- Religion and Philosophy
Faith and Health The Connection Is Real
Faith Based Healing and Health
There is a definitive connection between faith and health, there really isn't any denying it, the evidence is huge toward the side of a direct corralation. But why? First off let me tell you about me, as a Disclaimer so to speak, I am a practicing Christian who attends church most weekends and sometimes during the week. I was not raised this way and made the decision to enter into this relationship with God as an adult.
That said, I see the results of this every week. There are people, Elders, if I may within the church in their Eighties and Nineties who attend church every week. There are many people who have illnesses who have be given a few months to live who years later are still attending church, and there are those who are lost at an early age due to illness or accident. So don't get me wrong, going to church is not a definite means of a long life, I am just saying that there is a large percentage of most churches who are elderly. But so are senior centers and Bingo halls, but if you look at the general health within in the church, you see the "Elders" with an unexplained spring in their step, and clear wisdom in their speech. Again why?
Without getting into the "God" factor and looking into the lifestyle of most "religious" people, you will notice things that affect the majority (but not all), there is very little, drugs, drinking, or cigarette use. Family time is encouraged, along with building and strengthening families and especially marriages, although divorce is about as common within the "Christian church" as within the general public it is usually looked at as a terrible thing, like the death of a family and not a "good thing".
But even more important then the lifestyle choices that religious people make, there is one thing that truely sets them apart. Peace. "Christian" chruches today (and historically) have tought that even when things are going bad, they are never out of control, for "God" in heaven controls all things and can use even the worst for good if allowed to do so.
Next I would like to look at prayer. Many people believe wholeheartedly in prayer. They believe it works. Whether it is health issues, financial issues, family issues, or whatever they believe it works, and it often does. Another bold statement? Not really, we learned that people often times believe in the placebo effect, whether it is medicine, hypnosis or prayer, if they believe it will work, it will work. Here is a high group of people who REALLY believe it will work. With or without an assisting hand from above, here are people who will receive positive results just because they believe it will work. According to the Christian Medical Association 82% of people believe in the healing power of prayer. 99% of doctors (Highly educated people remind you) believe that religious beliefs make positive effects on healing.
The Chrsitian Medical Assiciation goes on to say "faith has an even greater impact. Studies have revealed that faith improves the immune system, enhances healing, reduces complications during major illnesses and much more."
In the beginning and in more primitive civilizations faith and healing went hand and hand. If you were sick, you went to the village witch doctor or priest and they prayed if you were meant to be healed the gods would heal you. Partially if you believed you were to be healed. It worked for thousands of years, civilizations did not usually die off from disease, most slowly died out, or were victims of natural disasters or invasion. How often have you heard of a story where everyone got sick and died? Even during the Black Plague which run uncontrolled taking countless lives, there were still survivors who were not effected.
Every culture has the effects of faith, whether or not it practices, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, or Taoism or some other means of faith, faith works. As I stated before it works and it calms, which I feel is the most important factor, a calm heart and mind will live longer.
Nucleus (Spring 1999 - Bringing Faith and Medicine Together pp 12-18) stated "Proverbs 14:30 says: ‘A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones’ (NIV). This profound insight makes it clear that peace of mind has positive physiological effects. It also declares that, just as cancer destroys the body, so does envy as well as a host of other negative or destructive emotions."
When even scientific magazines can connect the dots and put two and two together to see it is a problem of desire, of envy, of pride, all the things that cause stress.
According to the website "Thinkandask.com" in 2004 65 million people had high blood pressure, that huge heart disease and cancer are the top two causes of adult death, and heart disease's main contribute is high blood pressure. It goes on to state that Jobs, Economics, Family, Social, and World Politics were main causes to stress.
So in my opinion, yes faith helps, but not only helps, but saves lives and prolongs life. If these things get me down, I pray or I run, or I meditate, in short I relax. I rest. I lower the blood pressure. It works.