The significance of belief and expectancy within the spiritual healing encounter
Historically, traditional cultures recognized the importance of belief and expectancy within the healing encounter and created complex rituals and ceremonies designed to elicit or foster the expectancy and participation of both the healer and patient, as well as the community as a whole. This holistic approach to health care was a fundamental component in the spiritual healing rituals of virtually all traditional native cultures. The focus of the current study was to assess the impact of healer and patient expectations on mental and physical health parameters following a spiritual healing session. A pre-post methodological design which incorporated extensive psychophysiological health outcome measures along with independent medical diagnoses was utilized. The study was conducted in a northern California suburb of Marin County utilizing an American-born spiritual healer trained in the Philippines. The results indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between the pre-treatment and post-treatment scores for all fourteen dependent variables examined. The data also demonstrated a significant difference between the high versus low expectancy subjects for both patient and healer groups, as well as a significant relationship between high expectancy in patients and healer and the effectiveness of the spiritual healing encounter. The results of the study therefore suggest that high healer and patient expectancy may be important elements which can serve as both predictors as well as facilitators of the healing process. The degree of bonding or communication between the healer and patient was postulated as an important factor in this regard. Due to the fact that a majority of the concitions reported (75%) were organic disorders that would not commonly disappear within the 3 week time frame of the study, the significant results obtained suggest that spiritual healing in combination with traditional allopathic medicine may have the potential to be an effective treatment protocol for severe or long-term disorders. An important contributing feature of this study was that an independent means of assessing the patients' self-reports, i.e. an allopathic medical examination, was included in the experiment. There was a significant correlation between the patient's expectation level and their assessment of improvement, as well as a significant relationship between the patient's assessment of their condition and the objective evaluations provided by independent medical examinations.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 41 (1995)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:41:y:1995:i:2:p:249-260. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.