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Health/Beauty Wellness Wednesday: Are There Health Benefits Of Prayer? [Video]

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Prayer heals; many echo this sentiment. Thousands of Americans use prayer to improve their health. ( Credit: ThinkStock Images)

Prayer heals. This belief is echoed by thousands of Americans who use prayer to improve their health. According to a study by Dr. Anne McCaffrey of the Harvard Medical School, one-third of Americans use prayer to propel physical healing. Sixty-nine percent of the 2,000 people who were surveyed said that prayer greatly improved their health. So are there health benefits of prayer?

Additional studies have linked a prayer life to positive health outcomes with such ailments as: high blood pressure, heart attacks, asthma, headaches, stress and anxiety. According to McCaffrey, many mainstream Americans are using prayer in their daily lives to promote healing as well as better physical and mental health.

Many of whom are hospitalized or sickened with disease, speak of how prayer promotes a better sense of well-being. Other people report a sense of calmness, peace and a release from stress and anxiety. Further studies suggest that people who have good and strong prayer habits usually have a bigger and supportive community of people having the same mind and beliefs. Therefore, it is prayer that becomes a medium to muster the power of that community for the health benefits of the person who needs it the most.

As the existence of various unconventional therapy choices grow, prayer advocates are convincing others to use prayer. Many see praying as beneficial because it is free and it is a practice that does not take a lot of time or effort.

Other health benefits of prayer seen by many include:

- Improved relationship with others.

- Prevention or/and even reversal of many illnesses and diseases.

- A reduction of physical pain.

- Good, wholesome and sustainable brain health, which in turn results in overall physical, emotional, and mental health. Several studies suggest that the frontal lobe of our brains is stimulated when prayer is exercised regularly. This helps to keep the brain healthy, and helps to prevent age-related shrinkage.

- Ongoing physical and mental healing.

Many experts agree that spiritual health should not be a substitute for traditional medicine, or that prayer will ensure physical well-being; we are only human and must seek medical attention when necessary. That medical care coupled with prayer, however seems to bring about favorable results for many. It is a fact that prayer is a critical component in most people’s lives and that tells us that spirituality – when prayer is combined with traditional medicine – should be embraced as an integral and important part of the health-care and healing process.

Watch the video below to learn more of the proposed medical benefits of prayer:

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