"Spirituality & Healing in Medicine—II"

The second annual symposium on "Spirituality & Healing in Medicine," sponsored by Harvard Medical School and The Mind/Body Medical Institute, Deaconess Hospital, was held last month in Boston. As at the inaugural three-day conference a year ago, the audience comprised physicians, psychologists, health-care administrators, nurses, allied health professionals, social workers, clergy, and many others who had come simply to learn more about spiritual healing. They heard talks on African, Buddhist, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Islamic, Hispanic-Pentecostal, and Christian Science spiritual healing practices, and general discussion on the efficacy of spiritual healing and its place in current medical practice. This continuing education course will be repeated at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles on March 15, 16, and 17.

One of the books that claimed special attention at the recent Boston conference was Timeless Healing: The Power and Biology of Belief (New York: Scribner, 1996), written by conference director Herbert Benson, M.D., in collaboration with Marg Stark. In a subsection on the practice and application of self-care, Dr. Benson remarks that it would be interesting to study Christian Scientists. "Does faith alone make them well?" he asks. "Is there something to learn from a community that relies on faith, not pills and procedures?"

Dr. Benson discussed some of these issues in an interview with the Sentinel.

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Preparation for healing
January 20, 1997

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