At the roots of most chronic physical, mental, and emotional illnesses is a basic wound: a lurking spiritual malady.
The basic philosophy that accompanies most spiritual healing traditions is that when we are disconnected from the Divine, we are severed from true wellbeing.
Since the Divine is the source of our energy (our life force), when we are alienated from it, we experience numerous illnesses that manifest in endless forms. And the purpose of these illnesses is to help us reconnect with our Divine inner Center – to point the way back to Wholeness.
This is where spiritual healing comes into the picture:
It’s a path of healing; of reuniting us with our true Spiritual Nature.
But not all approaches to spiritual healing are healthy. In fact, it’s wise that we practice discernment and caution. We need to look out for ourselves because there is the possibility of being used by so-called spiritual healers and preyed upon by false ideas.
As a person who has a lot of experience with spiritual healing, who works in the spiritual field, and who has published numerous spiritual books on the topic of healing (for spiritual seekers, empaths, and couples), I’ll be sharing key advice in this article.
Table of contents
What is Spiritual Healing?
Spiritual healing is the practice (and experience) of restoring, harmonizing and balancing our Spirit or Soul.
Spiritual healing is also seen as a transcendental experience of reconnecting with our true nature. As author and teacher Shakti Gawain writes:
Spiritual healing occurs as we begin to consciously reconnect with our essential being – the wise, loving, powerful, creative entity that we are at our core.
Spiritual Healing and Spiritual Awakening
For many people, spiritual healing is a crucial part of the spiritual awakening journey. By revealing and soothing the wounds that other modalities (such as psychology or nutrition) fail to heal, a doorway is opened to deeper inner spiritual alchemy. In other words, spiritual healing can offer us the chance to grow and transform in a way that no other path can.
Many sensitive and receptive beings, such as empaths or old souls, are drawn to spiritual healing. Some even become spiritual healers themselves. For many spiritual seekers, spiritual healing becomes a regular part of their spiritual awakening path.
Read more: Spiritual Awakening: 23 Major Signs and Symptoms »
5 Types of Spiritual Healing
There are many different approaches to spiritual healing.
For example, some new-age healing practitioners focus only on bringing balance to the etheric or non-physical energy field of the human body. Shamanic healers focus on restoring the spirit and curing soul loss. And other holistic healers focus on unifying the body, heart, mind, and spirit. Even psychologists and therapists are starting to incorporate spiritual healing into their work such as those operating in the depth and transpersonal fields of psychology.
So in summary, there are five different types of spiritual healing:
- Physical healing (of the body)
- Emotional healing (of the heart)
- Mental healing (of the mind)
- Spiritual healing (of the spirit or soul)
- Holistic healing (of the body, heart, mind, and spirit)
The type of spiritual healing that you’ll need will depend on the following questions:
- What is your main struggle in life right now?
- Do you have more than one pressing issue?
Depending on your answers, you’ll be able to determine what type of spiritual healing modality you need. For instance, if you suffer from chronic pain (for which no other methods work) and also depression, you would need physical and mental healing – ideally some kind of holistic healer would benefit you the most.
If, on the other hand, you only have one issue, like an unshakable sense of grief from a lost relationship, seek out healers who specialize in emotional healing.
Common types of spiritual healing include chakra healing, crystal/herbal remedies, breathwork, reiki, traditional medicine (ayurveda, Chinese medicine), aromatherapy, meditation/visualization techniques, and so on.
But what about soul healing?
What does that mean? And does it apply to you?
How Can I Heal My Soul?
If you’re interested in spiritual healing, it’s likely that you feel something fundamental is missing from your life.
Some people are able to verbalize this feeling, while others just feel a stark, bone-chilling absence of something vital. When a person is able to pinpoint what’s wrong, usually they discover that it’s rooted in the soul.
“I’m a lost soul,” they might think, or, “my soul is broken.”
But this is a fundamental misunderstanding. Yes, something is certainly wrong, but it’s not that the soul is broken (which is impossible from an objective standpoint), it’s that they’ve lost touch with their soul. In other words, they are living in a lifeless, colorless world that lacks the joy and succulence that the soul brings.
So the question isn’t how to “heal” your soul (because the soul is Divine and incapable of being fractured – you can experience this while meditating), but how to find your soul.
Informed spiritual healers (i.e., those who understand the nature of the soul), and spiritual healing resources out there (such as this website), will recommend a host of different methods. Some of them include:
- Self-love and self-care practices
- Inner child work
- Shadow work
- Soul retrieval
- Solitude and introspection
- Meditation and mindfulness exercises
- Connecting with spirit animals and spirit guides
- Spending time in nature (ecotherapy)
Click on any of the above links to get further guidance if you’d like a place to start with your spiritual healing.
I also highly recommend that you check out our article on Soul Work, which goes into great depth on ways of reconnecting with the soul.
It’s important to be educated and use spiritual discernment here. Not all spiritual healing modalities are equal. Not all healers or teachers are in it for your best interest. And sometimes, our motivations for spiritual healing are wrong. I’ll explain why next.
