Auras – another way to heal?

I have a young friend (who shall remain nameless), who is firmly convinced he can see people’s Auras –  a colourful glow, like a halo, emanating mainly from the head but sometimes from the entire body. My friend has to concentrate really hard, staring at someone intently for a minute or two, until the Aura appears.

Now I don’t know about you, but that sounds exactly like a simple after-image to me – like when you stare at a green dot on a piece of white paper for about a minute, then look away and see a red or pink after-image which gradually fades away. It’s a very common optical illusion caused by retinal fatigue and other natural processes related to the visual system and the brain.

Stare at the green dot for 30 seconds, and then look at a blank white wall.

When I mentioned this possibility, my young friend gave me a “Look” and told me he had once seen a man at an ice-rink who was surrounded by a huge, multicoloured, pulsating aura – and that was no after-image!

So, what exactly are Auras, why do some people claim to be able to see them, and what significance do they have – if any?

Auras are yet another New Age phenomenon – an “electromagnetically-generated” colourful series of outlines that emanate from all living creatures, from bugs to bears and everything in-between, and reflect the metaphysical life force / energy /chi / soul or whatever you decide to call it.

Human auras are said to be generated by the chakras – 7  flower-shaped or wheel-like “energy structures” within the human body. These are strategically located – outside the head, between the eyes (the “third eye”), in the throat, the heart, the navel, the last bone of the spine, and the “tip of the sexual organ.” (Here we go again – it’s so MALE-centered! What happens if my sexual organ doesn’t have a tip? I’m a woman – we aren’t built like that!)

You will notice that they are illustrated in order exactly corresponding to the colours of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – with the Indigo corresponding to the third eye. I wonder if this has anything to do with “Indigo Children”? An interesting question I will leave for another post!

Apparently you need Special Psychic Powers to be able to see Auras (I bet Norah has it down to a fine art!)

Robert Bruce, an Aura Expert, says:

The human aura is both an energy field and a reflection of the subtle life energies within the body. These energies make us what we are and in turn are affected by our surroundings and life style. The aura reflects our health, character, mental activity and emotional state. It also shows disease – often long before the onset of symptoms.

And exactly HOW do we read an Aura? By the pretty colours! Bright Yellow is Sunny and Exhilarating, Green is for Healing and Teaching, Blue is Peaceful and Contemplative, and so on. Actually, that’s a bit too specific – there is rough agreement on what the primary colours mean, but the more subtle colours are largely left up to the psychic’s imagination.

Assuming you think you may be clairvoyant, how do you conduct an Aura Healing Session?

  • It is best to work in daylight, and to remove your crystals from the room because they may interfere with the electromagnetic field of the aura. (Good idea to turn off the Telly too.)
  • Stand your subject in front of a white background, and look at their side – left or right side, it doesn’t matter
  • After a while you will start to see their electromagnetic energies as “wavy lines of energy”
  • You may notice two or three colours in the aura. You can use your own intuition to decide what those colours mean – there are no hard and fast rules, so you can gaily make it up as you go along. You will undoubtedly still get paid.
  • If you notice any holes in the aura, these may indicate illness, or “imbalance” in the subject’s body
  • Feel free to take a wild guess as to what that illness might be, and inform your subject that they have an emotional problem that is causing this illness
  • Ask them if they are willing to be healed – at the soul level first – if not, the problem with the aura will revert back to a different part of their body
  • Assuming you have laid it on thick, and they acknowledge that their soul is indeed sick, you can start moving your hands around slowly in their aura field, mingling your aura with theirs
  • This will balance their chi / life force / energy field / soul and heal whatever was ailing them
  • Or not.
  • Be careful not to give any guarantees that this “healing” will actually heal anything – a clever disclaimer in fine print at the bottom of your advertising is normally sufficient.

So, the question is – are these people simply deranged, or is there evidence that auras exist and can tell us what the psychics say they can?

I have a few problems with the whole concept:

  • The aura-generating chakra structures have never been found or demonstrated to exist is any way. Yes, I know people have believed in them in one form or another for centuries – but that doesn’t make them actually, physically REAL. Attempts to link the chakras to the human endocrine system (as suggested by the famous psychic Edgar Cayce) have never been verified.
  • Chi / life force / body energy fields have likewise never been shown to be anything other than imaginary. Remember, widespread belief is no guarantee that it’s actually THERE. (The same applies to the myriad gods people have ardently believed in and fought wars over for millennia.)
  • The electromagnetic fields in the human body are tiny, they don’t protrude beyond the body, and there is no evidence they can be interpreted as indicating anything about one’s personality or state of health. They are simply the result of natural biological processes: nerve impulses and your beating heart.
  • If there was an internally-generated electromagnetic field around your body, you couldn’t use a hand-held compass – and yet clearly you can!
  •  Visual phenomena such as auras can be explained without resorting to the  supernatural or metaphysical.
  • Photos of auras can be faked, or generated using galvonometers or Kirlian photography (which both react to moisture on the skin.) Here is an excellent explanation, by Joe Nickell of CSI.

