現在位置 : 其他 > 祈禱的力量 - Power of Prayer // ★ 現代 科技網 ★
Question : Can Prayer Heal?
A big study just showed that prayer actually did heart surgery patients more harm than good. I was very disappointed. What are your thoughts?
Answer (Published 4/14/2006) by Andrew Weil, M.D.
The study you refer to was led by Herbert Benson, M.D., president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Benson is the author of the groundbreaking book The Relaxation Response and is a respected pioneer of mind/body medicine. His reputation is one of the reasons these results were eagerly anticipated. The study involved 1,802 patients who had coronary bypass surgery at six hospitals in the United States. Each of the patients was assigned to one of three groups: those in two groups were prayed for by name by members of three distant congregations, those in the third group were not prayed for. Of the two groups of patients who were prayed for, those in one group were told that they would be prayed for, those in the other group were not told.
Overall, the prayers seemed to have no effect on the recoveries of the patients in any of the three groups. However, there was a higher rate of post-operative complications among patients who knew they were being prayed for. The study looked only at the effects, if any, of distant prayers, not at those received from the patients' friends or relatives. Researchers commenting on the findings said that no study could account for the influence, if any, of prayers from persons or congregations not involved in the study.
Despite the fact that this study was designed to eliminate flaws in earlier investigations of the effects of prayers on healing (the results of which are mixed), Dr. Benson said after his findings were made public that they are not the last word on the effects of distant, intercessory (asking God to take action) prayer. The study cost $2.4 million, which came from the John Templeton Foundation, an organization that supports research into the moral and spiritual dimensions of life. It was published in the April, 2006, issue of the American Heart Journal.
The big question is whether you can successfully apply scientific methods to the study of prayer and its effects or, as some experts have asked, whether you should. No doubt, we'll be hearing more about this subject. If you're interested in it, I recommend works by Larry Dossey, M.D., a physician who has written widely about the power of prayer in healing, including the books Healing Words, Be Careful What You Pray For...You Just Might Get It, and Prayer Is Good Medicine. Writing about the Benson study, Dr. Dossey noted that "no single study makes or breaks a new field" and that "an obituary for prayer research is premature." I agree. Stay tuned.
-- Andrew Weil, M.D.
Larry Dossey, M.D.
This Texas physician, deeply rooted in the scientific world, has become an internationally influential advocate of the role of the mind in health and the role of spirituality in healthcare. Bringing the experience of a practicing internist and the soul of a poet to the discourse, Dr. Larry Dossey offers panoramic insight into the nature and the future of medicine.
Upon graduating with honors from the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Dossey worked as a pharmacist while earning his M.D. degree from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, 1967. Before completing his residency in internal medicine, he served as a battalion surgeon in Vietnam, where he was decorated for valor. Dr. Dossey helped establish the Dallas Diagnostic Association, the largest group of internal medicine practitioners in that city, and was Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital in 1982.
An education steeped in traditional Western medicine did not prepare Dr. Dossey for patients who were blessed with "miracle cures," remissions that clinical medicine could not explain. "Almost all physicians possess a lavish list of strange happenings unexplainable by normal science," says Dr. Dossey. "A tally of these events would demonstrate, I am convinced, that medical science not only has not had the last word, it has hardly had the first word on how the world works, especially when the mind is involved."
The author of nine books and numerous articles, Dr. Dossey is the former Executive Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, the most widely subscribed-to journal in its field. The primary quality of all of Dr. Dossey's work is scientific legitimacy, with an insistent focus on "what the data show." As a result, his colleagues in medical schools and hospitals all over the country trust him, honor his message, and continually invite him to share his insights with them. He has lectured all over the world, including major medical schools and hospitals in the United States --Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, the Universities of Pennsylvania, California, Washington, Texas, Florida, Minnesota, and the Mayo Clinic.
The impact of Dr. Dossey's work has been remarkable. Before his book Healing Words was published in 1993, only three U.S. medical schools had courses devoted to exploring the role of religious practice and prayer in health; currently, nearly 80 medical schools have instituted such courses, many of which utilize Dr. Dossey's works as textbooks. In his 1989 book Recovering the Soul, he introduced the concept of "nonlocal mind" -- mind unconfined to the brain and body, mind spread infinitely throughout space and time. Since then, "nonlocal mind" has been adopted by many leading scientists as an emerging image of consciousness. Dr. Dossey's ever-deepening explication of nonlocal mind provides a legitimate foundation for the merging of spirit and medicine. The ramifications of such a union are radical and call for no less than the reinvention of medicine.
In 2013, Larry Dossey received the prestigious Visionary Award that honors a pioneer whose visionary ideas have shaped integrative healthcare and the medical profession.