From strange herbal remedies to magnetic massages, alternate medicines have long been sought after by those with seemingly incurable problems. For those with a more spiritually open mind, psychic surgery has been an answer.
19th century ghost doctor
A woman in Wales has recently claimed that a 19th Century doctor, channeled via a medium, has relieved her of fibromyalgia symptoms (chronic back pain).
"Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition and there's no cure. I'd felt weak and achy for a number of years. Then after my diagnosis, the pain only got worse," she said.
So, with her regular doctor only prescribing more painkillers, the woman, Barbara Phoenix, turned to alternative medicine.
An English practitioner, Vincent Fuller, travelled to Wales to meet her after Mrs. Phoenix contacted him. He could supposedly channel the ghost of another time into his own body in order to practice the art of psychic surgery.
With her friends gathered around her for support, Mr. Fuller set to work.
Soon after, a spirit calling himself Doctor Charles arrived.
"Speaking through Vincent, Doctor Charles told us how he'd been born in the 1880s and died aged 86," Ms. Phoenix recalled. "A GP by trade, he'd been helping people from the other side ever since."
Vincent Fuller soon fell into a 'semi-trance' and began waving his arms above his patient. She claimed to feel her organs moving, and that she saw the apparition of a nurse appear as well. An hour later the procedure was done, and Ms. Phoenix could go home. Though she felt some side effects two days later, when they subsided, her pain was gone.
Psychic surgeon in Australia
Recently a psychic surgeon of the faith-healing kind visited Australia's shores. John of God, from Brazil, visited Sydney at the end of last year. Approximately 6,000 people travelled to the NSW capital to see him, paying between $295 and $795 for single-day or three-day visits, the latter of which also including 'blessed soup' for lunch.
Some claimed the spirits he channeled helped their cancer or diseases, though there was also a large dose of skepticism and controversy.