Psychic Phenomena in My Family: #5

by | Jul 24, 2012 | Psychic Phenomena

Judging from my brother Aaron, and some of his acquaintances, Hollywood was a hot-bed of people with psychic powers. Some of these people were physicians, or semi-physicians, who specialized in “alternative medicine.” I have always been put off a little by some of these terms: “alternative medicine” or “holistic medicine,” which means, I think, a special kind of medicine, unknown to most practitioners with a medical degree. This specialized practice of medicine considers every problem from the point of view of the whole body and the whole mind. What other kind of medicine is there? What it really means, usually, is adding unproven treatments that regular doctors avoid. These include herbs and reflexology and iridology. Some of these herbs have been in use for thousands of years and have been causing liver and kidney toxicity for thousands of years. (It is impossible to kill an idea, even a bad idea.)
I sat through dinner once at my brother’s house with a practitioner of iridology seated next to me. Iridology, for those of you who don’t keep up with these things, is the study of disease as it manifests itself in little colored spots on the iris (That colored, circular thing in the eye.) I listened carefully trying to figure out if he really believed in this particular kind of quackery, or if he was an out and out fake. I could not tell; and I discovered over the years that I usually can’t tell. Most of the time I was inclined to think that these nincompoops really believed what they were telling me.
Like the guy who separated vegetables “with good vibrations” from those whose vibrations were bad.
My brother underwent one particular brutal treatment which involved a massage therapist punching him. As I remember, he thought it helped. I don’t remember what it was supposed to help.
One treatment which annoys rather than amuses me is “healing touch.” It annoys me because I know it is offered by some hospitals. “People want it,” I was told. “Healing touch,” I was surprised to discover, does not involve touching (and certainly not healing) the patient. The practitioner waves his/her hands in the air over the patient. I’m talking about twenty-first century medicine here.
A number of years ago I was planning to visit my brother. I had recently been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, and I mentioned it to him. (By the way, I wasn’t worried about my condition. I followed advice I usually give patients to find out as much as possible about their condition. I learned that my relatively mild illness increased my chances of dying of a heart attack over the next ten years by about 1%. I was startled to discover, however, that I had an almost 10% chance of dying over that period of time, even if I wasn’t sick!) Anyway, my brother told me he would introduce ne to a woman who was the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce, a well-known psychic about whom many books had been written. He had healing powers, and, of course, so did she. In fact, she was consulted by doctors from all over the country by telephone (according to my brother), and she would make a diagnosis and recommend treatment even before they described the patient! The rest of the time she was a secretary.
“Maybe she can help you,” Aaron said to annoy me.
It was a pretty big party around the pool. My brother’s pool had a terracotta maiden spouting water into it through her nipples. I was sitting by myself at a table when I saw a little, middle-aged lady gesturing to me from a table at the other side of the bar. I went over and sat down next to her. It was the psychic healer. She said right off without bothering to introduce herself, “You’ve got phlegm on the aorta.” This came as a surprise to me since no one in the history of the world had had phlegm on the aorta.
But I began to think, I did, after all, have coronary artery disease, which was no more than four or five inches from the aorta. And I did have plaque in my arteries. That might have been described loosely, very loosely, as a kind of phlegm. Maybe she was sort of right after all.
Important Principle: If you change the meaning of the words enough, you can make any prediction come true.
It turned out this very pleasant lady had inherited a “strangled voice” from Edgar Cayce (my brother told me). She was troubled by this hoarse-sounding voice, which I recognized immediately as an hysterical aphonia, (don’t ask) and then we spent another pleasant half hour or so talking about politics. As I remember. (c) Fredric Neuman 2012