After Elder Ballard’s talk “The Trek Continues”, I saw the largely female community of LDS energy healers hit a faith crisis. I saw women stop doing energy healing, stop teaching energy healing and question everything about energy healing. Personally, I think this talk was very much needed. A couple of the women who have been most prominent in the recent LDS energy healing movement are not the type of people I personally think we should be looking to for spiritual help.
One popular energy healer started out as a health blogger catering to LDS women. The catch is that she isn’t LDS any more. Though her website focuses on the Word of Wisdom, she’s actually a member of an online ex-Mormons group and says that she left Mormonism because of her issues with polygamy. (She used to display a picture and her full name on this profile, but has since taken down the picture and only displays her first name. A very sensible move since her business of selling health food and products is targeted largely to LDS moms.)
I saw a Facebook group of LDS women interested in essential oils and energy healing raving about an upcoming podcast with this energy healer. I asked what the health food blogger’s credentials were for energy healing and whether she had certified in any energy healing modalities. Nobody knew where this health foods blogger had gotten her energy healing expertise from, but she had developed a quiz that was telling all these women they are empaths, so that was enough. Someone went on gushing about how the health food blogger was a psychotherapist.
Having known her personally I will attest to the psycho part, but not therapist. She displayed symptoms of borderline personality disorder and/or narcissism. There was an undercurrent of contention to much of her healthy eating information. She often lamented that husbands and children don’t want to eat healthy foods and emphasized the divisive nature of healthy eating. The other half of this energy healing duo is a style coach who also is self-enlightened about angels and has developed her own energy healing certification.
I don’t think that Elder Ballard’s talk is incompatible with the many healing methods that are termed “complementary and alternative”. An enormous amount of research shows that meditation improves our mental health, a growing body of literature points out the benefits of hypnotherapy for pain control, and essential oils for killing off bacteria. We are encouraged to use therapies that are medically sound. Like most talks in general conference, there are multiple ways that it can be interpreted. It could be an admonition against many dubious healing strategies, from rhino horns to marijuana, depending on the particular challenges people are facing in their place and time. Just make sure that whoever you invite into your inner circle actually has the capability to help you.