|1 external agents such as God, Christ, other 'higher powers', spirits, universal or cosmic forces or energies|
|2 special healing energies or forces residing in the healer|
|4 self-healing powers or energies latent in the healee.|
Healing may be done by healers touching or passing their hands near the bodies of healees or may be projected by intent, meditation or prayer from a distance.
Healing has been described in ancient Egyptian and Greek texts and is found in every culture studied by modern social sciences. Healers generally claim they can improve the conditions of 80 per cent of people who seek their help. Virtually every known disease has been reported by healers to respond to their treatments. Unfortunately, most healers keep few if any records. Of those who do, it is rare indeed for them to have medical or technical training which would make their observations sufficiently precise to be of much scientific value.
There are many different varieties of healing, ranging from prayer healing through therapeutic touch to psychic surgery. LeShan (1974) found that the most common kinds of healers were: type 1 healers who see themselves as mentally uniting with the healee, generally in an altered state of consciousness; type 2 who see themselves as a channel for healing energy; and type 3 healers who see themselves as working with spirits. Excellent descriptions of healing may be found in Benor (2001a, 2001b), Krippner