Can Spirituality Improve Your Health

Prayer is becoming a growing part of U.S medical schools: 79 of the 125 medical schools in the nation include courses on prayer and spirituality, up from only three 10 years ago.

Bottom Line/Health spoke to a leading expert in the healing power of prayer, Larry Dossey, MD, and found that about 200 studies have addressed prayer and health, and two-thirds showed positive results for prayer in treating various health conditions.

For instance, in one study patients with severe chest pains who had been prayed for had half the number of side effects, and some had no side effects at all, from invasive medical treatments compared with those who had not been prayed for. The findings suggest that prayer has a positive effect on recovery from serious illness.

Dossey goes on to explain one hypothesis of how prayer may work--through consciousness, when consciousness is looked at as a fundamental part of the universe, like matter or energy.

Interestingly, you may not have to have faith in order for prayer to work. However, it appears that you do have to believe prayer is effective and prayer is influenced by empathy, love and compassion.

The article also addresses:

  • What is the best prayer method?
  • What is the best way to start praying?
  • Is there an ideal time or place for prayer?
  • Does anything inhibit the effectiveness of prayer?
  • Bottom Line Secrets February 8, 2004


Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Dr. Larry Dossey is one of the leading experts in this area. I have posted several of his articles previously. His Prayer and Medical Science article is a particularly good one.

There appears to be no question that prayer works. We have many studies now that document that. The science is very solid in excellent peer-reviewed publications. The science is so solid, that it is criminally negligent for physicians not to recommend it.

And talk about cost-effective; there is no cost to prayer except for time. It makes no logical sense to me why someone would not utilize this resource. A simple and powerful application of prayer is journaling, which articles have showed to be useful in treating chronic illness.

Related Articles:

Prayer/Religion/Faith Index

Visual Evidence of the Power of Prayer, Gratitude and Appreciation
The Power of Prayer: More Evidence
U.S. Government Funds Research on Prayer And Health
Retroactive Prayer
Patients May Benefit From Prayer, Therapeutic Touch

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