Medical Intuition: Science or Art?
The Story of the American Board of Scientific Medical Intuition
By Peter Occhiogrosso
What do you do when you are working with a medical diagnostic tool that you find uncannily effective, but that the medical profession by and large eschews? That was the question faced by Dr. Norman Shealy when he began employing medical intuition in his practice some 30 years ago. His response was to write a book about the science while continuing to study and refine its uses. But promoting medical intuition created other problems. “Since the publication of Creation Of Health in 1988, in which we first used the term ‘intuitive’ in place of ‘psychic’ or ‘clairvoyant,’ the characters have come out of the woodwork!” Dr. Shealy says of the responses to the book he co-authored with Caroline Myss, the gifted medical intuitive with whom Shealy had been working. “Increasingly, many flaky people are calling themselves medical intuitives,” Dr. Shealy says. “And yet they have no skill. Indeed, they are dangerous. We need to set verifiable standards to make the term credible and useful.”
According to Dr. Shealy, although the teaching of medical intuition is relatively new, intuition as a healing force goes back a couple of thousand years to the Greeks, who often sought out healing guidance from an organized system of oracles. The world’s indigenous cultures, from the Americas to Africa, Asia, and Siberia, have long employed shamans to provide intuitive insights into ailments of the body, mind, and soul. In the West, tuition entered the scientific world in the 18th century, through the work of innovators such as Anton Mesmer, Alice Bailey, Carl Jung, Edgar Cayce (whom Dr. Shealy considers “the first modern Medical Intuitive”), and Elmer Green (the father of biofeedback training). “When there are no blocks,” Shealy says, intuition is an instinct that provides all the information you need to survive, solve problems, and unleash your creativity.”
For all that, the modern medical establishment has been reluctant to recognize intuition as a useful diagnostic tool. To counteract both the skepticism of allopathic physicians and the abuses of untrained, untested intuitives, Shealy and Myss co-founded the American Board of Scientific Medical Intuition (ABSMI) in 2000. Together they created a program that would establish criteria for training and certifying medical intuitives. “We wanted to establish a standard of excellence in a new field of science that is high-risk,” says Caroline Myss. “Medical intuitive work can be easily misunderstood, and can have serious consequences if managed carelessly, so some initial steps had to be taken to establish a high level of professionalism. Medical intuition is a talent that needs study and refinement, including residency with a physician.”
Shealy and Myss began the first of eight four-day classroom sessions in 2000, and the eighth such class will be held in the spring of 2004. In 2002, they revamped the program so that students now take a total of nine courses, of which six are five-day classroom sessions plus 3 done as home study classes with homework assignments Students receive six trial cases each month. These include patients with specific diseases and who have given permission to have their name, age and birth data given to the students. Students return to their intuitive diagnoses for cross-check with the official diagnosis. The cases are then returned to the students along with the correct diagnosis. By the time these students graduate, they will have seen the correct diagnoses on over 200 cases.
Many people are still unclear as to what exactly medical intuition is and how it works. Myss explains: “Medical intuition will support people when their energy system begins a decline that can’t be measured in conventional medical examinations such as blood tests and urinalysis and X-rays. A skilled medical intuitive can step in and describe the energy traumas active within a patient that have consequences for their biology. But they have to work in harmony with allopathic medicine the way I did with Norm for all those years. This will make them credible and help them to hone their skills. They belong on a medical team.”
According to Shealy, Scientific Medical Intuition requires that practitioners “know medical terminology well enough to converse intelligently with clients and professionals.” For instance, one course “explores the relationship between healthy and unhealthy physiology and pathology, and lays the essential groundwork for diagnoses that are realistic and scientifically based. Students are asked to experience organ energetics of several fellow students who have healthy energy, and compare those with the energetics of an unhealthy patient for each organ system.”
Myss is careful to point out that medical intuitives who are certified by the ABSMI have no authority to discuss medical procedures or recommend prescription drugs. “A medical intuitive does a health evaluation and then turns it over to a physician or qualified medical person,” she says. “The medical person takes it from there.” She likens the intuitives’ role to the American missile defense of the 1950s known as the Distant Early Warning System, whose purpose was to alert the nation at the first sign of an attack. “Intuitives excavate cell memory patterns that may indicate how much energy loss certain traumas or embedded memories cause in a person’s psyche,” Myss says. The goal of medical intuition as she understands it is to identify illnesses in the formation stage, so as to provide both patient and physician with options for treatment both within and outside of accepted allopathic parameters. “So many times I’ve been able to help someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” she says, adding that such ailments are “far more energetic disorders than physical. That’s because we are now evolving such disorders, including Attention Deficit Disorder and Adult Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress, and prolonged depression, which medical tests cannot adequately evaluate. We’re also beginning to expand our definition of what causes certain disorders, such as living near hi-voltage wires, or emotional stress, which medical exams are not able to pick up in the way intuitives can.”
Myss acknowledges that some people will always be skeptical about using intuition to diagnose illness. “That is all the more reason why a standard of professionalism has to be established,” she says. “A healthy skepticism is good, because without people challenging our credibility, standards might remain dangerously low. There’s a real value to skepticism.” Myss, who teaches several classes in the Science of Medical Intuition, believes that this field will become a sophisticated science in years to come. “We are in the pioneering stage now,” she adds. “I’ve seen a lot of careless medical intuitives who don’t have the requisite skill and knowledge. When people are ill, they are vulnerable. I’ve known people who died because they went to a self-anointed intuitive who said, ‘You’re just having an energetic cleansing,” when in fact they had cancer. I once did a reading on a dentist that led me to say that he had pancreatic cancer. Norm tested him and couldn’t find any sign of the disease, yet the man’s psychic and emotional profile showed me that he was miserable as a dentist. Pancreatic disorders are often the consequence of severe stress, such as that caused by being someplace you don’t belong. So Norm suggested that the man consider changing his life and work. But he lacked the ability to get out, and even his fear of disease was not strong enough for him to develop the courage to change. Sixteen weeks later, he died of pancreatic cancer.”
In April 2004, ABSMI will start its third group of new students, teaching the introductory class at the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Association for Research and Enlightment, headquarters in Virginia Beach, and in June they will hold their first National Board exam. ABSMI is a 501-C-6 not-for profit corporation and has received trademarks for their certification programs, “Certified Medical Intuitive” and “Certified Counseling Intuitive.” Applicants may apply to become a Certified Medical Intuitive or Certified Counseling Intuitive. To receive an application phone 888-242-6105.