TLC's The Healer has drawn its share of fascinated viewers, as any reality program about a self-proclaimed "healer" will do. The show's subject, Charlie Goldsmith, claims to be able to heal various illnesses and ailments using just the energy produced by his mind and his touch. So far, six episodes of the series have aired on TLC, and The Healer's fall finale will air this Monday, Dec. 11. The premise is definitely controversial, but controversy can bring views, so will The Healer return for Season 2?
For now, a solid answer seems to evade audiences. TLC has not yet released its midseason premiere lineup, nor has it officially announced a decision on whether certain shows such as The Healer have been canceled or renewed. It seems as though it could go either way for the alternative wellness reality show, though, given not only the natural skepticism surrounding his career path but also the seemingly rave reviews the show has received from audiences thus far.
Skeptics don't seem to bother Goldsmith, who, according to Elle magazine, discovered that he had a strange "gift" at the young age of 18. He claims that he was able to remedy everything from herpes to knee pain to allergic reactions, just by laying his hands on the affected areas. "I wanted to be studied," he said. "I kept wondering, What is it going to take for people to stop and say, 'This is pretty compelling'? If you're good in tennis, if you're good in math, there's a path; there are people to talk to; you can prove yourself. If you're a healer, what's the path? You can work out of a second bedroom, but it's borderline illegal and you never have any real credibility."
Though his alleged abilities may seem like nonsense to some, there are some legitimate studies that have backed Goldsmith up in certain ways. According to a 2013 study at NYU's Lutheran Medical Center, some results were evident through his "energy medicine" methods. "Most patients experienced marked, immediate improvement of symptoms associated with their chief complaint," the study noted.
"It's similar to when you're meditating and they talk about moving your awareness around the body," Goldsmith told Forbes magazine of his healing process. "It's kind of like that, except I'm doing it in other people's bodies." He also told the outlet that though he hopes to change skeptics' minds and influence society to look more at these methods, he'll only do it until it becomes too much. "I'm just going to keep demonstrating it until I don't have the energy to demonstrate it anymore and, hopefully, some of those questions you asked on why it's possible will be answered," Goldsmith said.
If social media is any indicator, viewers have certainly taken to the show in a big way, even despite Goldsmith's unorthodox practices.
Of course, there are also some dissenting voices in this crowd — not everyone is convinced.
If the show is picked up for another season after the new year, it seems like Goldsmith still has plenty up his sleeve to try and convince people of his methods' usefulness before he throws in the towel. "I call it a gift, but the gift isn’t for me, the gift is something I have to give as opposed to something I get to benefit from," he said in a first look at the show ahead of its premiere, according to People magazine. "Not one moment in my life do I wonder what my purpose is." He seems to think if he can just get people to give him a shot, he can change some minds. "It’s like, I’ve just discovered healing and everyone’s going, ‘Well, that’s been proven to be fraudulent,'" he told People. "Then I’ve got to go, 'OK, no it’s not a fraud — just give me a second of your time and I’ll show you it’s not."
Whatever happens with The Healer, fans that the show's already accumulated will be keeping their eye on Goldsmith to see what he's going to do next and who he's going to try to heal.