The positive power of healing

A Review of Complementary Cancer Therapies

Hands on healing is a therapy that we are often asked about by people with cancer. And many people believe that there is a huge and positive power in spiritual healing. We take a look.

The positive power of healing

Healing is as old as mankind, part of all great religious traditions and well documented in the Bible. But because it’s hard to quantify, healing remains one of the more controversial complementary techniques, and many people shrink from exploring it further. And yet, behind the scenes, healing is alive, well and sought after, according to the National Federation of Spiritual Healers by thousands in the UK every year.

It seems improbable that so many people would persevere without benefit, and testimonials such as those on the Harry Edwards’ Healing Sanctuary website "still pressing on 18 years after expected to die from last bout of cancer..." suggest keeping an open mind.

When eminent oncologist Professor Karol Sikora of the Hammersmith Hospital is prepared to endorse a book by healer Matthew Manning, then it’s time to take notice. "Healing" wrote Sikora in his foreword to Manning’s The Healing Journey "is nature’s way of helping us cope. Matthew Manning has a remarkable track record of working at the interface between body and soul."

What Is Healing?

Often known as spiritual healing, it is not to be confused with spiritualism. You may find healers who work with what they call "spirit guides" but mainstream healing is not a religion, but a therapy that harnesses the energy around and within us to combat disease. A healer does not heal of himself; he is simply a channel through whom the energy flows when he is at work. It’s widely believed that every one of us has healing powers that we could choose to develop, but a "gifted" healer has a natural ability to work with this energy and has, over the years, trained that talent just as you might work on your physique in the gym.

Responsible healers never suggest that their work is a substitute for conventional medical treatment; they work alongside it and will never guarantee a cure. If you expect healers to be fey, new-agey folk, then think again: Harry Edwards, the founding father of the modern healing movement, was a printer, Keith Rawes spokesman for the National Federation of Spiritual Healers used to be the TUC’s press officer and Ken Baker, Chairman of the British Alliance of Healing, had just come out of the forces when he was introduced to his first healing circle. Carol Everett, whose story is told below, is the down-to-earth, Devonian mother of four.

Teresa Hale

What all healers have in common is a strong desire to help. Some are able to offer their services free "which is very special"’ says Teresa Hale, founder of the Hale Clinic, a true centre of complementary excellence in London, "But unpaid healers then need another job to support themselves." Others, reasonably enough, ask for a donation or charge because they heal as a way of working life. Says Teresa Hale "You are not paying for the healing, but for their life support."

To receive healing you need neither belief nor faith, nor must you belong to any particular denomination. The main criterion is that you remain open-minded enough to give the healing a chance to work, but as Keith Rawes says, "even those who are totally closed and determined to remain so may get surprising results. To understand our work people have to adjust their mindset. You are dealing with something very simple -and it works. It’s best done in a quiet, calm place, but healing can be carried out anywhere - on top of a bus, if you like. Healing always finds it own level; there is a force of intelligence at work here of which we are not in control. We are simply channels."

Modern Healing

The originator of the modern healing movement is widely held to be Harry Edwards, a printer who, in his 40-year career, gave unpaid healing to around 14 million people including members of the royal family. Harry Edwards’ gift emerged during the First World War: as an army Captain and unofficial doctor, he worked with basic medical equipment, yet under his care even the seriously injured appeared to recover. Despite immense popular support - in 1954 Edwards drew a 6000-strong crowd to his meeting at the Albert Hall - his work was never accepted by the church and the medical profession.

Open quotesA doctor simply concluded that he had 
                        never had cancer in the first placeClose quotes

But his recorded successes with cancer include a little girl who was sent home to die of a malignant tumour at just eight months old. Her mother Mrs Blowes reported to a cynical Church Commission that the child was now nine years old. The wife of a Mr Newland who suffered from lung cancer wandered into Harry Edwards’ print shop quite by chance. Edwards offered to try absent healing. Later x-rays showed no signs of tumour, but a doctor now taking on Mr Newland’s case, simply concluded that he had never had cancer in the first place.

Contact Healing

Harry Edwards practised contact healing once better known as laying on of hands but National Federation members working from 60 centres nationwide are distinctly hands-off. They see people face to face but work just as effectively with their hands above the body - except in specific cases of pain, when hands-on work may give extra comfort to the patient - whose permission to work in this way is always sought. Carol Everett says that after a healing session her clients may feel tired or peaceful, though sometimes symptoms are accentuated before improving.

