Experts Link Religion, Health
In mid-December, researchers from Duke, Georgetown and Harvard Universities, among others, took the issue to the next level during a conference in Boston. Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard says health care professionals have "reached a point where we have to decide if our belief in the effects of spirituality are strong enough to support complete acceptance."
Benson says discussions point to general support and acceptance, yet the medical and research communities have failed to incorporate the mind/body connection as an equal part of the medical process. He adds it is his belief the time has come to do so.
Dr. Harold Koenig of Duke University Medical Center, says the medical community now has a more favorable outlook -- not only because of the evidence of connections between spiritual beliefs and positive medical outcomes -- but also because patients want practices incorporated into their care. He says more medical schools now offer courses on spiritual practices and doctors are more receptive to asking about religious beliefs of patients in their practices.
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