Guest post written by Anne Cooling
For a long time our country has been using predominately one type of healthcare, but more frequently the public is turning toward the successful use of alternative medicines. Deepak Chopra, MD states in “Medicine’s Great Divide – The view from the Alternative Side” that, “Over a decade ago, …the New England Journal of Medicine reported that Americans pay more visits annually to alternative practitioners than to MDs.”
One of the areas of alternative medicine that has been researched scientifically for over the last three decades, but has been in use for over 4000 years, is prayer. You can reference a number of these medical studies in “Fact or Myth: The Effects of Prayer is Scientifically Proven to Lead to Healing” by Danica Collins. Chopra indicates in “Medicine’s Great Divide,” “Research describes the body as an integrated system that exchanges information continuously between the mind, via the brain, and every cell in the body. In a nutshell, we now realize that for every mental state there must be a corresponding state of physiology.” It is no wonder that over the past three decades there has been a dramatic increase of Americans praying about health issues, rising 36% between 1999 and 2007 alone, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.
As a Christian Science Practitioner, I treat with scientific prayer the many issues facing my patients, including health. Using the word “scientific” references Mary Baker Eddy’s discovery of the unchanging laws of God that she found through her lifelong research of the Bible. She discovered the mental nature of all things, but that the divine Mind, God, alone heals. The divine law of absolute good, which overcomes the variableness of mortality, governs His creation and this affects the body in tangible, healing ways. In her primary writing, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she writes, “…how do drugs, hygiene, and animal magnetism heal? It may be affirmed that they do not heal, but only relieve suffering temporarily…Mind transcends all other power, and will ultimately supersede all other means in healing.”
I’m grateful for my interactions over the years with many fine conventional and alternative medical professionals and clergies of different faiths. It gives me an appreciation for the ways in which people are striving to improve their lives and that of others. Chopra commented in his article that for the last 25 years he has been deeply impressed that “…so many therapies that totally disagree with one another manage to bring results,” but still “the mystery of healing remains unsolved” to him, and I imagine he is not alone in that assessment. Mary Baker Eddy’s contribution to this dialogue lifts the discussion beyond managing symptoms and coping with disease, bringing about actual healing.