Spirituality and Science in the Process of Healing

Religion has a huge impact on healing and how a person believes they will heal. Every religion is different some people are more culturally centered and have a strong belief in the healing powers of a “shaman” or other traditional methods. An example of this from our reading was shown with the San people using a healing dance where the powers of religion and healing both intersect. The dance is done till an enhanced state of consciousness is reached and it is then that the healing powers are activated and may be used. In the United States we tend to have a more scientific route to healing a person. Science plays such an important role in the process of healing since it is the most effective method. Here in the US many doctors tend to immediately prescribe medications for patients without taking a look into their background. For example an article in Traditional Chinese Medicine discusses the high risk of drug interactions with Chinese cancer patients taking herbal medications. Their oncologists and primary care physicians are sometimes completely unaware of any TCM use and can prescribe them drugs which cause dangerous effects.
In lecture we learned doctors often prescribe medications to alleviate physical pain, but often emotional and spiritual pain is left unresolved. Patients in end of life care often wonder, “Is there a god?” and “What will happen to me after I die?” Most people find their answers to these questions through worship and spirituality. It allows individuals to come to terms with their illness and offers a method of healing. It is definitely beneficial for physicians to understand the spirituality of their patients. Often patients can have a different understanding of a disease based off their religious views. Spirituality also affects a patients’ thinking when making healthcare decisions. Investing in a patients emotional health can often resolve health problems. In the article “A Low-tech Approach to Fertility: Just Relax” Dr. Sarah Berga found that patients’ stressful lives were often cause to blame for fertility issues. She suggests cognitive behavioral therapy before trying in-vitro fertilization. It’s shocking that people are willing to spend thousands of dollars on the latest technological fertilization methods when something so simple as stress is the cause. Berga found that in women who didn’t ovulate, all of them had an excess of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Overall I feel that healing should be coupled with spirituality and science, whether or not it comes from religion.
Puchalski, Christina. “Spirituality in Health: The Role of Spirituality in Critical Care.” Critical Care Clinics 20, no. 3 (2004): 487-504. Accessed July 22, 2016. doi:10.1016/j.ccc.2004.03.007.

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