I’ve been away from my blog for a while! Whilst travelling in this work, I’ve had the privilege of attending a conference in Santa Monica on spirituality in healthcare, and meeting people reporting on, or working in healthcare. Most of these media professionals, healthcare service providers, and the general public agree that spirituality is a key component in wellbeing and healing. This includes prayer.
A very recent study conducted by the University of Adelaide, shows that one in two men diagnosed with cancer in Australia, are turning to complementary and alternative medicine. Samantha Chan reports in AsianScientist, “Prayer is the second most popular CAM therapy… Reasons for turning to alternative options were because they are either dissatisfied with the results from conventional medical treatments, or pressured by their spouse or family to try something different, the study found.”.
Another aspect clear to me from my aforementioned meetings, is that the majority of intelligent, reasoning people don’t accept blind faith, will-power, self-belief, positive thinking, or “magical thinking” for their healthcare. Scientists continue to search for answers, and most (religious or not) concede that they don’t have all the answers.
Sydney-based author, Benison Anne O’Reilly wrote recently in the Sydney Morning Herald, that it is dangerous to rely on prayer for a cure: article, “Spiritual beliefs won’t halt cancer’s onslaught, but science might”. Her experiences stir the heart and intellect of the Reader, and though it doesn’t create an original dialogue, perhaps it refreshes a new-old dialogue for thinkers? Or perhaps it is a new conversation for you?
Indeed, O’Reilly has made me, for one, search deeper for ways to help build bridges between thinkers who rely on scientific prayer, thinkers who rely on alternative medicines, and thinkers who rely on medical science.
According to an article, “Complementary Medicine Popular With Healthcare Workers“ (medpagetoday.com), “Multiple studies done in the general population have tracked a rise the use of complementary or alternative therapies. A 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) found that about 40% of adults said they sought nontraditional medical treatments, and a 2008 study by the American Cancer Society found similar practices among more than 60% of cancer survivors.”
We cannot discount the fact that countless people have, and are successfully using alternative methods of treatment, including prayer for their healthcare. It’s interesting to read: ‘Fighting Cancer with Spirituality’; Oct 2011 – “Sometimes answers come from prayer when medical science has none.” – Source: American Cancer Society.
Thinkers are building bridges.