Charlie Goldsmith says he can alleviate body pain and allergy symptoms, even cure infections, just by focusing his mind on what ails us. Now comes the hard part: using the scientific method to prove it to the medical mainstream.
By Chip Brown / Elle Magazine
In the 17 years since the bewildering day that Charlie Goldsmith discovered what he calls his “gift,” the 35-year-old energy healer from Melbourne, Australia, has been trying to get someone in the medical world to take him seriously.
He has wanted to be of use, working with the formal sanction of doctors in hospitals. He has wanted to be recognized for what he knows he can do—not simply to justify the strange turn his life took when he was 18, but to shore up the credibility of a practice long plagued by fraud and religious superstition, and to make the experience of discovering and developing a healing gift like his less traumatic for other people.
It’s one thing to be teased by friends; it’s another to be brushed off by the medical profession as a well-meaning but deluded screwball whose results probably have less to do with energy than with the placebo effects of his kind and empathetic manner, perhaps even his salubrious blue eyes and handsome surf-side looks.
In Melbourne, Goldsmith brought a sheaf of testimonials to a hospital for integrated medicine; no one was interested. Knowing he possibly sounded crazy, he e-mailed specialists in infectious disease, emphasizing his desire to participate in research. One of the few replies he got was from a prominent doctor at the University of Adelaide, who told him: “Even if you can do what you say you can do, no one will ever fund a study.” Goldsmith seldom drinks, but he tied one on that day.
“I wanted to be studied,” he said. “I kept wondering, What is it going to take for people to stop and say, ‘This is pretty compelling’? If you’re good in tennis, if you’re good in math, there’s a path; there are people to talk to; you can prove yourself. If you’re a healer, what’s the path? You can work out of a second bedroom, but it’s borderline illegal and you never have any real credibility.”
It seemed not to matter that a former professional basketball player who’d had three knee surgeries and couldn’t walk downstairs said that Goldsmith had gotten rid of his knee pain and that now he could play pickup games without anti-inflammatory medication. Or that a member of the Australian aerial ski team rehabbing a torn medial collateral ligament was able to bend her elbow, pain-free, after a healing session. Or that a 35-year-old named Adrian Waugh, who couldn’t eat an undercooked egg without his throat constricting in 20 seconds and his face looking as if he’d been in a bar fight, tried one after a treatment and had no allergic reaction. (“Everything is still all good with my allergy—I’m actually about to eat eggs this morning,” he e-mailed me in July, more than a year after his treatment.) Dozens of grateful patients have credited Goldsmith with curing herpes and alleviating pain caused by migraines, car crashes, arthritis, and phantom limbs.
The history of medicine is littered with testimonials touting methods and remedies that ultimately proved ineffective (or worse, harmful) or that produced results for reasons having less to do with practitioners’ claims than with natural healing processes or placebo effects. Goldsmith knew any traction he’d get would have to come from data, not anecdotes. He doesn’t charge for healing work, but when patients wondered how they might repay him, he would ask them to put a word in the ear of doctors or researchers they might know. After 15 fruitless years, he realized he had to change his approach.
“I expected people would go, ‘Wow, this is amazing!’ ” he said. “But instead what I got were blank stares. I realized I was like a black musician in the 1930s trying to get a record company to listen to my music, and all the executives were saying, ‘No one wants to hear your songs.’ It suddenly clicked that if people heard me singing on the corner, then maybe a record company would be interested.”
For the past 40 years, she has been relentlessly proclaiming, teaching, and demonstrating that our body is nothing but a collection of energy systems and that there are scientific means to naturally reclaim our health and vitality. [Read more…]