It is amazing to me that most physicians ignore one of the most powerful healing techniques known. Prayer costs nothing, has no negative side effects, and fits perfectly into any treatment plan. No matter what faith you embrace, you can use the power of prayer to lead you to better health - of body, mind, and soul.
Most physicians are taught that any consideration of religious commitment is beyond the legitimate interest and scope of medical care. It should not be this way, but many of them believe that faith and medical science are mutually exclusive, despite the fact that numerous scientific studies have now fully validated the efficacy of faith, prayer, and religion in healing.
In addition, patients know that prayer works. In 1996 USA Today conducted a poll of 1,000 American adults; 79 percent of the respondents endorsed the belief that spiritual faith and prayer can help people recover from disease, and 63 percent agreed that physicians should talk to patients about spiritual faith and prayer. Indeed, my feeling is that it is medically irresponsible not to include a spiritual dimension in a patient's plan for treatment and recovery.
One of the leaders who brought the healing power of prayer to the forefront was Larry Dossey, M.D., author of the best-selling books Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine (HarperCollins, 1993) and Prayer Is Good Medicine (HarperCollins, 1996). In these books, Dr. Dossey provides a thorough review of the scientific evidence. Not surprisingly, he found that prayer has received relatively little attention from the research community. His systematic analysis of more than 4.3 million published reports indexed on Medline (the U.S. Government's medical database) from 1980 to 1996 found only 364 studies that included faith, religion, or prayer as part of the treatment. The numbers are small, but the conclusion is huge: the data show that prayer and religious commitment promote good health and healing.
Find out more about this book:What the Drug Companies Won't Tell You and Your Doctor Doesn't Know: The Alternative Treatments That May Change Your Life--and the Prescriptions That Could Harm You