Faith Healing Produces Tangible Results
Science tells us that the brain can produce spontaneous healing on its own—”mind over matter”. How we perceive the mystery we call God is not just a mental construct. This perception is translated as chemicals in our brain that tell us if we are safe or not.
Gail Ironson, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Miami, conducted one of the first studies to correlate spiritual beliefs with immune response while working with AIDS patients. She assessed the concentration of helper T cells (CD4), which is one way to measure the progression of AIDS. When the level of these cells drops, we are less likely to be able to fend off opportunistic infections such as pneumonia.
One important predictor of how well the patients did was the difference between those that believed in a punishing God and those that believed in a benevolent God. According to Dawson Church, in his book The Genie in Your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the Biology of Intention, Ironson observes, “People who view God as a judgmental God have a CD4 cell decline more than twice the rate of those who don’t see God as judgmental, and their viral load increases more than three times faster.”
In Love, Medicine & Miracles, Bernie Segal, M.D., writes, “If I told patients to raise their blood levels of immune globulins or killer T cells, no one would know how. But if I can teach them to love themselves and others fully, the same change happens automatically. The truth is: Love heals.”
Allowing for a loving, benevolent God may be one of the greatest changes we can make to our own well-being. Our mind and body do not differentiate between what we actually experience and what we believe to be true. The trauma of living with a malevolent god in a malevolent universe where we are not feeling safe, loved and nurtured, will lead to early aging, lowered immune response, more likelihood of disease and premature death. When we feel unsafe, we are in survival mode. We perceive lack and our minds are closed to the wondrous possibilities of an infinite universe.
Love is a powerful, healing emotion. It tells our genes that we are safe and the focus can be, not on fighting or fleeing, but on building and repairing our damaged cells. Love allows our minds to expand, learn and grow. Love is an energy that accepts and allows us to become the very best, most creative, talented and joyful version of ourselves. The safer and more loved and nurtured we feel, the more we are able to love and nurture others, even those different from us.
One of the best ways we can heal our lives is to heal our perception, and therefore our experience, of God. No matter what our system of faith, be it Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Islam, Hindu, Bahai or Earth-based, how we understand the source of life will have a great influence on how safe we feel in the universe and how healthy we are in mind, body and spirit.