Sympathetic Nervous System

Sympathetic Nervous System – the division of the nervous system responsible for non-voluntary functions, such as circulation, respiration, digestion. 

There is no “neural connection” between different areas of the body. Messages to any part of the body are not fed through other body parts, but receive their information directly from the central nervous system, which transmits from the brain. 

The holistic health movement claims for itself to minister to “the whole person; body, mind and spirit”. In fact, their own literature makes it clear that the “health” of the mind and spirit are of the greatest importance, since they are believed to “create” and control the material. This is based on their philosophy of life, and understanding of “spirit”. The holistic health movement is entirely a westernization of practices and principles of eastern religious thought on the relationship between the body and the spirit, which most of their own material openly admits. This is religion. 

The religions of the east, like all religions, are evangelical in nature. When the gurus and swamis of the east made their appearance in the sixties and early seventies, western minds saw foolish, unkempt crazies saying nonsensical things, and going into trances. In order to market their “product”, the package had to change. The west idolized self, success, and education, and was becoming increasingly preoccupied with physical “perfection”. So the purveyors of eastern mysticism put on business suits, got PhD’s, and held seminars on everything from human resources management to health. 

The reason for their evangelism is their root belief that mankind as a whole sits on the edge of a major “evolutionary” advance, which is being repressed because too many of us fail to understand their perception of the spiritual. For the human race to ascend to its next potential, and to “heal the planet”, a significant increase in the number of “enlightened” individuals pulling towards the same goal must be achieved. Only then will the collective energy of the collective mind be sufficient to actuate the quantum leap of man into a higher spiritual state. This belief is clearly articulated in works by the major occult leaders, including Alice A. Bailey, and Barbara Marx Hubbard, David Spangler, Robert Muller, and many others. 

The agenda is well-described by Marilyn Ferguson as the “Aquarian Conspiracy.” Rather than the usual understanding of “conspiracy”, what she describes is a diverse group of people, not necessarily working together, but working from the same base towards the same end result. This is correct. A relatively small number of “enlightened” ones trained a larger number, who in turn have gone out to do the same, perpetuating the effort. Success is not dependent on understanding the ultimate goal, only on their belief in the same principles, which aligns their “energies” with those of like mind. 

Reading the popular literature does not provide an accurate or objective understanding of any practice, legitimate or otherwise. The holistic health movement has been a multi-million dollar-a-year business for many years in North America. It is the express purpose of the literature to promote this business, so that all parties will profit. Parties with vested interest cannot be counted on to present an objective account. In this case, the size of the interest is directly proportional to the degree of license taken in presenting the information. 

When holistic medicine uses the term “spirit”, it is referring to the “essential energy” which they believe permeates all things, uniting all things intrinsically. This energy is known as “chi” or “qui” in Chinese, and in Hindu it is called the prana and the kundalini. The “invisible meridians” through which it is claimed to flow are known in Hinduism as the chakra system. This idea was westernized by Franz Anton Mesmer in the late 1700’s; he called it animal magnetism, and is the basis for the erroneous claims of “magnet therapy”. 

Man’s potential is said to be directly related to how well he remains in communion with this energy. If our unity with the energy source is compromised, or if its flow through our body is impaired in any way, our body demonstrates symptoms. Specific symptoms are said to indicate specific areas of interference. Manipulation is said to relieve the blockage or restriction to the flow of energy. 

Material reality is believed to be entirely subject to the “mind” or “spirit”, and is merely a reflection of the state thereof. Consequently, the treatment of physical symptoms is specifically for the purpose of righting the spiritual and mind-related imbalances. In order for man to achieve his “universal advancement”, the entire race must become attuned to this universal energy. Healing of the imbalances is an evolutionary imperative. 

“Holism” is incorrectly understood as “pertaining to the whole”. In fact, the root is the same as “holy”. “Holistic” medicine is correctly defined as “sacred medicine.” That is because all of its principles are based on the previously described religious beliefs. They are designed to heal the sacred. 

Reflexology, iridology, acupuncture, chiropractice, and the others are religion masquerading as science. The areas of the foot in reflexology, like the areas of the eye in iridology, claimed to be “connected” to the parts of the body, are designated based on the Oriental zodiac. This is based on their relationship to the universal source, which is believed in turn to be reflected by the astral symbols. There is no science involved in these, or acupuncture, or any of the other therapies supposed to relieve these energy problems, because the energy itself, and the system it is claimed to move through, do not exist. 

