Sub Logo

Dr K K Aggarwal

Is caffeine good for the health?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Is caffeine good for the health?

1. Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world,

2. It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea.

3. At present there is no scientific data to promote or discourage coffee and/or tea consumption in the daily diet.

4. Short term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance.

5. Short term adverse effects including headache, anxiety, tremors, and insomnia.

6. Long term adverse effects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders.

7. Long-term benefits are dose-dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, alcoholic cirrhosis, and gout. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

8. Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals, although coffee intake is not considered a long-term risk factor for myocardial disease.

9. Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality.

10. Caffeine withdrawal is a well-documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. (Source: UptoDate)

Guidelines on Health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Guidelines on Health

• Keep your blood cholesterol less than 160 mg%. Even 1% reduction in cholesterol reduces the chances of heart attack by 2%.

• Uncontrolled diabetes and blood pressure can precipitate a heart attack. Keep these under check.

• Eat less, walk more.
• Regular exercise is good for health. The best exercise is ‘walking’, which is a brisker than brisk walking.
• Soya products are good for health. These should form an essential ingredient of the diet.
• Fruits are better than juices.
• Brown rice is better than polished rice and jaggery is better than white sugar.
• Eat high fiber diet.
• Driving and drinking do not go together.
• Pregnant women must not drink. It harms the baby in the womb.
• Get your health check-up done at least once in a year.
• Salt intake should be restricted.
• Avoid APC where A stands for achar, P for papad and C for chutney.

Women above 65 should take extra care of their health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Women above 65 should take extra care of their health

  • Women aged 65 and above should take low dose aspirin routinely to prevent heart attack and paralysis.
  • All women are urged to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes per day, but women who need to lose weight or maintain weight loss are now advised to engage in 60 to 90 minutes of moderate–intensity activity on most, or preferably all, days of the week.
  • A heart–healthy diet should be rich in fruits, whole grains and fiber foods with a limited intake of alcohol and sodium.
  • Saturated fat should be reduced to less than 7 percent of calories.
  • Women at very high risk for heart disease should try to lower their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol to less than 70 mg/dL.
  • Women aged 65 and over should consider taking low–dose aspirin on a routine basis, regardless of their risk.
  • Aspirin has been shown to prevent both heart attacks and stroke in this age group.
  • The upper dose of aspirin for high–risk women is 325 mg per day.
  • Hormone replacement therapy, selective estrogen receptor modulators nor antioxidant supplements such as vitamins C and E should be used to prevent heart disease.
  • Folic acid should also not be used to prevent cardiovascular disease.
  • Women should eat oily fish or some other source of omega–3 fatty acids at least twice a week.
  • Women should not only quit smoking but should use counseling, nicotine replacement or other forms of smoking cessation therapy.

Women above 65 to take extra care of their health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Women above 65 to take extra care of their health

  • Women aged 65 and above should take low dose aspirin routinely to prevent heart attack and paralysis.
  • All women are urged to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes per day, but women who need to lose weight or maintain weight loss are now advised to engage in 60 to 90 minutes of moderate–intensity activity on most, or preferably all, days of the week.
  • A heart–healthy diet should be rich in fruits, whole grains and fiber foods with a limited intake of alcohol and sodium.
  • Saturated fat should be reduced to less than 7 percent of calories.
  • Women at very high risk for heart disease should try to lower their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol to less than 70 mg/dL.
  • Women aged 65 and over should consider taking low-dose aspirin on a routine basis, regardless of their risk.
  • Aspirin has been shown to prevent both heart attacks and stroke in this age group.
  • The upper dose of aspirin for high–risk women is 325 mg per day.
  • Hormone replacement therapy, selective estrogen receptor modulators nor antioxidant supplements such as vitamins C and E should be used to prevent heart disease.
  • Folic acid should also not be used to prevent cardiovascular disease.
  • Women should eat oily fish or some other source of omega–3 fatty acids at least twice a week.
  • Women should not only quit smoking but should use counseling, nicotine replacement or other forms of smoking cessation therapy.

Inspirational Story

Girl and the Plants

A little girl was enjoying the beauty of the garden in her home. Her father had a good collection of rare and exotic plants. He grew them with tender care.

