Low Bandwidth Version

Healing Power of Faith

by Harold Koenig, M.D.

Healing can include dramatic, sudden physical cures, but is not confined to the 'miraculous' or the spectacular. Perhaps for most people, the healing power of faith involves a healing of the mind and emotions, the intangible spirit, and of relationships with others. 

Faith can put physical illness beneath us, where it belongs, return dominion to us, and give us power to live victorious and fulfilling lives.

People who regularly attend church service, pray individually, and read the Bible are 40% less likely to have diastolic hypertension than those who seldom participate in these religious activities.

People who attend religious services regularly may have stronger immune systems than their less religious counterparts. Those who never or rarely attend church or synagogue tend to have the highest levels of Interleukin-6, perhaps indicating a weakened or overactive immune system.

People who attend church regularly are hospitalized less often and leave the hospital sooner than people who never or rarely participate in religious services. The deeper a person's religious faith, the less likely he or she is to be crippled by depression during and after hospitalization for physical illness.

Religious people have healthier lifestyles. According to one study, people who attend church at least weekly have about 1/3 the rate of alcohol abuse and are about 1/3 as likely to smoke those who seldom participate in congregational worship.

Religious youth show significantly lower levels of drug and alcohol abuse, premature sexual involvement, and criminal delinquency than their non-religious peers. They are also less likely to express suicidal thoughts or make actual attempts on their lives

Elderly people with a deep, personal religious faith have a stronger sense of well-being and life satisfaction than their less religious peers.

Religious people live longer and physically healthier lives than their non religious counterparts.

This article was excerpted with permission from THE HEALING POWER OF FAITH: Science Explores Medicine's Last Great Frontier By Harold Koenig, M.D. Published by Simon & Schuster.
Info/Order this book.


About The Author

HAROLD KOENIG, M.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. He is also Director of Duke University's Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health. Widely acclaimed and respected in both medical and religious communities, Dr. Koenig has written numerous articles and appeared as a guest expert on ABC World News Tonight, NBC Evening News, CBS This Morning, and many other national and international programs. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Latest Comments

Connecting Emotional
In my intentional community I am bringing this research to the members and we are experimenting with dyads applying the skills revealed in t

How to Heal a Broken Heart
I just wanted to say thank you for writing this article and sharing your wisdom. I tried this years ago when I was in a lot of pain and didn

Esotericism What Is It
To whom it may concern; Good day;I have a great deal of interest in this topic; all my life I felt like I did not live my real life. Almost

Are We Having Fun Yet
Hi Marie, enjoyed reading your article. I think many people are coming to the conclusion that they have been lied to and manipulated by the

Meditation Through Dance
Beautiful article on sacred dance thankyou! Dance is such a powerful way to connect to the divine energy of Life. I enjoyed reading about

Article Subjects

HTML clipboard Finance and Careers
Food & Nutrition
Leisure and Creativity
Personal Growth
Social & Political

InnerSelf Market

Body & Bath
Cards, Calendars, etc
Gifts & Such
Health and Beauty

Quick Favorites

Daily Inspiration
InnerSelf News


HTML clipboard
Copyright 1985-2012 -  InnerSelf Publications
Emerald, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia