Jul 30, 2014
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Can prayer be helpful during the "cold and flu season"?

Can prayer be helpful during the "cold and flu season"?

Winter can be a great time of year – skiing, skating, and of course, the NFL playoffs!  But does it also have to bring on the “cold and flu season?”

     ABC News gave a list of tested tips for fighting colds and flu, and ways to help everyone stay well all winter.  Topping the list was meditation.  They cited a 2012 University of Wisconsin, Madison, study that found that the mind can cut one’s chances of catching a cold by 40 to 50 percent.  The report stated, “Fifty-one people who used mindfulness techniques logged 13 fewer illnesses and 51 fewer sick days than a control group during one cold-and-flu season, probably because meditation reduces physical effects of stress that weaken the immune system.”

     Hippocrates once said, “Whatever occurs in the mind affects the body and vice versa.  The mind and the body cannot be considered independently.”

     Studies are also increasingly showing the beneficial effects of prayer on the body and the immune system.  According to the book, The Faith Factor, by D. Matthews, clinical studies have shown that people who pray are:

·        Less likely to get sick

·        Better able to cope mentally and emotionally with their illness

·        More likely to recover from surgery and illness

     The website healthsearches.org recently published a research article on the effects of prayer on the immune system and came to these conclusions, “…the relaxing, altered consciousness, and spiritual effects of meditation and prayer and the resulting inward sense of peace can strengthen the immune system and the body in general.”

     In her book, Psalm 91, Christian author Peggy Joyce Ruth, shared real-life stories of individuals who found prayer effective in protection from illness, as well as useful in combating disease.  She wrote about that Psalm, “It is both an offensive and defensive measure for warding off every evil before it has time to strike.  This is not only a cure but also a plan for complete prevention!”

     I keep prayer as an integral part of my “health-regimen”.  Prayer has been very effective when facing illness.  One afternoon when I was in bed with the flu, I found help in the 91st Psalm, especially these words, “For you have made the Lord, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place.  No evil will befall you,…”  I could feel the peace that the earlier study spoke of, and the dissipation of the disease.  One symptom after another went away, and soon I was well.

     Since then, this regular prayer had been an effective preventive measure for me – similar to what those in the Wisconsin study found.  I haven’t been afflicted with the flu or a cold for several years.

     Prayer can keep the flu and colds at bay.  This means we can spend our winter doing better things!

 

Thomas (Tim) Mitchinson is a self-syndicated columnist writing on the relationship between thought, spirituality and health, and trends in that field.  He is also the media spokesman for Christian Science in Illinois.  You can contact him at illinois@compub.org.

 

 

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