JSB Vol.3 No.1

  Journal of Spiritual Bodywork 

Vol. 3, No.1                                           ISSN 1079-8390                                         August 1997



Albert Schatz

This is a report of a spiritual healing I did in January, 1990. I have been doing spiritual healing since the early 1970s, when I became familiar with the work of Harry Edwards, the renowned British spiritual healer who founded the National Federation of Spiritual Healers in Great Britain. The Harry Edwards Spiritual Healing Sanctuary  has continued his important work.

The following account is a transcription of comments, with minor editing, by Rita, whom I worked on. I did one healing once on a Saturday and another the following Sunday, during the Christmas/New Years week.

Rita's report

"I had injured my back, I'm not quite sure how. It was in doing gymnastics or moving things around, or what happened. I had a lower back, lumbar problem. I was seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis, depending on my activities, once a month or once a week, and more times than not it was once a week. The problem continued because I teach physical education to seniors. I never have enough time to rest. So, I think I increased the damage by my activity.

"This went on for three years. I was constantly going to a chiropractor, reading any material I could about how to heal yourself. I tried them all and was still having the same problem. When we were visiting Albert in January, I asked, "What's new in your life?" He started sharing this Therapeutic Touch which he said he had just learned When he was through, Tom told him about my particular problem, and said, "Gee, I wonder if you could help Rita.

"Albert asked me if I would like to have a 15 minute [spiritual] healing session with him, And I thought, "Why not? I've tried everything else. What would it hurt?" Being a bit of a skeptic myself, because I tried a lot of other things, traditional and not transitional, and nothing seemed to relieve my problem.

" I spent about 15 minutes on Albert's dining room table. He had put a [foam] mattress on the table and I got on it [lying on my stomach]. The thing that I recall is that I was wearing thermal underwear, denim jeans, a T-shirt and a sweat shirt - a long sweat shirt that went down over my hips. My first thought was to take off some clothes because I had been waiting a long time and wanted to feel something happening. Albert said, "No, You don't have to do that."

"So, I lay down on my stomach. Albert sat in a chair, and placed both his hands [palms down] across my  [lower] back. I remember feeling heat, I mean penetrating heat, through all these clothes, right away. And I thought, "Well, that's something. Now am I imaging this?" All these things were going through my mind. I really wanted something to happen, so I was deliberately trying not to seed my imagination so I would feel something.

"Albert asked me, if I wanted to talk, to tell him what I felt. A few minutes after, I thought, "Well, I really do feel heat, and that amazed me because I was cold. Albert keeps his house chilly. He doesn't spend a lot of money on running that furnace. When I knew I was going to Albert's, I deliberately dressed warm. I was amazed that I felt this heat. That was the first time all day that I was warm.

"The next thing was that I didn't feel that his hands were on top of me anymore. They were just sort of penetrating with the heat. It was like they were part of my back and they weren't separate, It was just so still that I wasn't sure if his hands were there or not after a few minutes. Then the warmness went away about half way through the 15 minutes, I would guess. Then Albert said maybe the end of the feeling of warmth was really the end of his [healing] effectiveness. But he kept on for the full 15 minutes anyhow.

"I got off the table but did not feel any different. I felt, "Well, what's going to happen next?" So, I put it out of my mind and I went on about my business. Let me backtrack a minute. When I went to Albert's, I knew my back was out. It needed an adjustment before I even went to Philadelphia. But it was a holiday week and I couldn't get to the chiropractor. So I knew that my back was out when I went.

"Albert said he thought the healing helped,  and that if we had time, before we went back to Newark to stop back to see him tomorrow (Sunday) morning and we would do it again. I did [that] because when I got up Sunday morning, I wasn't my usual cripple.

It's a tradition when we visit Philadelphia, to go to Albert's house first and then visit some of Tom's friends that he went to college with. They throw a party where you're in high heels and you're dancing, and you're up half the night, I usually get up [the next morning] with a very tired back especially when I know it's out to begin with.

"But I didn't have that usual pain and stiffness when I got up Sunday morning. So I though, "Well, maybe, just maybe." In essence, the invitation was open. We went back to Albert's, and I got another healing.

