The New Age Movement has a lot to say about spirituality, but it rejects Christ’s claim of absolute truth. The idea that truth is a matter of personal preference has influenced our culture, our political system, and even our churches. It comes as no surprise that New Age philosophy has affected the field of medicine.
Modern “conventional” medicine sprang from the uniquely Christian idea that truth never changes. Shamanism and alchemy were utterly debunked in the intellectual wildfire sparked by the reformation of the Christian Church. Science as we know it was born.
Now “alternative” medicine is gaining ground, offering a more spiritual approach to physical healing. Unfortunately, the religious philosophy it is based upon is not Christianity. Many new healers use methods based largely on eastern mysticism.
I know what it feels like to be told, “There is nothing we can do for you.” It feels crushing, with hope leaving a vacuum where the heart should be. I understand why people will try anything–anything. If you are at that point, as I once was, your loved ones are probably urging you to try all sorts of alternatives.
The bottom line is this: alternative medicine is a multi-billion dollar industry. It is largely unregulated by the federal government. People pay in cash. There is no malpractice liability. There is no requirement to prove safety or efficacy. If you choose an alternative therapy, make sure it is backed up by solid research, avoid the mystical, and be sure to inform your physician.
Amy Fogelstrom Chai, MD, MS, is an Internal Medicine specialist with additional training in the area of medical research methods. Her experiences as a patient helped to redirect her priorities to home life and Christian ministry.