em1When I began to study Energy Medicine, I was told that the souls of deceased  persons, or disincarnate spirits, are often present when an Energy Medicine practitioner is engaged in energy healing.

I was also told that their presence is indicated by such phenomena as snapping and tinkling sounds in the room around the practitioner and client, surges of energy passing through the practitioner to the client, intuitive information being received by the practitioner about the client’s health and the client experiencing visions of faces coming and going.

I had just begun to wonder whether these spirits could be invited to provide help in energy healing when I was introduced to A Guide to the Understanding and Practice of Spiritual Healing (1) by the late British spiritual healer, Henry (Harry) James Edwards, and to The Miracle Man (2) by Robert Pellegrino-Estrich, about the healing ministry of the Brazilian spiritual healer known in English-speaking countries as “John of God.”


I read that Edwards “attuned” to various spirits with medical knowledge necessary to provide help in “direct,” or “contact” healing, and in “absent,” or “distant” healing.

Furthermore, I read and subsequently observed that John of God is a full-trance spirit-healing medium, in that his mind and body are temporarily taken over, or incorporated, by one of many spirits who provide help in direct or distant healing without his being aware of what a spirit is saying or doing through him.

Although the work of “gifted” spiritual healers such as Harry Edwards, John of God and many others like them, has indicated that disincarnate spirits can provide help in healing, I kept wondering whether this help could be provided while an Energy Medicine practitioner is engaged in energy healing.

I realized that to gather the information and provide an answer that would be acceptable to the greatest number of practitioners, I would first have to describe how belief in physicalism—that we are purely physical beings, is being  overshadowed by belief in dualism—that we are physical beings who have an immortal soul or incarnated spirit. Then I would have to present what we presently know about the nature of disincarnate spirit existence and suggest how disincarnate spirits might help in healing. Finally, I would have to review how, for example, the lives of Harry Edwards and John of God have revealed spirit-involved healing to us.

This information and the answer are contained in my recently published book,Spiritual Healing: Help from the Spirit World (3) .This article highlights the content of this book.

Physicalism and Dualism

Overall, the Holy Bible gives much greater support to physicalism than to dualism. As is reflected in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, the ancient Hebrews believed in physicalism in spite of their having been directly exposed to the cultures of Egypt, Canaan and Babylon, which had adopted dualism.

The only indication of dualism in the Gospels is in Luke (23:43), where Jesus says to the criminals who were being crucified with him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Otherwise, single passages that indicate belief in dualism are contained in two authentic letters of the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 5:1, 2 and Philippians 1:22, 23), which seem to contradict Paul’s strongly-stated need for resurrection of the physical body (1 Corinthians 15:20-22), and in the anonymous letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 4:12).

Early Christianity rejected dualism as coming from Greek Platonist philosophy, until Saint Augustine (350-430) resolved the physicalism-versus-dualism issue by saying that we have an immortal soul which upon our death becomes a non-spatial spirit until the second Resurrection of Christ, when the spirit will rejoin its body. This enabled the early Church to picture a just-disincarnated spirit as receiving divine judgment.

Based on whether or not the spirit is that of a person who has committed a mortal sin—if it has not, the spirit is sent to Heaven to await reunion with its resurrected body and if it has, the spirit is sent to Hell as a place of eternal torment through being estranged from God.

The Roman Catholic Church has embraced this “combined” dualism-physicalism theology except for the medieval add-on of Purgatory, viewed as a place to which God can send spirits of deceased persons for various periods of time to make amends for non-mortal sins before entering into Heaven.

large segment of the Protestant Church, however, has remained physicalist, so that it would tend to disagree that disincarnate spirits exist and therefore possibly help in healing. I have estimated that in the United States, approximately 55 percent of a total of 62 million members in the 15 largest Protestant denominations are likely physicalists.

I believe that a strong case can be made for survival of the soul after death from studies and reports of various phenomena that point to survival of our consciousness, which is regarded as our soul’s key aspect. These henomena include the out-of-body experience (OBE), the near-death experience (NDE), the after-death communication, the past-life experience and the inter-life experience. Whenever I am challenged on the veracity of dualism, I refer to the highly-credible data on them as reported in Consciousness Beyond Life (4)  by cardiologist Pim van Lommel and to books by professionals who have experienced an NDE, including To Heaven and Back (5) by orthopedist Mary Neal and The Journey Home (6)  by psychologist Ann Graber.

