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Insomniac
09 Apr 06,, 03:02
http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20060407/hl_hsn/spiritualitycansoothebodyandsoul

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- To stay healthy, you probably know that you need to eat right, get plenty of exercise and rest, and avoid bad habits such as smoking.

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But, it might surprise you to learn that what you believe in can have a big impact on your health and longevity.


"There have been a lot of studies, and more are coming out all of the time, that show how patients with strong spirituality can improve their health from a variety of chronic conditions, like hypertension, heart disease, recovery from surgery and more," said Dr. Michael Torosian, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and co-author of the book, Spirit to Heal.


That doesn't necessarily mean you have to believe in God or regularly attend a church, synagogue or mosque to reap health benefits.


"Spirituality is where people find meaning in their life. It's something higher than themselves, though not necessarily attached to religion," said Patricia Megregian, a board-certified chaplain and executive director of the Integrative Medicine Initiative at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.


"Spirituality is what brings you peace and safety. It could be God or Goddess, or nature. Some people feel it with a beautiful sunset. Some people get it from meditation. For some, it's from their community. It's a feeling that you're connected to something greater, something larger than myself. For some that comes from their family," she said.


Wherever your spirituality or a positive outlook on life comes from, research indicates there are real health benefits:

People with high levels of religious beliefs or spirituality have lower cortisol responses. Cortisol is a hormone the body releases in response to stress.
Positive thinking produces nearly a 30 percent drop in perception of pain.
Spirituality and the practice of religion have recently been associated with a slower progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Those who regularly attend organized religious activities may live longer than those who don't. Regular participation lowers mortality rate by about 12 percent a year.
People undergoing cardiac rehabilitation feel more confident and perceive greater improvements in their physical abilities if they have a strong faith.
Increased levels of spirituality and religious faith may help substance abusers kick their habit.

What's not known is exactly how spirituality or a positive outlook can cause these changes. According to Torosian, there are two popular theories. The first is known as the relaxation response. When the body is relaxed, your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate all go down, which decreases the body's stress response. The other theory is that spirituality can affect immune-system function.


"Spirituality, faith, church attendance improves immune function in ways that can be measured, like an increase in white blood cells," he said.


"When it comes to health, when the body feels safe and is at ease, the nervous system is able to quiet and be more normal. Then the immune system is able to function better," said Megregian. "When the body is safe and feels safe, all of its other functions can help combat disease."


Not everyone is ready to endorse the notion of spirituality as medicine. U.S. researchers involved with the Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP), the largest review to examine the effects of prayer provided by others for a patient, evaluated the impact of such prayer on patients recovering from coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The results, released March 30, found that such "third-party" prayer had no impact on patient outcomes.


Megregian said it's important to not "wait till you're in the foxhole" to find your spirituality. She suggested doing whatever you can to increase your awareness of your spirituality by using what helps you, such as meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, walking in nature, or attending religious services.


Torosian agreed. "This is a free resource we all tend to take for granted until something major, like a heart attack, happens. But it should also be used to promote wellness."


He added, "As a surgeon, I see cancer patients all the time trying to deal with a devastating diagnosis. Those with a strong faith seem to do much better and handle it better. Spirituality is something that can help all the way from promoting wellness to helping with recovery."

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Franco Lolan
10 Apr 06,, 01:52
"Not everyone is ready to endorse the notion of spirituality as medicine. U.S. researchers involved with the Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP), the largest review to examine the effects of prayer provided by others for a patient, evaluated the impact of such prayer on patients recovering from coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The results, released March 30, found that such "third-party" prayer had no impact on patient outcomes."

I conducted statistical tests on it, and it was valid; however, the study tested other people praying for patients, not the patients being spiritual.
Furthemore, the study came under fire for not truly consisting of a simple random sample: a large proportion of the patients were atheists who felt uncomfortable with being prayed for. Consequently, the correlation between being prayed for and negative recovery performance may have been as a result of the patient's aversion to prayer.

Nagalfar
15 Apr 06,, 03:45
"Not everyone is ready to endorse the notion of spirituality as medicine. U.S. researchers involved with the Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP), the largest review to examine the effects of prayer provided by others for a patient, evaluated the impact of such prayer on patients recovering from coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The results, released March 30, found that such "third-party" prayer had no impact on patient outcomes."

This is not science, this is someone wanting to use statistics to make a point, the point is invalid, and here are just a few of the reasons,

1) Were there control groups?

2) Were the control groups grouped by age? weight? medical history? current medical problems, this could be a very long list.

3) It is IMPOSSIBLE to use several different doctors for surgery, as there is no quality control nor is there any consistency in the manner in which operations are performed. (simple fact, some doctors are better than others)

4) How many hospitals were used to conduct this "study". (simple fact, some hospitals are better than others, some shifts at hospitals are better than others)

5) How many of the "test subjects" had post op. complications? (infections, drug interactions and so on).

6) In order for anything to be a study, it must first use a clear, and very defined set of rules to conduct the study by, there must be the highest level of consistancy in the manner in which rules are applied over the course of the study. with the results being at a measured level of consistency for there to be any value in the information gathered.

7) Unless a "scientific study" can be repeated, and then double blind repeated at least 3, and (prefibly 5 times, with 2 double blind).. it is nothing more than someones questionable "statistical" adventure, there is no basis for fact found any where in this.



I conducted statistical tests on it, and it was valid; however, the study tested other people praying for patients, not the patients being spiritual.
Furthemore, the study came under fire for not truly consisting of a simple random sample: a large proportion of the patients were atheists who felt uncomfortable with being prayed for. Consequently, the correlation between being prayed for and negative recovery performance may have been as a result of the patient's aversion to prayer.

1) The patients views would not be relevant if you were after the truth, science is based in fact, and what can be proven, not what someone thinks.

2) Patients case history, the types of operations performed, who performed them, how they were performed (every operation is different, as is every patients physiological make up is different).

There is no basis for factual findings do to a one time study, with no known, and a almost impossible ability due to the overall consistancy of quality and known factors, let alone unknown factors, we dont even need to go there.


Mark Twain on statistics:

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

and

Statistics are like a lady of the evening, once you get them down, you can pretty much get them to do what ever you want.