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A medical intuitive is an alternative medicine practitioner who uses their self described intuitive abilities to find the cause of a physical or emotional condition. Other terms for this practice include medical clairvoyant, medical psychic or intuitive counselor.1 A medical intuitive may determine areas of concern from a holistic health practitioner's point of view and make recommendations in regards to physical or psychological evaluation through a qualified health professional and give advice on general nutritional or life-style changes.citation needed In a few cases medical intuitives have been hired by hospitals, clinics and medical offices, particularly in Calilfornia.2 Many medical professionals and psychologists attribute perceived anecdotal successes by medical intuitives to a combination of wishful thinking, confirmation bias, the placebo effect, and regression fallacy associated with self-limiting conditions.34
Making a formal medical diagnosis is not a practice for many medical intuitives, but some medical intuitives also work with M.D.s including some general practitioners who have called on medical intuitives for second opinions.25 Others advocate alternative practices in place of conventional medicine.
Medical intuitive practitioners often label the diseases they see by stating the symptoms and those that are familiar with medical terminology may use the medical diagnosis. A medical intuitive may present information to their client in generalized terms and may encourage their clients to be participate in the healing process.citation needed Some medical intuitives report that they can 'see' inside objects as well as the body. Other medical intuitives assert that they can view energetic problems in a person's aura before any physical signs of illness can be detected. Some medical intuitives claim to 'see' areas of illness as dark, grainy, or sticky energy while others claim to 'see' the organ itself.citation needed Medical Intuitives are sometimes trained to attempt to locate the emotions or trauma believed to be at the root of the physical symptoms. It is thought that once these psychological factors are treated the physical ailment will either be alleviated, or at least largely reduced.
A few educational institutions offer graduate degrees that include "research-based training" and certifications for medical intuitives.2 Other medical intuitives may be licensed medical professionals and their ability to accurately diagnose diseases and heal may not be supported by scientific evidence.678
The practice of using intuition or clairvoyance for medical information dates back to Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802–1866) whose intuitive healing practice began in 1854. Edgar Cayce (1877–1945) was known as one of the most well known medical clairvoyants.7 William M. Branham, the father of the Pentecostal Latter Rain Movement was said by his followers to be able to discern the health condition of people that attended his services, and in many cases heal them of their affliction.9 Dr. Norm Sheally along with Caroline Myss first coined the term "medical intuitive" in 1987 as part of Sheally's research on intuition and medical application.citation needed Other notable medical intuitives include Caroline Myss and Judith Orloff.
A study on medical intuitives concluded that "patients relying solely on psychic diagnosis as the basis for therapy are at risk of serious medical problems going undetected" (p. 39).8 Some people have heeded the medical intuitive's advice and experience serious, if not fatal results.citation needed
The James Randi Educational Foundation has offered a $1,000,000 USD prize to anyone who can prove under controlled conditions that he or she can diagnose or cure an illness using intuition or prove the existence of auras. To date, only one medical intuitive has taken the challenge using an experimental protocol that she helped to design. She failed to diagnose any documented illness beyond the level of chance.citation needed
Intuitives have countered that, as a direct perception of truth independent of any reasoning process (i.e., epistemology of individual experience), medical intuition is not a science and cannot be tested scientifically. Further, some medical intuitives and other alternative medicine practitioners consider the reductionist nature of empirical scientific research to be hostile toward (while systematically suppressing) holistic and innovative challenges to conventional medicine, and incapable of detecting universal truths.10
- Barcan, Ruth (2009). "Intuition and Reason in the New Age". In David Howes. The Sixth Sense Reader. Sensory Formations. Berg Publishers. p. 211. ISBN 1-84788-261-7.
- Body of Health: the new science of intuition medicine for energy & balance, Francesca McCartney, p. 23m New World Library, 2005
- Benedetti, L.; Maggi, G.; Lopiano (2003). Open Versus Hidden Medical Treatments: The Patient's Knowledge About a Therapy Affects the Therapy Outcome 6 (1). Prevention & Treatment. Retrieved 2007-03-17. More than one of
- Alcock, J. (Fall/Winter 1999). "Alternative Medicine and the Psychology of Belief". The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine 3 (2). Retrieved 2011-07-17.
- Mason, Russ (December 2000). "Alternative and Complementary Therapies". Alternative and Complementary Therapies 6 (6): 331–336. doi:10.1089/act.2000.6.331.
- Soul Medicine, Norman Sheally, M.D., PH.D., Dawson Church, PH.D. (2006) Elite Books
- Randi, James (1989). The Faith Healers. Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-535-0 page 10 Check
- David E. Young, Steven K. H. Aung. An Experimental Test of Psychic Diagnosis of Disease. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 1997, 3(1): 39–53. doi:10.1089/acm.1997.3.39.
- Riss, Richard (1988). A Survey of 20th Century Revival Movements in North America. Hendrickson Publishers. ISBN 0-913573-72-8 pp. 105–124 Check
- Nelkin, D. (1996) "The Science Wars: Responses to a Marriage Failed." Social Text 46/47, 14(2), pp 93–100.