Should Christians employ acupuncture, yoga, and other “alternative medicine” treatments whose theoretical foundations come out of Eastern or New Age religions? All of those energy meridians, chakras, and the like are far removed from a Christian worldview, much less the worldview of modern science. And yet they seem to “work” for many people, as if there might be an innocently secular physiological explanation. (Notice how being “secular” in the sense of non-religious can be a good thing from a Christian perspective, much better than “pagan” or “teaching a false religion.”)
I bring this up because a reader wrote me about a kind of psychological acupuncture technique that is going around called the “Emotional Freedom Technique.” Here is what she said:
Do you think that the Emotional Freedom Technique, psychological acupressure based on energy meridians, is dangerous for Christians? It appears to be successful with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] patients. It involves simple tapping with fingertips to input kinetic energy into specific meridians while you think of a specific problem and make a positive statement. It seems harmless enough, yet is close to the Word Faith, name it and claim it, positive confession movement.
What you do is tap your body at various points–yes, you do it yourself, which will make you look very silly if you do it in public. And while you are hitting yourself, you say the following: “Even though I have this [name your problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Now this strikes me as ludicrous. And with the telling yourself how much you accept yourself, it can’t be completely physical. I consider it on the order of that great new wonder drug called “placebo.”
But what’s the attraction for Christians? They don’t believe in energy meridians, do they? If so, on what basis? Taoism?