The question of whether or not it works is irrelevant. Experiments involving placebos demonstrate an incredible rate of relief of symptoms among test subjects, depending on control factors. Placebos are typically sugar tablets or gelatine tablets, but are always non-medicinal, and non-active. Some conclude that the subject’s ailment is psychosomatic, and in some cases, this is probably true. However, suggestion plays a major role in outcomes – subjects have been told by someone whose position they trust that something will cure their ills, and they believe it. Consequently, their symptoms abate or disappear altogether. 

In reference to the perceived healing from touch therapy in Mesmer’s day and the element of suggestion, and quoting from the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry/V, section 30.4, 

“Offering physical causes for what appeared to physical events was the only scientific view that was generally acceptable to his profession at that time….it was not appreciated by Mesmer that the treatments were not physiological but psychological in nature….some of the procedures used by Mesmer for healing were in ways analogous to current hypnotic practices. Typically, the sessions included a variety of implicit suggestions given to patients in a setting that facilitated relaxation, a belief in the magnetizer’s abilities, and expectations that dramatic events were to take place. The behaviour expected of the mesmerized patient was also communicated in these sessions. There was a strong element of social contagion as the course of magnetic treatment culminated in a “mesmeric crisis”….patients…awoke from this crisis with varying degrees of symptomatic relief.” The article goes on to say that the term “mesmeric crisis” was later changed to “artificial sleep” by James Braid (1840’s). Still later, Hippolyte Bernheim demonstrated that ‘hypnotic phenomena could be elicited without inducing the sleep-like condition…’ He was able to induce the typical aspects of hypnosis with no formal induction procedure.”[1] 

The environment of “holistic” therapies is entirely consistent with that needed to induce a suggestive state in the parties involved. When a person receives suggestion, it “works”, at least for the time. 

The lack of permanence of these “healings” is one indication that true healing has not happened. In fact, those persuaded to use these holistic therapies are usually in for months, or even years of expensive treatments, without which the symptoms tend to recur. 

The only honest way to address the legitimacy of the holistic health movement, or the New Age health movement, is to review their own materials printed for their own members which reveal the philosophy and agenda behind the movement, and to read scholarly, authoritative material from sources without vested interest. In no area of science in the twentieth century has the scientific method been so thoroughly abandoned as in the area of New Age Health. The only conceivable reason is that there are too many people making too much money to ever be willing to give it up. 

The entire New Age movement is a modernization and westernization of eastern mystery religions, or occult: 

“The New Age Movement can best be dated from circa 1971. By that year, eastern religion and transpersonal psychology (the key elements needed to create the distinctive New Age synthesis) had achieved a level of popularity, and metaphysical leaders could begin to articulate the new Age vision….Baba Ram Dass, a transformed refugee from the psychedelic age, emerged as the first national prophet….Despite its relatively recent appearance, the movement should not be viewed as a startlingly new phenomenon in Western culture. Rather, it is more adequately seen as the latest phase in occult/metaphysical religion, a persistent tradition that has been the constant companion of Christianity through the centuries and blossomed heartily as a product of eighteenth century scientific enlightenment. The occult, largely destroyed by Protestantism and the first major waves of religious skeptical thinking represented in such movements as deism, needed a new vehicle to replace the out-moded supernaturalism of medieval magic and alchemy. It found that vehicle in the new science of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries….thus as science has grown, so has the metaphysical/occult community”[2] 

In Deuteronomy 18:10-13, God completely condemned all occult practices as abomination. This was a moral pronouncement, not a religious principle. God has not changed. In Revelation 22:15, Jesus states that “sorcerers”, “idolaters”, and those who ‘love and make a lie” will be barred from heaven. They are condemned unless they repent, believing the only living and true God, and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins as their only means of being reconciled to God. 

People can either take the time to find true information on the practices of the holistic health movement, or they can accept the “live testimonies” and pseudo-scientific babble as sufficient evidence to participate with something they do not understand – neither the science, the history, nor the issues. There are countless sources for research, both Christians who were previously involved in the occult, those who have done extensive, authoritative research, and occultists themselves. The major caution with reading the latter is that the material itself is very dangerous. However, it serves to show that they in fact know that they are promoting religious or “spiritual” philosophies in a disguise, and that they are prepared to lie and use double-speak in order to continue unhindered. They know they are occultists. It is only the general public who are fooled. 

The occult is not a game. You don’t win in the end. 

[1] Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry/V, vol 2, ed. 5; Harold I. Kaplan, M.D., Benjamin J. Sadock, M.D., ed., (1989: Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore).
[2] New Age Almanac, J. Gordon Melton