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Dr K K Aggarwal

Think positive and think different

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The Mantra to acquire spiritual health is to think positive and differently. Positive thinking produces positive hormones and takes you from sympathetic mode to parasympathetic mode. When you think different, it gives you several opportunities and from multiple options available, you can ask your heart to choose one of them.

Thinking positive was a message given by Lord Buddha and thinking different by Adi Shankaracharya.

The candle light march, which was held to fight for justice in the Jessica Lal murder case, has been picked up by most of the protest campaigns because it was positive and different.

I have seen three examples in my life where I used this and prolonged the life of those persons.

My grandfather–in–law at the age of 85 thought it was time to go but when we made him work positively and differently, he died at the age of 100 years. He was asked to teach youngsters law, write to Prime Minister everyday on certain issues and find matrimonial matches for the youngest persons in the family.

In other two cases, one was suffering from terminal prostate cancer and the other had terminal brain cancer. The first one lived for 10 years and the other is still alive.

Both were told that they had a very early cancer and that was cured by a surgery.

When you think different, it creates creativity and when it is with positive attitude, it is accepted by all.

Cancer survival rates can increase the anxiety

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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One of the first questions many people ask when first diagnosed with cancer is their prognosis. They want to know whether their cancer is relatively easy or more difficult to cure. The doctor cannot predict the future, but often he/she gives the estimates based on the experiences of other people with the same cancer. Survival statistics can be confusing and frightening. Survival rates cannot tell about the situation specifically. The statistics may be impersonal and not very helpful.

Cancer survival rates or survival statistics indicate the percentage of people who survive a certain type of cancer for a specific amount of time. Cancer statistics often use a five–year survival rate. For instance, the five–year survival rate for prostate cancer is 99 percent. That means that of all men diagnosed with prostate cancer, 99 of every 100 lived for five years after diagnosis. Conversely, one out of every 100 will die of prostate cancer within five years. Cancer survival rates are based on research that comes from information gathered on hundreds or thousands of people with cancer. An overall survival rate includes people of all ages and health conditions diagnosed with the cancer, including those diagnosed very early and those diagnosed very late. Only the treating doctor may be able to give more specific statistics based on the stage of cancer. For instance, 49 percent, or about half, of people diagnosed with early–stage lung cancer live for at least five years after diagnosis. The five–year survival rate for people diagnosed with lung cancer that has spread (metastasized) to other areas of the body is 2 percent. Overall and relative survival rates don’t specify whether cancer survivors are still undergoing treatment at five years or if they’ve become cancer free (achieved remission). The five year survival rates for all men is 47.3–66%% and for all women is 55.8–63%

Other terms

  • Disease–free survival rate: This is the number of people with cancer who achieve remission. That means they no longer have signs of cancer in their bodies.
  • Progression–free survival rate: This is the number of people who still have cancer, but their disease isn’t progressing. This includes people who may have had some success with treatment, but their cancer hasn’t disappeared completely.

Always Respect Others Viewpoints

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Dr KK Spiritual Blog
Always Respect Others Viewpoints

It is an old saying that one is proud of his or her own intelligence and somebody else’s partner and wealth. Most of the disputes occur when there is ego clash and that occurs when you want your point to be noticed by everybody. But remember that for every situation, invariably, there will be multiple opinions.

In one of my meetings, I asked my lifestyle students-cum-colleagues to imagine Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister of the country. Following were the views of various people:

  1. He is too young.
  2. He is immature.
  3. He is childish
  4. It will be failure of democracy
  5. He has no political will
  6. He has no strength for taking decisions
  7. He has no experience
  8. He is open minded
  9. He will bring youth to politics
  10. He has experienced team behind him
  11. He will bring a new approach to politics etc etc.

The message is very clear that everybody has his or her own perception and we should learn to respect them all.

All diabetics must have an eye check up done

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The vast majority of diabetic patients who develop diabetic retinopathy (eye involvement) have no symptoms until the very late stages (by which time it may be too late for effective treatment). Because the rate of progression may be rapid, therapy can be beneficial for both symptom amelioration as well as reduction in the rate of disease progression, it is important to screen patients with diabetes regularly for the development of retinal disease.

