Posts Tagged ‘religious behavior’

Mind Spirit Body Approach to Cancer Treatment Increases Cancer Survival Rates

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

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In his discussion last Saturday of cancer treatment at the Oasis of Hope, Dr Francisco Contreras talked about the Integrative Regulatory Therapy at his hospital that integrates physical-mental-and spiritual aspects of health into the treatment plans and interventions for cancer patients. He also discussed how their success rate for various types of cancer survival were 2 to 15 times more successful than in other hospitals and attributes this success to the holistic focus.

There is ample research to substantiate the value of a holistic approach to health and illness recovery. Hundreds of studies have been completed on meditation and results show improvement in physical health such as reduced blood pressure, decreased need for medical care, decreased chronic pain, depression and anxiety, and increased mobility and activity among others. Another area researched is the influence of positive attitudes on physical health. In one study by Kamen-Siegel he found that optimism influenced the immune system in a positive way using a sample of 300 elderly people and Ranard found similar results in another study and concluded that hopeful people have a more robust immune system. Likewise, Friedman and ValdenBos found that enthusiastic people tended to be more resilient, self-healing people and that enthusiasm is correlated with recovery from illness. In another study Shekelle found that hostility had a negative effect on health.
Benson found that when under stress individuals experience increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rates that strain the body and lower its immunity. On the other hand he also found that repeating a prayer, word, sound, phrase or movement such as in prayer, meditation, tai chi or yoga had a healthy effect.
Matthews and Clark say that in 75% of 325 studies reviewed the finding indicate that involvement in religious activities benefits health and well being.
These are just a few of the many studies that have looked at the effect of mental and spiritual activities on physical health and recovery from illness but support the results found by Dr Contreras in the recovery of cancer patients in his hospital.
In my own life I found this concept of holism to be true and demonstrated when I had lung cancer and was given 6 months to live—-33 years ago. I believe the holistic approach accounted for my recovery and continued good health.