A controversial practice that many see as lacking any verifiable scientific proof, remote healing is a practice that involves healing someone via energy manipulation over a distance. Remote healers usually work by visualizing the person they wish to heal, then projecting a form of energy healing to them. Although skeptics abound, as with any unconventional medicine, remote healing has many proponents. Many holistic healing approaches include remote healing in their medical arsenal, and many religious traditions include this phenomenon through the use of prayer. Remote healing has been used to help alleviate pain, cure illnesses, reduce childbirth pain, relieve emotional conditions and even to help sick or hurting animals.
Remote healers approach their craft in many different ways. One better-known form of remote healing is Reiki healing, in which the practitioner makes use of Reiki energy healing to bring about results. Reiki derives its name from two Japanese words and means "life energy." It is largely based on the work and teachings of Mikao Usui, who began practicing Reiki in the late 19th century and whose methods and work seem to have been largely based on a variety of Buddhist practices. Reiki therapy can be practiced through hands-on healing sessions or via remote healing, and it is said to be particularly effective for those suffering from chronic conditions such as cancer, fibromyalgia or lupus.
Other forms of remote healing also exist, including healing aided by crystals or crystal grids to help focus energy. In today's technological age, some remote healers perform their work over the phone or via web chat or even a webcam. Remote healing focuses on manipulation of energy, so the means of contacting the person being healed should make no difference to the results. Most practitioners of remote healing do not claim that it is a substitute for traditional medical treatment. In fact, most usually work in conjunction with existing medical treatments.
Remote healing can be practiced by using a picture of the intended recipient or simply by visualizing the recipient in the mind. Some remote healers prefer to use a "proxy" patient such as a stuffed bear to represent the person being treated. Still others use themselves as a substitute for the patient, performing the healing intentions on themselves while visualizing the recipient. Because remote healing is powered by intention, the exact method does not affect the final results, depending more on what is most comfortable for the healer.