The eyes carry important early clues to heart disease, signaling damage to tiny blood vessels long before symptoms start to show elsewhere. Diabetic people with retinopathy are more likely to die of heart disease over the next 12 years than those without it.

As per a study from the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne in Australia and the National University of Singapore, people with retinopathy are nearly twice as likely to die of heart disease as people without it.

People with these changes in the eyes may be getting a first warning that damage is occurring in their arteries, and work to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Patients with retinopathy have a greater risk of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, including heart attack, stroke, revascularization and CVD death, compared with those without retinopathy.

Search for Happiness in the Present Moment

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Happiness should not be considered as being synonymous with pleasure. Pleasure is transient and is always associated with pain later. Any transient addiction to any of the five senses will either lead to pleasure or pain. Pleasure leads to attachment resulting in more intense and greater desires, and if these are not fulfilled, they cause pain which manifest as anger, irritability or even a physical disease. This type of transient pleasure is chosen by the individuals who attach themselves not to the actions only, but also to its results.

The soul, which is an energized field of information and energy, is controlled by the person’s action, memory and desire. With every action, a memory is created which either gets stored or is recirculated again as an action. If one does not control the desires, the recurrent actions may cause more problems than happiness.

True happiness, on the other hand, is internal happiness or the happiness of the soul or of the consciousness. It is often said, “You are what you eat; you are what you think; and you are what you do.” Hence, your own internal happiness will vary with what you eat, think, and do.

Living in the present moment leads to true happiness. If one is constantly lamenting about the past or fearing the future, he/she will never be able to live in the present. Not living in the present is bound to cause unhappiness. One should learn to live and enjoy the present which can only be done by attaching oneself to the actions and not to its results.

Doing one’s duty with devotion and discipline helps one to remain in the present. Performing good action is important, but it is equally important to maintain the purity of the mind at the same time. Because any intention in the thought creates the same chemical reaction as when the actual deed is done, abusing a person in thought is the same as abusing him in person. Cultivating positive actions in day-to-day life, like, giving or sharing etc., helps in acquiring internal happiness.

Thoughts ultimately get metabolized into various chemicals and hormones changing the internal biochemistry of the person; hence by thinking about cancer all the time, one can actually induce it over a period of time. And similarly, cancers can be cured by thinking positive over a period of time.

Internal happiness gives a deep feeling of satisfaction and is not associated with any transient chemical changes which are generally associated with bodily pleasure activities. People who are internally happy are always contented and are devoid of jealousy, anger, irritability, greed and ego.

One should learn to disassociate from, both, external pain as well as pleasure, and only then can one acquire true internal happiness.

 

Long–term use of painkillers can cause kidney cancer

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine has shown that people who regularly take painkiller drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen are 51 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer. There is no increased risk from taking aspirin or paracetamol.

The mechanism through which painkillers could cause kidney disease is the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis with resulting papillary and tubular injury and ultimately damage to DNA.

The study analyzed data from 77,525 women in the Nurses’ Health Study and from 49,403 men in the Health Professionals Follow–up Study. The risk was related to the duration of use of the painkillers. There was a decrease in the risk by 19% if the painkiller was used for less than four years. There was a 36 per cent increase in risk of kidney cancer for people who used them regularly for 4 to 10 years. The risk increased almost three times for those who used these drugs regularly for 10 years or more.

The good news is that kidney cancer is uncommon so the risk is small for average users.

Two other important causes of kidney cancer are obesity and smoking. So people on painkillers should not smoke and should also keep their weight under control to prevent kidney cancer.