The girl was fascinated by a plant full of fine and fragrant flowers. She went near the plant and enjoyed its beauty and the fragrance of its fine flowers. Suddenly she noted that the plant was growing in a heap of filth. She could not tolerate the presence of dirt at the bottom of the plant with such fantastic flowers.

She conceived a plan to clean the plant. She pulled the plant with all her might and uprooted it. She then carried it to the tap and washed the shoot and roots in running tap–water till all traces of dirt were washed away. She then placed the plant on a clean stone and went away, thinking that she had done a great deed indeed.

Later her father came to the garden and saw the uprooted plant. Its flowers and leaves had wilted and the plant had almost died in the scorching sun. His little daughter ran to him to exhibit her achievement. ‘I have cleaned it, Daddy, she reported innocently. It was placed in dirty soil. Now it is clean.

The father showed her how her treatment had almost killed the plant. He told her that he had collected the filthy soil and placed it to cover the plant’s roots as it was the best medium to grow that plant. It could grow up healthily and produce fine flowers only if grown in filthy soil. She was sad that the plant had suffered and withered by her cleaning.

Pain, poverty and illness may cause agony in our life. Sight of successful persons may make us depressed and envious. A great gardener mixes the right soil for each plant. In the same way God provides each of us with the best environment required for optimum spiritual growth. But it may appear to be unpleasant to us and we may even complain to God about our plight.

Is caffeine good for the health?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Is caffeine good for the health?

  1. Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world.
  2. It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea.
  3. At present there is no scientific data for promoting or discouraging coffee and/or tea consumption in the daily diet.
  4. Short–term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance.
  5. Short–term adverse effects including headache, anxiety, tremors, and insomnia.
  6. Long–term adverse affects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders.
  7. Long-term benefits are dose–dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, alcoholic cirrhosis, and gout. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee is also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
  8. Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals, although coffee intake is not considered a long–term risk factor for myocardial disease.
  9. Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all–cause mortality.
  10. Caffeine withdrawal is a well–documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. (Source: Uptodate)

Being a doctor is injurious to health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Being a doctor is injurious to health

When I was President of Delhi Medical Association in 2005, we tried to honor doctors, who were 80 plus. We could not find many. The DMA also tried to honor doctors last year, who were 80 plus. Again they could not find many.

As per normal statistics, 8% of people should be above 60 years of age, which means 14 lakh people in Delhi would be above the age of 60, out of which 10% would be above the age of 80 amounting to 1.4 lakhs.

If we apply similar statistics to DMA members numbering 15000, we should have 1200 doctors above the age of 60 and 120 doctors above the age of 80.

The very fact that we do not have so many DMA doctors who are 80 plus, means that being a doctor is injurious to health.

Most people believe that doctors live longer as they know everything about health but this is not true. Doctors die 10 years earlier than non–doctors.

General public needs to follow and understand principles of prevention of lifestyle disorders but doctors need to strictly follow them.

I normally teach my GPs and my patients how to be free from lifestyle disorders till the age of 80. I teach the same by narrating the formula of 80 which is as under:

  • Keep your lower blood pressure, LDL bad cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, fasting heart rate, abdominal circumference all below 80.
  • For that you should walk 80 minutes a day and brisk walk 80 minutes a week where brisk walk means minimum 80 steps in a minute.
  • Eat less than 80 g of caloric solids and drink less than 80 ml of caloric liquid in one meal. Do not eat cereals 80 days in a year.
  • Take sunbath 80 days in a year to remove deficiency of vitamin D.
  • Avoid sitting in a noisy atmosphere of more than 80 db.
  • One should not take alcohol but if one takes, it should be less than 80 ml (whisky) a day and 80 g (240 ml) a week.
  • One should do 80 cycles of pranayama every day (slow and deep parasympathetic breathing) and spend 80 minutes a day in a non toxic mental environment with no condemnations, no criticisms, and no complaints. Instead during this period, give non–materialistic gifts and think different and positively.
  • Smoking and transfats should be zero so as to avoid any cardiac interventions which may end up with you spending 80,000 rupees.
  • In terms of diet, I normally recommend that one meal a day should be fruits, one vegetable and salad and third a regular meal. As far as possible, carbohydrates should not be taken in all the meals. Trans fats are bad for the heart and should be avoided at any cost.

All the above are true for general public but should be strictly followed by the medical community.

Definition of Health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Definition of Health

Health is not mere absence of disease; it is a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental and financial well–being. All aspects of health are not defined in Allopathy.

