File Name: divine healing of mind and body .zip
Religious traditions across the world display beliefs in healing through prayer. The healing powers of prayer have been examined in triple-blind, randomized controlled trials. We illustrate randomized controlled trials on prayer and healing, with one study in each of different categories of outcome. We provide a critical analysis of the scientific and philosophical dimensions of such research. Prayer has been reported to improve outcomes in human as well as nonhuman species, to have no effect on outcomes, to worsen outcomes and to have retrospective healing effects.
For a multitude of reasons, research on the healing effects of prayer is riddled with assumptions, challenges and contradictions that make the subject a scientific and religious minefield.
We believe that the research has led nowhere, and that future research, if any, will forever be constrained by the scientific limitations that we outline. This is a serious scientific article that examines conceptual and methodological issues underlying randomized controlled trials on prayer and healing. We do not intend to belittle any religion or the religious practices of those who pray, nor do we deny the medical and psychosocial benefits that have been identified to result from religious affiliations and practices.
Religious practices have been associated with healing for millennia. People pray for good health and for relief from illness. Prayer may result in health and healing through one or more of several mechanisms.
We briefly consider these mechanisms. Different types of meditation have been shown to result in psychological and biological changes that are actually or potentially associated with improved health. Meditation has been found to produce a clinically significant reduction in resting as well as ambulatory blood pressure,[ 2 , 3 ] to reduce heart rate,[ 4 ] to result in cardiorespiratory synchronization,[ 5 ] to alter levels of melatonin and serotonin,[ 6 ] to suppress corticostriatal glutamatergic neurotransmission,[ 7 ] to boost the immune response,[ 8 ] to decrease the levels of reactive oxygen species as measured by ultraweak photon emission,[ 9 ] to reduce stress and promote positive mood states,[ 10 ] to reduce anxiety and pain and enhance self-esteem[ 11 ] and to have a favorable influence on overall and spiritual quality of life in late-stage disease.
Clinically significant treatment gains have been observed with placebo in numerous disorders, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, tardive dyskinesia, ischemic heart disease, cardiac failure, Parkinson's disease and even cancer, among a host of other conditions.
Spontaneous remission is well known to occur in conditions that range from medical disorders e. Regression to the mean describes improvement that occurs as a result of random fluctuation in the severity of illness; in clinical trials, because patients are usually preselected for greater severity of illness, such fluctuations usually occur in only one direction i.
Nonspecific support can reduce anxiety, depression, pain and similar constructs. Spontaneous remission and regression to the mean may occur coincidental to prayer. Nonspecific psychosocial support related to prayer may arise in group prayer settings. Improvements in all these contexts are true improvements.
In contrast, in randomized controlled studies on the efficacy of prayer as a treatment, rated improvements that are not true improvements may also occur; explanations for such improvement include the Hawthorne effect and the Rosenthal effect.
The Hawthorne effect refers to change that occurs as a result of the act of observation or measurement,[ 27 , 28 ] whereas the Rosenthal effect refers to change resulting from observer or rater expectancy. With regard to the latter, the tendency of the rater to expect symptom attenuation across time may result in the attachment of lower significance to reported symptoms. Although the very consideration of such a possibility may appear scientifically bizarre, it cannot be denied that, across the planet, people pray for health and for relief of symptoms in times of sickness.
Healing through prayer, healing through religious rituals, healing at places of pilgrimage and healing through related forms of intervention are well-established traditions in many religions. Meditation, the placebo response, regression to the mean, the natural course of various illnesses, nonspecific emotional support, the Hawthorne effect and the Rosenthal effect have all been studied. What about divine intervention as a mechanism of recovery of health through prayer?
This has also been seriously investigated. Astin et al. A total of 23 trials involving 2, patients met the inclusion criteria and were subjected to analysis. The methodological limitations of many of the studies, however, made it difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the efficacy of distant healing. Of note, Astin et al. Therapeutic touch and Reiki were both included in the definition; as both of these may elicit an expectancy response,[ 31 ] it becomes even harder to draw definitive conclusions about the literature that Astin et al.
In another systematic review, Crawford et al. There were 90 identified studies of which 45 had been conducted in clinical settings and 45 in laboratory settings. Crawford et al. Major methodological problems of the identified studies were an inadequacy of blinding, dropped data in laboratory studies, unreliability of outcome measures, infrequent use of power estimations and confidence intervals, and lack of independent replication.
In the present article, we present a purposive, qualitative review of the scientific literature on possible paranormal healing through prayer.
We then critically evaluate the scientific and religious implications of such research. The currently accepted gold standard for the investigation of the efficacy of medical interventions is the double-blind, randomized controlled trial.
Most recent studies on prayer and healing have adopted this design. In such studies, commonly, a group of intercessors prays for the health of patients who are randomized to the intervention group. These patients do not know that they are being prayed for, and the persons who are praying do not come in contact with the patients for whom they pray. Medical outcomes in these patients are compared with outcomes in patients randomized to the control group who are not prayed for. Finally and importantly, the medical treatment team is also blind to the prayer group status of individual patients.
Thus, these studies are triple-blind. In this purposive review, we illustrate the nature of the research in the field by presenting one human and one nonhuman study on improved outcomes associated with prayer, one study showing no difference between prayer and control conditions, one study showing worse outcomes with prayer and one study suggesting that prayer may have a retrospective healing effect. We then provide a detailed, critical evaluation of the scientific and theological implications of such research.
Cha et al. These women were randomized into distant prayer and control groups. The patients and their providers were not informed about the intervention. The investigators, and even the statisticians, did not know the group allocations until all the data had been collected. Thus, the study was randomized, triple-blind, controlled and prospective in design. Furthermore, the women who had been prayed for showed a higher implantation rate than those who had not been prayed for Finally, the benefits of prayer were independent of clinical or laboratory providers and clinical variables.
