Importance of prayer?


Question from Ellen: What is your feeling about the importance of prayer?
Answers - Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. Prayer is an incredibly important aspect of nearly every religious practice in the world. There have been clinical trials such as the STEP study in which patients undergoing cardiac surgery were randomized to receive prayer remotely versus no prayer at all. There were several potential flaws in that study that did show a significant difference in the patients who received the prayer. As Reiki is a form of focused concentrated energy, it has also been likened to a form of prayer as well. As for my practice and many other physicians that I work with, we feel that the energy that is focused through prayer on our patients' highest healing intention is of the utmost importance. It is very difficult to perform a clinical trial on something as vast and potentially powerful as prayer. Clearly no harm will come from prayer, and potentially only good will come from this process. Therefore, I encourage my patients to give and receive prayer and I personally participate in this practice as well, as I work as a surgeon for the highest healing intention for each individual patient.
Lorenzo Cohen It's important to distinguish between self-prayer and other prayer: prayer as a form of meditation that one would do by oneself, and then prayer as Dr. DuPree has mentioned that can also come from another individual for the receiver's benefit. Now, the distant prayer, the latter one that was mentioned, is probably one of the most controversial areas of research in complementary medicine combined with conventional medicine. Less controversial is the concept of self-prayer, and we know from a lot of research that one's involvement in one's faith and spirituality, whether it's organized religion or just a self spiritual practice, can be extremely useful in coping with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer.

On Wednesday, March 21, 2007, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Complementary Medicine Techniques. Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D. and moderator Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. answered your questions about different types of complementary techniques and how they can help during and after breast cancer treatment.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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