Nature of Discarnate Spirit Existence

 What we currently know about the spirit world and its connection to us can be pictured from the spirit communications that led to Spiritism and from after-death communications by the disincarnate spirit of seminary professor A. D. Mattson.

Spiritism is the moral philosophy and observational science derived from superior-spirit answers to 1,019 carefully-prepared questions asked by mediums, compiled by the French educator Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail (1804-1869) and published by him in The Spirits’ Book 7 under the pen name of Allan Kardec. Dr. Mattson’s impressions of the spirit world, based on his state of spirit development, were published in the book Evidence from Beyond.8 Both the Spiritist and Mattson sources of information about the nature of spirit existence describe the passage of spirits through planes of intellectual and moral development over eons of time, eventually to reach an intimate relationship with God.

Experience for spirit progress is obtained from multiple incarnations on Earth and interim “life” in the spirit world. One opportunity for experience during spirit life is giving guidance, support and protection to us on Earth. Although neither The Spirits’ Book nor Dr. Mattson specifically state that one of the possible services that a disincarnate spirit can provide is help in energy healing, they strongly suggest that this is probable.

 Energy Medicine and Help in Healing from the Spirit World

 I suggest that Energy Medicine can explain how disincarnate spirits might provide us help in healing. Paracelsus (1493-1541), a Swiss physician, botanist and alchemist, postulated that humans attract this energy into their bodies and at will are able to externalize it for healing through their hands, as in the ancient practice of the “laying-on-of-hands” used by Jesus in his healing ministry. (9)

em 5 jan baptist van helmont


Jean Baptiste Van Helmont (1579-1644), a Belgian physician and chemist, agreed with Paracelsus and reportedly used the laying-on-of-hands to heal various medical conditions in children, noting that the will, not the imagination, is critical to using this energy for the healing of another person. (10)



Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), a German physician, claimed that this energy flows throughout the body and that obstacles to its flow can cause disease. (11)

He proposed that people be trained to release these obstacles in others by receiving vital life force energy and providing it to others through the hands, by making “magnetic passes,” which involves repeatedly moving the hands downwards over the entire body or by using the laying-on-of-hands, which involves placing one or both hands over symptomatic body areas.

DCF 1.0

The spiritual healing work of Ambrose Worrall (1906-1972), as described in his book, The Gift of Healing, (12) is an outstanding, contemporary example of a person receiving and providing universal vital life force energy to others both for direct healing and for distant healing.

Ambrose and Olga Worrall, both practitioners ->

Born and raised in England, Worrall was unusually sympathetic to those in need. In his teens he was unthinkingly guided to gently touch the sides of his sister’s neck, immobile and deformed from an injury, which spontaneously returned to normal.

After he moved to the United States to begin a career in aeronautical engineering, he became interested in spiritual healing. He found that healing occurred if he reached a sense of calm and waited for an “impulse” to come to him to move his hands lightly over an ill person’s body and momentarily hold one of them over a presumably affected body area—while praying silently for the person’s healing. He attributed the healing that occurred among the tens of thousands of people whom he treated over the years to a creative, regenerative force generated by the will of God for human wholeness.

In the past thirty years, we have begun to understand the basic nature of our subtle energy body, recognizing that it both supports and reflects our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

An Energy Medicine practitioner channels the universal life force energy that is within and around all of us, to strengthen and balance a patient’s subtle energy body and thus facilitate healing of the patient’s health problem or relieve distress from it. Most, if not all, people can channel this energy for direct or distant healing and some people are especially “gifted” to do so. (13,14)

The question is whether or not a disincarnate spirit can help in healing by “intelligently” guiding the energy so that it optimally serves its purpose. I believe that this has been clearly demonstrated in the healing ministries of the late Harry Edwards and John of God.

Harry Edwards

harry edwards

 Harry Edwards (1893-1976) was born in London, England, and has become known as one of the greatest, yet controversial, spiritual healers in history. (15,16)

While serving as a captain in the British army during the First World War, he was given charge over local workers in building a rail line between Baghdad and Mosul in the Middle East—and had little more than bandages and iodine to treat the workers’ injuries.

He observed that the injuries seemed to recover more rapidly than usual, but did not realize why for several years. In 1936, he was invited to a local Spiritualist church meeting, where a medium informed him that he was a healing medium and asked him to intercede with the spirit world for the distant healing of a person dying from tuberculosis. He did and the person recovered.

