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Spiritual Connections with Clay Therapy?


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Is there a spiritual dimension in clay therapy? Is there a spiritual dimension in any other form of natural medicine? Is there in nutrition?

Look at the bulletin board at any natural foods store. Spend some  time looking at websites offering natural food, vitamins, yoga, or spa treatments. If you do, you are bound to find many references to spiritual matters.  Some merchants even imply that use of their products will enhance spiritual sensitivity. A few state it explicitly.

Some clay providers place heavy emphasis on spirituality. One of the most energetic of these is Michael King, who sells what he calls ‘Sacred Clay’. Unfortunately, what King offers is pyrophyllite, which is not even a clay, and which can promote aluminum toxicity. His products are not certified by the FDA as safe for internal consumption, and his website doesn’t publish an efficacy rating. In his case, we suspect that the spiritual rhetoric may be an attempt to distract potential customers with claims that can’t be disproved.

One of our own information sources, Cano Graham, also connected clay therapy with spirituality. He introduced our founder, David Smith, to the benefits of calcium bentonite clay.

Cano Graham was an actor who helped Lee Strasberg found the Method Acting School. In the late 1970s, fed up with Hollywood values, Graham moved into the Mojave Desert. There, he befriended many members of the Western Shoshone tribe, who showed him their sacred clay caves and baths. Graham soon was convinced that the clay held curative powers.

In 1980, Graham played a high priest in Forty Days of Musa Dagh, a movie about the 1915 Turkish genocide of Armenians.  Filming was on location in Armenia. The priest, Ter Haigasun, had helped many of his fellow Armenians escape from the Turks. He also played a pivotal role in leading and protecting his people during World War II, and some said he performed miracles. Graham, with his flowing beard and hair, and dressed in the robes and vestments of the high priest, looked almost exactly like Ter Haigasun. Some of the older Armenians, believing their spiritual leader had returned, knelt before Graham with tears in their eyes.

By his own account, the incident had a powerful effect on Graham. He concluded from it that belief can be an effective healer. This much is undeniably true. He also concluded that any effective therapy can be a basis for religious belief. It can become a religious ritual.

With this in mind, Graham returned to Tecopa Hot Springs, California. There he founded the Crystal Cross Resort, choosing the name very deliberately. He founded a group called the Clay Disciples, whose members thought of clay therapy as a spiritual practice. For the group, clay baths and internal detoxification treatments were rituals, and some thought of Graham as their prophet, the necessary conduit to spiritual and physical benefit. He even wrote a book on the subject, titled The Clay Disciples.

Cano Graham was an unusual man. We wouldn’t go nearly so far in encouraging a religious approach to the use of our clay. We certainly affirm that belief is powerful. So is science. While we don’t doubt that belief helps the healing process, our clay is proven to work independently of the user’s belief. Faith helps, but it’s not strictly necessary.

Faith is powerful by itself. Therapy based on sound science is powerful by itself. Combining the two offers the best possible chance for cure of our ailments.

Investigate the source of your therapeutic clay. Ask if it’s certified by the FDA as safe for internal consumption. Ask for its molecular analysis.  Ask about its ionic exchange capacity, which is an objective measure of healing efficacy. We are proud to show you this information about our clay. Why won’t other providers do the same?

Faith is important, but it shouldn’t be disconnected from reality. The most powerful and most enduring faith is founded on proven fact.

(The quotation at the head of this article is from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Prince of Denmark. The enclosed image is a detail from Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam.)

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