In all my reading and exploration of subjects such as auras, labyrinths, astrology, psychics, religion  and so on, it has become very clear to me that many people are searching for control of their lives.

We live in a rapidly changing world, with so much happening that affects us, but that we cannot control. Climate change, economic recessions, poverty, pollution, natural disasters, viral pandemics…

Are these irrational belief systems not just a way of coping? Trying to bury one’s head in the sand and hoping it will all just go away? It seems to me that people are trying so hard to divorce themselves from reality because the hard truth about our existence is too much for them:

  • the fact that medical care and hospitalisation is expensive and sometimes unsuccessful, and that there are some diseases we don’t yet have a cure for – so they reject scientific medicine and instead pray for divine intervention, or turn to reiki, aura healing, chakra therapy, reflexology, magnetic therapy and the like. (Isn’t it hilarious that when they’re in a car accident, or have a heart attack or a stroke they are 100% in favour of scientific medicine!)
  • the fact that their parent, partner or child is dead – so they go to a psychic to try to contact them, or get comfort from the idea that they will see that person again in Heaven. (They never consider that their Loved One may have ended up in that other religious invention – Hell)  (Hell must be a very empty place – all those demons sitting around playing cards, picking their teeth with their pointy sticks… )
  • the fact that they have no control over what could happen in the future – so they turn to astrology, reading their horoscope every day for “guidance” pulled out of someone’s backside
  • the fact that they will inevitably die – so they turn to religion in the hope of an afterlife (in Heaven of course, never in Hell)

All of the above will cost you time and money, and will not make a jot of difference. You may feel better, but nothing will have really changed….

I have a suggestion:

Try living each day as though it might be your last and ENJOY IT!  Love deeply and strongly; appreciate the kindness you receive, and give as much as you can in return; learn about the real world so you can understand why things happen and tackle your problems head-on, instead of cowering behind irrationality;  be compassionate towards your fellow Earthlings – human and animal. Most of all – LOVE YOURSELF! Appreciate yourself, you are actually a Good Person 🙂

You can do all of these things without help from any gods, or psychics, or quacks. You can do them because you WANT to – not to score points towards an eternal reward, or to avoid an eternal punishment.

And when you are on your last legs you will be able to look back at your life and smile – free from worry over those non-existent demons, and happy in the knowledge that you won’t have to spend eternity worshipping a megalomaniac egotist with a seriously sadistic streak!



Some of my friends have mentioned consulting a reflexologist about their health problems. I tend to lump reflexology in with acupuncture, homeopathy, reiki, magnet therapy and many other “alternative health” practices. The self-reported benefits of some of these treatments seem impressive to the uncritical mind – but what do we find when we delve a little deeper?

Reflexology, also known as Zone Therapy, was invented by William H Fitzgerald, an American ear, nose and throat doctor, in the early 20th century. His idea was that the human body is divided into ten vertical zones, each of which is represented by a part of the foot on the opposite side of the body.

This all ties back to the Eastern ideas of Qi or Chi – a life force or energy which supposedly flows along detectable meridians in the human body. By manipulating this Qi, therapists claim to be able to:

  • stimulate lymph nodes, kidney and colon reflexes, thereby “cleansing the body of toxins” (I thought your liver and kidneys did that all by themselves)
  • “balance and harmonise” the body (What??? That doesn’t even make sense!)
  • enhance bodily function by increasing oxygen levels and nutrient supply to every cell (deep breathing when you fall asleep during your foot massage?)
  • unblock nerve impulses and stimulate lethargic blood supply which prevent your Qi from reaching unhealthy or diseased organs.
  • aid healing after surgery (using the same mysterious Qi energy)
  • reduce tension (as would ANY foot massage)

By pressing on parts of the foot, the highly-trained reflexologist can detect areas of resistance which apparently indicate disease in the organ or part of the body represented by that spot on the foot. (Hands apparently also have zones connected in the same way ……. as do ears.)

