If you are lucky enough to have some distance between you and Western Medicine, then you are aware that the mind can play an important role in overall health and well being. And while we make assessments, judgement calls, and decisions surrounding why someone gets sick in the first place, the truth is, no one really knows. Case in point, people who experience spontaneous healings and overcome serious illnesses despite the odds.
Tyrone M. Reyes takes a look at the healing power of spirituality and faith in this recent Phil Star article. According to Reyes, in the past 20 years there have been over 2,000 studies done on the positive effects of meditation, yoga, and prayer. Additional studies on faith have shown a decrease in depression, blood pressure, heart disease, and faster recovery times.
Of course, some scientists do not believe that medicine and spirituality can or should be mixed. But experts note that prayer can be seen as a form of meditation, and meditation has a number of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure. Numerous studies have also shown that optimism and social support can help people recover from serious illness. Dr. Benson believes psycho-spiritual factors are so important that he’d like to rename the much-misunderstood placebo effect “Remembered Wellness” because its powers are so intrinsic to human experience.
“We need to learn how religious attendance may increase survival and improve health,” concludes Dr. Strawbridge. “Discovering exactly how it affects adopting good health behaviors can help us design strategies to improve public health as a whole, to intervene before illness strikes, and provide effective self-care treatment when it does.”
Read more on the healing power of practices like meditation, yoga, and prayer here.