Namkaran Sanskar

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In India, a person is identified by his/her name, which usually is a reflection of his/her own family. It may contain not only your maiden name but also the name of your father and your surname.
When you are born, you are usually given your special name, which you carry throughout your life unless it is changed for a specific purpose. For example, the surname may change after marriage or the in–laws may change your name, specifically, when you are a girl.
Artists often change their names to those which may reflect their profession. A classical example is Rajesh Khanna, who changed his name from Jatin to Rajesh, which was easier for the public to recall.
A name for a baby is chosen on any of the following grounds:

  1. The priest as per the horoscope decides the sound present in the universe and that Akshar (Alphabet) is given to the family to pick up a name starting with that Akshar.
  2. Sometimes, the name of the baby may be chosen depending upon the auspiciousness of the day he/she was born, e.g. a baby body born on Krishna Janmashtami, may be named ‘Krishna’ by the family after Lord Krishna.
  3. If the parents have vowed a Mannat to a deity, then they may name their child after one of the many names of that deity. For example, if parents have taken a Mannat from Vaishno Devi, their baby girl may be named as one of the forms of Goddess Durga or Parvati.
  4. People may also choose similar names for their children, e.g. Ramesh, Mahesh, and Suresh.
  5. People may also keep the name of the child in the form of known pairs. If the name of the first child is Luv, the parents may like to name the second child as Kush, especially when the parents have twins. Other examples are Karan Arjun, Sita and Gita etc.
  6. Sometimes, parents name their child after their favorite celebrity. For example, if someone is a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar, he may name his child Sachin. Sachin himself was named after the noted Hindi film music director Sachin Dev Burman by his father, who was a great fan of SD Burman.

A name has a lot of significance as Akshar in Sanskrit has a vibration and if that positive vibration matches with the vibrations of universe at the time of your birth, it helps in healing.
Normally, it is expected that you live up to your name. For example, if your name is Durga, you are expected to know all about Maa Durga and try to adopt characteristics of Durga.
Therefore, everyone is expected to know the literal meaning of his or her name and try to follow a lifestyle that is consistent with your name. For example, if you are named Ram, you are not expected to act like Ravana.
Namkaran Sanskar or the naming ceremony is a complete ceremony and is one of the 16 samskars. It is both a social and legal necessity. As the naming process creates a bond between the child and the rest of the community, it is considered auspicious.
Some people name their child before he/she is born but a Namkaran Sanskar is usually performed on the 12th day after birth but it may vary from religion to religion and custom to custom. The formal ritual involves a Namkaran puja, which is held at their home or a temple where the priest offers prayers to all the Gods, Navagrihas, five elements, Agni and the ancestors. The horoscope of a child is made and is placed in front of the idol of the deity for blessings. With the baby in the lap of the father, the chosen name of the child is whispered in the right ear.
Some people name child on the 101st day of the birth and still some others choose the first birthday to name their child.
The name of the child also entails certain etiquettes as it reflects a person. You cannot take the name of a person with disrespect. If you abuse a name it means you have abused a person.

Tips for getting the rest you need

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Reserve your bedroom for sleep and intimacy.
  • Banish television, computer, smartphone, tablet, and other diversions from that space.
  • Nap only if necessary.
  • Avoid caffeine after noon, and go light on alcohol.
  • Get regular exercise, but not within three hours of bedtime.
  • Plan a vacation with a light schedule and few obligations.
  • Avoid backsliding into a new debt cycle. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, at the very least, on weekdays. If need be, use weekends to make up for lost sleep.

How to Be Happy and Healthy

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Somebody once asked Lord Buddha, “After meditating for years, I have not been able to gain anything.” Then Lord Buddha asked, “Did you lose anything?” The disciple said, “Yes, I lost my anger, desires, expectations and ego.” Buddha smiled and said, “That is what your gain is by meditating.”

