the kneading, pressing, rubbing or stroking
of muscles and the soft tissues of the body for therapeutic
purposes. Massage therapy is an ancient healing art practiced
by all cultures that was first documented in Chinese writings
around 3000 BC. Today it is a popular, non-invasive and safe
alternative therapy known for its physical, psychological
and even mystical benefits. There are different schools of
massage based on these three effects.
The physical school of massage concentrates on producing physical
benefits, such as pain relief, relaxation for tense muscles,
increasing blood circulation, and stimulation of lymphatic
drainage, which promotes the removal of toxins from the body.
It is perhaps best represented by 'Swedish massage', so named
because it was developed by Swede, Per Henrik Ling in the
early nineteenth century. Most masseurs today are taught six
classical massage movements as defined by Ling; effleurage,
petrissage, kneading, hacking, cupping and tapotement.
The primary focus of holistic massage is physical and psychological
benefit. This school works on the whole person and incorporates
theories of energy medicine into its practice. The masseur
works to balance the flow of the universal life force through
the body whiles also providing physical benefits. Psychological
benefits include the reduction of stress and promotion of
feelings of well being because of the release of endorphins
into the body after a massage treatment. Shiatsu, Rolfing,
reflexology and aromatherapy are examples of holistic massage.
The 'spiritual' school of massage may or may not involve physical
massage and its primary aim is to align energies in the body.
Examples of this type of massage school are therapeutic touch,
reiki, zero balancing and polarity therapy.
A person with a specific spiritual healing ability who has
learned to hone and apply skills of intuition to the filed
of medical diagnosis. A medical intuitive can visualise the
anatomy of the human body and its energy field, the aura,
and correctly diagnose the root causes of disease and poor
health. They can then direct their healing energies to the
A gifted medical intuitive uses their intuitive powers to
'see' and pinpoint specific illnesses, imbalances, weaknesses
and pre-clinical disease states in the organs of the human
body, as well as fields of force or auras around the human
body. This work is done by intuitively scanning the body for
areas of imbalance that may need alignment or treatment. Often
the medical intuitive will be able to explain the connection
of the energy to an emotion or an event causing the illness.
The most widely known medical intuitive diagnostician was
Edgar Cayce who claimed to be able to read many aspects of
a person's health intuitively and his focus centred on the
health of the energy body and the physical body. Cayce proposed
that stress, attitudes and emotions affect ones health and
that negative emotions released toxins that could create energy
depleting imbalances. He believed that all illness is the
result of overloads and blockages in these three main aspects
of energy - physical, mental and spiritual. In one of his
readings, Cayce said 'Healing of the physical without change
in the mental and spiritual aspects brings little real help
to the individuals in the end.'
A contemplative technique of focusing your concentration on
a specific object or thought for self-improvement or spiritual
The supreme goal of meditation, typically practised by the
non-secular world, is union with the absolute. Secular mediators
use meditation in their daily lives to create feelings of
calm or open in body and soul and to improve health, creativity,
self-esteem, success and relationships to cultivate psychic
powers and gain self-knowledge. Meditation by itself cannot
achieve these goals but it can help develop the power and
ability to do so.
Mediumship is the receipt of information that is not available
through the normal senses, typically from spirits of the dead.
Mediums serve as a channel for communication between the living
and the dead. They may also heal and produce physical phenomena,
such as the movement of objects. A medium's communication
with spirits is often governed by entities known as controls.
Some psychical researchers believe that so-called controls
are not spirits but are secondary personalities of the medium
Typically mediumship manifests in adulthood, but early in
life there may have been indications - a child hearing or
seeing things others do not, for example. Often a medium will
resist the gift but gradually begin to accept it as unavoidable.
If the mediumship is to develop into a real skill it often
requires training. There are some who believe mediumship is
an inherited characteristic but this is generally not the
truth. Many mediums have no family history of mediumship.
is a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of first
principles and being. Its central doctrine is that all things
are part of one main source [intelligence and energy], and
that each thing, animate or inanimate, should be respected
for its particular form of this one main source; therefore
each thing has an independent function and all are contributing
to the main source.
In recent times, the meaning of the world metaphysics has
become confused by popular signifiers that are actually unrelated
to metaphysics. Magic and the occult, for example, are not
so much concerned with the metaphysical enquiry or the nature
of being; through they do tend to proceed on the metaphysical
assumption that all being is 'one'.
is something that happens beyond the scope of reality and
it typically occurs within a religious context. Miracles are
usually attributed to a divine and/or supernatural power that
intervenes in the normal course of events and changes their
expected or predicted outcome. Examples include miraculous
healing and changes in weather that the weather forecaster
had failed to identify.
