5 Levels of Healing

The Vertical Healing System: The 5 Levels of Healing

by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D., PhD

When you carefully study the pyramidal order of the 5 bodies (see drawing), much is self evident and does not require further explanation. This healing system has evolved from interpreting the yoga sutras of Patanjali (which are believed to be over 10 000 years old) and from trying to express this ancient knowledge with contemporary language.

A few additional remarks may be helpful:

The lowest level is the physical body. It is at the bottom not because it is less valuable. Instead, the physical body is the foundation upon which everything else rests. It is our connection to the earth and the source of our physical energy. The physical body is identical with what we see, feel, hear (i.e.: when we scratch it), smell and taste (if we lick it). It ends at the skin.

The 2nd level is the electromagnetic-body or “body-electric”. It is the summation of all electric and magnetic events caused by the neuronal activity of the nervous system. Since most somatic and autonomic nerves in the body travel in the longitudinal axis of the body and the nerve currents spread as electric fields along these nerves, the magnetic fields created by these forces travel perpendicular to this axis into space. Even though their strength decreases with distance from the body, they extend into space beyond the skin. Theoretically these bio-magnetic fields extend into infinity.

The next higher body which I call mental body extends to infinity squared and the higher two levels extend beyond that. Only mathematics is able to conceive the expansive size of the higher levels.

Over the 25 years that I have been in practice certain orders and rules have emerged and become obvious that appear to govern the relationship between these 5 levels of healing. In turn, each level has it’s own laws and it’s own order which needs to be acknowledged and understood. I will try to summarize those observations, so that they may be helpful to others.

Each phenomenon that we observe in the physical realm seems to occur simultaneously also on the other 4 levels. In fact, the physical body is designed like a computer-screen which makes that visible and tangible which happens in the soul (the 5th level). However, you can have problems in the higher levels, which have not yet penetrated down to the lower levels. This is most known in acupuncture, where disturbances on the 2nd level are picked up by the practitioner (using pulse and tongue diagnosis and understanding early warning signs) before symptoms occur. The traditional Chinese medicine doctor was only paid when the patient’s physical body remained healthy. He/she had to pick up the disturbance on the 2nd level long before it penetrated down to the 1st!

The highest level, at which an interaction between physician and client is possible, is the 4th level. I call this level dream-body. The 5th level is the plane of self-healing. I call this level the spirit-body. The only relationship that exists here is the relationship between the individual and god. A physician, psychologist or guru who claims that he can be helpful on the 5th level is being arrogant, misleading, dangerous and simply wrong. Anyone, who truly has experienced this level will have an attitude of deep respect and understands, that it cannot be explained using language. People, that talk often about “god”, “angels” and other spiritual experiences are suspicious to me and usually phony. Especially if they are from California, New Mexico or Sedona……* “New age” followers usually have significant unresolved family issues or guilt (that is either taken on from another family member or “earned” through one’s own mistakes). The pain and necessary healing work is often avoided by involving oneself in extensive spiritual practices, that never seem to resolve the real issues.

True healing requires simultaneous work on all 5 levels. I will give an example:

The first level, the physical body, is the home of orthomolecular and conventional medicine . Let’s assume a young female patient has the clinical diagnosis of “anorexia nervosa”. We know that approximately 85% of these patients have a clinical zinc deficiency. Therefore the true diagnosis on the 1st level would be “zinc-deficiency”. The laws that govern this level are the laws of biochemistry and mechanics.If you keep her on a life time of zinc supplements, she would probably stay reasonably well

However, looking at this patient at the 2nd and next higher level, the electromagnetic body, we may find that she has a hidden malabsorbtion syndrome caused by overactivity of the sympathetic celiac plexus (which leads to vasoconstriction of the absorbing lymphatics and blood vessels in the gut). This condition may respond well to periodic treatment with acupuncture or neural therapy. The patient would start absorbing zinc from the food again and would improve without zinc-supplements. The 2nd level has an organizing effect on the 1st! The laws that operate on this level are the natural laws of neuro-physiology (or the practical stepped down rules of acupuncture or autonomic response testing -ART).