His next case, a person suffering from terminal lung cancer, also recovered. Although these critically-ill persons received distant healing, Edwards soon began to engage in both direct and distant healing full-time in his healing sanctuary in the British countryside.


At the height of Edwards’ healing ministry, an average of 2,000 patients a week were coming to him for direct healing. He was receiving over 10,000 letters a week with requests for distant healing, as well as (usually silently) reports on the healing progress of individuals. He estimated that healing occurred in about 80 percent of the people who requested direct or distant healing, with about one-third of these healings being cures. (17)

Edwards emphasized that for a spiritual healing to occur, it must be a planned act in which complex, unalterable, physical and spiritual laws established by God are applied. (1,18,19)

He pointed out that because human beings presently lack the metaphysical knowledge and skill to do this, God appoints disincarnate healing spirits, who are on a higher plane of intelligence than human beings, to acquire this knowledge and skill so that they can respond effectively to prayerful requests of them for healing.

He stated that healing is enabled by “attunement,” which involves the healing medium, or “healer,” making a psychic connection with a disincarnate healing spirit. He said that during attunement, which occurs over a several-minute period, the healer uses thought to inform the healing spirit of the patient’s request for spirit healing and to describe the patient’s physical, mental, emotional or spiritual condition for which spirit healing is being sought. He also said that attunement enables the spirit to transmit healing energy to the patient either through the healer as a channel for it as occurs in direct healing or straight to the patient as occurs in distant healing.

John of God

john of god

 John of God, to whom I will subsequently refer as “Medium João,” is one of several full-trance spirit-healing mediums who have become known in Brazil since 1950.

There has been no explanation given for their unique appearance in that country other than the widespread practice of Spiritism.

A remarkable feature of the practices of full-trance spirit-healing mediums has been the performance of so-called “visible operations” by incorporated spirits, which the spirits say are not needed for healing but to give people visible proof of spirit-assisted healing. (20, 21, 22)

Nevertheless, the spirits assert that any one of their operations, such as simply making and suturing a short skin incision, can initiate the healing of one of many different medical conditions. Most puzzling, especially to medical doctors, are the facts that the operations are usually performed without anesthesia or antiseptics and have an incredibly low risk of infection or other surgical complications.

The path to Medium João’s healership has been summarized in The Miracle Man and in John of God, (23) by Heather Cumming and Karen Leffler. João reportedly discovered that he was capable of being a full-trance spirit-healing medium at the age of 16, when he heard a voice tell him to go to a local Spiritist center.

He immediately went to the center, and for three hours after he arrived there, had an experience of not being conscious of what he was doing. Thereafter, Spiritists at the center told him that his mind and body had been incorporated by a disincarnate spirit who healed over 50 people, some with amazing surgical operations. He remained at the center for several weeks, during which he was incorporated by various individual disincarnate spirits for healing. Subsequently, he worked as an itinerant laborer and then as a tailor for the Brazilian military for many years, during which time he conducted this form of healing ministry.

em3 john of god

In 1979, he established a center for his ministry in the small, central Brazilian town of Abadiânia. The healing accomplished by the disincarnate spirits in Medium João’s healing ministry encompasses all sorts of disabling and life-threatening medical conditions such as those which I have observed during several visits to the Casa: unhealed crush injury of the foot; spinal cord injury with paraplegia, severe arthritic conditions in the spine and lower extremities, cancers (breast, brain and bowel), multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), atherosclerotic heart and vascular disease, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, psychiatric illnesses and spirit attachments.

Over the years I have been repeatedly told by the Casa staff that about 85 percent of persons who come to the Casa for spiritual healing appear to receive it.

Can the Spirit World Help in the Practice of Energy Medicine?

 In this article I have highlighted how I sought an answer to the question of whether the spirit world can help in energy healing, principally by considering the nature of disincarnate spirit existence and the spiritual healing ministries of Harry Edwards and John of God. These resources led me to conclude that disincarnate spirits can provide Energy Medicine practitioners help in healing, supported by the following five presumptions:

  • We have an immortal soul, or spirit, which over eons of time repeatedly transitions from the spirit world to the mortal world and back to the spirit world in order to have experiences in both worlds that enable it to advance intellectually and morally through planes of perfection, and eventually reach an intimate relationship with God.
  • Disincarnate spirits continually interact with us in various ways, including providing us help in direct and distant healing.
  • The help in healing that disincarnate spirits provide is the intelligent guidance of universal vital life force energy.
  • We can serve as channels for universal vital life force energy and as mediums for its guidance by disincarnate spirits. Both of these abilities exist in most, if not all of us.
  • The disincarnate spirits who guide universal vital life force energy for help in healing have acquired medical expertise to do this work.

