It is understood by most spiritual workers that any sort of symptom or experience we have in this world is a result of spiritual energies, or causes.
I very much find this to be true, however, as someone who has worn many hats in the spiritual field and in other forms of holistic therapy (chinese medicine, craniosacral therapy, energy work, etc) that while all things are spiritual, they all get rooted differently.
In a basic energetic understanding of things, all things begin at the spiritual layer. This layer is the furthest out (as well as the furthest inward/deepest at the same time), and then go through other layers– the mental layer, emotional layer, and then physical layer (outer to inner, to be brief.. there are energetic layers and other layers in between).
What does this mean? In simplicity it means that all things are spiritual, and then they become mental, emotional, and eventually physical. This is if they are not taken care of at other layers (for example, if we heal emotionally, or take care of our emotions as they arise, they are less likely to entrench physically).
So in this simplistic sort of understanding of things, spiritual work can really help anyone. We are all spiritual beings, with spiritual imbalances.
But in reality we may have something going on with us that roots, or entrenches, at a specific layer, or level. And it needs to be taken care of at this level, or this level at first.
Let me explain.
The simplest way to explain this is that there might be a very spiritual reason for me breaking my leg. But if I break my leg I am going to go to the hospital and get a cast. I am not going to contact my spiritual worker.
Western Medicine is emergency medicine (although we use it much differently, I realize, but those are its roots). If you need emergency care– something taken out of you, something killed, or something scanned to find out what it is, this is the level to treat at.
I have had people contact me with emergency room type pain (possible appendicitis), strange growths, and feelings of being so suddenly ill physically that they cannot get out of bed. One of the biggest reasons that I state that I cannot assist people is because their experience is rooted at the physical level, and it is entrenched to the extent that it needs to be taken care of at that level first. Once that level is worked with, the person can question the spiritual and energetic (and mental) reasoning for things, but once something is really physically entrenched (causing a lot of symptoms of a physical nature) often hands-on physical care is necessary (whether that be through acupuncture, bodywork, massage, or western medicine).
The other reason that I hear “not my department” when people ask to work with me is because of something that is entrenched at the mental layer. I can speak a lot about mental illness, as I have worked with people who have been diagnosed with varying mental illnesses quite a bit successfully with spiritual work, but the person needs to be mentally balanced enough for there to have change happen in their lives.
I do not care about diagnosis, by the way, my thoughts on mental imbalances are fairly Confucian– basically my interest is in if someone is clear enough and stable enough to work in a spiritual manner. In many cases, the answer is yes. In some cases, it is no.
I wish that my screening and divination methods were perfect for this, that I could always know when someone is too ill and imbalanced mentally to work with me, but unfortunately one or two occasionally slip by. I wish I could be of service, and feel a lot of compassion for this population, but there is a small percentage of the population that truly needs medication. There is a slightly larger percentage of the population that needs counseling, hospitalization, or other methods to ensure their basic safety and well-being. I do not think that forty percent of the population needs medication (last numbers I saw for supposed psychiatric medications of varying sorts), but I have been doing this work for too long to believe the myth that all people can be helped (at all) or helped by spiritual work.
The point I am basically making is that if someone is traumatized and mentally imbalanced to the point that they lack functioning in their lives and are terrified at the thought of change because it would destabilize them, are threatening suicide, do not make any sort of sense (are not functioning dominantly in this reality), or project their trauma onto the world continually in a chaotic way, they require psychological assistance instead of spiritual work.
I will say that once stabilized (even if on medication, or even with diagnoses like DID or Schizophrenia) that people who are considered “mentally ill” are often incredibly insightful, spiritual individuals, who are able to see the world with depth. I do agree with the assessment that some people who would be considered to be having some sort of breakdown are going through a period of spiritual emergency. I also very much know that a lot of individuals who are sensitive, psychic, empathic (and so forth) who are commonly diagnosed as “depressed” often need tools and understandings to know how to clear energy from them as well as learn how to function in this world as someone who senses, sees, and feels so much. This world is not intended for the sensitive, and too often sensitivity is treated as mental illness, when really it could be worked with in a spiritual manner to great effect (either instead of or alongside mental healthcare).
Spiritual work tends to draw people who think differently, who feel differently. It also tends to draw people who are severely mentally ill who would best be served by psychological services until they are stabilized. Until people in this category receive the appropriate level of care, they will look at any change as a possible threat to their existence (sometimes, rightfully so).
