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Prayer, distant healing

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Absent healing, attitudinal healing, Ayurvedic healing, centering prayer, compassion and healing, compassionate intention, distant healing, divining, entanglement theory, external qigong, faith healing, healing belief, holographic consciousness, human energy fields, imagery, intentionality, intercessory prayer (IP), Kahuna healing, meditation, mental healing, mind beyond body, Native American faith healing, noetic therapy, psychic healing, qigong, quantum healing, quantum mechanics, reiki, religion, remote healing, remote prayer, search for God, spiritual healing, spirituality, state-dependent learning, Sufi healing.
  • Not included in this review: Imagery, meditation, qigong, reiki, spiritual healing (see separate monographs).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Prayer can be defined as "reverent petition," the act of asking for something while aiming to connect with God or another object of worship. Prayer on behalf of the ill or dying has played a prominent role throughout history and across cultures. Prayer is a part of many religious traditions and has also been studied as a form of complementary medicine.
  • Distant healing is a broader concept than prayer. It includes prayer but also includes secular approaches to exerting remote healing influence, i.e., attempting to mentally project influence across distance for another's well-being, without asking the intercession of a supreme being separate from oneself.
  • Prayer is a highly prevalent form of social support and a coping mechanism for patients dealing with serious illness or undergoing medical procedures. Many patients welcome offers by their healthcare practitioners to pray with them for their well-being (1).
  • Hospital chaplains and counselors are trained to respect diverse religious backgrounds in addressing the spiritual and emotional needs of physically and mentally ill patients, their families, or loved ones and often incorporate prayer in their ministrations.
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Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.