Eric Thorton's Remarkable Healing Abilities
By Scott Stolnack
Eric Thorton has a gift. He-or more precisely, what he calls the Holy Spirit, working through him-can heal people through his hands. And while his more extraordinary claims, such as sending cancer into remission and healing broken bones, can be hard for some to believe, many who meet him seem to recognize that there is "something" special about him.
In most respects, Eric is perfectly ordinary. A stocky, soft-spoken man with a fresh haircut and neatly trimmed dark beard, he worked for 20 years in construction, doing remodeling and home repair. His house sits on a cul de sac tucked in among tall fir trees in a sleepy Seattle suburb. A tropical aquarium is the focal point of his living room. There's an upright piano near the 100 year-old French doors (salvaged from a remodeling job) that lead to the back yard, and his kids' Harry Potter books on the bookshelves.
But something just draws you to him-it's been that way for almost as long as Eric can remember. When he was a contractor, "people just always clung to me," he says with a laugh, as if it still surprises him. During one remodel, he remembers, "One client comes up to me and says, do you clear energy? I looked at her like, how would you know that? Here I am the person doing her remodel and she's asking me, . . . well, something's radiating from me." Even as far back as high school, everyone used to come to Eric with their problems. He's not 'charismatic' in the everyday sense-to me, when I met him recently for an interview and healing session, he just felt like a good, gentle, compassionate person-somebody with whom you'd find it easy to be friends.
"We all have a thing we call intuition," he tells me. "We feel other people's energy. In feeling it, we can take it on, we can hold that energy." And all of us, according to Eric, need to get rid of the energy that doesn't belong to us, because it's toxic to our well-being. He also says he can be a conduit for higher, healing energies.
"In my belief, I release (the unhealthy energy) to God. But I have clients who are from all walks of life. I have pagan people, I have Christians, I have Catholics, I have Muslims. Some people believe in the earth energy, so I bring that in. Any orientation, doesn't matter. I'm not here to judge anything. I just do a leap of faith with each person who comes in. That's what I have to do - a leap of faith."
I lie down on the massage table while he puts on some soft meditative music to take the edge off the silence. I close my eyes. Eric says a silent prayer. After a minute or two I begin to feel warmth in one of my legs; I open my eyes just a bit, and there's Eric, his own eyes closed, his hand hovering about six inches above my knee. As the session progresses, I feel warmth in various parts of my anatomy-my foot, my thigh, my abdomen. Usually, Eric's hands are above the warm spot, but not always. I feel a great deal of warmth in my lower back, and later, between my shoulder blades. I'm deeply relaxed now, as if I'm in a deep meditative state-and just as I'm about to fall asleep, Eric says, "The energy's changed. You can lie there for a while, or get up, whatever you want."
Eric goes to his desk and jots some notes on a pad of paper. After a few moments, I go sit in a chair opposite him, and he tells me what he found. He speaks slowly and quietly. It's all so matter-of-fact, he could be giving me an estimate for a kitchen remodel.
"A lot of energy went to your left knee and thigh, and right hip. And right arm and hand area. Your knee energy was very far out. Your heart energy was off. Not bad, it came back fairly easily."
Earlier, he'd explained about heart energy: When you take on others' energy, he said, your own heart energy "literally moves to one side. And it's not giving off energy the way it's supposed to. I can generally bring it back."
He tells me energy went into my spleen, prostate, lower back, and up between my shoulder blades. Some of this is consistent with my medical history: a long-ago knee injury, recent minor surgery, a recent back injury. The rest doesn't correlate with my past-whether it fits with my future remains to be seen. None of my normal aches and pains seem to have gone away, nothing remarkable seems to have happened, but I feel alert, relaxed and energized. (Throughout the following week, the energized feeling stays with me. All my physical aches and pains remain, but a certain lightness of spirit remains, too.)
I ask Eric what he means when he said energy went "into" those particular areas.
"Whether you experience it or not, I experience the energy coming through my head, and out my left hand, and into the person. I feel intensities of temperature in my hand. You may experience something else. You can experience heat from it, you can experience just relaxing, you can experience all sorts of stuff, or nothing."
Eric continues: "What I'm feeling is a need for energy at that point. My eyes are generally closed, though every so often I have to open them to maintain my equilibrium. My hands, they'll just move to where they're supposed to be, and all of a sudden energy will be going in there."
"And are the results positive for everyone?"
"I've never had anyone who said within two weeks of the session that nothing happened. Who didn't at least feel an energy boost."
"So, does it ever not work?" I press him. "Is there always healing?"
He shrugs. "Sometimes, the healing process is simply feeling the energy of God. Sometimes it's physical healing, or mental healing, or emotional healing. To my knowledge, there has always been some form of healing. It may not be what they want..... Some people come back repeatedly, literally to get down to the next layer."
Some of Eric's claims can be extraordinary. Healing cancer, for instance. When Eric was around ten, his brother developed "rapid malignant cancer. The malignancy had gotten into his prostate, and his lymph glands. So we prayed for him. We put our hands on him, and this phenomenal energy came through me. The next day, he went in for the surgery, and everything was pink and perfect." He also claims to have a client whose terminal cancer went into complete remission for two and a half years. And when his son broke his collar bone playing football, the Holy Spirit working through Eric had the boy healed and playing football in three days.
Later, I interview some of Eric's clients. Daniel Bosco, a computer systems administrator, says "the biggest thing about him is you can actually feel energy when he puts his hand over you. You can actually feel something happening. Sometimes your whole body's tingling." He believes sessions with Eric provide "fertile ground" for other therapies he's doing in conjunction with recent knee surgery.
To Theresa Capps, who's been to Eric twice so far, his ecumenical spirit was essential to her feeling comfortable with him. "He's one of the most open-minded people I've met in my life," she told me. "You can walk in there, whatever spiritual path you belong to, and not feel judged, like you're doing something wrong. Because in his eyes, you're not."
Theresa, who has fibromyalgia, said she's noticed a significant increase in her energy level since seeing Eric. "I function a heck of a lot better than I used to," she said. During her first healing session, "I felt a very cold part of me where I had a blockage. It felt like an ice cube inside of me, and I could feel it move all the way out."
Dr. Carolynn Cory, a chiropractor with a practice in Edmonds, told me she'd tried energy healers before, and her session with Eric was "much more than I expected. I have a lot of troubles with circulation in the lower part of my body. I get cold easily, and so on." During one session, "I felt energy releasing out my left foot, a massive amount of it. When he was done, I could feel life in my legs and feet, and they were warm."
Dr. Richard Kitaeff, a naturopathic physician and acupuncturist who has had one session with Eric, says he experienced "a deeply relaxed state." He believes that the type of "spiritual healing" that Eric performs "can influence the energy of the body to strengthen the immune system in fighting against infection of any kind. As long as people are not using it in place of conventional treatment, when conventional treatment might work better, I see no problem with using it."
Near the end of my interview with Eric, we discuss his recent transition from contractor to healer, his official occupation since May. He sees the change as fulfilling a greater purpose.
"In order to do what you're supposed to do in life, you have to let it happen. It's like what I'm doing. It took 20 years. I was in construction. And it bothered me every day of my life.
"On my fortieth birthday, I took the plunge. I got my minister's license on that day." Business has been building quietly: someone will recommend him to a friend, and that friend will come in for a session.
"And then they tell somebody else. That's the way it's been so far. I've been very busy." He smiles.
"I try to be genuine, and open. But . . . the Holy Spirit guides."