Skip to content
Health, Sports & Psychology

OU on the BBC: Alternative Medicine - Programme 2: Healing

Updated Friday, 13th January 2006

Kathy Sykes investigates the effectiveness of spiritual healing for the BBC/OU series Alternative Medicine

This page was published over five years ago. Please be aware that due to the passage of time, the information provided on this page may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate, and any views or opinions expressed may no longer be relevant. Some technical elements such as audio-visual and interactive media may no longer work. For more detail, see our Archive and Deletion Policy

Tai chi Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC

Kathy discovers that although there is no evidence that healers have any special powers – some of their patients have made remarkable recoveries. It’s a mystery that Kathy only finally solves when she discovers that each of us has a powerful self-healing mechanism which may explain some of the apparent ‘cures’ people have experienced after healing. Kathy explores this extraordinary human capacity and finds the key to triggering it.

Kathy begins this journey here in the UK, by attending a rally given by world-famous spiritual healer Benny Hinn. She witnesses dozens of people claiming to be cured of a range of conditions from back pain to cancer. Although Kathy is sceptical about the methods and powers of Hinn, she is moved by the sincerity of the patients. It’s a mystery she is determined to solve.

She travels the UK meeting healers who describe their methods and powers. She meets doctors who are so impressed they have even invited healers into their surgeries and hospitals. Kathy finally tracks down a team in the United States who are putting healers through a series of tests to find out whether they do have any special powers.

Kathy is still unconvinced and starts to look elsewhere for an explanation. In the United States, Kathy meets a knee surgeon who has just made an amazing discovery. In an experiment, he gave a group of his patients a fake operation. He opened them up – but instead of carrying out the usual procedure – simply sowed them back up again having done nothing at all. Incredibly, this group of patients did as well as those who had the real procedure.

So, could the power of the mind explain the benefits people experience from healers? And have healers tapped into this power somehow? The conclusion throws new light on all healing processes, and has a surprising and inspirational message for every practitioner and patient.

This website is provided for general information only. You should not treat it as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional.

The BBC and the Open University are not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the OpenLearn website.

The BBC and the Open University are not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor do they endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites. Always consult your own GP if you are in any way concerned about your health.

First broadcast: Tuesday 24 Jan 2006 on BBC TWO





Related content (tags)

Copyright information

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?