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July 2020

Dan Medicinhist Arbog. 1995 ; (): 199-212.

Not Available

Jørgensen S.

Details of the laying on of hands can be found in The Old Testament. Here there are accounts of diseases being cured and evil spirits being exorcised by the laying of hands. In the account of the Flood, approx. 3000 B.C. in the ancient Babylonic writings of Gilgames the Bablonian Utu-nipishtim and his wife were blessed after having saved their lives in the ark during the Flood. They were blessed by the Gods nestor Entil and consequently got divine powers for the rest of their lives. Anointing oil and the laying on of hands were known in Israel from Abrahams time approx. 1900 B.C. The New Testament tells of many cases of laying on of hands and healing of body and mind diseases by Jesus and his disciples. The method of healing by touch and anointing was continued by the High Priests and Kings who benefited by the fact that the people believed they could transfer their divine healing powers. The tradition continues through the Middle Ages to recent times through the French and English Kings to about 1830 and 1680 respectively. The medical use of touching a patient to diagnose seems to have lost ground with the possibilities which has developed since the discovery of the X-ray 100 years ago. SPECT: Single Photon Emission Tomography and PET: Positron Emission Tomography. The clinical use of laying on of hands has got a new perspective with the discovery and development of the bidigital O-ring test which can be used without the use of high technology. As yet there is little scientific acceptance of the value of this method of diagnosis.

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