why distant healing? why now? larry dossey, md utmb galveston, tx march 12, 2004

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  • Why Distant Healing? Why Now? Larry Dossey, MD UTMB Galveston, TX March 12, 2004
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  • Premise: Spiritual factors are important in both the prevention and treat- ment of probably all major illnesses.
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  • The re-spiritualization of medicine: Recent indicators 1993: Only 3/125 medical schools in U. S. A. featured courses in spirituality and health; in 2004, 90 have such. 1997: Joint Commission on Accreditation 1998: Association of American Medical Colleges 1998: Astin survey: transformational experience __________________________________ Astin JA. Why Patients Use Alternative Medicine Results of a National Survey. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1998; 279(19): 1548-1553.
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  • Spirituality: the sense of connectedness with an absolute, imminent, or transcendent power, however named. Religion: ritualized spirituality; a codified system of belief, worship, and conduct that often includes a sense of the spiritual.
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  • Spirituality & medicine: What do doctors believe? Survey of 296 family physicians: 99% are convinced that spiritual beliefs can heal 75% believe that prayers of others can help a patient recover 38% believe that faith healers can make people well ______________________________________________________ Survey by Yankelovich Partners; American Academy of Family Physicians Annual meeting, October 1996; Parade Magazine, Dec. 1, 1996.
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  • What do physicians do about spirituality and health? A random national survey of 1,000 adults found that only 10 percent said that a doctor had ever talked to them about their spiritual beliefs as a factor in physical health. __________________________ McNichol T. The new faith in medicine. USA Weekend. April 5-6, 1996:4-5.
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  • Spirituality & medicine: What do patients want? Survey of hospitalized patients : 75% said their physicians should be concerned about their spiritual beliefs. 50% said their physician should pray not only for them, but with them. ____________________________________ King DE, Bushwick B. Beliefs and attitudes of hospital inpatients about faith healing and prayer. Journal of Family Practice. 1994; 39(4): 349-352.
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  • Spirituality & health: 2 major areas of research religious practices, health, & longevity (approx. 1,200 published studies) ( Koenig HG, McCullough ME, Larson DB. Handbook of Religion and Health. New York: Oxford University Press; 2001.) prayer & distant healing (approx. 150 published studies)
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  • Religion & health: Those who follow a religious practice it does not appear to matter which live significantly longer (7 to 13 yrs.) and have a lower incidence of major diseases. McCullough ME, Hoyt WT, Larson DB, Koenig H, Thoresen C. Religious involvement and mortality: A meta-analytic review. Health Psychology. 2000;19(3):211-222.
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  • Religion & health: Naturalistic mechanisms better health habits less smoking and drinking dietary precautions; vegetarianism social support and networks sense of meaning and purpose _____________________________________ Levin JS, Schiller PL. Is there a religious factor in health? J. Religion and Health. 1987;26:9-36.
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  • E RA I M EDICINE (Mechanical)
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  • E RA II M EDICINE (Mind-Body)
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  • E RA III M EDICINE ( Nonlocal )
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  • P rayer: What is it?
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  • Prayer (cultural definition) Prayer is talking aloud or silently to a white, short-tempered, male, cosmic parent figure,who prefers to be addressed in English.
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  • Prayer (ecumenical definition) communication with the Absolute.
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  • [The brains] workings what we sometimes call mind are a consequence of its anatomy and physiology, and nothing more. C ARL S AGAN ____________________________________________________ The Dragons of Eden. New York: Simon & Schuster; 1977:7.
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  • ...a persons mental activities are entirely due to the behavior of nerve cells, glial cells, and the atoms, ions, and molecules that make up and influence them. F RANCIS C RICK ______________________________ The Astonishing Hypothesis. New York: Simon & Schuster; 1994.
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  • What have experts said?
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  • This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us. Western Union internal memo, 1876
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  • Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. Lord Kelvin President, Royal Society, 1895
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  • Who the hell wants to hear actors talk? Harry M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927
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  • This wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular? David Sarnoffs associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s
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  • Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929
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  • But whatis it good for? Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, commenting on the microchip, 1968
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  • I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. Thomas Watson President, IBM, 1943
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  • Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons. Popular Mechanics, 1949, forecasting the relentless march of science
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  • There is no reason anyone would want a computer in the home. Kenneth Olsen Founder, Digital Equipment Corp. (Compaq), 1977
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  • Six hundred forty K ought to be enough for anybody. Bill Gates Founder and CEO, Microsoft, 1981
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  • The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a C, the idea must be feasible. A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smiths paper proposing reliable overnight express delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)
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  • A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make. Response to Debbie Fields idea of starting Mrs. Fields Cookies
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  • We dont like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out. Decca Recording Co., rejecting the Beatles, 1962
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  • At the present state of the investigation of consciousness we dont know how it works and we need to try all kinds of different ideas. J OHN S EARLE ______________________________ J. Consciousness Studies; 2(1):1995.
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  • Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious. So much for the philosophy of consciousness. J ERRY A. F ODOR ______________________________________ The big idea. NY Times Literary Supplement; July 3, 1992.
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  • T HE B ENOR S URVEY (1990) 131 controlled trials of spiritual healing in a variety of species 56 show statistically significant results (P < 0.01) 21 show statistically significant results (P < 0.02-0.05) ________________________________________ Benor DJ. Spiritual Healing. Southfield, MI: Vision; 2002.
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  • Summary as of March 2004: Nine randomized controlled clinical trials of distant healing/intercessory prayer in humans have been published; five have yielded statistically significant results. Eight systematic or meta-analyses of the human clinical studies have been published; seven have reached positive conclusions.
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  • The big picture: Dossey L. REINVENTING MEDICINE. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco; 1999. Jonas WB, Crawford CC. HEALING, INTENTION, AND ENERGY MEDICINE: SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH METHODS AND CLINICAL APPLICATIONS. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 2003.
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  • Randolph C. Byrd The Effects of Intercessory Prayer in a Coronary Care Unit Population ______________________ Southern Medical Journal. 1988; 81(7): 826-829.
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  • Mitchell Krucoff, Suzanne Crater, et al. Integrative Noetic Therapies as Adjuncts to Percutaneous Intervention During Unstable Coronary Syndromes: Monitoring and Actualization of Noetic Training (MANTRA) Feasibility Pilot. _______________________________________ American Heart Journal. 2001; 142(5): 760-767.
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  • K. Y. Cha, D. P. Wirth, R. Lobo Does Prayer Influence the Success of In Vitro Fertilization-Embryo Transfer? Report of a Masked, Randomized Trial. ________________________________________ J. Reproductive Medicine. 2001; 46(9): 781-787.
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  • F. Sicher, E. Targ, D. Moore, H. S. Smith A Randomized Double-blind Study of the Effect of Distant Healing in a Population with Advanced AIDS Report of a Small-scale Study. ___________________________________________ Western Journal of Medicine. 1998


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