To be happy, one must learn to let go the following:

  • One should let go of the desires. In Amarnath Yatra, Lord Shiva firstly let go of the Bull, which represents the sexual desires. In Hanuman’s Lanka yatra, desires are represented by Samhiki, a creature who used to catch birds by their shadow. Hanuman killed the desires. So, it is possible to kill your desires. Again in Ramayana, desires are linked to Rajsik mind and in mythology, Meghnath represents the Rajsik mind. Meghnath was killed by Lakshman, the determined mind. Therefore, one should let go of the desires by killing them by focused concentration of the mind on the desires.
  • Let go of your expectations. In Amarnath Yatra, the second thing which Lord Shiva discarded was the moon, which in mythology symbolizes letting go of expectations.
  • Let go of your ego. In mythology, ego represents Kansa in Krishna era and Ravana in Rama era. Both were killed by Krishna and Rama respectively, who symbolize the consciousness. Ego can never be killed by the mind and can only be killed by the consciousness (conscious-based decisions).
  • Ego is also represented by Sheshnaag and we have Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu both having a Sheshnaag each with a mouth downwards indicating the importance of controlling one’s ego.
  • One should let go of his or her ego but also remember never to hurt somebody’s ego. Hurting somebody’s ego in terms of allegations of sexual misconduct, financial corruption or abusing one’s caste is never forgotten and carries serious implications.
  • In Hanuman’s Lanka Yatra, ego is represented by Sursa; Hanuman managed her by humility and not by counter ego. On Naag Panchami, we worship Naag, the ego, by folded hands and by offering milk.
  • Let go of your inaction. One should learn to live in the present. In Hanuman’s Lanka Yatra, Hanuman first meets Menak Mountain, which indicates destination to rest. One should never do that and willfully divert his or her mind towards action.
  • Let go of your attachments. Let go of your attachments to your close relatives and the worldly desires. In Amarnath Yatra, Lord Shiva first leaves Bull (desires), moon (expectations), sheshnaag (ego) and then he gives up Ganesha and worldly desires (five elements). In mythology, this is practiced as detached attachment and in Bhagavad Gita is equated to Lotus. In Islam, detached attachment is practiced in the form of Bakra Eid.
  • Let go of your habit of criticizing, complaining and condemning people. One should always practice non-violent communication and speak which is truth, necessary and kind. One should not criticize, condemn or complain about people, situation and events. Wayne Dyer said, “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you do not know anything about.”
  • Most of us often condemn people without knowing their capabilities and label them as unmatchable to us. One should also let go habit of gossiping as it is a form of violent communication.
  • Let go of your habit of blaming others: One should learn to take the responsibilities and people believe in team work. Good leader is the one who learns to be responsible in life.
  • Let go of your need to be always right: It is a form of ego. Remember, in arguments either you can win arguments or relationships. Always try to win relationship and not arguments.
  • Let go of your need to control situations, events and people: Learn to accept people as they are. The world is won by those who let this habit go.
  • Let go of your habit and the need to impress others: This is also a type of ego where we always seek appreciation.
  • Give up your belief that you cannot do it: Remember ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ is ‘I M POSSIBLE’. A belief is not an idea held by the mind but it is an idea that holds the mind. (Elli Roselle).
  • Give up your resistance to change: Remember change is the only constant which will happen and always welcome it. Joseph Campbell once said that one should follow one’s bliss and will open doors to your where there are only walls.
  • Let go of your fear and all negative thoughts: Remember, the mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. It becomes very destructive if used badly. (Eckhart Tolle).
  • Let go of your habit of giving excuses.
  • Let go of always being in the past.

Nitrate-Rich Diet Good for the Heart

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Do not heat leafy vegetables twice

Nitrates in foods such as spinach, beet root and lettuce stimulate the production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels. Ingested nitrate is reduced by oral, commensal, bacteria to nitrite, which can further be reduced to nitric oxide.

Vegetables are a major source of dietary nitrate. Green leafy and root vegetables, such as spinach and carrots, provide more than 85 percent of dietary nitrate. Foods in which nitrite are present are bacon, fermented sausage, hot dogs, bologna, salami, corned beef, ham and other products such as smoked or cured meat, fish and poultry. The conversion of dietary nitrate to nitrite has antimicrobial benefits in the mouth and stomach. Some epidemiological studies show a reduced rate of gastric and intestinal cancer in groups with a high vegetable-based nitrate intake. Nitrate is totally harmless; however, it can be converted to nitrite and some portion of nitrite to nitrosamines, some of which are known to be carcinogenic. Heating increases the conversion rate. The longer the heat treatment, the more nitrosamines will be formed. Hence, the recommendation not to heat leafy vegetables twice. Adding lemon juice to vegetables will reduce the formation of nitrosamines. It contains vitamin C, which also reacts with nitrite, thereby preventing the nitrosamine formation.