During MBBS, medical students are taught more about physical health. Social and mental healthcare is covered only in few lectures. Community health is a separate subject but is never given its due importance. Spiritual health is not defined at all and financial health is hardly covered.

Yet, in day–to–day practice, it is the social, financial, spiritual and community health, which is the most important during patient–doctor communication. It is incorporated in the four basic purposes: dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

Dharma and artha together form the basis of karma, which is righteous earning. You are what your deep rooted desires are. Most of the diseases today can be traced to a particular emotion, positive or negative. Anger and jealously are related with heart attack, fear with blood pressure, greed and possessiveness with heart failure.

Unless the mind is healthy, one cannot be free of diseases.

The best description of health comes from Ayurveda. In Sanskrit, health means swasthya, which means establishment in the self. One is established in the self when there is a union of mind, body and soul. Most symbols of health are established around a shaft with two snakes and two wings. The shaft represents the body, two snakes represent the duality of mind and the two wings represent the freedom of soul.

Sushrut Samhita in Chapter 15 shloka 10 defines the Ayurvedic person as under:

Samadosha, samagnischa,
Samadhatumalkriyah,
Prasannatmendriyamanah,
Swastha iti abhidhiyate.

From Ayurvedic point of view, for a person to be healthy, he/she must have balanced doshas, balanced agni, balanced dhatus, normal functioning of malkriyas and mind, body, spirit and indriyas full of bliss and happiness.

Human body is made up of structures (Kapha), which have two basic functions to perform; firstly, metabolism (pitta) and movement (vata). Vata, pitta and kapha are called doshas in Ayurveda. Samana dosha means balance of structures, metabolism and movement functions in the body. Agni in Ayurveda is said to be in balance when a person has normal tejas and a good appetite.

Ayurveda describes seven dhatus: rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, asthi, majja, shukra and they are required to be in balance. They are equivalent to various tissues in the human body.

Ayurveda necessitates proper functioning of natural urges like urination, stool, sweating and breathing and that is what balance in malakriya means.

Ayurveda says for a person to be healthy he/she has to be mentally and spiritually healthy, which will only be possible when his or her indriyas are cheerful, full of bliss and devoid of any negativities. For indriyas to be in balance, one has to learn to control over lust and desires, greed and ego. This can be done by learning regular pranayama, learning the dos and don’ts in life, living in a disciplined atmosphere and learn to live in the present.

Regular pranayama shifts one from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode, balances the mind and thoughts and helps in removing negative thoughts from the mind. For living a disabled life one can follow the yama and niyama of yoga sutras of Patanjali or dos and don’ts taught by various religious gurus, leaders and principles of naturopathy.

Living in the present means conscious or meditative living. This involves either learning meditation 20 minutes twice–daily or learning subtle mental exercises like mind-body relaxation, yogic shavasana, self-hypnotic exercises, etc.

According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a person who eats thrice a day is a rogi, twice a day is a bhogi and once a day is yogi. The take home message is: to live more one has to eat less.

Swar yoga defines the importance of respiration and longevity. According to this yoga shastra, everybody has a fixed number of breaths to be taken during the life span. Lesser the number a person takes in a minute more is the life. It also forms the basis of pranayama, which is nothing but longer and deeper breathing with reduced respiratory rate.

To be healthy one should follow the principle of moderation and variety in diet and exercise, regular pranayama and meditation and positive thinking.

Definition of Health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Definition of Health

Health is not mere absence of disease; it is a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental and financial well being. All aspects of health are not defined in allopathy.

During MBBS, medical students are taught more about physical health. Social and mental healthcare is covered only in few lectures. Community health is a separate subject but is never given its due importance. Spiritual health is not defined at all and financial health is hardly covered.

Yet, in day–to–day practice, it is the social, financial, spiritual and community health which is the most important during patient–doctor communication. It is incorporated in the four basic purposes: dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

Dharma and artha together form the basis of karma which is righteous earning. You are what your deep rooted desires are. Most of the diseases today can be traced to a particular emotion, positive or negative. Anger and jealously are related with heart attack, fear with blood pressure, greed and possessiveness with heart failure. Unless the mind is healthy, one cannot be free of diseases.

