Tag Archives: Prayer

The Scientific Evidence for Distant Healing: Psi Phenomena, Part 5

: The Scientific Evidence for Telepathy
: The Scientific Evidence for Clairvoyance
: The Scientific Evidence for Precognition
: The Scientific Evidence for Psychokinesis

Finally, we’ve reached the last of the “.” Today’s post will be about the scientific evidence for distant healing. I struggled with what to title this post. Within the context of the “Big 5” as coined by , he refers to this psi phenomenon as “.” I think the word psychic can be a bit of a misnomer sometimes, confuse people, or even conjure up images of a psychic (who aren’t necessarily doing the healing at a distance [that is, “regular” people can do it, too]). I think this is a disservice to the phenomenon as there’s nothing “spooky” about it. Others refer to it as “.” While this is completely accurate (nonlocal meaning that the healing is taking place because of something that isn’t “present”), it could be considered too science-y and may not be as accessible as possible. This is why I’ve settled on distant healing.

The has a great . I like it so much that I’m going to use their explanation for :

Distant healing encompasses a broad range of healing practices, many of which are based in ancient spiritual traditions. Virtually all major religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, endorse and encourage the use of distant healing among their adherents.

Two of the most common distant healing practices are offering prayers for those who are ill and using forms of meditation where the practitioner holds a compassionate intention to relieve the suffering of another. Some practices focus on curing a very specific disease state while others emphasize creating a compassionate environment that can have a healing effect. Virtually all distant healing practices are concerned with alleviating the suffering and increasing the well being of others.

As part of my master’s program, I read many of the studies (on healing prayer) that this quotation is referring to. In preparing to write this post, I was initially going to cite a number of them individually, until I found an , that reviews all of the studies that I had known about (and then some). It isn’t a meta-analysis per se, like I had been able to find for some of the other posts in this , but it’s the next best thing (an aggregation).

The first two studies that Benor addresses are what he calls the ‘two best studies’ that address distant healing for human physical problems. The first is a study that was conducted to .The concluding sentence of the abstract: “These data suggest that intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a CCU [coronary care unit].” The second study that Benor addresses is a follow-up the first study called: “.” The concluding sentence from that summary: “Remote, intercessory prayer was associated with lower CCU course scores. This result suggests that prayer may be an effective adjunct to standard medical care.”

Both of these studies are more than 10 years old, but one of my favorites on this subject that is just as old comes from the of famous scientist . Elisabeth did a study in conjunction with 3 others to tests the . The conclusion: “These data support the possibility of a DH [distant healing] effect in AIDS and suggest the value of further research.”

There’s no doubt that the sheer volume of studies that have been conducted on this topic should be enough to warrant more and more research. Even the studies that demonstrate the power of our words (on or on ) could be seen as support for distant healing. , along with [two of the more prominent names in the public dissemination of information on this topic], have curated a nearly 20 pages long! (It’s nearly 30 pages, if you include their introduction and answers to some questions about the research. IONS has also compiled a that’s over 10 pages. Daniel Benor has also published a that have compiled a number of resources on this topic.

One more quote I want to share from the Benor article I mentioned earlier in this post. I think it’s a very important point and I will expand upon this when I address healthcare in my . I really implore you to take some time to ponder the implications of this quote:

One would hope that the benefits of such an inexpensive intervention would appeal to those who are concerned over the high costs of medical care.

~

If you liked this paper/series, you might want to check out some of the other papers/series I’ve posted.

Your Words and Thoughts Affect Others – Believe It!

A week ago, I did a post on how our and mentioned that I would be doing a post about how our words not only affect our reality, but the reality of others. In pulling together some outside resources for this post, I was quickly overwhelmed. There is an abundance of material that supports the fact that our words have contribute to the lives of those around us.

In 1993, came out with a book called “.” In it, Dossey explains prayer and healing, describes factors that influence the efficacy of prayer, and cites evidence that support the conclusions.

In 1998, Elisabeth Targ, daughter of famous American physicist, author, and ESP Researcher, , was part of a research team that did a study called: “.” The conclusion of the study:

These data support the possibility of a DH effect in AIDS and suggest the value of further research.

In 2000, researchers conducted a systematic review of the available data on the efficacy of all forms of distant healing in the . The article was called: “.” The conclusion of the study:

Given that approximately 57% of trials showed a positive treatment effect, the evidence thus far merits further study.

In 2003, researches from the published an article in called: “.” The conclusion of the article [emphasis added]:

Previous laboratory research in this domain suggests that DHI [Distant Healing Intention] effects warrant serious study, but most scientists and funding agencies are unaware of the evidence or the relevant literature. By following these evolving guidelines, researchers’ designs and their ultimate publications will conform more closely to the quality of standards expected by scientific journals, and such publications will in turn attract the attention of a broader range of scientists. This seems especially important for alternative healing research in general and for distant healing in particular;  both realms enjoy broad public support but have largely eluded serious attention by mainstream science.

There are even books that have been published that claim to teach the reader . One more study I wanted to mention was one done by the on the to work at a distance.

This pilot study shows that healing intent can be directed at distance, and suggests that healing by prayer is measurable.

Each year, more and more evidence is published to support the effect that our words and thoughts have on those around us. The is a good place to keep an eye on, especially their yearly conferences. Researchers come from all over the globe to talk about their findings with their colleagues. The that I mentioned earlier always has fascinating research that is relevant in this arena. These particular studies are focused on the effect that our words and thoughts have on the healing of others (at a distance). However, in the book I mentioned by Dossey, there’s a chapter called: “When Prayer Hurts: An Inquiry into ‘Black Prayer.'”

To close, I’ll share a first-person experience I had that demonstrates exactly what I’m talking about. During some sort of group bonding or orientation process, the facilitator had us all stand in a circle. He told us we were going to do a little experiment. He picked the smallest girl and put her in the middle of the circle and picked me (one of the stronger males of the group) to go outside and wait in the hall. While I was gone, he told the group that he was going to bring me back into the room and have me try and lift the girl in the middle of the circle and that they were to send positive thoughts and energy towards me. After a few minutes, he called me back in and asked me to lift the girl in the middle of the circle — swoosh! I lifted her with ease! It felt like I could have lifted her with one hand and swung her around like a rag doll.

The facilitator then said that was enough and asked me to put her down and go back out into the hall. While I was there, he asked the group to now send me negative thoughts and energy, while I was trying to lift the girl. He called me back into the room and I went to lift her. Nothing. I thought maybe I was just a little tired from lifting her before, so I steeled myself and got set… lift… and nothing. I couldn’t even get her heels off of the ground. The facilitator then went on to explain what had just happened. He explained to us the power of our thoughts and energy on those around us and more importantly, the power of a group of thoughts on one individual (or to extrapolate, on other groups).

Your thoughts and words have an impact on your life and your thoughts and words have an impact on the lives of those around you. Next time you catch yourself thinking something negative, will you replace it with a positive thought?