The Dark Side of Spiritual Healing That No One Talks About
There’s a reason why no one talks about the dark side of spiritual healing. Number one, most people aren’t even aware that there’s a dark side. And if they are aware then number two: they are uncomfortable to face or confront it.
Here’s where I come in: your friendly neighborhood shadow worker. I will help to outline exactly how seeking for spiritual healing can be self-destructive and why. Sounds paradoxical, doesn’t it? Well here’s the thing, it is! Spiritual healing can feel like an enigma wrapped in a riddle, and I’ll explain why.
To be as short and succinct as possible, there are two dark twins of spiritual healing:
Issue 1: Spiritualized Resistance
The first dark twin is what I call spiritualized resistance.
What does spiritualized resistance mean? Basically, it means that sometimes we can use spiritual healing as an excuse to “get rid of” certain feelings, memories, and experiences that we’ve had.
What’s wrong with trying to banish or get rid of what we go through? It’s a form of resistance. And resistance leads to tremendous suffering. I’m talking: anxiety, depression, anger, resentment, bitterness, the whole shebang.
I believe that everyone in the spiritual community needs to understand that trying to “heal” is not always about healing. In fact, often, healing is used as an excuse to deny, suppress, disown, or reject what we’re going through.
It is completely understandable to want to try and get rid of our suffering – particularly if we are exhausted and deeply wounded. But here’s the thing: desperately trying to heal can actually exacerbate your unhappiness and deepen your resistance to what’s happening, thereby preventing you from actually healing!
I will repeat that sentence again (read it slowly): desperately trying to heal can intensify your unhappiness and deepen your resistance to what’s happening, thereby preventing you from actually healing!
It is important for us to understand that true spiritual healing is about facing, acknowledging, exploring, and integrating what we are going through. It’s not about trying to escape our reality!
Issue 2: Dark Spiritual Teachers
The second dark twin is perpetrated by spiritual “healers” and practitioners who are aware – either on a conscious or unconscious level – of the first dark twin of spiritual healing. These teachers are aware of the addictive quality of the push-and-pull game of eternal self-improvement and they use it for their own self-gain.
I see this literally everywhere. It’s a sad thing to behold. It’s prevalent in people who believe they must pay big bucks to “manifest their desires,” keep their vibration high, and basically accumulate more and be more (as if who they are and what they have isn’t already enough). When does this getting and being more actually end? It’s an eternal cycle that leads to suffering (which I wrote about in my thought-provoking self-improvement article).
Then, of course, you have the more sinister breed of spiritual teachers who appear divine and enlightened on the surface but are raging megalomaniacs underneath.
A true spiritual teacher will always give your power back to you, but a false spiritual teacher will not only parade around wearing your codependency like a crown but will also actively encourage it. They will purport to have the power to “heal” all your issues and provide you with the “one true path” towards enlightenment, illumination, self-realization, or Oneness. And if you believe them, you’ll be ensnared in a dangerous web of believing that someone outside of you can offer you salvation. (Read more about dodgy spiritual guidance.)
What is Authentic Spiritual Healing?
Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.– Akshay Dubey
I hope that during the course of this article, I have communicated myself clearly. Spiritual healing itself isn’t to blame, it is our mental approach towards spiritual healing.
When spiritual healing is used as a way to avoid, deny, suppress, and disown our issues through “spiritualized resistance” we are abusing its potential. And when spiritual healing is used as a dangling carrot by unethical and unwise spiritual teachers, then it is being desecrated.
What is authentic spiritual healing?
True spiritual healing is about facing, acknowledging, exploring, and integrating what we are going through. It’s not about trying to escape our reality! It’s really as simple as that.
Just think of it this way: if you had a blistering sore oozing blood and puss … would you really achieve much by covering your eyes and pretending to ignore it? No. The pain and infection would still be there. Would you really heal by pretending the sore wasn’t yours or by making it someone else’s responsibility to look after? No. You’d still carry that sore with you everywhere. It wouldn’t go away any time soon. The only way to heal that blistering sore is to face it, accept it, and find ways of alleviating your suffering – not as a way of trying to escape your reality – but as a form of self-love. This, to me, is true spiritual healing.
So when it comes to spiritual healing, please be mindful of these traps and practice healthy caution. Critical thinking skills and radical self-honesty are so vital in this day and age.
What I’ve Learned
I’ve been guilty of using spiritual healing as a way to try and escape my suffering before.
As a person who has wrestled with anxiety for years, I have often fallen into the trap of trying to spiritually bypass my suffering through fluffy feel-good thinking or methods that promise to instantly “get rid” of anxiety. It doesn’t work. Trying to put a band-aid on a festering sore will only make it worse.
Resisting your reality, even in a “spiritual” way, will only serve to deepen your suffering. The only way out is through. You need to go to the core and roots of your issues in order to heal them.
Please reflect on what I have written in this article because it might save you years of pointless struggle.
Love and peace to all.
What does spiritual healing mean to you? Tell me below!