An Energy Medicine session may begin with the practitioner recognizing God as the source of universal vital life force energy and thanking God for it. The practitioner may also ask the disincarnate spirits for help in healing, specifically to guide the energy for healing.

During a session, the practitioner might place a hand or hands over the site of a patient’s illness or discomfort, not only to provide universal vital life force energy to the site, but also to possibly help the spirits identify where to guide this energy. Then, at the end of the session, gratitude should be expressed to God and the spirit world for providing help in healing.

The nature of universal vital life force energy and how it heals, as well as how spirits guide it with medical expertise for healing, are presently and may always be beyond the realm of human knowledge.dr. busby However, I believe that this should not preclude the Energy Medicine practitioner from asking the spirit world, specifically its “healing spirits,” to provide help in energy healing.


~ Rev. Dr. Douglas E. Busby



  1. Edwards, Harry. A Guide to the Understanding and Practice of Spiritual Healing. Surrey, England: The Healer, 1974.
  2. Pellegrino-Estrich, Robert. The Miracle Man: The Life Story of Joao de Deus.Cairns, Australia: TRIAD, 1997.
  3. Busby, Douglas E. Spiritual Healing: Help from the Spirit World.Conshohocken, PA: Infinity, 2016
  4. Van Lommel, Pim. Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-death Experience. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2010. 17-41.
  5. Neal, Mary C. To Heaven and Back: A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again. Colorado Springs, CO: Water Brook, 2011, 2012.
  6. Graber, Ann V. The Journey Home: Preparing for Life’s Ultimate Adventure. Birmingham, AL: Logo Life, 2009.
  1. Kardec, Allan. The Spirits’ Book.. La Vegas, NV: Brotherhood of Life, 1989; Paris, 1858.
  2. Mattson, A. D. (Spirit). Evidence from Beyond: An Insider’s Guide to the Wonders of Heaven – and Life in the New Millennium: More After-death Communications Received from Theologian A. D. Mattson, Through Clairvoyant Margaret Flavell. Ed. R. M. Taylor. Brooklyn, NY; Brett Books, 1999
  1. Aizpúrua, Jon. (2013). Fundamentals of Spiritism. Create Space Independent Publishing Platform, 2013. 277.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid. 277-279.
  4. Worrall, Ambrose A. and Olga Worrall. The Gift of Healing: A Personal Story of Spiritual Therapy. Columbus, OH: Ariel, 1985
  5. Busby, Douglas. E. Coming Together for Spiritual Healing.West Conshohocken, PA; Infinity, 2007. 71.
  1. Gerber, Richard. Vibrational Medicine for the 21st Century: The Complete Guide to Energy Healing and Spiritual Transformation. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2000. 394-395,397-402.
  1. Hume, Steve. Harry Edwards and the Archbishop’s Commission on Divine Healing. http://psychictruth.info/Medium_Harry_Henry_James_Edwards. Accessed 2/23/17.
  1. Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary: Healing for 70 Years 1946– 2016. https://www.harryedwardshealingsanctuary.org.uk/ harryedwards.html. Accessed 2/23/17.
  2. Edwards, Harry. 1974. 54.
  3. Edwards, Harry. A Guide to Spirit Healing. London, England: Spiritualist, 1950.
  4. Edwards, Harry. The Healing Intelligence. Glendale, CA: Westwood, 1965, 1971.
  5. Greenfield, Sidney M. Spirits with Scalpels: The Cultural Biology of Religious Healing in Brazil. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast, 2008.
  6. Fuller, John. G. Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife. New York, NY: Thomas Y. Crowell. 1974.
  7. Johnson, Sandy. The Brazilian Healer with the Kitchen Knife: And Other Stories of Mystics, Shamans, and Miracle-makers. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2003.
  8. Cumming, Heather, and Karen Leffler. John of God: The Brazilian Healer Who’s Touched the Lives of Millions. New York, NY: Atria, 2007

Article courtesy of Energy Magazine™, July/August issue. Copyright © 2006-2017 Healing Touch Program Inc. https://www.healingtouchprogram.com/