Lack of understanding of spiritual healing
Denigration of faith healing
Lack of general understanding of spiritual healing leaves it open to quackery, whereby charlatans take advantage of people's despair in order to extort a large fee for their services. Spiritual healing is also equated by many with superstition and occult practices. The dismissal of spiritual healing as superstition and quackery limits the scope of medicine and psychiatry. In developing countries, modern medicine may fail because of the refusal of tribes people to participate owing to insufficient explanation by the authorities in spiritual terms.
Spiritual healing is very much a minority form of healing, and misunderstanding of it is widespread. The inadequacies of clinical, medical and psychiatric science, particularly in the understanding of fear, give a certain outlet for spiritual healers in sophisticated society. Many may be quacks, and some genuine, but in so far as recovery depends to a large extent on belief, the patients may derive some benefit in either case. In indigenous tribal society where spiritual healing is the custom, modern medical techniques may have little effect if spiritual health is not considered as well. The high incidence of psycho-somatic diseases in industrialized countries underlines the close connection between mental and physical disorders and the inadequacy of a purely clinical approach in coping with the problem; but general opinion in modernized society dismisses all except purely scientific cures as quackery or useless.