Prayer is a medicine! | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 11, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 11, 2008

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Prayer is a medicine!

There are evidences that prayer in remedy seems to work in mysterious ways. Research suggests that being more prayerful daily can be an effective additional prescription to healing.
A study carried out by the University of Maryland has found prayer and spiritual healing may reduce pain and speed up the recovery of patients. Dr John Austin, who carried out the study, described the results as intriguing. In a news item in the journal of the American Medical Association, a report focused on doctors’ renewed interest in spirituality’s role in health. Some doctors revealed that prayer had a positive effect on good health.
According to a Harvard Medical School study conducted by Dr Anne McCaffrey, one-third of the people (in her study) are using prayer in medicine. She also found that faith is a critical part of health care. She wants doctors to wake up to the reality that it is a big part of many patient's lives.
Doctors are now familiar with Chinese acupuncture and recognise that some herbal treatments can be useful when combined with traditional medicine. This survey also suggests that prayer may be another great means that can not be ignored. Some wanted to describe this form of prayer as the practice of spiritual anatomy.
In a study, women at an in vitro fertilisation clinic had higher pregnancy rates when total strangers were praying for them. Another study finds that people undergoing risky cardiovascular surgery have fewer complications when they are the focus of prayer groups. The fertilisation study conducted at a hospital in Seoul found a doubling of the pregnancy rate among women, who were prayed for, says Dr Rogerio A Lobo, head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University School of Medicine, New York. His study appeared in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. He realises, "It's a highly significant finding; we were not expecting to find a positive result and we do not know what this means”. He also admits there may be some biological variable that they have not discovered, which could account for the high success rate among the prayed-for women. He and his colleagues are already planning a follow-up study also involving in vitro fertilisation.
The other study involves 150 patients; all scheduled for a procedure called angioplasty for heart problems, and insertion of a little device called stent. Patients who were prayed for during their procedure had far fewer problems, reports lead author Dr Mitchell W Krucoff, director of the Ischemia Monitoring Laboratory at Duke University Medical Center and the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center . His study is published in appears in the American Heart Journal. Another piece of research led by Dr. Dale A. Mathews of Georgetown University showed a positive effect of religious commitment on health.
Although people’s understanding of the relationship between health and prayer remains a mystery until today, doctors and scientists are observing overwhelming evidences that prayerfulness can help in healing sicknesses. Anyone can discover the benefits of prayer for healing throughout the day. May be one need to fine tune their prayers but the effect is powerful, restoring well being and maintaining good health.

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