power of hands?
minutes the pain had gone." Ailsa Marsh.
David Cunningham, a spiritual healer from Wearside, claims to have
healing hands - the ability to channel energy from God to cure the sick.
patients have included several Hollywood A-list Stars.
But others believe
he's preying on the vulnerable to create false hope.
So is his healing
work misguided or does he have supernatural powers?
power of touch
David Cunningham has no medical training but
he says he can cure anything from a terminal disease to a sprained ankle - simply
His life changed when he was living in the Middle East.
from Iraq - a life changing experience for David|
In 1990 David
was a hotel manager in Kuwait - when Iraqi tanks rolled in.
He recalls what
happened next, "I was awoken to gun shot...
"We were put in two
buses and shipped across the desert and taken to Baghdad".
one of dozens of Western hostages used as a human shield to protect military installations
from American bombs.
"I was there for three months
we were fed
on rice, cucumber and tomato. Seven of us lived in one bedroom.
knew it would change my life. I made a pact with God that when it was over, I
would use my healing gift."
to faith healing
After his traumatic experiences in Iraq, David
set himself up as a healer in London.
His clients included the actress
Hayley Mills who was suffering from whiplash following an accident.
was so pleased with David's healing work that news spread of his talents.
David moved to the United States where his clients included Demi Moore and Bruce
Marsh - enormous pain relief following her consultations|
three years ago, he returned home to Wearside to set up the Spiritual Healing
Ailsa Marsh is one of his many clients, and she believes that David's
healing powers are very real:
"David Cunningham gave
me light when I had none... I was dying. Mentally I was shot to ribbons and I
had nowhere else to go."
Ailsa was seriously ill with
ME at home in Northumberland for more than five years:
could not walk from one end of the room to the other. I used to hang onto the
walls and scream in agony like I was being tortured."
could find no cause and offer no cure - and then she met David:
put his hands this far from my shoulders - and it was the most amazing I will
never forget it.
"He put his hand over my right shoulder
and the pain went like that.
"Excruciating pain for six years in an
instant - it was gone. The real excruciating torturous, awful pain disappeared."
Ailsa is living in London - she has a job and a life, "No, it's not an overstatement
to say he saved my life - and saying that doesn't even come close.
brought this amazing light and colour into my life where there was none."
Another client, Margaret Leslie, has had similar
"He is absolutely my hero," she says.
Leslie says that she feels virtually cured|
"On four or
five days of each week I was having a migraine - they interrupted my whole life.
ultimate message from my GP was I was going to have to live with it. I was so
"After one treatment I felt much much better.
took five treatments to feel virtually cured.
"It's a dramatic change
it really is... I have got my life back my personality back."
Despite these stories Professor Chris French,
a Psychologist at Goldsmith's College, London, remains sceptical about spiritual
"There are often individual cases which are very
but we investigate further and find the underlying cause is still
"There is a huge difference between feeling better and getting
Chris French remains sceptical|
is that we have no way of measuring these energies... we are looking at no more
Chris French believes that the dramatic
results may be the result of a 'placebo effect':
not implausible that we are looking at a placebo effect and natural remission."
Margaret Leslie isn't convinced:
"It was such a dramatic improvement
it would be a hell of a coincidence," she says.
David Hitchen was diagnosed with a malignant brain
tumour in 2006 - his doctors have told him there is nothing more they can do.
he's seeing David once a week:
"I was absolutely desperate.
This is a pretty difficult situation. The doctors don't seem to be helping us."
Hitchen believes that spiritual healing is making a difference.
Hitchen says the effect has been "electric".|
for all David Cunningham's sincerity, some critics remain unconvinced, including
Professor Chris French:
"One of the most important factors
is the placebo effect
if we are talking about healing above that then the
evidence isn't there that faith healing works.
"What we need is properly
David Cunningham says that he never
gives false hope - he doesn't
promise anything, but he will try to see if
he can get a response.
He openly admits that his treatment doesn't work
"There are people who for whatever reason don't
respond. - a deep subconscious reaction that perhaps it is their time to go home
Cure or placebo?
could the improvements be down to conventional medicines?
ask for his clients' medical records - he uses his power of touch.
Cunningham - the power of touch?|
"I can scan their bodies
with my hand and I can feel their disturbance," he says.
that strong negative emotional responses to events in our lives create blockages
in our energy system which emerge as physical symptoms:
believe that everything comes from the self.
"When we are not at peace,
when we are not in harmony when we are not loving ourselves unconditionally or
our fellow man when we are not at peace in our soul this dis-ease-ment will manifest
itself in our physical body."
Professor Chris French thinks
this is a dangerous message.
But David Cunningham sincerely believes that
his hands can heal.
So far, there's little to suggest that there is solid
medical evidence to back up his claims.
But when doctors can offer no cure
- David Cunningham can provide something that mere medicine cannot - and that
Federation of Spiritual Healers provides
a full list of spiritual healers across the UK.
David Cunningham can be
contacted via his website
or by phoning 0191 417 8231.
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