"When I went back to Newark, I went to visit my chiropractor because I assumed my back was out, and he made the usual adjustment that he'd done week after week for almost three years. I didn't mention anything about the experience I had. I hadn't talked to anybody about it. I just thought, "Well, I'll wait and see." I didn't want to brag about something and then turn around and feel like it was a failure. So I just didn't say anything to anybody.

"A week went by and I still experienced some stiffness and pain. I went back to the chiropractor because, I guess out of habit, I've been doing this for so long. I said, "Gee, I can move but it's still so achy."

He looked at me, and said, "Well, your back's not out. It's probably just stiff and you need to start stretching." I said, "O.K." Another week went by and it got less stiff and less achy. I went back a third week, and he said, "Your back's not out. " So I started stretching  a little bit harder, and I never went back.

"The chronic problem that I was having keeping this vertebra in place has stopped. I still have tenderness if I ever work or do too much bending. That's muscular.  But the chronic problem of keeping that spine in line has stopped."




This information is provided in response to requests from readers and others. Their interest in working with nature resulted in part in part from Mary Brewster's report Bodyworkers can help heal the planet. This was published as Part 3 in the series A search for an appropriate philosophy of massage  in the Spiritual Massage Ministry Newsletter 2(4):1-2, 1997)

We pronounce the letters de in deva as de is pronounced in the words develop, devour, devious, devote, devalue, and devolve.

References to books on dowsing are included because dowsers have been communicating with nature for centuries.

When you read translations by people who communicated with nature and other intelligences, you should understand that you are getting second-hand information because it is colored by the translator. Dorothy Maclean pointed that out as follows in her book listed below: It is always true that the message, even from the highest levels, is coloured by the person who receives it, by that person's beliefs, vocabulary, sub-conscious, etc.

Working with nature

1. Maclean. D. To Hear the Angels Sing. An Odyssey of Co-creation with the Devic Kingdom. Lindesfarne Press. Hudson, NY. 1980.

"Devas ... are the source of our inspiration in many fields, including science... They wield the laws of the universe all the time, and when man is ready they will share their knowledge." Among other things, they may help us dispose of nuclear waste.

"There is nothing wrong with technology, only with the way we employ it. Technology is destructive only in the hands of fragmented, over-specialized people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe... It seems that angelic cooperation, with humans using the supramental powers of the angelic level of our beings, may give us the only answer to the mess that we have created."

This book refers, in passing, to "the Masters of the Seven Rays. These masters are highly developed humans who have accepted the responsibility to aid humanity," We can work in cooperation  with them, as we can with the angelic devas and elementals (nature spirits).

2. Tompkins, P., and Bird, C. The Secret Life of Plants. Harper & Row. NY. 1973.

This book reports how two well-known scientists communicated with nature: George Washington Carver, the genius in chemistry, who "overcame the handicap of his slave descent" and was "heralded in his own lifetime as the 'Black Leonardo;" and Luther Burbank, the "Wizard of Horticulture." The book also tells about Gustav Theodor Fechner, a medical doctor and professor of physics at the University of Leipzig, who communicated with nature.  

3. The Findhorn Community. Pioneering a New Vision of Man and Nature in Cooperation. By the Findhorn Community. HarperPerennial. NY. 1975. This book is part of "a series of books devoted to an exploration of the newly emerging society and the future of man."

The Findhorn garden produced 38 and 42 pound cabbages as a result of people working in cooperation with nature. "A United Nations agricultural expert and professor of agriculture at various universities, Professor R. Lindsay Robb, when he visited Findhorn just before Christmas went on record to say that 'the vigor, health, and bloom of the plants in the garden in midwinter on land which is almost a barren powdery sand cannot be explained by the moderate dressings of compost, nor indeed by the application of any known cultural methods of organic husbandry. There are other factors and they are vital.'" (from the book The Secret Life of Plants, cited above)

3. Eileen Caddy's books God Spoke to Me, Foundations of  Spiritual Community, The Spirit of Freedom, The Dawn of Change, Waves of Spirit, and others are available from The Findhorn Press Canada. 102-2250 Fraser Street, Vancouver, British Columbia. Canada. V57 3T8. Request their catalogue.

