Earlier this week my friend Tara and I had a conversation about holistic and natural wellness. Tara is a trained herbalist. I am a registered nurse with a passing interest in natural healing. As Christians, we are both concerned about the intersection of new age and natural approaches to maintaining or restoring health.
This morning in a Christian Facebook group for ex-new agers I saw a post on the dangers of Reiki which is something I have experienced first hand. I trained in Reiki and participated in several other forms of “energy” work on regular basis for years. I made the mistake of mixing up a natural approach to wellness with new age or occult practices.
Sadly, this happens all the time. Natural health is often presented in combination with various new age or eastern practices. Many of those practices harness an underlying energy that is not what it seems.
I will be talking about specific new age modalities in greater detail in upcoming blog posts and podcasts, as well as in my New Age To Christian ebook, but what I want to say here is that very few of us understand what we are getting into when participate in things like “energy medicine” or chakra work.
We may assume that the energy that new age practitioners are connecting is harmless. We may like the idea of of going to a peaceful “holistic” center to get body work or energy work or sit in a guided meditation. We may not be sure if any of that really works but think, “why not? It might help and if it doesn’t no harm done.”
The problem is there is a potential for a great deal of harm. Even reasonably helpful modalities like massage or aromatherapy can serve as a gateway to the occult. Most of the people who attended the tarot reading class I taught at local new age center, for example, started out as alternative health clients. So did most of those who attended the mediumship workshops.
And this is not unusual.
To be sure, most “holistic” health centers seem harmless. They are bright and colorful. There are plenty of plants. People are friendly. The music is soothing. Things smell good. But there is a current beneath all of that and, in my experience, that current can be quite dark.
Most new age practitioners are sincere well-meaning people. They want to help others. They think the energetic flow or “healing guides” they work with are benign. But why take their word for it?
There is no valid reason for holistic wellness or natural health to be associated with “energy healing” or any other new age modality. We don’t need to connect to an unknown and untested supernatural energy to put lavender oil into a diffuser. We don’t need to follow the instruction of invisible guides to play relaxing music, take salt baths, clear out our homes, get enough sleep, turn off our devices, grow herbs in our garden, get on our bikes or go for a walk!
Holistic, as I was taught the term when I was studying nursing, is about looking at the whole person as an integrated whole. As nurses, we were taught to consider the body, mind, emotions and soul as parts of that whole.
Imbalance resulting from overwork or overeating or a disconnect from God will lead to life problems or health problems or emotional issues given time. But life doesn’t have to be like that.
God wants us to lead a balanced, wholesome life. He wants us to enjoy the things that he has created for us – the herbs, the plants, the fresh air, the span of time we are given upon this earth. This is not new age. This is part of His kingdom.
So why has a holistic or natural lifestyle been coupled with the new age or the occult?
I believe it is because the opposition CANNOT create. God created everything that we could possibly in the legitimate practice of natural self-care. All that the enemy can do is manipulate those things – and by extension manipulate us.
Please check back for more articles on holistic self care, natural wellness and the inherent problems with many new age modalities.