Also, if we consider the spiritual layers, the mental layer is just beneath the spiritual. What this means is that if someone has a lot of blockage in the mental layer (a lot of imbalances) their perception of the spiritual (or really any of the other layers) is going to be incredibly skewed. This is until the mental layer is healed, of course. Someone needs to have enough flow in their “mental” layer that the spiritual can work its way through without being dramatically changed by the mental layer. Without any sort of room in that mental layer for energies to come through, or to be exchanged with the other layers (physical, emotional…. to spiritual) the person is in their head, often delusional, not connected to reality, and unable to change.
This is in the most severe of cases, however. Most of us have mental conditioning and illusions as well as projections we should work on. We really create our world through our thoughts (in many ways, not completely, but enough), and a fair amount of us have a lot of energy entrenched at this level, that if we were to take care of it, we could connect spiritually in a way we likely never thought possible.
But my basic point here is that if we are delusional, in an emergency situation mentally, unable to see the world or participate in it, or unable to change because it would be too destablizing, it is best to treat the mental layer rather than the spiritual. When someone is stabilized, despite whatever energy they have left in that layer, and despite their history and diagnosis, spiritual work can be of real assistance.
The emotional layer is a large layer. We all have a core resonant emotion that creates our world. The simplest example of this (in an odd way, because depression is anything but simple) is of depression. When we are depressed the world as if it is in greyscale– we are not able to see colors, brightness, lightness. It is that sort of cloud within and surrounding us. When we are angry, and have that as our core emotion, everything in this world will seem as if it is there to make us angry.
Our emotions go along with our thoughts, and since they are the primary energy that circulates (or blocks) the physical body, due to its energetic relationship with it, they can be worked with through body-based techniques that approach the emotions (such as craniosacral therapy), psychological work that approaches the body (like Hakomi) or spiritual work that approaches the body (like the work that I do).
Our emotions are joiners– while things are deeply entrenched at this level emotions will frequently sort of “team up” with our physical body and mental conditioning to construct our reality. If emotions are so imbalanced that the person is hanging on for dear life, they are best dealt with through in-person care and/or care from an experienced therapist.
If emotions are not an emergency, they are well taken care of by spiritual workers (ones that do body based methods, and have trained in trauma care ideally), body-based services (again, like craniosacral therapy or somatoemotional release). This allows for the emotional root to be explored as well as the spiritual, mental, and physical connections. Emotions are large energies, and by taking care of not only the “root” (the emotion) but also the “branches” (mental, physical, spiritual) they can be lessened, or healed.
If someone has an imbalance at the spiritual level, it typically is odd symptoms and experiences that cannot be explained through the other layers… or it is someone who has the courage and willingness to explore the depths of their imbalances to the extent that they wish to explore all layers of their imbalance. Someone will sometimes have a sense of something “spiritual” going on as well, but the basic experiences of some process rooted at the spiritual level is that it just doesn’t make sense in any other layer.
I will say in treatment of the root that the “branches” need to be explored, especially in complex cases. We rarely heal at one level– once our primary (root) is being taken care of, at the appropriate level, we can explore the various ways it has manifested in all of our levels.
We need a team for healing. People rarely realize this. They think they can go to one healer, one clinician, for all of their issues. But complex issues, long standing issues, require looking at all of the levels. It is frequently that people come to me and say that they have been through the western medical gamut, have gone to counseling, and still either have the issue or want to explore the issue on a deeper level. What is needed in these cases is often connection– we are not just a physical body, or an emotional body. We are a spiritual-mental-emotional-physical (and other) body, and until all of these “bodies” are touched on, or are worked with, and are perhaps, most importantly, connected, we tend to not heal.
So taking stock of where your symptoms are, how they are clustered, can allow for us to understand what our primary concern is. We can then go find the appropriate healer for that, and then, as we heal, notice where are symptoms are clustering again, and work to resolve that. I do not encourage “healer hopping” but our healing with a particular healer, or method of healing, may reach completion at a certain point. Ideally the healer will recognize this, and mention something, but in many cases healers need clients, or are not attuned enough to really sense this dynamic, so inwardly questioning as someone looking for healing would be something each one of us can do to assist ourselves greatly.
- I will mention, as a last note, that healing is different than curing. Spiritual work offers great healing to people, but I never promise cure/the disease process (or whatever process) completely being eliminated. Nobody should. If someone offers a cure, it is a huge red flag to me. Each person is an individual, with individual imbalances, and while someone may be really successful at healing (especially a particular disorder or imbalance) the concept of “cure” is not up to the healer.