W3: The Power of Science, Religion, and Healing

After learning so much about science, religion, and healing I can confidently say that all three are very important when it comes to the human body and mind. All three can also be related to each other over time. The mind, body, and spirit are interconnected and interact in a dynamic way in the “whole person” (Young, 2010).

Science is a huge part of western culture and plays a big part in biomedicine, much of what we see in the United States. When one asks “Does it work?” in the United States, they are asking if something is clinically proven to work to help fix or relieve the human body (lecture 3.2). While if you ask that same question in a different part of the world, they may look at that question in a social or spiritual way. For example, in lecture 3.2 we read about chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is used to help cancer patients. It has good affects on the cancer patient but bad affects on things such as the environment and people that are disbursing the medication. If you were to ask someone in America if it worked they would tell you yes, whereas in other countries they may tell you no because of the harmful affects it has on other parts of the community as a whole. In America we are over using medicine. There are so many other techniques that can be used to heal, such as acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy. After viewing the documentary “The Science of Acupuncture”, It is clear that it has impacted many lives in a positive way. Using science, it was found that acupuncture indeed has an affect on the brain. The needling was found to be deactivating a part of the brain affecting the limbic system, which is associated with how we experience pain. This explains why it worked to help chronic pain that people with osteoarthritis experience. We cant just ignore ancient traditions, we must acknowledge them and use them to our advantage. The healing in China is much different than the healing found in Africa. In Africa they combine their religion with their healing remedies. As we saw in the video “Healing Dance Botswana Africa”, they believed that God gives certain people gifts to heal others. People with these gifts practice the healing dance and actually use it to help others. In the video the people are healed by the healers, which is clearly done through their mind, similar to the “placebo affect”. All three aspects of health, science, religion, and healing, are equally important when treating human beings.

Young, Caroline. “Spirituality, Health, and Healing: An Integrative Approach.” Google Books. August 15, 2010. Accessed July 22, 2016. https://books.google.com/books?id=zd1egJXMCzEC.

4 thoughts on “W3: The Power of Science, Religion, and Healing

  1. Great post, Taylor! You brought up a lot of good points. I especially like how you described how each of these things, science, religion, and healing, work together to form a “whole person.” I believe it is a common misconception by most people that they only work by themselves, or work in pairs, instead of all together. Furthermore, I enjoyed your connection between “does it work” and the interpretation of the statement in different parts of the world. This class is important in that way because we all need to fully understand that the world operates in different ways, some drastically different than our own in the United States. Just because those who heal with their minds and their souls, like in China for example, does not compare to the extent of our westernized technology does not mean it doesn’t work and does not mean it doesn’t work sometimes better. A lot of people lack this understanding.
    I fully agree with your statement of overusing medication; it is a common concern that the more and more that we rely on these medications that our bodies will become too used to them and they won’t be as effective as we need them to be. Finding other ways of healing that use all three of these aspects is crucial to the functioning of our world and ALL of the people in it. In doing so, we will be able to better function both as a community and as individuals.

  2. Taylor,

    You bring up some really good examples from the coursework that point to how religion and science are important in the healing process. We certainly cannot expect all people to understand how others use science or religion in the healing process. There are many different religions worldwide, and many different scientific approaches to healing. I believe that it is important that we consider how each individual person relates science and religion to healing. If we (especially health communities) cannot recognize that each person’s beliefs are unique, we cannot expect to help ill people recover in the ways in which they believe are most effective.

    While I agree that we as Americans might rely too heavily on Western pharmaceuticals, I don’t believe that we can just dismiss the positive results associated with using these medications. For some, who believe in the power of these pharmaceuticals, it is important that they have the ability to use the healing methods that they believe in. Just as the Chinese should be entitled to use acupuncture as a pain controller, and the San in Africa should be entitled to practice their healing dances, those who choose should be entitled to use the Western medications that they believe are most effective.

  3. I absolutely agree that science, religion, and healing work as one complete component. The healing process has much to do with science- the medicine given to sick individuals, the therapy or treatment one may receive and much more. But religion also plays an important role in the healing process for those all over the world. Rather one lives in Europe or America, many have faith in those of a higher being that has healing power to remedy their illnesses. Many believe with the connection of medicine, doctors, religion and family, there is hope and the likelihood of being healthy again is possible.

    Furthermore, the interpretation of “does it work” is defined in many ways. As mentioned previously, treatment such as chemotherapy can safely and effectively treat a patient for cancer. Perhaps to doctors, patients, and family members, it does work. Although, an environmentalist may say how harmful it is to environment and how it’ll suffer. Therefore it works based on what one’s intentions are where their beliefs lie. I’d also like to bring up the point that there are a vast number of religions. With this in mind, religion, healing, and science will differ for everyone. Perspectives differ and beliefs differ. Some may lean more toward religious healing rather than medicinal healing. Again, I agree religion, science, and healing are components to make one. Though, perspectives, beliefs, and approaches to healing differs among those affiliated with religions and those of different geographical locations.

  4. Hi Taylor!
    I think you brought up a lot of great points, and a lot of great examples from the coursework. Science, religion, and healing all work together in the human body. When we are sick, science has a large role in defining our sickness and choosing the best possible medication and treatment plan in order to cure it. Along with this, religion needs to be considered. People all over the world believe in differently types of religions, some of which practice medicine differently and disregard a lot of the western styles of medicine that we commonly see used. A lot of people rely on religion, along with many other remedies and healing processes besides the actual science and drugs used to heal their symptoms, these other remedies are there to heal their soul. Even western style medicine and drug use is still largely seen in the U.Ss, as you said we are beginning to adapt other techniques of healing through acupuncture, and natural remedies, that can be better for our bodies in the long run.
    I also like how you brought up the placebo affect. I find this so interesting that we can essentially be healed by our minds. If we believe something is suppose to help us, that our brain tells us it is helping us and eventually it actually can. Overall great post, I look forward to reading more!

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