"Your appreciation has been
most intelligent."
-Oscar Wilde

Source: Powers of Healing,
edited by Janet Cave and
Sara Schneidman.

Medicine comes in many different forms. Western Medicine - which involves to a large degree invasive procedures - has been around for less than a thousand years. Hippocrates, generally considered the father of modern medicine, promoted the healing arts over splicing and dicing. The second century Greek physician, Galen, an intellectual descendant of Hippocrates, was a practitioner of the ancient art of touch, administering relief not via scalpel, but through physical contact, skin on skin. It wasn't until Rome became Christianized that the ancient healing arts fell out of favor, largely due to the passage of laws banning the practice of them. What little medicine there remained being practiced in Europe, virtually vanished with the onslaught of the Black Death; the great plague that plunged Western civilization - and enlightenment along with it - into the dark.

Energy Healing for Animals: A Hands-On Guide for Enhancing the Health, Longevity & Happiness of Your Pets
by Joan Ranquet
Sounds True, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-60407-771-4
$17.99, 280 pp

Joan Ranquet is an animal communicator. That is to say, she speaks to animals - and they to her - through images. Improving an animal's behavior, she has found in over twenty years of practice, is often as simple as visualizing it. She covers all that in her book Communication With All Life: Revelations of an Animal Communicator (Hay House, $16.99). The advantage of animal communication is simple: knowing what's on our animal companions' minds enables us to better care for them. With that in mind, Ranquet wrote Energy Healing For Animals: A Hands-On Guide for Enhancing the Health, Longevity & Happiness of Your Pets.

Energy Healing is the logical follow-up to Communication. Last year, Ranquet and her tribe of communication specialists made it their goal to help one million animals. This year, she's upped it five fold. It sounds impossible - helping five million animals - but Ranquet pursues it unfazed. She practices the Law of Attraction to ultimate effect, attracting and thereby surrounding herself with people who are on the same page as she; people seeking the same goal. Using the lessons in Energy Healing, they aim to reach it.

Digging into the pages of Energy Healing, you may be surprised by some of the techniques included. I didn't expect, for instance, the laying on of hands - something I've always associated with religious faith - to be included next to homeopathy. Or essential oils being ballyhooed alongside healing machines. Essential oils, as I understood them, were to be inhaled, digested or used as topical treatments. This seemed a world apart from healing apparatus like the Rife Machine which performs on the theory that disease corresponds with different frequencies in the body. Change the frequency, rid the body of disease. Now that, to my mind, is literally energy healing. Ranquet points out, though, that the two - healing machines which manipulate frequency, and essential oils that smell and taste good - are not so different from one another. While the machine operates in a macro environment - no subtlety there - essential oils operate less intrusively on the molecular level. Different modalities; same results. Science maintains all things are made up of energy, thus all things vibrate at a frequency unique to themselves. When we take a tincture, or eat an orange, we're inviting that object - food, ointment or scent - along with its unique frequency, to incorporate itself within us. Thus, herbs, oil essences, magnets, frequency-altering machines, etc. all fall under the umbrella of Energy Healing. And generally, all aspects of energy healing fall under the auspices of Alternative Medicine; even if such therapies have been around for millennia.

Energy Healing is a well organized book. Ranquet gradually introduces the reader to a variety of healing modalities, beginning with an overview of the fundamentals of energy healing. It's part history, part zoology, and part physics. She digs deep into chakras, providing the best introduction to this ancient art of health and balance you're likely to find. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Energetic Systems - basically a map of the conduits, or "meridians" as they're called, that direct the flow of energy in every living thing - are also covered.

Part II of Energy Healing covers the bulk of techniques available. Bodywork (chiropractic, water therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, Bowen Technique, massage, myofacial release, Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation - the list goes on) is covered extensively, accompanied with a word of caution: If you're not trained in bodywork, hire a professional. There is some bodywork a novice can perform (acupressure, massage), but stick to the basics and be very careful not to exert more pressure than the animal's bones can take, especially when it comes to our smaller companions.

