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Doctor, Pray For Me?
Manoj Jain, a doctor and follower of the Jain religion, writes in The Washington Post about the connection between spirituality and medicine, particularly the act of prayer in a hospital setting. While he is uneasy about actually praying with patients, he cannot deny the power of prayer, spirituality and meditation in the wake of health problems.
Jain cites a few studies that show a possible connection: one that showed higher immune response in a group of workers who meditated and another study showing a direct correlation between high amounts of religious participation, Bible study and church-going, and low blood pressure.
It isn’t only a few obscure studies that are making the spirituality/medicine argument, however; 75% of all medical schools now have courses connecting the two. While the jury is still out on how much doctors should be involved in their patients’ religious or spiritual beliefs, there is no doubting that these beliefs help most patients through the difficult times. Even though Jain is not a believer in the religions of most of his patients, he encourages them to continue seeking solace in the spiritual.
Would you be impressed or insulted if your doctor discussed spirituality with you? [The Washington Post]