36% of Americans surveyed reported that they had experienced or witnessed a divine healing of an illness or injury. Study: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life /2008 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey (page 188).
49% of adults said in 2007 that they had prayed about their health during the previous 12 months, up from 43% in 2002 and up from 14% in 1999. Report published in 2011 by The American Psychological Association: National Trends in Prayer Use as a Coping Mechanism for Health.
58% of Americans surveyed reported that they pray at least once a day and 75% of Americans surveyed reported that they pray at least once a week. Study: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life /2008 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey (select Beliefs and Practices/Frequency of Prayer).
56% in Michigan surveyed reported that they pray at least once a day and… 76% in Michigan surveyed reported that they pray at least once a week. Study: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life /2008 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey (select Beliefs and Practices/Frequency of Prayer/Michigan).
More than 1/3 of adults in the U.S. report that they have pursued some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) according to a 2005 report entitled Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States produced by the
Institute of Medicine at the request of the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (use link to purchase report or download free PDF version).
Americans spent $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) over the previous 12 months according to a 2007 government survey by National Health Statisics Reports and reported by the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.
Traumatic brain injury patients who felt a connection to a higher power experienced better emotional and physical rehabilitation outcomes. News release 06-28-2011: Wayne State University study by Brigid Waldron-Perrine, Ph.D. in Detroit, Michigan, published in Rehabilitation Psychology and reported in Science Daily.
Paths to happiness include: (1) putting mindfulness to use toward well being, (2) expressing gratitude, (3) living life with meaning, and (4) finding and using your inner character strengths according to a 2011 Special Health Report from Harvard Health Publications entitled Positive Psychology: Harnessing the Power of Happiness, Personal Strength, and Mindfulness by Harvard faculty editor Ronald Siegel and contributing psychologist Steven M. Allison.
A nondenominational spiritual retreat can increase hope and reduce depression. Study by the University of Michigan Health System: “Healing the Heart: A randomized Pilot Study of a Spiritual Retreat for Depresson in Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients” by Sara L. Warber,Sandra Ingerman,Vera L. Moura,Jenna Wunder,Alyssa Northrop,Brenda w. Gillespie,Kate Durda,Katherine Smith,Katherine S. Rhodes,Melvyn Rubenfire; published in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, July-August 2011, Elsevier.
Giving is good for health. A 2003 study of the elderly conducted by researchers at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan found that those who participated in volunteering and caregiving had a lower risk of dying over a five-year period. They also found that the motives, or thinking, of the givers was key – the health benefits accrued to those with “other-oriented” motives and not to those with “self-oriented” motives. Study: “Motives for Volunteering Are Associated With Mortality Risk in Older Adults” by Sara Konrath, University of Michigan and University of Rochester Medical Center, Andrea Fuhrel-Forbis and Alina Lou, University of Michigan, Stephanie Brown, University of Michigan and Stony Brook University Medical Center; Health Psychology, August 15, 2011, © 2011 American Psychological Association.
Love and affection good for health. In a 1945 study by psychoanalytic psychiatrist Rene Spitz one group of babies was cared for with good hygiene and excellent physical care but received little if any individual love or attention. This group became physically and emotionally stunted. Most could not walk or talk even at the age of four. Within two years 37 percent had died from infection. In contrast, a second group of babies was cared for in a prison nursery that was far dirtier but received loving affection from their mothers each day. Not a single child in the second group succumbed to infection during the five-year period of Spitz’s study. Study: Hospitalism—A Follow-Up Report on Investigation Described in Volume I, 1945 by René A. Spitz, M.D.
Gratitude is good for health. “Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.” Subjects expressing gratitude experienced a 25% increase in happiness and those with chronic health problems experienced better sleep. Study: Emmons & McCullough, 2003.
Gratitude results in better sleep. Results included better sleep quality and better sleep duration. Study: Wood, Joseph, Lloyd, and Atkins, 2008 published in The Journal of Psychosomatic Research in 2009.
Placebo effective when known to be a placebo. Study: 2010 Harvard Medical School study led by Ted J. Kaptchuk.
Care-giver placebo effect. In this study, techniques used and believed in were effective 70% – 90% of the time. Later, when physicians doubted the treatment their effectiveness dropped to 30% – 40%. Study: 1979 study of therapies used to alleviate “angina pectoris” by Herbert Benson, M.D. and Dr. David P. McCallie Jr. (see page 30 in Timeless Healing: the Power and Biology of Belief By Herbert Benson, Marg Stark).
Placebo effect on exercise. Hotel-room attendants who were told they were getting a good workout at their jobs experienced significant weight-loss while others who did the same work without being told this did not lose weight. Study: Exercise and the Placebo Effect by Alia Crum, a Yale graduate student, and Ellen Langer, a professor in the psychology department at Harvard, published in Psychological Science in 2007 Volume-18 Number 2, Copyright © 2007 Association for Psychological Science.
Exercise and improved state of thought equals antidepressant medication in reducing major depression and is more lasting. A 1999 study conducted by James A. Blumenthal, PhD at the Duke University Medical Center found that older patients with major depression experienced therapeutic benefits from an exercise program equal to what others received from antidepressant medication. A follow-up study the next year, which examined the same patients, found that the improvement was more lasting for those using exercise — perhaps a result of a better sense of accomplishment and self-worth – an improved state of thought. 1999 Study: Blumenthal JA, Babyak MA, Moore KA, Craighead WE, Herman S, Khatri P, Waugh R, Napolitano MA, Forman LM, Appelbaum M, Doraiswamy PM, Krishnan KR. Effects of exercise training on older patients with major depression. Arch Intern Med. 1999 Oct 25;159(19):2349-56. (1999). 2000 study: Babyak M, Blumenthal JA, Herman S, Khatri P, Doraiswamy M, Moore K, Craighead WE, Baldewicz TT, Krishnan KR. Exercise treatment for major depression: maintenance of therapeutic benefit at 10 months. Psychosom Med. 2000 Sep-Oct;62(5):633-8. (2000).