Physicians Believe in the Power of Prayer
In a recent survey of 269 doctors, a remarkable 99% said they were convinced that religious belief can heal. In fact, thats 20% higher than the figure for the general public.
Why do doctors feel this way? “Because weve seen the power of belief, said Dr. Herbert Benson, author of “Timeless Healing,” which offers scientific evidence that faith has helped to cure medical conditions. “Weve seen that belief is powerful in conditions including angina pectoris, asthma, duodenal ulcers, congestive heart failure, diabetes, all forms of pain. We see it all the time, and we cant deny it.”
Whats more, 75% of the doctors believe the prayers of others can help a patients recovery, and 38% said they think faith-healers can make people well. The survey was conducted by Yankelovich Partners at a meeting of the American Academy of Family Physicians in October.
Physicians recognize the limitations of drugs and surgery, noted Dr. Benson, who added: “The real breakthrough is the acceptance of these approaches by modern medicine.” On Dec. 15 , he will head a Harvard Medical School conference on spirituality and healing, to be held in Boston, with another scheduled for Los Angeles in March.
“We have scientific data showing that people who use self-helprelaxation, nutrition, exercise and beliefreduce their visits to doctors by 30% to 60%, said Benson. “In a prepaid system, thats money in the bank.”