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Spirituality and Healing in Medicine

PRNewswire, December 16, 2000 published an interesting article concerning the movement of the medical profession toward spirituality. According to Herbert Benson, M.D., president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, "Spirituality and healing are rapidly becoming integrated into mainstream American medicine."

"Over the last ten years, we have witnessed a substantial growth in the role and application of spirituality and healing in medicine," said Dr. Benson. "It is our hope that this evolution will continue and build momentum for more widespread acceptance by managed care organizations and insurers."

Dr Benson noted that since 1990, almost 1,500 research studies, research reviews, articles and clinical trials have been published on the connection of spirituality or religion to medicine and health. This figure is equal to the total of all such pieces published prior to 1990.

Harold G. Koenig, M.D., associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center states, "We are astounded and thrilled with the explosion of research in the past ten years. These studies have explored almost all aspects of medicine, from kidney disease to sexual dysfunction. The collective findings and positive results indicate that we have just broken the surface. Imagine what the next ten years will bring."

These views are certainly not just the views of certain individuals. In a 1999 consensus report, the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Internal Medicine suggested that physician care include a review of, and attentiveness to, psychosocial, existential or spiritual suffering of patients with serious medical illness.

The chiropractic slant on this is obvious. All healing comes from within. Whether you consider it spiritual, nature, innate intelligence, or whatever, the main focus of Chiropractic is to remove interference and allow it to work!