Mediumship and autoimmune disease: both can cause you to suddenly find yourself living a very different life than the one you had planned for yourself. But what is the connection? And why are we finding such high incidences of autoimmune disease amongst spiritual mediums?
A study comparing mediums to non-mediums, found that mediums were much more likely to suffer from autoimmune disease (35.2%), gastrointestinal problems (35.2%), headaches/migraines (26.4%), sleep disturbances (40%), and food intolerances (28%). Overall, mediums were found to have poorer health in general compared to the rest of the population.
This is quite significant considering that we find the rate of autoimmune disease in the general population to fall at roughly 7%. So, 35% for mediums versus 7% for everyone else.
Interestingly enough, the study also looked at if the act of mediumship itself was damaging to health. Measuring health indicators, both before and after a medium provided a reading, they did not find any indication that spirit communication placed any kind of health burdens onto the medium.
Although there is an emerging belief that the act of mediumship drains one of their health, there was surprisingly no evidence found for that. What does seem to be the case, however, is that autoimmune disease and mediumship abilities may be “switching on” in the person around the same time. This could be the end of the discussion, but as I delved deeper on the topic, I found it to be much more complicated than I initially thought.
In 2008 The United States Government funded a program to study the effects of UFOs on human beings. The program hired a team of 50 highly trained professionals including PhD and Masters level scientists. One of the areas of focus for the team was the infamous Skinwalker Ranch.
If you are unfamiliar, Skinwalker Ranch is a 500 acre ranch located in Utah. Built in 1934, the ranch has decades of reports of UFO sightings and phenomena. It is also considered to be very haunted.
Those that were sent to investigate the ranch all reportedly “brought something home” with them. The personnel, as well as their family members, reported seeing shadow people, orbs, and hearing things like footsteps in their homes. The paranormal activity continued for years after the visit to the ranch.
Even more interesting, and perhaps even more mysterious, is that several of the investigators as well as their family and household members, developed autoimmune diseases after the visit to the ranch occurred.
This idea of “bringing something home”, be it in the form of a ghost or a mysterious illness, has been dubbed The Hitchhiker Effect or Hitchhiker Syndrome. It is believed to occur in connection with people being disrespectful of the paranormal. Although there have been no reports of the researchers “egging on” the ghosts at Skinwalker Ranch, I’m sure it wouldn’t shock anyone to know that sometimes professionals joke around and let-off-steam while in the workplace.
The case of Skinwalker Ranch is not the only example of Hitchhiker Syndrome. Indeed, this is a well known phenomenon that’s been around forever. The difference with Skinwalker Ranch was that this was bonafide government research and not simply anecdotal. The other thing that makes the case intriguing is the contagion aspect of it. The researchers were essentially able to “spread” the “disease” to other members of their household.
Previously I’ve shared my belief that the connection between mediumship and autoimmune disease could simply be a modern manifestation of the Shamanic Illness. This is an illness that overtakes the budding Shaman and does not cease until they surrender to the path. This has certainly been true with my experience of autoimmune disease and spiritism.
Recently I’ve been reading the book Autobiography of a Yogi. In the book, the author, Yogananda describes having a condition that to me sounds like Crohn’s Disease. Yogananda was born 1893 and Crohn’s Disease was not yet “discovered” until much later. In the book he describes being miraculously healed from the condition once he becomes a disciple of the spiritual path.
The Shamanic Illness certainly makes sense as an explanation for many spiritual practitioners. My illness forced me to slow down, to literally stop what I was doing and to re-evaluate my life. I had to choose a different path forward from the one I had been living. I had always had these mediumship abilities. Why not dedicate my life to them? After what I had gone through with my health, the choice was simple.
But what are we to make of this idea of the Hitchhiker Syndrome and the fact that it can be spread to others? It’s enough to make you pause and consider that perhaps prolonged contact with the spirit world can somehow trigger autoimmune disease.
I came across this interesting blog post from 2017 where the author related an anecdote how over time all energy healers develop autoimmune disease. It’s important to note that energy healers, such as reiki practitioners, do not do any kind of mediumship or spirit work. They simply move energy within the client, within themselves, and also channel it from the Earth and the cosmos, but by no means are they purposefully moving paranormal energy.
The author’s theory is that energy workers will eventually cross paths with a client that has some sort of demonic attachment. The attachment is then transferred onto the worker, and the demon then feeds off the worker, causing the autoimmune disease.
There are a lot of those in the community that claim that most of us have some sort of demonic attachment and that these attachments are responsible for every single issue and ill we find in society. I’m not a fan of the “a demon at every doorstep” theory. I understand why it’s a popular theory, but I also believe that sadly people choose to commit evil or self-destruct all on their own. We’re given free-will and the opportunity to make choices in our life. Otherwise why even bother with this whole human experiment?
That being said, I have had experiences in the past where I encountered what I can only assume were demons. A lot of budding mediums have experiences where it seems that every home they’ve ever lived in has been haunted. Like me, they may even have experiences with demons. My theory is that spirits can sense the mediumship energy and are attracted to it. Demons may also sense and terrorize the medium in an attempt to scare them into turning off their abilities.
Recently on Reddit a user commented on their belief that every medium has some part of them remaining in the afterworld, and that’s how they are able to more easily access the other side. This piece of soul may have crossed over during a NDE (near death experience) or perhaps during a traumatic experience when that part of the soul fled the body. Interestingly enough, this concept of “soul loss” is very widely recognized in shamanism.
Could soul loss somehow account for autoimmune disease? I’ve written before that there is a definite connection between childhood abuse, trauma, chronic stress, and autoimmune disease. Anecdotally I can relate that all of the mediums I have met have had very difficult pasts. It would almost seem that past trauma is a sort of “training ground” for switching on mediumship abilities.
When spirits communicate with a medium, it’s not like having a normal conversation with the living (although at times it can be that way if the connection is really good). Typically, spirits will communicate with images, symbols, feelings attached to a single word, or even show the medium a snippet of the medium’s own memory as a way of communicating “It was like that”. If you haven’t lived a varied life, you’re not going to give the spirit much to work with in the way of communication.
Experiencing trauma seems to be a necessary ingredient along the spiritual journey. But we also know that trauma can cause various health issues that linger well into adulthood.
The more I examine this issue of mediumship and autoimmune disease, the more I realize that there is no easy answer. Fortunately the Windbridge Center is continuing to conduct research on the phenomenon, so it is possible that in the future we may have more insight. In the mean time though, I would love it if you would share your thoughts and theories on this in the comments section below! I’ve learned so much from other spiritual seekers and would love to get a dialogue going!