For many years wholistic health journals, spas, and practitioners of alternative medicine have advocated the use of reflexology, Reiki, therapeutic touch, acupressure, and a variety of bioenergetic works. Christian practitioners begin with prayer and testimonials travel through informal networks and social media.

Believers generally feel safe when the therapist expresses sincere faith; they see no need to test the spirit (1 Jn 4:1). Why?


But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil (Heb 5:14).

Christian Discernment requires a nuanced understanding of God’s Spirit and Word and serious consideration of the whole counsel of God. This is especially true when evaluating energy therapies. We begin with their foundational beliefs, origins, and practice.

The Basis of Energy Therapies
Energy therapies are based on pantheism which is the belief that an impersonal consciousness animates all creation. Pantheistic Hinduism teaches that the universal life force enters the human body through the crown chakra and travels through energy centers down the spine to the sacrum. In bioenergetic therapies the life force traverses the body through meridians and streams of energy that sustain organs and bodily functions. Chinese practitioners call the energy Qi or chi, the Japanese Ki, yoga prana; and Reiki orgone. Allegedly, such things as worry, fear, stress, and trauma block energy flows and cause a variety of physical, mental, and emotional problems. Energy therapies remove the blockage and restore health.

In the 1970s I attended several workshops conducted by Mary Burmeister, a protégé of Jiro Muraio of Japan. In the early 1900s Muraio retreated to a mountain cabin to heal from a debilitating illness. There he received visions of pressure points on his body, similar to those used in acupuncture. He pressed the points and healed. Later he refined the technique called Jin Shin Jyutsu.

Burmeister had us memorize pressure points, the corresponding meridians and organs, and the emotions associated with specific meridians. She often said, “Jin Shin is a spiritual practice. You must allow spirit to guide you as you move from one point to another.” The hour-long treatments were gentle and produced deep peace and occasional relief of symptoms.

When Christ saved me, I had given treatments to friends and acquaintances for eight years. By then I understood that demons could masquerade as divine helpers and wondered if one inspired acupressure. I decided to ask God. I had been a Christian for a week.

While giving a Jin Shin treatment to a friend, I silently prayed, Lord, is this of you? Silence. Half-way through the treatment, the woman’s migraine was gone. Then I recognized the demon guiding me. I paused. Seconds later the Lord told me to stop. I repented and put my hands in my lap, grateful the Lord protected me from evil appearing good (Isa 5:20).

Christians Who Practice Energy Therapy
Most Christians who practice acupressure pray before and during sessions. Splankna uses prayer, angelic and Holy Spirit guidance, acupressure, psychoanalytic theory, and muscle testing (applied kinesiology). The practice is based on the following.


Pressure points vary among practitioners, and research cannot replicate the results of these protocols.vii

Discerning Truth from Error

I cannot commend energy therapies. Splankna in particular misrepresents God’s relationship with his creation and the interactions between spiritual and physical energies. It devalues reason and critical thinking and defers to visions and spiritual guidance. It assumes that the practitioner’s love of Jesus and prayer protect believers from spiritual deception and falsely assures them that God inspires the practice.

God’s Design
Creator God is distinct from but present to his creation (Gen 1:1). God is not in his creation, nor does he need to be for he created the physical realm with its own energies that function according to natural laws. Though invisible, physical energy can be measured, e.g., radio waves. The physical body emits thermal radiation and invisible, measurable activity. The ECG records heart rate, EEG records brain waves, EMG muscle action, and so forth. But no instrument can measure a person’s soul and spirit.

God created the first human with a physical body and breathed life into it (2:7). The God-breathed immortal soul, mind, heart, and spirit animated the physical body.viii Human beings are separate from God but designed for a relationship with him. At death a believer’s soul separates from the body and is with Jesus in a disembodied state until Christ comes again in glory (Jn 14:3, Lk 23:42–43, 1 Thess 4:16–17).

God sustains his creation. He holds creation together by his powerful word (Heb 1:3). He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Col 1:17). The Holy Spirit sanctifies believers to reflect the righteousness of Jesus. He strengthens, protects, encourages, and comforts believers (Ps 54:4). The Holy Spirit does not flow through meridians and energy streams. God is the One we worship.

Other Considerations


The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works.
He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie
(2 Th 2:9).


I have counseled and heard accounts of people who struggled after participating in energy therapies. Visions proved untrue. The experience weakened faith in God and the sufficiency of Scripture to guide them in daily life.

Offending holy God is a serious matter, and for this reason alone, I counsel people to avoid energy therapies.

iSarah J. Thiessen, Splankna: The Redemption of Energy Healing for the Kingdom of God (Bloomington: Westbow Press, 2017), 96.
iiIbid., 29, 88-9, 96, 129-134.
ivIbid., 36, 49, 101.
vIbid., 15.
viIbid., 38-39,138-43.
viiIbid., 146.
viiiElliot Miller, The Christian, Energetic Medicine, “New Age Paranoia”, Christian Research Journal, 2009,

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