Modern scientific views of nature, and therefore the definition
of miracle, fall roughly into two schools of thought. The
rational materialist view, dominant in the nineteenth century,
attempted to explain everything in terms of matter and energy,
governed by rigid laws that determine all events. In this
view the supernatural is an illusion. In the twentieth century,
however, a less rigidly deterministic scientific model of
the universe began to emerge, thanks to mainly Einstein's
theory of relativity, Heisenberg's quantum theory and growing
acceptance of the minds control of the body. Many scientists
therefore have been more willing than before to admit that
there are 'more things in heaven and earth' than nineteenth
century scientists realised. This is not so much an acknowledgment
of the supernatural as it is a willingness to include in nature
what may seem supernatural according to our present knowledge.
the ability of musical sounds to influence positively or negatively
health, mood, morality and consciousness has been known for
centuries. Music as form of therapy has been used in almost
all cultures for healing, meditation and exploring consciousness.
In Eastern traditions sound vibration has long been used for
healing and spiritual development, combined with chants, musical
instruments and movement. The ancient Chinese believed music
to be the basis of all things and Confucius stated that if
the music of a civilisation changed, then its society would
change too. The ancient Greeks believed in the healing power
of music for insomnia and anxiety. Aristotle believed that
music affected character. Pythagoras found that all music
can be reduced to numbers and concluded that the universe
could be similarly explained.
According to modern research the elements of music that have
been shown to have physical and psychological effects are
rhythm, tone and pitch, interval [the distance between the
notes] and timbre [the nature of the music which creates associations
in the listeners mind]. It is thought that music's beneficial
effects are due to the principle of entertainment, a physics
principle in which stronger vibrations cause weaker vibrations
to begin pulsing in the same harmony. Therefore music is able
to entrain the body, mind and spirit by affecting physiological
rhythms, and studies have indeed shown that music can alter
pulse rate, brain waves and blood pressure. It can also help
release emotion, ease physical pain, induce relaxation and
encourage the release of the bodies feel good hormones - called
Music therapy, which focuses on the areas of pain relief and
stress reduction, enjoyed a revival in the late twentieth
century largely due to the work of violinist Helen L. Bonny,
which book 'Music and Your Health'  was the first in
a series of books and features on the health effects of music.
Music can also have toxic effects on the body. Some forms
of music, such as heavy metal, have been shown to negatively
affect the health of plants and animals and have been associated
with depression and aggressive behaviour.
New age music, which came to the fore in the 1970's, has been
criticised as bland and tuneless, but supporters believe that
it can expand consciousness and foster physical and psychological
an experience on which a person transcends the bounds of ordinary
consciousness to awareness beyond time, space and the physical.
Mystical experiences are typically spiritual but not necessarily
religious, a person need not be a monk or a nun to have once.
According to a 1987 survey by the National Opinion Center
in Chicago, over 40 per cent of American adults claimed to
have had some type of mystical experiences.
Psychologist William James believed that there were four characteristics
of mystical experiences:
1. They are difficult to describe or convey to others.
2. Time and space are transcended.
3. Although they seem eternal in real time they are fleeting,
lasting only a few second.
4. The individual feels swept up and held by a separate
power and this may be accompanied by a feeling of separation
from the body, as is the case with out of the body experiences.
believed the simplest type of mystical experience was that
'ah ha' moment that bursts upon a person when a new insight
occurs or when sometime is seen in a new light. He also believed
déjà vu was a simple mystical experience. Higher
up the mystical experience ladder he placed sudden awareness
of the absolute and a feeling of unity with it.
Typically mystical experiences occur when a person is alone
and feeling relaxed. A number of things can trigger a mystical
experience including dreams, music, art, daydreaming, light
and words. Although experiences are included by techniques
such as hypnosis, fasting, chanting, prayer, dancing, creates
control and meditation.
Mystical experiences are said to flood an individual with
immense joy and a sense of gratitude, wellbeing and, in some
instances, ecstasy. Awareness of the body seems to be lost
and bodily functions slow right down. The rise of powerful
kundalini energy and the physical sensations associated with
that are also reported, as are paranormal powers such as levitation,
clairvoyance, materialization and so on. Mystical states are
also frequently characterized by light and heat, but in the
very highest states all physical, mental and emotional sensations
fall away. A dramatic change in life circumstances typically
follows a mystical experience.
According to Freudian psychology mystical experiences are
illusions, and psychologist Carl Jung regarded them as liberations
of the unconscious. Humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow described
certain mystical experiences as 'peak experiences' which were
therapeutic and essential to health, wellbeing and development
Some scientists think that mystical experiences is a brain
function that can be induced by stimulation of the temporal
lobes, which lie beneath the brains hemisphere. At the turn
of the twentieth century British doctor John Hughlings noticed
that epileptics have different temporal lobes from others,
and in 1933 American doctor Wilder Penfield was able to induce
mystical experience phenomena in epileptics by stimulating
their brains with electrical currents. Although the lobe theory
remains controversial, in the 1970s and 80s the relationship
between paranormal experiences and the temporal lobes was
established further with electromagnetic stimulation.