A medium can be defined as a person that is in close or direct contact with one or more alleged incorporeal entities or so-called spirits and serves voluntarily or involuntarily as an agent between the spiritual and the physical world. Direct contact is the exchange of thought, emotions, feelings, sensation, and proprioception between medium and spirit and can project on all five senses in the medium. Hence, this close bond allows for the sharing of well-differentiated complex visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory experiences between the medium and the incorporated spirit.
A doctor-spirit medium, in particular, is a person who has a close or direct bond with an alleged doctor spirit, the spirit of a deceased individual supposedly a medical doctor during their lifetime, or a monk, a saint, a philanthropist etc. on rare occasions. The medium serves as an intermediary between the physical world and the spiritual world enabling the doctor spirit to directly and tangibly treat the diseases and ailments of the living.
In many cases, the alleged spirit may take temporary control of the medium’s body and mind. This process is called incorporation – the spirit incorporates into the medium. The medium can be fully conscious, semi-conscious, or completely unconscious during inspiritance. Mediums who report to not be conscious for the time the spirit has control over them commonly say to have no memory and cannot recollect the events that happen during that time. Some use the expression ‘full-trance medium’ to refer to this phenomenon. Many doctor-spirit mediums seem to belong to this category.
Doctor-spirit mediums serve as a conduit for spirit entities that provide a particular form of free health treatment that goes by the name ‘spiritual treatment’. Although called spiritual treatment, this practice can involve physical invasive surgeries such as removing tumorous tissue from inside the patient’s body without medical precaution and without professional medical care. This spiritual treatment is charity and must not be charged for by the medium. However, some mediums seem to have deviated from that virtue in the past.
Often, the alleged doctor spirit temporarily and routinely incorporates into the doctor-spirit medium to effectuate the spiritual treatment. During the inspiritance period, the spirit may have access to all physical and psychological processes in the medium. Thus, the spirit also has complete motor control, can access the medium’s cognition and memory, and can make use of all senses – vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. The state of being incorporated in the medium enables the doctor spirit to directly engage with the patient in a natural way – consultation, analysis, prescriptions, surgery, and other actions.
Among all mediumistic faculties, doctor-spirit mediums appear to be one of the most interesting when considering what they do. In Brazil, the national media has reported that an increasing number of people seek their help for health treatment despite strongly persistent religious stereotypes in the Brazilian population that ‘spiritually outlaw’ such phenomena.