died on my 40th birthday. Until then, I had kept quiet about my skepticism in faith healing and miracle cures. At her funeral, I vowed that I would no longer be a silent witness to these practices.
    Ben H likes this.
  13. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

    Near St Louis, MO

    Reading those stories explains why you feel so strongly and made me angry because no-one should stand between a patient and their doctor. I don't actually believe in "faith healing." I do believe that occasionally, people are healed. Prayer is an adjunct that may or may not help. It should never be a sole therapy and no-one should depend on the alleged discernment of anyone calling themselves a healer.

    I don't think anyone called you a hypocrite. I think a couple of us were simply confused as to why you would start a thread for prayers if you didn't believe them helpful.
    Ben H likes this.
  14. Knackered

    Knackered Guest

    I stand by you Kim, I think your two posts above are fantastic.
    Ben H likes this.
  15. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

    Thank you Kim for sharing your thoughts, it is important for the sake of this forum that you as an administrator do and I agree that some administrators have been too close to the issue.

    As for your second post citing stories from your massage therapy practice, I could not agree more that alternative therapies (including prayers especially if they are used as primary treatment for a very serious illness) can harm people. My practice as a nurse has shown that. The thing is people get desperate for a cure, and ME/CFS is one of these disease despised by most doctors. Out of alternatives, patients have taken their recoveries in their own hands, some having some success, and others have become worse or just about the same for years on end. I see every day here in this forum people offering advice for all kinds of ailments (which are not necessarily associated with ME/CFS) and I shake my head. For instance, why would one not advise someone to go see their doctors for chest pains, shortness of breath, severe constipation, severe pain, POTS, gynecological disorders, etc, ? Instead they recommend herbal remedies, high doses vitamins that could prove toxic (Vitamins A, D, E, K are liposoluble, which means the extra 5 pills that you took will be stored in your body), coffee enemas,iodine and prayers. And people are ready to try yet another round of therapy that is unproven, sometimes dangerous in the hope it will cure them. Be careful, people. Do no harm! Support research, where scientists (at least some of them) are looking for the truth.
  16. noel


    I would just Like to confirm with everyone here that Flex and Cameron are ABSOLUTELY NOT the same person although they do know each other.
  17. brenda

    brenda Senior Member


    I agree with you entirely - much damage has been done by these people who call themselves Faith Healers. I don't think there is any such thing. There are some who will pray for the sick but no-one knows if they will be healed and no-one should EVER encourage any to think they have been healed - that should come from the person. People who call themselves Faith Healers are generally not true Christians.

    I am absolutely against the CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT where they are concerned over their teaching on healing and have written against it before. As you can see I believe that God does heal sometimes but usually people are not healed through prayer, just sometimes.
  18. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    There are several instances where members belong to the same household and have the same IP address. Jumping to conclusions that cameron and flex are the same member is hasty. Did anyone ask them? (of course we can't ask cameron because the username was deleted).
  19. Navid

    Navid Senior Member

    thanks to kim

    Those moderators who are too close to the issue have dominated the discussions and do not know when to recuse themselves.

    i have seen this in several heated discussions regarding christianity and homosexuality. i am glad it has been noted and brought out into the light.

    in both cases the moderaters posts were, in my opinion, biased toward their own personal beliefs and made the discussions even more inflamed. moderators, despite their personal views, are supposed to cool things down not heat things up.

    i have seen kim, robin and katie successfully tone down heated discussions and i would like to commend them for that.

    i really do not think the point of argument here is about faith/healing/miracles etc...it is about the difficult battle we are in to validate our disease as physical ailment. this site has been a focal point of scientific discussion helping to further that validation. that is what has been so fantastic about this place.

    when a moderator posts that she has been healed by god (after a 3-4 month relapse)...it is damaging to the battle of validating the disease as physical.

    i don't understand why people can't see this.

    it's not about the miracle or god or faith...it's about a disease, that has been maligned for decades as psychological phenomena, finally being absolutley recognized as PHYSICAL.

    rachel's post was an interesting story. placing it in the community lounge area seemed more appropriate... when it was presented as alternative healing it was damaging (IMO) to the ultimate goal we should all be united in reaching....validating our disease undeniably as physical and working toward universally medically established diagnostics and treatments.

    once again yay for rachel's healing : )
    yay for brenda, martlet and other's strong faith in God.
    yay for the people who have different beliefs and are brave enough to stand up and speak out for them.

    boo for this site giving off any hint that miracles are a cure for CFID's.

    my opinion...your mileage may vary
  20. leelaplay

    leelaplay member

    I'm so glad that others are being eloquent today and writing what I would like to say.

    Thank you CJB for:


    and thanks to you lisag. My mileage is similar.

    My very humble opinion is that this thread should be posted in the community lounge and not under treatments.

    I would like to know what has happened to Cameron and Flex. I would hope that they were asked if they were the same person before any actions were taken, especially something as extreme as deleting a username.

    and thanks again to Kim

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