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Are there any SCIENTIFIC explanations for "faith healing"?

It's no secret in my family that my great grandma was considered a faith healer. My grandma talks about how people would come from miles around to be touched by her because she was said to have the holy spirit in her. I've also heard stories of how my wheelchair-bound great grandpa was prayed over in church, and proceeded to stand and walk to the altar.

Now, you all know that I'm not religious, but this kind of stuff fascinates me. My great grandma was the Christian equivalent of a frickin witchdoctor, lmao.

What is your opinion of faith healing?
Do you know of any SCIENTIFIC (note, scientific) theories or explanations for it?

Answer Question

Asked by caitxrawks at 4:11 PM on Nov. 7, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 17 (3,823 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • quantim physics (sp?) is an interesting science. It explains that we are all energy and that our thoughts and feeling radiate out energy in order to make things happen. It's like the placebo affect. If you think it's going to work and believe its going to work, then it can. You can also send your energies to others for healing such as praying, meditatiation, well wishes, etc. We call it this and we call it that, but we are working with the same universal force that makes things happen.

    Answer by lowencope at 4:17 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • There is emerging research showing that the mind/body link is much more powerful than we had ever previously known. The Placebo Effect, for example. People in studies will be given a sugar pill and their illnesses improve simply because they believe they are recieving medicine.

    It's hard to have a zipped up scientific theory on this, because the mind is such an elusive study object. We have functional MRI technology that lets us see what our brains are doing in real time, but that's just lights on a monitor. But more and more we are realizing that our minds are a powerful tool when we are combating illness. Traditional Chinese medicine has been proven effective in clinical trials, and that is ALL mind/body medicine. We don't understand it all, because it's not exactly a science we can study, but it's definately there.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 4:19 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Yes there is MUCH scientific data about the placebo effect. Which is what "faith healing" is.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:23 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Seeing as how God is the driving force behind the complexity of science, I am not sure how there can't be.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:33 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • I go to a pastor's wives retreat every year, and our church association is not characterized by focusing soley on the gifts of the Spirit. We are known for order and preaching solid Bible studies, however, we have afterglows where we wait on the Holy Spirit. That said, this is so cool. Last year, the Lord told the leader that there was someone who was having eye problems and was just told she would be completely blind within a year. A woman stood up, they prayed over her, then I left. But this year, she came up on stage and shared with us that after we prayed over her. Something in her eye popped and her vision immediately cleared. When she went to her eye doctor, he was amazed that everything that was covering the center of her vision had shrunk and moved. It literally burst and she has perfect vision now. She had a walking stick last year, now she is fine.

    And God gets the glory : )

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 4:36 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • O.K. Most of you know I am a born again Christian. However, I am a major skeptic when it comes to faith healing and faith healers. While I am not about to put God in a box and say He can't or doesn't miraculously heal, one is wise to look and see who is truly getting the glory in many of these situations. As others have said there is the placibo effect, and there have been many reports of these so called "faith healers" having fake healings. In Cinnamonmom's case we have no way of knowing that the illness would not have cleared on it's own. So I would tend put that in the maybe catagory.

    Answer by teamquinn at 4:52 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • I'm with teamquinn on this one. It really bugs me when a guy tells everyone he can heal them but when they don't get healed he says their faith wasn't strong enough. Sadly they are all over the TV.


    Answer by ifollowjesus at 10:11 PM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • There is a great deal of scientific proof to back up the effects of faith healing. It's simply mind over matter and yes it has been proven. But just like the boy who can bend the spoon with his brain, it's not something that can be greatly studied because it's such a rare gift. Can anyone do faith healing? Yes, and no. Faith healers are very skilled in directing their energy in to another. This isn't something that can just be picked up... But it can be developed over a number of years just as any type of telekinetic power can be. And there is a great deal of scientific research behind them, but unfortunately the rarity of true faith healers stops the scientists from doing the research they would do in other cases and in turn stops the furtherment of any conclusions.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:35 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • you should try reading into NOETIC science.

    Answer by sugahmamma at 7:54 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Your grandparents aren't you. Stick to your non-believing beliefs.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:14 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

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