What effect do intent, touch, and thoughts have on healing? Stories have abounded over the years about terminal cancer patients surviving through the power of prayer. One well recorded incident of this was Norman Cousins, a journalist, author and professor. Upon receiving a diagnosis of a life threatening and painful illness, he literally laughed himself well by watching Marx Brothers movies.
But what is the medical evidence of this supposed healing effect?
In a study on “healing with intent”, appearing in a 1999 edition of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, the enzyme pepsin was used to break down egg protein. This was done in 20 separate trials to reduce the chance of placebo effect. For those petri dishes that were “healed with intent”, there was a statistically significant increase in enzyme activity.
In a 2000 study that appeared in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, the researchers used “laying on of hands” as a treatment methodology for mice with breast cancer. Five mice were obtained with breast cancer, a disease with a 100% fatality rate within 14 – 27 days. “Laying on of hands” was used for 1 hour per day for one month. The results? The tumors of the five mice blackened, ulcerated, imploded, and then closed. All five mice lived their normal life spans. Control mice, left untreated and sent to another city, died within the predicted time span.
The study was repeated 3 separate times using skeptical volunteer “healers” and 33 mice in two different locations. Overall, they boasted an 87.9% cure rate! What’s more, when the mice were re-injected with cancer cells, the mice remained in remission.
In a 2000 study that appeared in the journal Alternative Therapies, the researchers wanted to find out if laughter had an effect on immune function. Fifty-two healthy men had blood drawn before, during and after a one hour humerous video. The authors’ conclusions? “Modulation of neuroimmune parameters during and following the humor-associated eustress [pleasant or curative stress] of laughter may provide beneficial health effects for wellness…”
So what does it all mean?
The way in which we touch and what we are thinking makes a difference in the lives of the people we encounter. Do you pray for those you love? When you hug your children or your spouse, what are you thinking about? Do you laugh regularly? Are you focusing on the challenges of your life or do you emphasize the positive? Are you encouraging to those around you (and to yourself)?
You could be making a bigger impact on their health than you realized!