"Think of this book as your companion in working

with your animals," the author advises, "there to remind you

of all things possible and to be the jumping-off point

for you to co-create your life with them."

Bear in mind, Energy Healing is a reference book. As humans, we all share a superpower. Ranquet identifies it as logic, so it stands to reason we have the power to resist wading in over our heads into something that may result in physical damage to our animal friends. But the thing about superpowers are, they're useless if we don't use them. It's easy to get caught up in the author's enthusiasm and want to barrel ahead on our own to provide relief to our companions. But Energy Healing is not a teaching guide. That said, to some extent it is, but beyond the most basic of tools, it remains foremost a book of reference. "Think of this book as your companion in working with your animals," the author advises, "there to remind you of all things possible and to be the jumping-off point for you to co-create your life with them." Using it as your guide, and with a little faith, you and your animal companions are already on the road to recovery.

Powers of Healing
edited by Janet Cave and Sara Schneidman
Time-Life Books, 1989
ISBN: 0-8094-6368-7
144 pp

The Time-Life series Mysteries of the Unknown is a veritable encyclopedia of the supernatural. Ranging from the occult to UFOs to strange and psychic phenomena, the editors at Time-Life Books have compiled the series with objectivity in mind. They don't shy away from placing naysayers right alongside proponents of the same subject. The series' pages are filled with truth; the series' pages are filled with fancy. Time-Life trusts its readers to sort it out for themselves.

Mind and Body
Powers of Healing (Volume 13 in the series) is divided into four chapters: Other Roads to Health, Ancient Arts from the East, Faith and the Human Touch, and The Mind as Physician. The first chapter, Other Roads to Health, covers an array of cultural/ethnic/folk therapies. Here, shamanism, faith healing, massage therapy and even Edgar Cayce (the Sleeping Prophet) are covered. These diverse approaches to healing look to be worlds apart, except in one underlying belief: that mind, body and spirit are inextricably connected. They look at health holistically, and see it as a state of harmony and balance among the forces of energies, gods and spirits, believed to govern the whole. Sickness, then, is the result of being out of harmony. Indian and Chinese traditions alike have promoted this philosophy for millennia, as is extensively covered in chapter two, Ancient Arts from the East.

Chapter three lumps faith healing and therapeutic massage together under one heading: Faith and the Human Touch. Here the authors dive into the hotly debated subject of faith healing. Over the years faith healers have been called everything from charlatans to quacks; saints to miracle workers. It seems with the exposure of each fake healer, there are a dozen more to take their place. For many, faith healing is a means of last resort. For those patients, faith may be all they have left to buck their infliction, often resulting in positive results. These successful healings may suggest our minds are a largely untapped reservoir of power, an argument examined at length in chapter four.

The fourth and final chapter of Powers of Healing looks at the mind's connection in healing. Belief is a powerful - some would argue necessary - component of healing. The Mind as Physician examines the role our mindset plays in health. Obviously, we approach faith healing with a belief (faith) in its process, we also approach medicine - Eastern and Western alike - with the same mindset. Instead of calling it faith, we just believe the therapy will yield positive results. Whether you call it "faith" or "belief," researchers are finding a positive mindset is crucial for the curative process. We've all known that guy who doesn't think doctors know anything, so he approaches therapy without any expectation of success. And, lo and behold, once therapy is concluded, his expectations are met. Big surprise.

Snake Oil
Historical healing apparatus are also covered in Powers of Healing. These include electrification machines and other modalities peddled to Americans without regard for protecting consumers from what were often dangerous and unfounded therapies. The term "snake oil salesman" came out of this period (for good reason), as did the Federal Drug Administration. Filled with full-color photos, illustrations, and unfamiliar therapies, Powers of Healing - like its sisters in Time-Life's Mysteries of the Unknown - is a great reference book, precisely because it is so off-beat.

posted 03/07/20