Supernatural healing is an umbrella term for a family of treatment methods which are based upon mysticism or claimed revelations, rather than the empirical evidence which is the foundation of scientific medicine. Many, though not all, supernatural healing methods implicitly assume some form of substance dualism, based upon the hypothesis that physical symptoms of illness are a manifestation of disturbances in some nonphysical component of the person. The language used to describe this spiritual substance varies, but common examples are spirit, soul, qi, chakra, Odic force, or human energy field. Despite this, supernatural healing traditions are also known to occur in cultures in which some form of monism is dominant, such as certain schools of Hinduism. Some supernatural healing methods invoke the intervention of a nonhuman supernatural being or beings, supposedly to heal the patient on behalf of the practitioner. These methods remain controversial, both as a result of inherent conceptual difficulties (for instance, many philosophers question how a nonphysical agent could interact with a physical body), as well as the lack (to date) of reproducible, scientifically documented evidence for the efficacy of any of these healing methods.
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