Also available from The Findhorn Press Canada are Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings by Marko Pogacnik and The Kingdom Within. A Guide to the Spiritual Work of the Findhorn Community.

4. Boone, J. A. Kinship with All Life. Harper & Row. NY, 1954.

5. Shapiro, R., and Rapkin, J. Awakening to the Animal Kingdom. Cassandra Press. San Rafael, CA. 1988.

6. Cornell, J. Listening to Nature. How to Deepen Your Awareness of Nature. Dawn Publications. Nevada City, CA 1087

7.  Tompkins, P., and Bird, C. Secrets of the Soil. Harper & Row. NY. 1989. This book reviews biodynamic farming and other work of Rudolf Steiner who was clairvoyant. He became known as "a scientist of the invisible," and established the Anthroposophical Society which is concerned with spiritual science. The term anthroposophy comes from the Greek and means man and wisdom. 


1. Bird, C. The Diving Hand. The 500-Year-Old Mystery of Dowsing. New Age Press. Black Mountain, NC. 1979.

2. Lonegren, S. Spiritual Dowsing. Gothic Image Publications. Somerset, England 1986,

3. Ross, T., and Wright, R.D. The Divining Mind. A Guide to Dowsing and Self-Awareness. Destiny Books. Rochester, Vermont. 1990.

4. Bachler, K. Earth Radiation. The Startling Discoveries of a Dowser. Wordmasters Ltd. England. 1984.

Other books on dowsing are available from The American Society of Dowsers Bookstore. 101 Railroad Street, St. Johnsbury, Vermont. 05819. Request their catalogue.

Healing ourselves and

our planet

1. The Holy Bible.

2. Spiritual Aspects of the Healing Arts. Compiled by Dora Kunz. The Theosophical Press. Wheaton, IL 1985.

3. Dossey, L. Healing Words. The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine. Harper. SanFrancisco. 1993.

4. Edwards, H. A Guide to the Understanding and Practice of Spiritual Healing. This and other books by Harry Edwards (and audio tapes) are available from The Harry Edwards Spiritual Healing Sanctuary. Burrows Lea, Shere, Guildford, Surrey, England. GUS 9QG.

5. The Spiritual Healer, The Journal of the Harry Edwards Spiritual Healing Sanctuary, provides useful information.

6. The Healing Review is a periodical published quarterly by the National Federation of Spiritual Healers. Old Manor Farm Studio. Church Street. Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex. England. TW16 6RG.

7. Videotapes of the 1995 conference Spirituality and Healing in Medicine presented by the Harvard Medical School's Department of Continuing Education. Boston. 1996.

8. Green Cross. A Christian environmental magazine published quarterly  by the Christian Society of the Green Cross. 10 East Lancaster Avenue. Wynnewood, PA 19096-3495.

New Age

Spangler, D. A Pilgrim in Aquarius. Findhorn Press. Forres. Scotland. 1996.

This book provides a clear understanding of what the New Age really is, and how it involves our working in collaboration with nature.



900 Haddon Avenue,Collingswood, NJ 08108

You must know that your body is a temple

of the Holy Spirit, who is within ... so glorify God in your Body. 1 Cor 1:6,19

"Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegheny, NY, is a community of people committed to the healing mission of Jesus... Our ... Center became the first hospital in Southern New Jersey to develop and offer a wellness program to its employees and the community. The goal of the program was to help people become more aware of the choices that they can make to improve their lifestyle... The most unique aspect of Lourdes' Wellness Program was the emphasis on the spirituality component of wellness."

One of the goals of Our Lady of Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies is "to open students up as instruments of Christ's healing love and energy."

Some of he courses offered are The Sacred Art of Healing - Wholistic Massage, Pathology of Massage, Massage for the Elderly, Foot Reflexology, Therapeutic Touch, Infant Massage, and And the Word Becomes Flesh. The 12 hour course And the Word Becomes Flesh. consists of the following four classes.