Thus, this study showed that distant prayer facilitates implantation and pregnancy. Lesniak[ 33 ] described a study on the effect of intercessory prayer on wound healing in a nonhuman primate species. The sample comprised 22 bush babies Otolemur garnettii with wounds resulting from chronic self-injurious behavior. These animals were randomized into prayer and control groups that were similar at baseline. Prayer was conducted for 4 weeks. Both groups of bush babies additionally received L-tryptophan.
Lesniak[ 33 ] found that the prayer group animals had a greater reduction in wound size and a greater improvement in hematological parameters than the control animals. This study is important because it was conducted in a nonhuman species; therefore, the likelihood of a placebo effect was removed.
Aviles et al. In this study, coronary care unit patients at discharge were randomized to intercessory prayer or no prayer conditions. Prayer was conducted by five persons per patient at least once a week for 26 weeks. Patients were considered to belong to a high-risk group if they were 70 years old or older or if they had any of the following: diabetes mellitus, previous myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular disease or peripheral vascular disease.
The primary endpoint of the study was any of the following: death, cardiac arrest, rehospitalization for cardiovascular disease, coronary revascularization or an emergency department visit for cardiovascular disease.
By the end of 26 weeks, a primary endpoint had occurred in The difference was not statistically significant. The results remained nonsignificant when data were analyzed separately for high- and low-risk patients. Thus, this study showed that, as delivered in this study, intercessory prayer did not influence the week outcome after discharge from a coronary care unit.
Other recent randomized controlled trials have also reported negative results. For example, Krucoff et al. Benson et al. The sample comprised 1, patients in six hospitals in the USA. These patients were randomized into three groups: were prayed for after being informed that they may or may not be prayed for, were not prayed for after similarly being informed that they may or may not be prayed for and were prayed for after being informed they would definitely be prayed for.
Prayer commenced one day before the surgery and continued for 14 days. Three mainstream religious sites prayed daily for patients assigned to receive prayer. Assessment of outcomes was made by nurses who were blind to the group assignments. The primary outcome was the presence of any complication within 30 days of surgery. Secondary outcomes were any major event, including death.
The study sought to examine the efficacy of intercessory prayer and not to test the presence of God. The design was described by Dusek et al.
Major events and day mortality rates, however, were similar across the three groups. This study therefore showed that remote intercessory prayer did not improve outcomes after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. In fact, the knowledge of being prayed for was associated with a slightly but significantly higher rate of postsurgical complications.
Leibovici[ 39 ] reported the results of an unusual study that was conducted in Israel. The sample comprised 3, in patients diagnosed with a bloodstream infection between and Bloodstream infection was defined as a positive blood culture in the presence of sepsis. A list of the first names of the patients in the prayer group was given to a person details not specified who said a short prayer details again not specified for the wellbeing and full recovery of the group as a whole.
This prayer was said about years or longer after the index admission. There was no sham intervention. Thus, this study sought to determine whether prayer has a retrospective healing effect. The patients in the prayer and control groups were similar on important sociodemographic and clinical variables.
Whereas the mortality rate did not differ significantly between the prayer and the control groups Some points about this study are worth noting.
All rights reserved. No part of this publicati on may be reproduced or transmitt edin any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy,recording, or any other informati on storage and retrieval system, without thewritt en permission of the publisher. Box , West Beach, e-mail: bzena absamail. Box , West Beach, Nov
As the whole world comes together to fight Corona virus disease COVID pandemic, health care workers HCW are racing against time, working multiple shifts, handling emergencies, making timely decisions and taking swift actions while risking their life. This frequently leaves them tired and stressed. It brings into perspective the need of balancing logic and medical powers with intuitive powers.
Religious traditions across the world display beliefs in healing through prayer. The healing powers of prayer have been examined in triple-blind, randomized controlled trials. We illustrate randomized controlled trials on prayer and healing, with one study in each of different categories of outcome.
Important Areas of the Brain. Formatting may be different depending on your device and eBook type. This book contains the lectures of a Great Master, offering the highest spiritual growth and understanding. Macdonald-Bayne himself describes how he became aware of sublime power, a conciousness far above his own. For the many people called to hear his lectures, it was an experience never to be forgotten. Instant Download. Description eBook Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book!
Develop more acute understanding of and sensitivity to energy field interactions through safe and engaging ground exercises with horses, master teachers of mindfulness and sensory awareness. Discover how to use these techniques to create more fulfilling relationships at home and at work. Learn how energetic healing techniques, including Reiki, can help promote an optimal sense of health and well being for the humans and animals in your life. Linda Kohanov is an internationally-recognized author, speaker, riding instructor and horse trainer. In , she founded Epona Equestrian Services, an Arizona-based collective of horse professionals, educators, coaches and counselors exploring the potential of the horse-human bond. Physics from the University of London. In her research she is currently developing methods to evaluate the capabilities of energy healing practitioners and is using biofeedback techniques to help people with Parkinsons disease improve their memory and fine motor skills.
Cultures throughout the world and over millennia have described the intimate relationship between spirit and body. Presently, we have an unprecedented opportunity to bring sophisticated scientific methods to the study of this relationship. In this chapter, we present a unified model of the whole person spirit, mind, and body and describe examples of practices from Eastern and Western traditions that are grounded in the assumption of body-mind-spirit unity. In addition, we give an overview of modern physical measurement options, such as neuroimaging and genomics, which allow for more detailed study of the spiritual interactions with the body. A fuller understanding of this relationship can lead to deep healing. Keywords: spirituality , stress , allostatic load , neuroimaging , molecular biology.
Humanity and Mother Earth are suffering. Divine Healing Hands are given in this special time.