The Role of Spirituality in Health Care

© GLOW IMAGES Model used for illustrative purposes

© GLOW IMAGES Model used for illustrative purposes

My colleague Eric Nelson is the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in Northern California and has had articles published and featured in numerous newspapers. I thought my Southern California readers would appreciate reading his recent column on consciousness and health.

In 2002, Dr. Donald Moss, then president of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB), decided to devote his entire annual meeting to exploring “the role of spirituality in health care.” Given the growing interest in the subject at that time, this seemed like a good idea – just not one that was unanimously embraced. One member of the association resigned immediately following the conference.

“His point of view was that the word ‘spirit’ or the word ‘religion’ shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence with ‘science,’” said Moss during a recent conversation, “which I think is a very archaic attitude.”

Times have changed.

With more than 75 percent of all medical schools in the U.S. having integrated spirituality into their training programs – up from just three schools 20 years ago – it’s safe to say that this once marginalized subject has made it into the mainstream of modern medicine. What remains to be seen, however, is what role spirituality might play going forward, whether it be bit player or featured star.

Click here to read the complete column that originally appeared on Communities Digital News or visit Eric’s blog at



About the author

Guest We are pleased to present Notes from the Field authors, who are assistant committees and church members in the Southern California region; and Notes from The Mother Church authors, who are Committees from the United States and around the world, as well as the Federal Committee on Publication office.


  1. Sandy Haase says

    A relative of mine says that there is a line included in the paperwork at her doctor’s office, “Would you like someone to pray with you?” She usually says yes. One of the doctor’s assistants comes in and says a prayer with her while she is in the exam room waiting to be seen. I’m grateful for this trend and the acknowledgement of prayer as a desirable element in health care.

  2. Mary Lou MacKenzie says

    I found it heartening that Dr. Moss mentioned Christian Science by name in his study. These are all hopeful signs. Thanks for the report.

  3. Belle says

    I was on a house tour which included a physician’s home. In his home office hung a sign, “We collect the bills; only God heals.”

  4. Anne says

    A fascinating post and a continuing proof that spirituality in health care is relevant and necessary for much of the public.

    I liked Dr. Moss’ comments. The words “capacity for healing” enlighten thought to the possibility that spirituality is a natural compotent in attaining and maintaining one’s well-being. And the idea of having an “open door” policy for patients to express their spiritual concerns and needs is excellent.

    I also enjoyed the comments of readers and the remarks of other doctors that they quoted. The age-old gap is narrowing in the health care outlook. Today’s providers of health have a sincere desire to meet the needs of the public right where they are. This cooperation can only bring great progress to everyone.

    Thank you for this wonderful blog.

  5. Bonnie says

    Wonderful article. We see the leaven at work, very heartwarming. Hopefully, the 21st century will see lots of changes in this area. Thanks Don and Eric.

  6. Pamela says

    I read this on Eric’s site and I am so grateful you have shared it here Don. This is an exceptionally good article and I too am grateful that Dr. Moss mentioned Christian Science by name and more than once. This says to me there is an opening of thought to recognize that Christian Science healing is effective. The world is waking up.