First class

 We are God's Work of Art

1. Use reflection questions to help raise consciousness of each person's attitude toward their body.

2. Sharing.

3. We say to our body, "Who are you?"

4. Attitudes toward the body in culture, society, and church.

5, Scriptural understanding of the body: Jewish understanding in the Hebrew scriptures, Greek/Hellenistic World understanding, New Testament understanding.

6. In-depth study and reflection on four scripture passages which reflect the goodness and gift of our body/spirit selves. Genesis 1:1-2, 4; John 1:14; Cor 1:6, 12-20; and Ephesians 2:1-10.

Second Class

 We are God's Anointed Ones

Anointing in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures

1. Oil: contemplate the oil, oil in everyday experience, oil in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

2. Kinds of oil: yishar, roqah

3. Uses of oil: (a basic food; a sign of prosperity, rich diet, associated with joyful events; cosmetic; as a mendicant for the healing of wounds (Isiah 1:6; Luke 34, 29-37; Mark 6:13; James 5:14-15)

4. Anointing as an Act of Consecration: in the Hebrew scriptures; David anointed as king; Aaron anointed as a priest; Jesus, the "anointed One;" ourselves as anointed ones..

Third Class

 Jesus' Healing Ministry of Touch

1. Our experience of touch.

2. Culture and touch.

3. Jesus' ministry of healing through touch: (beginning of Jesus' ministry, (b); scriptural stories: Jairus' daughter - Mark 5:1-24, 35-43;  cure of a leper - Mark 1:29-45;  The Bentover Woman - Luke 13:10-17.

Fourth class

 The Women Who Touched Jesus

1. Looking at scripture from a woman's perspective.

2. The hemorrhaging woman - Mark 5:25-34. Reflection and discussion.

3. The Woman who anoints Jesus' head - Mark 14:3-9. Reflection and discussion

4. The woman who anoints Jesus' feet - Luke 7:36-50. Reflection and discussion.



Mary Brewster and Albert Schatz

Massage involves

subtle energy

Receiving and giving a massage involves personal feelings that are unique for the recipient and the practitioner. These feelings are forms of subtle energy.1,2,3 This energy is different from energies such as electricity, sound, heat, light, and radio waves. We can determine the kinetic energy (how many calories) a massage therapist expends in giving a massage and the force she uses for different manipulations,

We  can also measure the subtle energy of a massage therapist and her client. This is easily done with dowsing tools called L-rods.2,3 Some massage therapists  measure the energy fields of their clients before and after a massage. Clients then see how massage enhances their energy fields. Explaining what subtle energy is and that feelings are subtle energy helps clients understand why they feel good after a massage. Some clients learn to use L-rods and measure the energy fields of family members and friends.

Schatz and  Carlson introduced massage students to subtle energy and the use of L-rods in the 1980s.2,3,4 In 1986, Carlson was invited to report their research on the subtle energy component of massage at the 31st Congress of the International Federation of Naturopathy in Paris.5 L-rods have been used to demonstrate the energy field in Therapeutic Touch.6 Dowsing devices, including L-rods, have been used for decades in medical dowsing.7 Despite all that work, Lauterstein believes the "energetic quality of touch" has been "neglected" and "is considerably harder to teach and to test for."

Massage is a

performing art

Massage is a performing art in which a massage therapist choreographs her own interpretive dance. This dance is unique for each session and for each client whose soft tissues also dance during the massage. The only meaningful measure of the legitimacy, credibility, and competency of a massage therapist is whether her audience pays for an encore of her artistic performance.  

Who can evaluate the dance

and the dancer?

The only meaningful criterion for evaluating a massage therapist is her competence in terms of on-the-job performance. This is what we mean when we subsequently refer to competence. The only meaningful criterion of  competence is the quality of the massage she gives. The only ones who can legitimately evaluate the quality of her massage are those who personally experience her massage. A massage therapist may be considered highly competent by some clients and less satisfactory by others. Each client's personal opinion of a massage therapist's competence determines which massage therapist gets her money. Test scores on a written examination do not.