Now lets look at the 3rd level, the mental body: this young woman may have an unresolved conflict with her father, who was very oppressive during her childhood – stern, punishing, critical and at times violent. The unresolved memory held in her limbic system is responsible for stimulating the hypothalamus and sending sympathetic stress messages to the celiac ganglion, which is now in a pathological state of chronic arousal. Finding and resolving this conflict with a targeted and specific approach such as Applied Psycho-Neurobiology (“PK”) eliminates the focal area in the limbic system. The celiac ganglion cools permanently off and the patient starts to absorb zinc again – and gets well! The 3rd level has an organizing effect on the 2nd and also on the 1st level! Vice versa, without the absorption of food (1st level) and a functioning autonomic nervous system (2nd level) the patient would not have the energy and functioning mind required to remember the past and work with it in a healing way. The energy however to do the necessary healing-work comes from the lower levels! Therefore it is best for the patient, to treat all levels simultaneously – take zinc during the initial treatment period and have some neural therapy at the beginning of treatment. The laws that govern the 3rd level are the simple natural rules that are being gradually rediscovered by modern psychotherapy: nurture and love a child, provide it with opportunity to learn, keep it safe, nourished and warm. Each violation of these natural needs has consequences, leading to fairly predictable distortions of the mind, nervous- and immune system. Other “laws” and natural orders have been outlined by the leading psychologists of this century.

Now let us go to the 4th level, the dream body. The typical family-constellation in a young woman with anorexia looks like this: invisible to anyone on the outside, including the children in the family, the patient’s father was deeply rejected by the mother- his wife – and subtly pushed her out of the family. The patient in turn is unconsciously loyal to the rejected father and holds the “magical belief” that if she disappears, the father would stay. “I leave for you” is the operative sentence and a sign of a deep and strong love and loyalty for the father. Anorexia is a way for the client to disappear. The fathers oppressive behavior (behavior belongs to the 3rd level) was his way of responding to the wife’s rejection of him (which in turn triggered and restimulated his unresolved childhood issues). If the therapist can facilitate healing in this situation, which may culminate in the child saying in the therapeutic session to the father (who does not need to be present): “Dear daddy! What happened between mom and you is none of my business. I am only your child. You are the grown-up and I am only your child. I trust that you can handle the issue with mom yourself! Look kindly upon me if I stay” And to mom: “Dear mom! I am only your child. Please look kindly at me when I stand by my father. He is the right and only father for me”.Healing on this level often leads to instant disappearance of the associated unresolved conflicts on the 3rd level, and – in this case – disappearance of the celiac ganglion dysfunction and therefore improved zinc absorption. Again, the energy required for this healing work has to flow upward from the lower energy supplying levels. Simple interventions on the lower 3 levels would be laying the foundation to make the work on the 4th level possible. The laws that govern the 4th level are the rules and orders of Systemic Family Therapy “discovered” by Murray Bowen and Bert Hellinger: in a family every member has an even right to belong. If someone denies this right to one of the members, another member will try to balance the family by self-excluding him/herself. The 10 commandments of the bible may be an attempt to formulate the laws operating on this level. Other rules are discussed in the book: “Love’s hidden symmetry” by Bert Hellinger, which is a must for anyone working on this level. Issues such as spirit possession, evil entities, alien takeovers and implants etc. seem to loose their grip on us when the family of the client is in a state where there is respect and love between all the family members of the system. A family system is comprised of the genetically linked persons of the last 3 generations and all of their respective partners.

What about the 5th level, the spirit body then? Here are a few hints: it would be a good start, if after resolution of the physical problem both the physician and the patient turned inwards and upwards with an attitude of gratefulness. For the client to do something “good” with the newly gained hope and vitality and clarity may be the appropriate concluding work on the 5th level. Simply praying or meditating in a cave may be enough -but maybe not. If the work on the 5th level is not completed there may be a gradual relapse of the condition…. The laws that are operative here are gradually revealed to us as we mature.


The vertical healing system can be a valuable foundation for understanding truly what holistic medicine is and gives the practitioner a road map that makes it easier to navigate the sometimes chaotic landscape of healing techniques. Each level has it’s own order and it’s own laws which need to be understood. The lower 3 levels belong to the personal realm, the 4th and the 5th level to the transpersonal realm. Each higher level has an organizing influence on the lower levels. The lower levels supply energy to the higher levels and create boundaries for the individual to exist in. The practical conclusions for leading a healthy lifestyle and guiding a client towards wellbeing may look like this:


    1. Put as much effort as possible into healing your own family. Don’t rest, until there is love and respect between everybody in your generation and the two generations before you. The “family” includes children who have died early, aborted children, husbands that where excluded after a divorce, mothers that died at childbirth and uncles that died in a war. The healing involves relating and communicating to everybody that is alive and holding a loving memory of those who are gone.


    1. Pump as much energy as possible into the lower 3 levels: eat right, sleep right, exercise and take your vitamins. Nurture your body-electric with massage, acupuncture, neural therapy, laying down by a waterfall, listening to good music and doing your yoga stretches. See a therapist to work through confusion and unresolved conflicts on the mental level.


  1. Turn inward to investigate the 5th level. Don’t follow anyone’s advice. Create time and space to be alone. You need all of you, undistracted, to do this.

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