Oct
13

The Scientific Power of Prayer

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The mind body connection has amazing and powerful implications.  Dr. Herbert Benson who founded the BHI, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, which is a part of Massachusetts General Hospital, is a professor at Harvard Medical School.  He believes that physical health is influenced by thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  These same thoughts, feelings and behaviors are also influenced by physical symptoms.  It is yet another of life’s amazing cycles.

There is more and more research about how thoughts, beliefs, and feelings affect the development of disease and recovery from disease.  We know that some people are able to change their Galaxy NASA Hubble Heritage Teamthoughts through prayer and seemingly miraculous things happen, like the complete reversal of a terminal condition.  While researchers are still figuring out exactly how these thoughts and beliefs affect our body we do know that the mind and body communicate constantly. What our mind thinks, perceives, and experiences is sent from our brain to the rest of the body on a steady basis.

The mind body approach to medicine attempts to teach patients to reduce stress, change their limiting thoughts and negative behaviors, and embrace their beliefs to both control their health and to prevail over illness.  One powerful way people have been influencing their health and the health of others for centuries is through their beliefs in prayer.

All religions, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, or Christian, believe in prayer for healing.  Healing rooms, prayer groups and even online prayer groups can be found all across America and the world.  According to an article published in the Washington Post, “Surveys have found that perhaps half of Americans regularly pray for their own health, and at least a quarter have others pray for them.”

The religious are not the only proponents of prayer for altering health.  Quantum physics cites a phenomenon whereby distant particles affect other’s behavior in mysterious ways – thus having other people pray for you conceivably sends energy to you that can and does affect your health.

In addition to quantum physics citations, an abundance of studies have been done over the years which have found a strong correlation between prayer and health.  The reasons are still unclear, however many theories are currently being tested.

In one study of 990 cardiac patients conducted at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., researchers found prayer improved health based on a composite score of measures that the researchers created for the study.

In a Heritage.org interview with Dr. Harold G. Koenig, a tenured Duke University associate professor of psychiatry and an associate professor of medicine, the director and founder of the Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health at Duke University cites several smaller studies.  “In three of three studies you find a connection between religious involvement and immune and endocrine function; in five of seven studies, the religious experience lower mortality from cancer; in 14 of 23, they have significantly lower blood pressure; in 11 of 14, they have lower mortality; and in 12 of 13, clergy mortality is lower.”

There’s no doubt that prayer has a significant effect on our health.  As scientists are able to better define parameters and control groups we’ll continue to gain more insight on the hows and whys of this indisputable connection.  Until then, it’s powerful to know that our thoughts and beliefs have a direct effect on our health and the health of others.

© Deborah A. Lindholm

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, but you must include the following resource information in its entirety: Deborah and Michael Lindholm are co-owners of Serenity Matters, LLC. They are dedicated to empowering clients and students with the Serenity Vibration Healing® tools. If  you’re ready to awaken your inner power and surge forward in your life, get your FREE tips at www.serenitymatters.com

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As always, please consult with qualified health professionals before putting session or workshop ideas into practice. The ideas and techniques are not meant to diagnose or replace the need for medical attention or professional mental health care.

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