‘Energy healer’ to prove sceptics wrong
HE can make a two-year-old who hasn't spent a day of his life without pain sleep like a baby.
He can banish 30 years of neck pain in 30 seconds. Mobilise paralysed limbs. Zap an allergy. All without laying a hand on anyone.
Melbourne energy healer Charlie Goldsmith has a gift sceptics love to dismiss, but the people he's helped begged to differ.
And these are no paid testimonials, because he's never charged any of them a cent.
If it sounds like a Hollywood script, that's because it sort of is. Goldsmith has been swamped with prospective patients since US TV producers gave him his own show.
The Healer premiered in the US late last year, and has just started screening on Foxtel's TLC channel in Australia.
It's opened Goldsmith, 37, and his gift up to a whole new world of scrutiny.
Cue accolades, and sceptics. Goldsmith welcomes both.
Imagine discovering a gift you don't understand: like a superhero finding their superpower.
That's pretty much what happened to Goldsmith at 18 when, fresh out of a school with a vague clue of what life would look like as an adult, his half-plans were turned upside down.
He was more likely to be a fireman, a businessman … anything ... than a healer.
Who knew healing was even a job?
Sitting at a table he felt an "energy" flow through his hands. He now knows that his gift was announcing itself through the "life force" some philosophies call "chi", "Prana" or "ki".
Back then, all he knew he'd never felt anything like it.
"I remember thinking very clearly that I was sick," he says. About 15 minutes later the first healing - which was an accident - happened as a woman's arthritis-riddled finger which hadn't moved in years was suddenly mobile.
Goldsmith says it was simultaneously "traumatic and exciting"
"Something about it that felt really good. Equally, there was this run of emotions, starting with 'I'm crazy'," he says.
"And then not only are you questioning yourself, but everyone else is too."
Fast forward almost two decades and the unassuming Aussie, now 38, is drowning in requests that flow in by the thousands from people begging him to heal their pain and other medical issues.
Goldsmith isn't a man given to posturing, over-explaining or over-promising.
He has a gift nobody can quite explain, so many distrust it.
He believes what he sees, and knows: Like the studies he's been involved in which show he "heals" 80 per cent of those he treats.
"I've heard lots of theories about why these things aren't possible but I don't like theories very much. I like things that I know - and what I know is, this works," he says
So why doesn't he just cruise hospitals healing sick kids?
"The simple answer is - that's not allowed. I'm trying to change that. And even if it was, hospitals aren't the only place we here people need healing."
The Healer is his chance to lend a credibility he craves not for himself, but to energy healing. He believes there are plenty of others with his "gift", they just need that talent spotted, and developed - like a promising sports star would be.
"For an industry to form people first need to realise "this is real", not something that's happening in people's heads.
"I work on old 80-year-olds and I'm their first experience of this stuff. And I think 'wow you could spend your whole life on this planet and not know that humans have this ability that's been misunderstood and probably misrepresented a lot'."
Clinical results suggest energy healing works. Goldsmith partnered with New York University's Lutheran Hospital for the first study scrutinising his talent.
He treated 50 people with a 76 per cent success rate of pain-related conditions with immediate "marked improvement" and 79 per cent of conditions other than pain.
After the results appeared in the international Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, Hollywood - or more specifically, Bunim Murray, the production company behind the Kardashians franchise - came calling.
"At first they wanted all celebrities and I said 'I can't do that and you don't want to either, because when you see me work you will see that the worst cases are much more interesting than a celebrity with a bad back'," he said.
The healer in him wanted no celebrities in the mix of people he treated. The realist conceded to one third.
So the show sees him travel around the US treating people including Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Kyle Richards. Even his friend, Aussie supermodel Miranda Kerr makes an appearance.
But the case of two-year-old Gibson Barkdull was a turning point for the show.
Born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia and a hormone growth deficiency, the toddler has suffered constant pain in his head, legs and back his whole short life.
As Goldsmith treated the little boy, viewers watched his pain ease. The treatment ended with Gibson sleeping peacefully on the floor - something his mother had never seen.
"He was a good case ... because lots of people said when they saw it they couldn't deny it any more," says Goldsmith.
"It's been nearly a year and he's doing good - everyone [who appeared on the show] is, which is great."
As the show played out in the US, the hundreds of requests for help he receives weekly became a flood of thousands.
"I can't add it up, but it's more than I'll ever be able to read," Goldsmith says.
He can't help everyone -- "That's why we need more healers like me" -- but gravitates towards certain cases.
"Children stand out for me. I read something and it will feel 'I have to help with that". I go for cases where I feel I can have a big impact."
"I don't take just 'easy' cases. I've helped people with brain damage (there are two of them in the show) and all sorts of things."
"It DIDN'T FEEL RIGHT TO CHARGE".
Goldsmith decided at 18 he wouldn't charge for healing - "It just didn't feel right or good to me" - and almost two decades on is happy with the decision.
"If I say it's $100 and you can see me, I'm just going to get all the sore toes in Melbourne. And that's not the best use of my time," he says.
"I get to work on the cases I feel I can use my time best and I can work on people regardless of their financial position, as many times as I need to without there being an expense barrier.
"When you put commerce into stuff you have to follow the money to pay the rent. I didn't want that."
He earns a living running communications and marketing agency, Cassette, and online sugar-free chocolate brand Pumpy Jackson.
HOW DOES HE DO IT?
Goldsmith says "energy medicine" and "healer" are good descriptors of what he does.
"It is energy, and it does act as a medicine," he says.
"The energy is the medicine and the person doing it is essentially the driver. Just like you're not a very good chef without food, it's the energy that does the work."
The process sees Goldsmith close his eyes and direct healing energy towards the source of the problem.
Sometimes it's hands-on. Mostly it's a matter of focus - which is why he can also do it over the phone or, as he does on his Facebook page, via Facebook live.
"It works really well on auto-immune conditions, allergies, it's good on a lot of different viruses, infections, arthritis," he says.
"When someone has had a long-running problem that's unresolved by other interventions, that's like my sweet spot."
As his patients give him feedback, he focuses on their ailment, putting his own "energy" into it. The fact people can't see what's happening makes it hard to believe.
It's why he opens himself up to study scrutiny, never promises anything, just keeps asserting when uses his gift, health conditions have been known to "rapidly change".
"I don't want to get lost an argument about theory, because it doesn't matter," he says.
"What we need to agree on is this stuff does work.
"Everyone in the show you will see had tried so many different things before me - medication, alternate or complementary medicine - with no result. And in a minute I can get a very different result that is long lasting.
"So for me the why and the how doesn't matter."
HOW DOES IT FEEL?
Too many cases can leave Goldsmith exhausted. He runs, rests, watches his diet, to stay healthy.
"I get tired if I do a lot. I feel energy in my body when I concentrate. I feel it flowing through me like magnetic pulses," he says.
"When I focus on someone it's like a knowing. It can get a little more complex but I call it putting my awareness or consciousness into someone and I can do stuff while I'm there.
"That may be too simplistic ... but I put more energy into that area than you are able to put in yourself."
The subjects describe many different feelings as he works with them. Some say tingles, others a warmth, or coolness, some feel very relaxed. Some feel nothing.
Most feel better.
The Healer airs on TLC at 9.30pm on Tuesdays.