Many orthodox Jewish and Chassidic groups have a tradition of doing a Pidyon Nefesh, or 'redemption of the soul', when illness strikes. In a nutshell, the sick person gives a sum of money to a tzaddik, or holy person, to pray for them that they should get better.
In 2:3 of Likutey Moharan, Rebbe Nachman explains what's going on (all will be explained in plain English, after the quotes):
"The only good time to heal the ill by way of remedies is specifically after pidyon and sweetening, for only then, after pidyon and sweetening, is a doctor empowered to heal."
In another Rebbe Nachman book called Sefer HaMiddot, (the Book of Traits) Rebbe Nachman gives us another bit of the healing puzzle: "When suffering is sent to a person, the suffering is sworn not to commence until a specific day, and will not leave until a specific day and hour, and through the using of a specific drug. However, repentance, prayer and charity annul the vow."
In practise, this means that when someone gets sick (the 'suffering' Rebbe Nachman is referring to here), it's actually very difficult for them to truly get healed. If we look around, we do in fact say that happening: either there's a lot of 'temporary' healing, where the original symptoms go away but can then pop up again, or re-appear as something else, or there's a lot of chronic issues, where people suffer for years, and years and years, despite all their efforts to be healed.
But spiritually, all this changes when we do a Pidyon Nefesh, where we give a sum of money to a genuine tzaddik, to pray for the judgements that are on our soul in the spiritual realm to be removed. Once the spiritual judgements hanging over a person have been 'sweetened', it's very easy to get rid of their physical manifestation.
Pidyon nefesh = anyone can heal you
Once the spiritual judgements are removed, then any 'doctor' can heal us by any means. The practical implications of this are enormous.
Say for example, you go to a doctor who tells you medicine X will heal your eczema - and it'll heal you. Or, you decide to go to a naturopath who tells you that eating 5 kilo of seaweed will heal you - and it'll heal you. Or, you get your spouse to hold some acupressure points for you, or go to an acupuncturist for a treatment - and it'll heal you. And so on, and so forth.
There are a few provisos you should know about Pidyon Nefesh, before you try it:
1) You have to believe it actually works. (Because if you don't, you won't actually do it.)
2) The bigger the problem or health issue, the larger the amount of money you should give. (The money is paying off your Heavenly judgements - think of it as a spiritual bribe, and don't be stingy).
3) Not every Rabbi is qualified to do a Pidyon. If they don't even know what it is, for example, they're automatically disqualified. Take a look at the new Breslev page on the website, to find my recommendations for Breslev rabbis who can do a pidyon nefesh.
Even if you can't afford a lot, it's still worthwhile to do a Pidyon Nefesh. I've heard so many stories of serious illnesses disappearing, or apparently terminally-ill people recovering, after doing a Pidyon Nefesh.
Don't wait until you're sick
Pidyon Nefesh is so effective at cleaning up the soul, that many people try to do one as often as possible, even for very small amounts of money, to prevent any problems from developing in the first place.
If you're only going to do it once a year, though, the best time to do it is just before Rosh Hashana, even if you don't have any obvious health problems. Doing a Pidyon Nefesh then will sweeten any harsh judgements, and give you the best shot of having a good, healthy year.