Therapy involves massage at that point, which is believed to repair the diseased organ and generally improve the patient’s health (see the list of outlandish claims above). Several sessions of high-pressure massage may be needed to cure the problem, and thereafter maintenance sessions to prevent further disease. (This is really funny if you think about it. The reflexologist diagnoses a disease which does not yet exist in your body, treats it with nice foot massages at great expense to you because Medical Aids sensibly refuse to pay for reflexology treatments, and then claims a “hit” because you DIDN’T get sick with whatever they were treating you for!)

Okay, that all sounds very nice, comforting in a way. Here’s a therapy that can treat or cure your diseased organs without surgical intervention or even drugs. No nasty trips to the doctor, no lengthy and expensive stays in hospital, no years of chronic medication…. Hell no! Just pop off to the reflexologist for a foot massage and you’ll be fine!

Just a couple of small problems……….

Reflexology is not a legal medical profession – in South Africa for instance, two years of study at a spa training college or cosmetic and massage academy, covering the following subjects – anatomy and physiology, pathology, theoretical and practical reflexology, business practices, patient care, nutrition, HIV policy and first aid – will give you a DIPLOMA in Reflexology.

You can then register as a member of the Allied Health Professionals Council, pay your annual fees, and go out and pretend to be a medically qualified to diagnose and treat people with serious health problems.

The fact that they might DIE because they came to you for a foot massage instead of consulting a REAL doctor shouldn’t concern you too much, should it? Apparently ethics are not a huge part of the training course….

Neither is consistency.

Reflexologists can’t agree on exactly WHICH part of the foot/hand/ear is supposed to be magically connected to WHICH part of the body! You can check this out for yourself – just Google Reflexology Images, and you will find pages of charts of the zones – hands, feet and ears – and if you care to look closely you will see that although they obviously started out with Dr Fitzgerald’s original charts, some Poetic License has crept in over the years.

Compare the massage spots with the first diagram above - notice anything?

This one is for when you have an enlarged heart....

Isn’t it weird how the heart bit jumps around, getting bigger and smaller….? And the ascending colon becomes the descending colon? Some charts coyly don’t mention certain “private parts” – I guess those therapists didn’t learn about STDs in Cosmetics School….

The other major problem with Reflexology is that there is no scientific basis for its theories. There are no detectable meridians, there is no detectable Qi or Life Force, there is no evidence that this non-existent Qi is connected to parts of the hand or foot or ear and can be manipulated to treat specific illnesses. It’s just not biologically plausible. We have perfectly adequate explanations for the cause of most diseases, and scientific researchers are working on the rest. You don’t need to invoke magic to explain illness – germs, unhealthy eating habits, genetic inheritance, unhealthy environment, accidents, etc can explain most of what goes wrong in the human body.

There are SO MANY published results of clinical trials which have tested reflexology properly (random, double-blinded, peer-reviewed) and found it to be useful only for relaxation, and some pain relief, as well as having a placebo effect. Here are just a few links:

You will notice that I have not included any links to “trials” which consist mainly of anecdotal evidence and which do not provide proper data to back up their conclusions – the internet positively teems with such information, all of it useless from a scientific and medical point of view.

Once again, I ask the question, What’s the Harm in seeing a reflexologist?

If you have any bone or joint condition in your feet or lower legs, it can be exacerbated by forceful massage as applied by the reflexologist. These are not doctors – they have a two or three-year diploma with debatable credentials – yes, they will ask you about your medical history and try to take reasonable care to not kill you outright. You hope.

If you allow a reflexologist to treat you for a serious condition you might delay consulting a medical doctor who can treat you with the medicine or surgery you really need. The condition could get a lot worse before you end up seeking proper medical care, by which time it might be too late…. cancer is the obvious example where early diagnosis and aggressive medical treatment is essential.

You just can’t afford to mess around with cancer….  How many people do you know who were diagnosed, tried chemotherapy, thought it wasn’t helping, went to an “alternative” practitioner, and then DIED??? Yes, it’s often fatal anyway, but you have a better chance of survival and a better quality of life if you get REAL MEDICAL CARE!

Modern reflexology tries to downplay the woo – if you look at a lot of their websites they emphasise the relaxation and massage side of it. Well, if it’s just a massage, why call yourself a reflexologist? Why rely on Zones and Qi and all the rest of the nonsense to back you up? Why pretend that it’s a valid medical intervention when it clearly isn’t?

Could it be because you can charge a LOT more for a reflexology session under the guise of medicine than you can for a simple foot massage? Reflexology treatment can run to several sessions and of course there are those “preventative” sessions – you could be tied into those for years!