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Posted on: Tuesday, August 14, 2001
Have a Little Faith (you may live longer) email to the editor
By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

If you have ever heard your chiropractor say, "I move the bone, God does the healing" and your response was to roll your eyes back in disbelief, it may be a good idea for you to have a little faith. For once again, researchers have shed some light on an idea many have believed to be true for eons... ye with little faith, hath little life.

According to a recent study titled, "Religious Struggle as a Predictor of Mortality Among Medically Ill Elderly Patients" researchers have found that those holding negative views about religion had an increased risk of mortality. And while the study focused on serious illness and religious faith, one may also wonder what effect that same faith has in our everyday healing capabilities.

Can a loss of religious faith leave one vulnerable to illness? "Yes" say researchers, who found that sick patients who became pessimistic about their religious faith were associated with having a higher risk of mortality.

A researcher pointed out that feelings of doubt towards one's faith when dealing with a serious illness may be natural. However, I like how he stated, when people get "stuck" (in a place of no faith), "it creates stress... that interferes with the body's ability to recover." Sounds like a subluxation occurring above the atlas.

The results of the study (which are published in the August issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine) indicate that religious struggle was associated with an increased risk of mortality. Specifically, patients who said they felt "unloved by God" and "attributed their illness to the devil" were found to have a 19% to 28% increase in the risk of dying within 2 years.

One of the study's co-authors stated, "Sick people need to have their spiritual issues assessed and addressed, otherwise it will have a negative effect." Reading that statement, it makes sense to me that well people should have their spiritual issues assessed and addressed in order to avoid "a negative effect." Chalk one up for all those "spiritually based" practices out there.

Archives of Internal Medicine: Religious Struggle as a Predictor of Mortality Among Medically Ill Elderly Patients
ABC News: Loss of Religious Faith May Increase Risk of Death
ABC News: A Prayer Before Dying? Some Patients Struggling With Faith May Have Increased Mortality Risk

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Archives of Internal Medicine: Religion and Medicine

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