The quality of a massage may be associated with objective benefits such as relief of pain and improved mobility. That some of these objective benefits may be measured quantitatively does not mean that they are exclusively quantitative. Subjective aspects are also involved because people feel better when they are pain-free and move freely. No written test can predict the extent to which a massage therapist will alleviate pain and increase mobility for a particular client.

Industrial quality control

does not apply to massage

By industrial quality control, which we shall subsequently refer to as quality control, we mean impersonal, objective, quantitative standards for evaluating the qualitative performance of products like radios, cars, and refrigerators. When we subsequently refer to products, we mean products like radios, cars, and refrigerators. These items are mass-produced on assembly lines that are designed to provide identical replicates. The term objective is used because quality control provides quantitative information. This information enables one to evaluate the quality of a product's performance. For example, a TV is a poor quality product if it has only 50% of the screen clarity that other TVs (in the same price range) provide under similar circumstances.

That quality control is useful for assuring high quality performance of products does not mean that it is useful for assuring high quality performance of massage therapists.

Inappropriate professionalism

results in needless cost

Others believe that for a profession to be acknowledged as such by the public, it has to be legitimatized by quality control; i.e., educational requirements of state regulation which may include national certification. However, these and other regulatory requirements, which have cost massage therapists millions of dollars over the years, are inapplicable to  massage because it is a performing art.

Some people quate the credibility of a health care profession with reimbursement for services by insurance companies. However, many decisions about what services insurance companies reimburse, and how much they pay, are based largely on their intent to maximize profits.

Written tests measure

the ability to memorize

A written test does not measures the competence of a massage therapist. It measures what she has memorized in terms of factual information. A written test is objective because it, like industrial quality control, gives quantitative results. However, the ability to recall  factual information is not related to the competence of a massage therapist.9

Some massage therapists are self-taught, have had many satisfied clients for years, and have never harmed anyone. They do not have the information required to pass the ususl written test. Even if they were to learn that information and pass a written test, there is no evidence that they would be more competent. For these reasons, quality control by written tests  are inappropriate for evaluating the competence of massage therapists.

Practicums are as meaningless

 as written tests

A practicum is a "test" massage that supposedly enables someone (who gets that massage or sees it given) to evaluate the competence of the massage therapist. In neither case, does the practicum enable anyone to predict how clients will evaluate the massage therapist who took the practicum. This kind of test has no practical value because it is not related to competence, and is therefore as inappropriate as a written test.  

Every massage is unique

The factors  which make each massage unique include subtle energy interactions involved in the unique relationship between the massage therapist and her client. Only one individual experiences a particular massage. No one else can experience that same massage because no one else can get that same massage while it is being given. No two massages are identical. No two massage therapists are identical. No two clients are identical.

A massage therapist is different every time she gives a massage, even to the same client. A client is different every time she receives a massage, even from the same practitioner. A massage therapist does not give the same massage every time, even to the same client; and even if she were to give two massages, one right after the other.

Every massage, even by the same practitioner, is unique, original, creative, and different from all other massages. In these respects, a massage is comparable to a work of art.  Each massage and each work of art is the only one of its kind. This is why quality control is irrelevant to the competence of a massage therapist just as it is to the work of an artist.

A massage therapist is not an assembly line and massages are not standardized products which massage therapists manufacture to meet quality control criteria

What does independently

 of their owner  mean?

The quality ( performance) of products can be evaluated independently of their owners. Two or more people can determine the quality of the same product, whether they own it or not.

But that is not possible with a  massage. Only one person in the entire world experiences each massage. She is the sole recipient and therefore the sole owner of that massage. No one else has experienced or ever will experience that same massage. She cannot lend that massage to a friend as she can lend her radio. Therefore, she as the sole owner of that massage is the only one qualified to evaluate the quality of that massage and the competence of the massage therapist involved.

An appropriate test

for competence

There is only test for competence which makes sense. This test has been successfully used for decades. It has no prerequisites. Anyone can take the test anytime. It is not controversial because it is voluntary, self-regulating, and self-enforcing. It is graded by people who are eminently qualified to evaluate the massage therapist and decide whether she meets appropriate standards.