Dr KK Spiritual Blog Be Positive, Be Different and Be Persistent

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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You should be not only positive, different but also persistent. Of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the first was a fish, which indicates to be different in life. The second incarnation is tortoise, which indicates that you should be different but learn to withdraw when the need arises. The third is a boar, which indicates persistence.

The mantra of a successful life is to be positively different and persistent and yet learn to withdraw when the situation arises.

Profession, passion and fashion

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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I have written about this topic earlier too, but this is an update. Profession is at the level of physical body and mind, fashion is at the level of ego and passion is at the level of the soul. If your passion, profession and fashion are in synchrony with each other, you are a perfect leader.

If you are not passionate about your profession, you can never be successful. To be passionate about your profession is only not important, it is also equally important to let others know about your passion for your profession.

When you do so, it becomes a fashion. Our aim in life should be to let people know that you are passionate about your profession. When the passion is too much, it becomes an obsession.

The Five Interior Powers

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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To be in a state of happiness, bliss and ananda is what the ultimate goal of life is. Everybody is born with certain inherent powers, which if cultivated in the right direction will lead to inner happiness.

The ancient Shiva Sutra text talks about the concept of Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is silence, Shakti is power; Shiva is creativity, Shakti is creation; Shiva is love, Shakti is loving.

In computer term Shiva is the knowledge or the information and Shakti is the operational software. Shiva and Shakti both together form consciousness, in other words the soul.

Shiva sutra – teaching about Shiva – describes five inherent powers of Shakti which everybody is born with and these are “Chitta Shakti”, “Ananda Shakti”, “Gyan (Gnana) Shakti”, “Ichha Shakti” and “Kriya Shakti”.

Kriya Shakti is the one which is most visible. Kriya is not same as karma. Karma is action born of cause and effect. Kriya Shakti is at the level of body and mind. Ichha Shakti is the inherent desire, which controls the mind. Gyan Shakti is the inherent desire to learn and is at the level of intellect. Both Ananda and Chitta Shakti are at the level of consciousness and represents the desires or aim to be blissful.

These five powers also decide the needs of a person, which can be at the level of physical body, mind, intellect, ego or the soul. The needs activate the Shakti which in turn leads to action. The purpose of life should be to direct the needs and the Shaktis towards the soul and not towards the ego.

The power of Kriya Shakti should have all the actions directed towards the soul; Gyan Shakti should be directed towards the knowledge of the true self; Ichha Shakti towards the desire or intention to unite with the self; Anand Shakti and Chitta Shakti towards the awareness of God and to experience the bliss of God. All thoughts, speech or actions in life should be directed on two basic goals providing happiness to others and ending up with self-happiness. Every action and relationship in life should involve these five powers to attain inner happiness.

Most computers in the body require a key to get activated and the key in the case of Shakti is “intention or intent”. Intentions are something, which are under the control of a person, or one can practice control over them.

“Intention” always requires the association of its buddy “attention” with it. Attention is the focus of action on that particular intention. The combination of intention and attention can change perceptions of life and ultimately change the reality. It has been an old Upanishad saying that you are what your thoughts are. Right intention leads to the right thought; the right thought to right action; the right action to the right habit; the right habit to the right character and the right character leads you to what you are. The punch-line, therefore, is to have right intention which should be directed towards one of the five Shakti to acquire spiritual well-being.

Health is not mere absence of disease but a state of physical, mental, social, environmental and spiritual well-being. Spiritual wellbeing has now been added as the fifth dimension of the health. It has been said that the body is the largest pharmaceutical armamentarium in the world and has the capacity to produce each and every drug available in the universe. This is based on the fact that no drug can go into the body without a receptor. The very fact the body has a receptor for every drug means that it has the capacity to produce that drug.