The best description of health comes from Ayurveda. In Sanskrit, health means swasthya, which means establishment in the self. One is established in the self when there is a union of mind, body and soul. Most symbols of health are established around a shaft with two snakes and two wings. The shaft represents the body, two snakes represent the duality of mind and the two wings represent the freedom of soul.

Sushrut Samhita in Chapter 15 shloka 10 defines the Ayurvedic person as under:

Samadosha, samagnischa,
Samadhatumalkriyah,
Prasannatmendriyamanah,
Swastha iti abhidhiyate.

From Ayurvedic point of view, for a person to be healthy, he⁄she must have balanced doshas, balanced agni, balanced dhatus, normal functioning of malkriyas and mind, body, spirit and indriyas full of bliss and happiness.

Human body is made up of structures (Kapha) which have two basic functions to perform; firstly, metabolism (pitta) and movement (vata). Vata, pitta and kapha are called doshas in Ayurveda. Samana dosha means balance of structures, metabolism and movement functions in the body. Agni in Ayurveda is said to be in balance when a person has normal tejas and a good appetite.

Ayurveda describes seven dhatus: rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, asthi, majja, shukra and they are required to be in balance. They are equivalent to various tissues in the human body.

Ayurveda necessitates proper functioning of natural urges like urination, stool, sweating and breathing and that is what balance in malakriya means.

Ayurveda says for a person to be healthy he⁄she has to be mentally and spiritually healthy, which will only be possible when his or her indriyas are cheerful, full of bliss and devoid of any negativities. For indriyas to be in balance, one has to learn to control over lust and desires, greed and ego. This can be done by learning regular pranayama, learning the dos and don’ts in life, living in a disciplined atmosphere and learn to live in the present.

Regular pranayama shifts one from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode, balances the mind and thoughts and helps in removing negative thoughts from the mind. For living a disabled life one can follow the yama and niyama of yoga sutras of Patanjali or dos and don’ts taught by various religious gurus, leaders and principles of naturopathy.

Living in the present means conscious or meditative living. This involves either learning meditation 20 minutes twice a day or learning subtle mental exercises like mind-body relaxation, yogic shavasana, self–hypnotic exercises, etc.

According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a person who eats thrice a day is a rogi, twice a day is a bhogi and once a day is yogi. The take home message is: to live more one has to eat less.

Swar yoga defines the importance of respiration and longevity. According to this yoga shastra, everybody has a fixed number of breaths to be taken during the life span. Lesser the number a person takes in a minute more is the life. It also forms the basis of pranayama, which is nothing but longer and deeper breathing with reduced respiratory rate.

To be healthy one should follow the principle of moderation and variety in diet and exercise, regular pranayama and meditation and positive thinking.

Spirituality The Key To Health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Spirituality The Key To Health

To stay healthy, one needs to eat right, get plenty of exercise and rest, and avoid bad habits such as smoking. But, now it is said that “what you believe in” can have a big impact on health and longevity.
There have been a lot of studies that show how patients with strong spirituality can improve their health from a variety of chronic conditions, like hypertension, heart disease, recover from surgery and more.
Research indicates there are real health benefits from spirituality:

1. People with high levels of religious beliefs or spirituality have lower cortisol responses. Cortisol is a hormone the body releases in response to stress.

2. Positive thinking produces nearly a 30 percent drop in perception of pain.

3. Spirituality and the practice of religion have recently been associated with a slower progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Those who regularly attend organized religious activities may live longer than those who don’t. Regular participation lowers mortality rate by about 12 percent a year.

5. People undergoing cardiac rehabilitation are more confident and perceive greater improvements in their physical abilities if they have a strong faith.

6. Increased levels of spirituality and religious faith may help substance abusers kick their habit.

7. Spirituality stimulates the relaxation response. When the body is relaxed, your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate all go down, which decreases the body’s stress response.

8. Spirituality can affect immune–system function. Spirituality, faith, church attendance improves immune function in ways that can be measured, like an increase in white blood cells.

9. Prayer heals the heart.

10. Positive talking and thinking in the ICU produces better results.

Spirituality is what brings you peace and safety. It can be achieved through God or Goddess, nature, a beautiful sunset, a meditation, Pranayama, religious meeting, chanting, mind body relaxation, etc. Spirituality is something that can help all the way from promoting wellness to helping with recovery.

Is caffeine good for health?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Is caffeine good for health?

  • Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world.
  • It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea.
  • At present there is no scientific data for promoting or discouraging coffee and/or tea consumption in daily diet.
  • Short–term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance.
  • Short–term adverse effects include headache, anxiety, tremors and insomnia.
  • Long–term adverse affects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders.
  • Long–term benefits are dose–dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholic cirrhosis and gout. Coffee, both caffeinated and decaffeinated, is also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals, although coffee intake is not considered a long–term risk factor for myocardial disease.
  • Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all–cause mortality.
  • Caffeine withdrawal is a well–documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. (Source Uptodate)

Learning simple health sutras can be sufficient

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Learning simple health sutras can be sufficient

I was invited by PHD Chambers of Commerce to talk on Innovations in Rural Health Care Management on 11th Dec.’13 at PHD House, New Delhi. I was initially inclined to talk about various advancements in the field of Healthcare. But later on I realized that most important innovation is going back to future by relearning and practice the art of prevention as practiced in ancient times.

Today in every field of innovation we are trying to replicate what already exists in the nature. We have not been able to compete with the human mind or the natural stars in the sky.

The real innovation is to spread the message of prevention reaching to every household. Today 90% of the diseases are preventable and to prevent them one does not need sophisticated techniques.

Learning simple health sutras can be sufficient.

Over 90% of the diseases are self–limiting and do not require any treatment. In a rural healthcare setup, 90% of diseases can be managed by doctors of indigenous systems of medicine and allopathic system should be reserved only for emergencies and surgeries.

Working hard when tired is not good for the health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Working hard when tired is not good for the health

Doing mental or physical work while exhausted may harm your health, according to a study from University of Alabama at Birmingham and published in International Journal of Psychophysiology. Fatigued people have bigger spikes in blood pressure than well–rested people while doing a memorization test.

When fatigued people regard a task as worthwhile and achievable, they increase their effort to compensate for their diminished capability. As a result, the blood pressure of a tired person increases and remains elevated until the task is completed or the person gives up.

In this study, Wright and colleagues told 80 volunteers they could win a modest prize by memorizing two or six nonsense trigrams (meaningless, three–letter sequences) within 2 minutes. Compared to volunteers with low levels of fatigue, those with moderate fatigue had stronger blood pressure while doing the two–trigram memorization task.

Is Caffeine Good For The Health?

By
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Is Caffeine Good For The Health?

1. Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world.

2. It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea.

3. At present there is no scientific data for promoting or discouraging coffee and/or tea consumption in the daily diet.

4. Short term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance.

5. Short term adverse effects including headache, anxiety, tremors, and insomnia.

6. Long term adverse affects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders.

7. Long-term benefits are dose-dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, alcoholic cirrhosis, and gout. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

8. Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals, although coffee intake is not considered a long-term risk factor for myocardial disease.

9. Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality.

10. Caffeine withdrawal is a well-documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. (Source uptodate)

The Scientific Aspects of Prayer

By
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on The Scientific Aspects of Prayer

Whenever our near or dear one suffers a sickness most of us often pass on the heartfelt promise that we’ll “pray for him or her”. So many people believe in the power of prayer that it’s now caught the attention of scientific doctors.

Today most hospitals and nursing homes are building prayer rooms for their patients.  It is base don the principle that the relaxed mind is a creative mind. During prayer, when one is in touch with the consciousness, one is able to take conscious based right decisions. Most doctors even write on their prescriptions “I treat He cures”.

Medically it has been shown that even the subconscious mind of the unconscious person is listening. Any prayer would be captured by him building his or her inner confidence and faith to come out of the terminal sickness.  We have seen the classical example of the effect of mass prayer on Amitabh Bacchan’s illness.

“Praying for your 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 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 the poll involving more than 2,000 Americans, 75 percent of those who prayed said they prayed for wellness, while 22 percent said they prayed for specific medical conditions.

Numerous randomized studies have been done on this subject. In one such study, neither patients nor the health-care 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 suggets 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 talk on this subject with their doctors. Only 11% patients mention prayer to their doctors. But, doctors are more open to the subject than patients realize, particularly in serious medical situations. In a study of doctors’ attitudes toward prayer and spiritual behavior, almost 85 percent of 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 doctors were willing to pray for their patient.

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

If it’s something you want to do and you feel it might be helpful, there’s no reason you shouldn’t do it.  If one has inclination that prayer might work, he or she should do it.