Absent Healing

Open quotesHealers often set aside a certain time to work for a clientClose quotes

This can be very powerful for those unable to travel, or for follow-up treatment. Researching his book The Healing Journey, Matthew Manning found over 200 reports published in medical journals that show the positive power to health of prayer and distance healing. Healers often set aside a certain time every day, or week, to work for a client. Some healers like details and a photograph of the person they are asked to help. The National Federation will take names for absent healing, carried out by groups of healers after their sessions, at all the 60 centres round the country.


Some healers will ask their clients to continue working on themselves between sessions, using visualisation techniques. Carol Everett has asked a football-mad 12-year old to imagine kicking his tumours as far away from him as possible. In her guide, The Journey (Thorsons/Element, 9.99) Brandon Bays, describes how, without drugs or surgery, she used soul energy, along with a fresh vegetable diet, herbal remedies, homeopathy, massage and other therapies to rid herself of a uterine tumour the size of a football. Bays, then only 38, believes that uncovering and clearing repressed emotions or unresolved issues unblocks vital cell receptors that trigger healing.

Carol Everett

Proof Positive

Teresa Hale feels she has a strong instinct for choosing good healers, and is able to sense their energy. But she also seeks back up for her intuition which is why she was particularly impressed by Carol Everett’s experience in a Tokyo teaching hospital.

"I had no idea precisely what kind of experiment was planned," says Carol, "but this happened in the early days of my healing career and I did say to myself there and then that if they couldn’t validate my work, I just wasn’t going to continue with such vulnerable people." Video footage of her work-with-wires shows her being asked to diagnose and then treat a young woman and working model who looked the picture of health and beauty.

Within moments Carol had identified an abdominal tumour - and within minutes, the tumour had disappeared. "When everyone in the treatment room burst out clapping I was amazed," says Carol. "The Japanese are usually so quiet and restrained. Apparently they could see me on screen breathing the healing energy in, and then out of the top of my head."

Ever since she first picked up a pencil Carol was drawing pictures of people and the hidden aspect of their lives. "I’ve had no formal training. I began my psychic work by giving life readings to people, but I then found I was able to picture scenes - sometimes quite terrible of crimes I heard about, as if they were unfolding before my eyes. So I’ve worked with the police too. But I really feel that helping people to be healthy is the best use I can make of my gift.

Open quotesMy work is a combination of tuning in to higher vibrations, of
 positive thinking and the will of those I work withClose quotes

What seems to happen however I’m working (and the Japanese trial backed this up) is that I slow down my breathing and shut down the left, thinking rational side of my brain. I then work only with my intuitive right side. My work is a combination of tuning in to higher vibrations, of positive thinking and the will of those I work with. I can’t work with negativity and if people come to me terminally ill and prepared for the worst, I suggest that they put their lives in order and then forget the prognosis and focus on being well."

Granted a year’s US visa for her exceptional ability, Carol Everett worked with one woman who was saved from an awful operation as she had a tumour growing in her stomach. "I could see it as almost octopus-like with tentacles spreading out." Carol says she is not a quick healer, but she certainly seems effective: another woman with a big tumour on her face felt it hadn’t changed at all, but then found it continuing to shrink two weeks after treatments ended - just as Carol had predicted.

Carol Everett’s dream is somehow to find enough funding to treat sick children for free. "Whether well-off adults wouldn’t mind paying enough for their own treatment to sponsor the young, or whether I might use my healing in a more frivolous way to fund a treatment centre for kids I don’t know. People often observe how much better and more wrinkle-free their face looks after I’ve worked with them, so I thought that maybe I could charge for healing alternative light side to the healing that can be very demanding. I never make plans, but somehow my life just unfolds in a positive way..."

To contact Carol Everett phone 01363 772 029 or write to Poundshill House, Poundshill, Crediton, Devon E17 1AA or visit her website:

Carol works one week a month at the Hale Clinic. Appointment line 0870 167 6667 website:

For an accredited healer in your area, or for absent healing, contact The National Federation of Spiritual Healers’ referral line 0845 123 2767.

Their address is:
Old Manor Farm Studio
Church Street
Sunbury on Thames
TW16 6RG

Other articles of Interest for readers include

John of God

A Review of Complementary Cancer Therapies
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