Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 6, 2002
Live your faith for good health and longevity
By ART BABYCH
"This (healing prayer) is really hot news and cutting-edge science that we're going to have to contend with."
- Larry Dossey
It doesn't matter which religious path a person follows, but making a place in one's life for religious meaning and religious significance dramatically affects longevity, said Dossey, who has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show.
"The average increase in longevity seems to be on the order of seven years," he said.
"This is dramatic."
He said his talks in Winnipeg will also emphasize the evidence of the effects of intercessory prayer.
"There are many studies now showing that prayer can influence other people's health outcomes at a distance even when those people were not aware of the prayers being offered," he said.
"There's a series of experiments coming now from major medical schools confirming this effect, which I'm sure will not shock religiously-oriented people, but which is really a huge challenge to modern science and medicine who have believed for a long time such things were not possible."
The data seems to speak for itself, said Dossey. "Many of the studies are quite precise coming out of medical schools and institutions. I think this is really hot news and cutting-edge science that we're going to have to contend with."
However, while prayer has a positive effect on some people's health, Dossey says "If you single out an individual, you can never predict in advance whether prayer will be effective for that person."
But neither can it accurately be predicted if a given drug will work for a specific person.
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