The test is the massage itself. The act of giving a massage is the act of taking the test. The two occur simultaneously. A massage therapist does not have to take time from work to go to a special place to take the test. Every massage is the test. Every person who gets a massage evaluates the test. Every massage therapist is tested every time she gives a massage. In this way, massage therapists are tested frequently, by different individuals, often on an almost daily basis, and often several times a day. Massage therapists don't pay to take these tests. Instead, they get paid for taking them by the clients they work on. Each client evaluates the massage she received. She then certifies or decertifies the massage therapist by scheduling or not scheduling another appointment.

This test worked well before states had massage laws. It still works well in those states which do not have massage laws. With this kind of test, massage therapists are not required to pay for state certification, for a training in a state-approved school, for national certification, and  for continuing education credits.

We say, "This test works well." because we are not aware of any well-designed research which provides convincing evidence that states which regulate massage (by  educational requirements, written examinations, practicums, and other kinds of quality control) have more competent massage therapists than states which do not regulate massage.  Moreover, state massage laws, which allegedly protect the public from harm, are not needed for that purpose because the risk of harm ranges from zero to negligible.10,11

Our reply to Nay" sayers  

Our certification test may be unacceptable to some because it gives irreproducible results. This means that people who get massaged by the same practitioner may not all give her the same evaluation. But irreproducible results are the reality in massage. People who get massaged by the same practitioner do evaluate her differently. That is why individuals often try two or more massage therapists before they decide which one they want; and why they may change, after a while, from one practitioner to another.

As we have pointed out, a massage therapist is not an assembly line and massages are not uniform, mass-produced products. Imposing industrial quality control on massage therapists demeans their unique competence. Requiring them to take written examinations demeans their professional integrity.

Many massage therapists voluntarily pay for workshops, seminars, etc. because they want to be more helpful to their clients. If this isn't professional integrity, what is?


1. Carlson, K., Barbera, R.A., and Schatz, A. Is state regulation of massage illegal? Massage & Bodywork Quarterly. 8(4):42-51, Fall 1993.

2. Schatz, A., and Carlson, K.  The integration of Swedish Massage and Therapeutic Touch. Swedish Massage increases the human energy field. Massage & Bodywork Quarterly. 10(2):51-55, Spring 1995.

3. Schatz, A., and Brewster, M. Subtle energy is involved in healing, health, and bodywork. Journal of Spiritual Bodywork. 2(4):2-6, 1996. 

4. Schatz, A. I.A.M.S. massage is the massage of the future. Holistic Massage magazine. Spring 1989.

5. Research on the energy component of massage related to Therapeutic Touch. In: Dolores Krieger, Ph.D. and her Therapeutic Touch. Massage Magazine. Issue No. 47. pp. 56. Jan/Feb 1994.

6. Krieger, D. The Therapeutic Touch. How to Use Your Hands to Help or Heal. Prentice-Hall, Inc. NJ. 1979.

7. Bird, C. The Diving Hand. The 500-Year-Old Mystery of Dowsing. New Age Press. Black Mountain, NC. 1979.

8. Lauterstein, D. The art of massage.  Massage Therapy Journal pp. 119-120. Spring, 1996.

9. Schatz, A. Some thoughts and questions about the $3,000,000 National Certification Examination. One man's opinion. Spiritual Massage Ministry Newsletter 2(1):1-5, 1996..

10. Schatz, A., Tillotson, A., and Brewster, M. Since massage does not cause harm, why license massage therapists to prevent harm? Spiritual Massage Ministry Newsletter. 2(2):1-5, 1996.

11. Schatz, A., and Brewster, M. Why is the Pennsylvania Licensure Coalition (PALC) promoting state licensure to protect the public from harm? Will PALC please tell us how many people have been harmed by bodyworkers in Pennsylvania, and how serious their injuries were? Journal of Spiritual Bodywork. 2(4):7-10. 1996

[Home] [Massage Law] [Journal ] [Special Issues] [Bios] [Spiritual Massage] [Massage Humor]