What types of alternative medical treatments are acceptable for a Catholic?

Hey everyone. What types of alternative medical treatments are acceptable for a Catholic? Would acupuncture be acceptable?

Seems to me that, with a few notable exceptions, that would be like asking the Church about the acceptabilitiy of Miller over Bud. Not a matter of faith or morals.

I would think, though, that most priests would counsel an ailing parishioner to be prudent in such matters. Many ‘alternative medical treatments’ are pure quackery, designed to separate desparately ill people from their money. Shame!

Acupuncture, though, seems to be on the borderline, so to speak. It may just be effective in some cases. But I would certainly consult a trusted physician before trying it.

I ask this because some alternative medical treatments such as crystal healing and and rheiki go against Church teaching because they are New Age in nature.

I think this is an under-addressed topic. Many practitioners of alternative tx have new age belief systems that are contrary to the Catholic/Christian.
Acupuncture is effective & is used by Western MDs & other providers. Massage therapy can also greatly improve musculosceletal pain & general health.
When looking for someone to receive treatment from, I would use the referral method. Also, you can interview a provider to see if they follow a healing tradition that may be questionable, Reike comes to mind, although I am not sure about Reike i.e. is it completely new age.
I lookmforward to reading more posts on this. :slight_smile:

I’m not familiar with crystal healing nor with rheiki, but ‘New Age’ is just a catch-phrase, the Church does not make judgments on the basis of a phrase, only with regard, as I said, to faith and morals.

Acupucture is, I am told, quite ancient. But I am neither endorsing nor condemning it, nor does the Church as far as I know.

When I find myself overmedicated and underappreciated by the traditional Western approach to medicine, I wonder the same thing about alternative medical treatments. I would suggest looking at the practice and then the practitioner. I stress that because you can do yoga with chanting and meditation. But my priest didn’t want to use the word yoga in the description of the fitness class. Then again, this particular exercise format, PiYo says clearly in the instructor manual that there will be no chanting or meditation!

In any case, don’t worry about one sweeping generalization, but rather investigate each on its own merit and remember that “alternative” is a subjective word and can change over time.

I really can recommend you the treatments based on the visions of Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Google for more information or pm me if you would like me to tell you a bit more about it.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.