All yogic paths to liberation are also directed towards these Shaktis. One adopts karma Marg by activating Kriya Shakti, Gyan Marg by activating Gyan Shakti and Bhakti Marg by activating Ichha Shakti.

Faulty lifestyle also involves distractions of three of these powers: Ichha, Gyan or Kriya Shakti.

Correct lifestyle involves the correct use of Kriya Shakti in doing actions, correct use of Gyan Shakti by acquiring knowledge about self and healthy behavior and correct use of Ichha Shakti by learning the do’s and don’ts of life and controlling the mind towards various addictions of life which can be addition of food, sex, drugs, alcohol, smoking, sleeping, not walking and or eating faulty Rajsik cum Tamsik high refined carbohydrate diet.

Routine ECG Does Not Help

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In populations of older adults, prediction of coronary heart disease (CHD) events through traditional risk factors is less accurate than in middle–aged adults. It has been shown that electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities are common in older adults and might be of value for CHD prediction. However, performing routine ECG among asymptomatic adults is not supported by current evidence and is not recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force and the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association. The aim of the study by Auer and colleagues was to determine whether baseline ECG abnormalities or development of new and persistent ECG abnormalities are associated with increased CHD events.

The Scientific Aspects of Prayer

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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It is natural for us to promise or offer to pray for someone who suffers from sickness. So many people believe in the power of prayer that it has now caught the attention of scientists and doctors. Today most hospitals and nursing homes are building prayer rooms for their patients, based on the principle that a relaxed mind is a creative mind. During prayer, a person is in touch with the consciousness, and is able to take correct decisions. Most doctors even write on their prescriptions “I treat He cures”.

Medically it has been proved that the subconscious mind of an unconscious person is listening. Any prayer therefore would be captured by the patient building inner confidence and faith to fight terminal sickness. We have seen the classical example of the effect of mass prayer on a person’s health in the case of Amitabh Bachchan’s illness.

“Praying for health is one of the most common complementary treatments people do on their own,” said Dr Harold G Koenig, co-director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University Medical Center.

About 90% of Americans and almost 100% Indians pray at some point in their lives, and when they’re under stress, such as when they’re sick, they’re even more likely to pray.

More than one-third of the people surveyed in a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine said they often turned to prayer when faced with medical concerns. In a poll involving more than 2,000 Americans, 75% of those who prayed said they prayed for wellness, while 22% said they prayed for specific medical conditions.

Numerous random studies have been conducted on this subject. In one such study, neither the patients nor the healthcare providers had any idea who was being prayed for. The coronary care unit patients didn’t even know there was a study being conducted. And, those praying for the patients had never even met them. The result: While those in the prayer group had about the same length of hospital stay, their overall health was slightly better than the group that didn’t receive special prayers.

“Prayer may be an effective adjunct to standard medical care,” wrote the authors of this 1999 study, also published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. However, a more recent trial from the April 2006 issue of the American Heart Journal suggests that it’s even possible for some harm to come from prayer. In this study, which included 1,800 people scheduled for heart surgery, the group who knew they were receiving prayers developed more complications from the procedure, compared to those who had not been a focus of prayer.

Many patients are reluctant and do not discuss this subject with their doctors. Only 11% patients mention prayer to their doctors. But, doctors are more open to the subject than the patients realize, particularly in serious medical situations. In a study of doctors’ attitudes toward prayer and spiritual behavior, almost 85% of the doctors thought they should be aware of their patients’ spiritual beliefs. Most doctors said they wouldn’t pray with their patients even if they were dying, unless the patient specifically asked the doctor to pray with them. In that case, 77% of the doctors were willing to pray for their patient.

Most people are convinced that prayer helps. Some people are ‘foxhole religious’ types and prayer is almost a reaction or cry to the Universe for help. However, many people do it because they’ve experienced benefit from it in the past.

If a patient wants to pray and feels it might be helpful, there’s no reason he should not. If he believes that prayer might work, then he should use it.