God, Faith, and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection

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Wiley, Apr 26, 2001 - Health & Fitness - 256 pages
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A study shows that frequent church attendees report higher levels of well-being and experience less disability, fewer days in bed, and fewer physical symptoms than less frequent attendees . . . Johns Hopkins University researchers learn that monthly religious attendance more than halved the risk of death due to heart disease, emphysema, suicide, and some cancers . . . A study finds that Coronary Care Unit patients who were prayed for by strangers fared better than patients who did not receive prayer.

These are just some of the startling connections between spirituality and health revealed in this inspiring, groundbreaking new book by Dr. Jeff Levin, the scientist who has conducted much of the original research in this increasingly influential area of health and medicine.

In God, Faith, and Health, Dr. Levin explores the latest compelling evidence of the connection between health and an array of spiritual beliefs and practices, including prayer, attending religious services, meditation, faith in God, and others. With examples from spiritual traditions as diverse as Christianity, Judaism, and yoga, he looks with an open mind and perceptive eye at the many ways that religious involvement and belief can prevent illness and promote health and well-being. Drawing on his own and other published studies, Dr. Levin shows how religion?s emphasis on healthy behaviors and supportive relationships influences one?s overall health and how the optimism and hopefulness of those who profess faith promote the body?s healing responses.

Taking us into the fascinating realm of such "paranormal" healing modes as noncontact therapeutic touch, distant prayer, and mystical experiences, Dr. Levin asks if other forces could be at work in many cases of healing. Sharing compelling evidence from recent research, he offers an exciting vision of a new era in modern medicine, one in which body, mind, and something "beyond" mind?call it spirit, a higher power, or God?are brought together to promote health, prevent illness, and bring about healing.

Filled with dramatic personal stories, God, Faith, and Health will alter the way you think about your body and your faith, and will show you the path to improving your own health through spiritual practice.

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About the author (2001)

JEFF LEVIN, Ph.D., M.P.H., a social epidemiologist, is a Senior Research Fellow of the National Institute for Healthcare Research; an Advisory Board member of the Center on Aging, Religion, and Spirituality; a Board of Trustees member of the Shepherd’s Centers of America; and former Chairman of the National Institutes of Health Working Group on Quantitative Methods in Alternative Medicine. His research has been funded by major organizations, including the NIH, the American Medical Association, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences. He has been featured in Time, USA Today, Reader's Digest, JAMA, Newsday, and Maclean’s, and on NPR, PBS, CTV, and CBN. He lives with his wife, Dr. Lea Steele, in Kansas.

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