Sunday, 24 January 2010

*Ray Wilson and Sue Blain - magical fingers

The 26th November edition of the Luton and Dunstable Herald and Post carried an interview with Ray Wilson, a local man who selflessly devotes his time to healing the sick.

Ray Wilson is the founder of "Gentle Touch Healing", a registered charity which offers some kind of magical finger treatment.

"According to accomplished Dunstable healer Ray Wilson, healing is like drawing. 'It's something we can all do,' he said. 'Not everyone is capable of painting a masterpiece but we can all learn the basics.'

Ray, 62, of Duke's Court, The Mall, was only 13 when he heard an inner voice telling him he'd been put here to heal. But he dismissed it as a childish fantasy. It wasn't until many years later that he felt an overwhelming urge to use the gift he'd suppressed for so long.

He recalls: 'It was when my sister was diagnosed with cancer. I felt very strongly that I should place my hands on her to heal her.'

But he confesses sadly: 'I didn't know how to.'

It was only after she died that he came into contact with a healer training college in London. He says: 'The first night I went, their healers were able to help someone with the same cancer my sister had. I joined to learn how to heal and to use my gift to help others.'

Ray founded Gentle Touch Healing in 1997 to support practicioners and patients alike. It became a charity in 2004. He firmly believes that the future for healthcare should involve a holistic approach with doctors, healers and complementary therapists working together. He dreams of building a dedicated centre offering a multi-disciplinary team with everyone under the same roof.'

Ray describes his calling as a 'way of life'. He said: 'People have to come into it with the right intent. It's not about ego or making money.'

'People come to us with physical, mental and emotional problems. The main one is stress caused by unemployment and financial troubles or emotional difficulties. We also see patients with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. We can't promise a cure but we can stabilise and ease symptoms for those who come regularly. Healing helps maintain quality of life.'

New patients are assigned a specific healer so they can reveal their problems in confidence, one to one.

'We play soft music and encourage them to relax', he explains.

'Healers are trained to detect energy blockages and imbalances and to release them so the natural self-healing process can begin.

There is limited scientific evidence that healing works but most people find the 15 to 20-minute sessions helpful. The technique has no known side-effects.

Ray is keen to emphasise that healing has nothing to do with faith or religion. 'There's nothing to worry about,' he says. 'It's very easy, very comfortable and we can work 'off body' if people are uncomfortable with the laying on of hands.'

Ray and his team have recently moved to The Old School in Dunstable Road, Flitwick, where they offer free healing - donations gratefully accepted - on Tuesdays 7.30pm to 9pm. Some of his members also give healing at Queensberry [sic] School West in Canesworde Road on Thursdays from 7.30pm to 9pm.

For more information call 01582 663900 or visit"

Did the H&P accidentally insert a word? Instead of saying...

"The technique has no known side-effects"

...surely they meant so say...

"The technique has no known effects" Alas, before I had a chance to put them right, Sue Blain (a local naturopath) had appeared in the letters page with news of an exciting scientific discovery.

"A balanced view about [sic] hands on healing [sic]

I really enjoyed and was heartened to read Bev Creagh's balanced and informative article about hands-on-healing [sic]. I would like to add further information concerning scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness, in order to encourage more people to consider using it.

In a study, undertaken by a surgeon with a PhD in molecular biology at the University of Connecticut, Professor Gronowicz, trained healers significantly stimulated the growth of bone, tendon and skin cells.

The cell cultures, in petri dishes, were divided into three groups, the control group, trained healers and untrained students. They were instructed to hold their hands above their cell cultures for 10 minutes, twice a week. The dishes were then returned to an incubator.

Scientists who later examined the cells under the microscope didn't know which group each petri dish had been in. One test revealed that cells treated by the trained healers grew double the rate of the untreated cells and also absorbed more calcium. Professor Gronowicz was also intrigued to discover that bone cancer cells were not stimulated in the way the healthy cells were.

The results of this study, designed to rule out the placebo effect, appears [sic] to rule out the placebo effect, appears [sic] to support the belief that an energy field, when channelled through human hands, can positively affect a person's health at a cellular level.

Throughout history and in many cultures the laying on of hands has been used to relieve pain and cure diseases. More recently it is being used in hospitals, for example in Northampton, in the University College Hospital London (Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust) and also in the Czech Republic, where doctors and nurses are trained to use it. It is to be hoped that our local hospitals could follow Northampton's lead.

So thanks to Bev for helping to promote such a good cause and of course to Ray and his team for giving up their free time to help others."

Having read the letter, I was quite surprised that Professor Gronowicz had been overlooked by the Nobel Prize committee that year. Unfortunately, I suspect that Sue has never actually read the study.

"This kind of 'healing' will never work

Your correspondent Sue Blain writes enthusiastically about hands-on healing and 'scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness'.

Unfortunately Professor Gronowicz's experiment was seriously flawed and the results are just a mirage.

There were basic handling errors, the control group was added afterwards and worse still, her results were published in two journals - with different results reported for the same experiment!

In the second of these, the respected Journal of Orthopedic Research, Gronowicz herself admits that her results are statistically insignificant.

There remains not a jot of evidence to show that this kind of 'healing' can improve your health."

Later I realised that I should have written a different letter altogether (not submitted for publication):

"Your correspondent Sue Blain writes enthusiastically about hands-on healing and 'scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness'; but I wonder if Sue has actually read the research?

In the respected Journal of Orthopedic Research, Gronowicz herself concludes 'None of the comparisons fell below this more rigorous threshold, suggesting that the experiment was underpowered...'

In plain English this translates as 'the experiment was a failure'. There remains not a jot of evidence to show that this kind of 'healing' can improve your health."

Sue Blain's second letter, published the following week, was not exactly an impressive rebuttal.

"Will have to agree to differ

It seems Mr Lewis and I will have to agree to differ about the effectiveness of hands on healing and Professor Gronowicz's study, reported in the Journal of Orthopaedic [sic] Medicine. It does take a great leap of understanding to appreciate how and why it works. A certain amount of scepticism is always needed and a natural reaction will often be, 'How can it possibly work?'

Hopefully more studies will follow to verify her initial findings. However, proof and understanding aside, there are still many people who have benefitted from this therapy and are very grateful for any help they've received."

Ray Wilson appears in a promotional video here.

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