Monday, August 08, 2005

Christian Science treatment

I had a good talk yesterday with someone about Christian Science treatment, so I thought I’d share just a few of the things I’ve learned here. These are just my ideas—there are probably as many different ways to describe it as there are Christian Scientists. :)

What is Christian Science treatment? As you may already know, it’s an entirely spiritual form of treatment where the goal is to transform thought. This transformation of thought leads to increased harmony—in our lives, in our relationships, in our bodies.

So how does this transformation take place? And what are we transforming from and to?

To me, the transformation is from a solidly material self-definition to one that is more spiritual. It makes sense that you can gain this more spiritualized concept through a better understanding of Spirit. So for me, Christian Science treatment starts with gaining a deeper understanding of Spirit, God.

When I’m giving a treatment through prayer, I start by contemplating some aspect of God I’m already familiar with, then building on it. There are seven overarching synonyms for God in Christian Science: Love, Truth, Life, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle. I’ll start with the one or perhaps two that most closely touch on the issue I’m praying about. For example, hypothetically, let’s say the issue is a pulled muscle. I might start with Principle. And then I’ll become mentally poised to receive a new concept about Principle that expands my definition of God.

My contemplation might go like this:

  • Principle means the underlying law that governs all creation.
  • This law is good, harmonious, perfect in every detail.
  • This law is self-enforcing, since Principle is all-power.
  • This law is fair, reaching everything in creation impartially.
  • This law is reliable, it never changes or is at fault.

Ah-ha! In this example, let’s say that’s the new idea I was seeking—the idea of Principle’s reliability. Perhaps I’ve never thought about this before, or spent the time to become truly convinced of it. When I recognize the new idea, I dwell with it, letting it seep in to my consciousness fully.

It’s important to note that I don’t just recite memorized words to myself. Rather, in that space of contemplation, I’m genuinely letting the ideas flow, one from the other. They build, I contemplate, they transform, I grow. The ideas are always new. Each treatment is about new ideas, not rehashed ones. After all, transformation can’t take place when all you’re doing is going over old ground. You must be constantly breaking new ground to feel the effects of spiritual healing.

As I contemplate the new idea (Principle’s reliability in the example above), I begin to feel a sense of joy and conviction. I look for this feeling before I move on in my treatment. The discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, “You may vary the arguments to meet the peculiar or general symptoms of the case you treat, but be thoroughly persuaded in your own mind concerning the truth which you think or speak, and you will be the victor” (Science and Health). I strive to be “thoroughly persuaded” as a foundation for the entire treatment. It goes beyond mere words, I need to feel it to my core. I recognize this state by the joy, confidence, light it brings.

So then, at this point, I turn my thought to the patient, in this case the one with the pulled muscle. I see this patient as the image and likeness of the ideas I’ve just been contemplating. This patient is governed by the law that is harmonious and perfect in every detail. This law is fair and impartial, never causing pain but allowing freedom of movement. This law is reliable, and my friend (the patient) can lean on it without fear.

Seeing the patient as the express image of the Divine is part of that transformation of thought, since the goal again is to move from a material view to a more spiritual definition of being. This is what needs to change in order for healing to take place. This is the presence of the Christ, which Mary Baker Eddy says, “comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error” (Science and Health).

Once my thought is “thoroughly persuaded” that the patient is the express image of the Divine, then and only then do I turn to face the problem. And often at that point, the problem is so self-evidently absurd that it can be dismissed with absolute authority. It might go something like this: “A pulled muscle? Ha! Not for my friend, the perfect image of perfect Principle. There is no vulnerability there, no unfairness, no pain. Only perfection. I therefore deny your ability to harm my friend, and I declare him free.”

This was a hypothetical, so I can’t tell you for a fact that someone was healed of a pulled muscle by the above. But this is the basic thought process I’ve used in the healing of other difficulties. Generally, I spend roughly 85% on the first part, about 10% on the second part, and about 5% on the final part. For me, it’s most effective to spend the lion’s share of my prayer time on cultivating a deeper understanding of God.

Please feel free to send along any questions you might have, and I’ll be happy to try to answer! You can ask yourself every day, What did I learn about God today? Whenever there’s a new idea, you can know you’re transforming thought, and therefore increasing harmony and peace in your own life and the lives of those around you. I’d love to hear about it!

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 8/17/2006 09:49:00 PM, Blogger Lydia Cornell said...

Thank you for this insightful article Laura. I am taking Christian Science class right now.
God Bless you,

At 7/11/2008 10:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Laura,
Enjoyed your article.
Do you treat?


At 8/18/2009 08:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing how you give a Christian Science treatment. I love the part about feeling of joy and conviction, highly important in the work. It's not just words.

At 8/19/2009 08:54:00 AM, Blogger Laura Matthews said...

Thank you, Phyllis! I'm glad the ideas were helpful.


At 4/19/2011 02:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Laura,
Thank you for sharing your expertise; was given Joel Goldsmith's book Infinite Way and found out he was a Christian Science practitioner...although I was already reading Science and Health but never made the connection for quite a time.
Science and Health is what I have been looking for for a long time; have not been able to help my son nor myself yet which is the reason I got interested...spiritual healing...if Jesus said tht the things He has done we shall do and greater, why is most of Christianity focused only on sin and does not heal?...nor want discussion of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?; so this is why I came to Christian Science.
I guess my question, Laura, is what to do if healing does not happen?

At 4/19/2011 02:21:00 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

Hi, Madeline, thanks for writing. This post was from several years ago, and I no longer work with people directly for Christian Science healing. I have two wonderful friends who do, though, and I know they'd be glad to speak with you. Here are their websites:

Please be in touch with them, they can help answer your question.

At 4/19/2011 04:08:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Love you...xoxox

At 5/30/2011 12:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article. It is a good starting point from which to give myself a treatment.

And thank you for leaving your blog up, even though you no longer update it.


At 5/30/2011 12:44:00 PM, Anonymous Laura Matthews said...

Thanks for your note, Kathleen... I'm so glad the blog is still helpful to people.

God bless,

At 10/31/2011 09:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Laura,

This was a good read, and very specific.

Do you have any tips or insightful reading
for those wishing to go much deeper into
Christian Science (without any connection to
organized official branches)?

Kind regards,

At 10/31/2011 01:59:00 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

Hi, Duncan, I'd suggest Christian Science class instruction. These are two-week courses on how to heal that are taught separately from the local church experience (although often teachers are active in their local churches).

Here's more info on this option:

Class instruction changed my life; I highly recommend it.

At 11/02/2011 07:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Laura. It's very helpful to understand how one arrives at a new inspiration for healing.

I am not a church member either, Duncan, and I took class instruction this summer. It was very helpful in understanding how to heal, though continued study, reading and contemplation are still necessary. The Christian Science websites are also very helpful, with articles, online lectures, discussions, online church services and more available to read, watch, participate in and listen to. and and

At 11/26/2011 08:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article. It's helpful in explaining how to give a
treatment. I have a specific question regarding the effects of treatment that I sometimes feel. This was never addressed in class.
Why do I sometimes feel or even seem to "hear" the treatment in mind. It's very distinct.

At 11/26/2011 01:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for writing. The best thing to do if you've had class instruction is to ask your teacher this question. Otherwise, any other teacher or practitioner listed in the Christian Science Journal could help you as well.


At 9/11/2012 03:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this excellent article! I read Science and Health several times and I've even seen a glow emanating from the open pages of the book early one morning, but the exact method of treatment was elusive until I found your article. Just reading Science and Health has produced healing miracles!

At 8/23/2013 11:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this article! :)


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