Q. Regarding (last question) on the segulos for reciting Tehilim for the ill. I always wondered, is it not prohibited to use words of the Torah as a refuah or segulah?
A. Indeed Rambam (H. Avodas Kochavim 11: 12) rules that one who whispers on a wound and reads on it a posuk from the Torah, does so for a child to remove his fear or places a Sefer Torah or tefilin on him, so he will fall asleep, not only transgresses on the prohibitions of sorcery and magic, but also is considered as a non believer in the Torah, since he turns it into a materialistic and physical healing performance, and the Torah is purely and only spiritual. Rambam adds, that; The one who is healthy and reads verses or chants from Tehilim, so the merit of their recitation will save him from sufferings and damages, that is permitted. Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 179: 8-10) rules similarly.
Teshuvos Vehanhogos (2: 67) addresses this shailah, and explains that our recitation of Tehilim is permitted since we say the pesukim as a tefilah and direct supplication and prayer. (He questions the wording on yehi ratzon recited after saying Tehilim, that mentions the word “bezchus” on the merit).
Tzitz Eliezer (17: 30) adds quoting Meiri (Shabbos 67b), that although it is prohibited tho heal oneself by words of the Torah, however, since one does other physical activities such as seeking medical assistance and taking medicines etc., one’s actions reflect that his intention in the reciting of Tehilim is not materialistic, but just spiritual.
Poskim rule that if the patient’s life is in danger, it would be permitted reciting in any form. (Pri Megodim 239: 6, see also Betzel Hachochmo 4: 47 and others).
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is similar.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a