EMEmber's Blog

Psychic Surgery


  • Explain the basic principles behind the modality with referenced material.
  •  Who first developed the modality? Or elaborate on the historical timeline of the modality.
  • psychic surgery started to appear in the Spiritualist communities of the Philippines and Brazil in the mid-1900s.



In the Philippines, the procedure was first noticed in the 1940s, when performed routinely by Eleuterio Terte. Terte and his pupil Tony Agpaoa, who was apparently associated with the Union Espiritista Christiana de Filipinas (The Christian Spiritist Union of the Philippines), trained others in this procedure.[3]

In 1959, the procedure came to the attention of the U. S. public after the publication of Into the Strange Unknown by Ron Ormond and Ormond McGill. The authors called the practice "fourth dimensional surgery," and wrote "[we] still don’t know what to think; but we have motion pictures to show it wasn’t the work of any normal magician, and could very well be just what the Filipinos said it was — a miracle of God performed by a fourth dimensional surgeon."[9]

Alex Orbito, who became well known in the U. S. through his association with actress Shirley MacLaine[10] was one said practitioner of the procedure. On June 14, 2005, Orbito was arrested by Canadian authorities and indicted for fraud.[11] On Jan 20, 2006, the charges were dropped as it then seemed unlikely that Orbito would be convicted.[12]

Psychic surgery made U.S. tabloid headlines in March 1984 when entertainer Andy Kaufman, diagnosed with large cell carcinoma (a rare lung cancer), traveled to the Philippines for a six-week course of psychic surgery.[13] Practitioner Jun Labo claimed to have removed large cancerous tumors and Kaufman declared he believed this cancer had been removed.[citation needed] Kaufman died from renal failure as consequence of a metastatic lung cancer, on May 16, 1984.[14]


The origins of the practice in Brazil are obscure; but by the late 1950s several "spiritual healers" were practicing in the country.[citation needed] Many of them were associated with Kardecism, a major spiritualistic movement in Brazil[citation needed], and claimed to be performing their operations merely as channels for spirits of deceased medical doctors.[15] Others were following practices and rituals known as "Umbanda", a shamanic ritualistic religion with mediumistic overtones inherited from the African slaves brought to the country in colonial times.[citation needed]

A known Brazilian psychic healer who routinely practiced psychic surgery was Zé Arigó, who claimed to be channeling for a deceased medical doctor of name Dr. Fritz. Unlike most other psychic healers, who work bare-handed, Arigó used a non surgical blade.[16] Other psychic healers who claimed to channel for Dr. Fritz were Edson Queiroz and Rubens Farias Jr..[17] Popular today (especially abroad) is João de Faria, also known as João de Deus, a quack operating in Abadiânia, state of Goiás.[18]

According to the descriptions of Yoshiaki Omura, Brazilian psychic surgery appears to be different from that practiced in the Philippines. Omura calls attention to the fact that practitioners in Brazil use techniques resembling Qigong, Shiatsu massage, and chiropractic manipulation. Some patients are also injected with a brown liquid, and alleged minor surgery was performed in about 20% of the cases observed.[19] While Arigó performed his procedures using kitchen knives in improvised settings, Omura reports that the clamping of blood vessels and the closing of the surgical wounds are now performed by licensed surgeons or licensed nurses.[15]

  • Are there any organizations which represent the modality nationally or internationally?


  • In which countries is the modality practiced?


  • How many registered, trained, and certified practitioners are there around the world?


  • Do the national governments endorse the modality by making it available in their own facilities?


  • Is the technology a diagnostic device, a treatment device or both?

Psychic surgery is a pseudoscientific procedure typically involving the alleged creation of an incision using only the bare hands, the removal of pathological matter, and the spontaneous healing of the incision.

  • How exactly does the device work?
  • Although psychic surgery varies by region and practitioner, it usually follows some common lines. Without the use of a surgical instrument, a practitioner will press the tips of his/her fingers against the patient's skin in the area to be treated. The practitioner's hands appear to penetrate into the patient's body painlessly and blood seems to flow. The practitioner will then show organic matter or foreign objects apparently removed from the patient's body, clean the area, and then end the procedure with the patient's skin showing no wounds or scars.[citation needed]
  • Most cases do not involve actual surgery although some practitioners make real incisions.[8] In regions of the world where belief in evil spirits is prevalent, practitioners will sometimes exhibit objects, such as glass, explaining that the foreign bodies were placed in the patient's body by evil spirits.[3]


  • Explain the device and the type of frequencies emitted.


  • Where on the frequency spectrum does the frequency emitted by this device fall?


  • Describe the frequency wave emitted by the device.


  • Is this the original model of the device or have there been additional generations developed?


  • Does the device need power?
  • It is totally manually operated technique.

If yes, explain the voltage and amperage of the device.

  • Has anyone submitted the device to any agencies for approval?

If so, did it receive approval?

  • Is FDA approval required to legally use the device?


  • Does the device have approval from any other country?


  • In which countries can the device be legally sold and used?

Conditions Treated:

  • What specific imbalances can be addressed by this modality/device?


  • If there are many treatment options, are there specific imbalances the modality/device addresses with great efficacy?


  • Are there any contraindications for this modality/device?


  • Is there any research published either peer reviewed or otherwise that we can refer to or get access to?

Experience with Modality/Device:

  • How long has the modality/device been in practice/use?


  • How long does it take a practitioner to become adept at practicing/using the modality/device?


  • What is the training involved and the certification process? Please also describe the qualification and registration process, if any.


  • Is the training recognized by any authority or governing body?

Patient Questions:

  • What steps does a client need to take to determine if this modality/device is appropriate for their concern?


  • What is a typical duration of treatment?


  • What is the typical cost of this treatment?


  • Are there any side effects clients have experienced?


  • Can the treatment be used in the clinic only or can it be used in the home?


  • Will insurance cover this treatment?

If so, under which code?
More Information:

  • How does a person learn more about locating practitioners who practice the modality/use this device?


  • Please provide links to websites, research papers and literature which will give more information about this modality/device and its background.


  • Are there any brand ambassadors in clinical practice, who can be contacted to discuss the modality/device?


  • Is there any research and/or media coverage about the device that you can reference, including both TV and printed media?


  • Do you have testimonials?


  • Tell us stories about specific patients who have benefited by using this modality/device.