Mental Healing

Publication Title: 
Family Process

For religious couples, the spiritual domain stands alongside biological, psychological, and systemic domains as an influence upon interaction and mechanism for change. A qualitative methodology consisting of structured interviews of religious spouses was used to investigate effects of prayer on couple interaction during conflict. A reliable description of the dynamics of prayer across spouse interviews was extracted by four analysts using a group interpretive procedure.

Butler, M. H.
Gardner, B. C.
Bird, M. H.
Publication Title: 
African Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences

Traditional healers have been an established source of health care delivery in Africa for centuries while Christian religious healers (193 traditional healers and 99 Christian religious healers) with respect to infertility and some other fertility-related issues. The findings show that both types of healers believe that infertility is most commonly due to the past life of the woman, physical problems related to the womb or to male potency, and imcompatibity between the man and the woman. Traditional healers also believed that being bewitched or being cursed can lead to infertility.

Obisesan, K. A.
Adeyemo, A. A.
Publication Title: 
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America

Prayer and meditation have been used as health-enhancing techniques for centuries. Their use has been investigated more recently in the context of more conventional, allopathic medical approaches. These studies, despite methodological limitations, show some promise for the formal application and integration of these techniques into western medical practice. Some potential benefits from meditation include reduced perceived stress and improvement in mild hypertension.

Harmon, R. L.
Myers, M. A.
Publication Title: 
Rheumatic Diseases Clinics of North America

Many patients with arthritis are strongly influenced by religious beliefs and often participate in religious healing activities such as prayer and worship attendance. Scientific studies demonstrate, and most patients confirm, that faith and involvement in religious healing activities can be helpful in preventing and treating illness, recovering from surgery, reducing pain, and improving quality of life.

Matthews, D. A.
Publication Title: 
The Journal of Family Practice

BACKGROUND: Clinicians are often concerned that use of alternative treatments by Mexican American patients with diabetes competes with medical treatment. We examined the use and evaluation of alternative treatments for diabetes by a sample of these patients. METHODS: Following a descriptive qualitative design, a convenience sample of 43 low-income Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes were interviewed. We analyzed interview transcripts for alternative treatments named, patterns of use, evaluation of those treatments, and the use of biomedical approaches.

Hunt, L. M.
Arar, N. H.
Akana, L. L.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.)

OBJECTIVE: To assess, from published clinical trials, the evidence for the use of healing as a complementary medical intervention in human disease. DESIGN: Limited to studies involving random assignment to a treatment group consisting of "healing," broadly defined, or to a concurrent control group. All randomized trials published up to the year 2000, were identified from MEDLINE, CINAHL, BIDS-EMBASE, the CISCOM complementary medicine databases and from bibliographic references of published articles.

Abbot, N. C.
Publication Title: 
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

BACKGROUND: Prayer is an ancient and widely used intervention for alleviating illness and promoting good health. This review focuses specifically on intercessory prayer, which is organised, regular and committed, and those who practise it will almost inevitably hold some committed belief that they are praying to God. Whilst the outcomes of trials of prayer cannot be interpreted as 'proof/disproof' of God's response to those praying, there may be an effect of prayer not dependent on divine intervention.

Roberts, L.
Ahmed, I.
Hall, S.
Publication Title: 
Annals of Internal Medicine

PURPOSE: To conduct a systematic review of the available data on the efficacy of any form of "distant healing" (prayer, mental healing, Therapeutic Touch, or spiritual healing) as treatment for any medical condition. DATA SOURCES: Studies were identified by an electronic search of the MEDLINE, PsychLIT, EMBASE, CISCOM, and Cochrane Library databases from their inception to the end of 1999 and by contact with researchers in the field.

Astin, J. A.
Harkness, E.
Ernst, E.
Publication Title: 
The Hastings Center Report

Scientists seeking hard evidence of prayer's curative powers misunderstand the nature of prayer in the Western theistic traditions. Yet theistically consonant ways in which religious belief may influence health do not figure as they should in current professional practice.

Cohen, C. B.
Wheeler, S. E.
Scott, D. A.
Edwards, B. S.
Lusk, P.
Publication Title: 
AACN clinical issues

The power that prayer and spirituality exerts on healing cannot be underestimated. Body, mind, and spirit are connected to each other. Although patients in hospitals may have the best medical and nursing care available, many seek alternative or complementary therapies. One adjunctive therapy that has grown in popularity recently is the incorporation of prayer and spirituality into the traditional approaches used with acute and critically ill patients. Spirituality is returning to healthcare because many patients believe in it and seek it as part of their treatment.

Holt-Ashley, M.


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