Pyschic surgery, cosmic healing, absent healing and contact healing are among terms used to describe the complex, colourful and often astounding world of Filipino faith healers.
GV PAN FROM river bed TO chapel
CU sign "Filipino Christian Church"
GV patients collecting cards
CU sign "Healing schedule" PAN DOWN TO patients
SV patients entering clinic
SV faith healers arriving
GV PAN patients praying
CU flowers PAN TO medicines (2 shots)
SCU & CU faith healers preparing themselves
SCU faith healer praying
GV Cross on wall PAN DOWN TO patients
SCU faith healer drawing blood from woman's abdomen and removing tissue
CU patient's head being massaged
SCU healer wiping stomach area
SCU faith healer inserting fingers into woman's abdomen and removing tissue
SCU patient's head being massaged PAN TO stomach and to faith healer
CU patients praying and singing PAN TO woman who has just been operated on rising from table
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Background: Pyschic surgery, cosmic healing, absent healing and contact healing are among terms used to describe the complex, colourful and often astounding world of Filipino faith healers.
More than 600 spiritual healers live in the Philippines and more and more people from all over the world are visiting them to seek cures for all types of ailments - including some which are doomed incurable by Western medical science.
The branch of faith healing which has attracted world-wide attention is psychic surgery, where the body is opened and diseased tissue and organs removed without using any type of scalpel or blade. In some cases the healers can remove the offending tissue without drawing blood. In all cases no scars mar the skin after the operation and patients simply rise from the operating table and walk away.
The healers stress they themselves are not special - they merely channel and focus spiritual forces through their bodies. For this they must work in the right atmosphere of spiritual understanding which is provided by the Filipinos themselves - 86 per cent of whom are devout Roman Catholics.
The faith healers say their treatment is a mixture of mental and physical cures. Sceptics maintain it is mostly mental and label the healers "magicians".
One theory of the healing process is that the diseased tissue is dematerialised and then rematerialised once it passes through the patient's skin.
But accurate scientific information is hard to come by - the Filipino medical profession ignores the healers, and little orthodox scientific study has been made of their work from overseas.