Healthcare and health insurance have been hotly debated issues this election year – and one of the most critical questions is which services the insurance companies ought to pay for. Some relatively normal procedures are excluded due to their high cost; others are included, despite their seeming triviality. The rules appear to be arbitrary, in many cases.

But some medical procedures obviously fall into one category or the other, and Santa Barbara is rife with medical treatments for which it seems unlikely that any insurance would pay.

The Sunburst Church of Self-Realization, based in Buellton, offers the opportunity to “discover the healing power of your own inner rainbow.” While rainbows may not be listed on the Blue Cross schedule of treatments, the Sunburst Church adamantly upholds the efficacy of their retreats and therapies. “Our universal teachings,” its website says, “will inevitably draw you to the direct, personal experience of the pure consciousness and light that gave birth to all the world’s great spiritual traditions.”

“Inevitably” is a pretty strong word to use, but it seems to work for the Sunburst Church. Perhaps it has something to do with the Hopi labyrinth located on their grounds, which is advertised as assisting you to “achieve sacred balance.” Now that’s something no insurance would cover.

While the Sunburst Church appears to have a local monopoly on both labyrinths and rainbows, other offbeat practitioners abound. Crystal healing is one which seems to have a fair number of local adherents. Among other things, crystal healing supposedly realigns chakras, cleanses auras, and provides a multitude of spiritual and mental benefits. It is, however, not something that can be done by an amateur. Classes are offered in the proper techniques, which include “crystal programming, crystal meditation, crystal massage, cleansing and caring for your crystals, and learning to hear crystals talk.”

Hearing crystals talk might be a little startling at first, but one can assume that this aspect of the healing process is also dealt with in the crystal healing classes.

Of course, before using crystal healing to explore chakras and auras, it’s helpful to know a little more about these basics. Pamala Oslie, a Santa Barbara radio personality and professional psychic, provides a number of handy tools for the understanding of auras. Her website,, offers a test that allows laymen to determine their aura colors in the safety and privacy of their own homes. The test takes about five minutes, and is similar to many personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Oslie also offers private aura readings, if the aura test is insufficient. The aura test, however, is free, while Oslie charges a whopping $250 per hour – which is, unfortunately, probably not covered by most insurance providers.


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