Incorporating Spiritual Healing into Modern Medicine
28 June 2019 (online)
The onset of 21st century has seen a surge in spiritual awareness among people across the globe. Spirituality plays an important role in holistic management of patients suffering from all kinds of illnesses, especially terminal illnesses like cancer. It has been observed that patients whose spiritual needs have been truly addressed by their treating health care professional show a better quality of life and also experience greater well-being especially those suffering from malignancy.
Spiritual dimension of patient: Alternative medical care in Eastern countries especially in India and neighboring countries like China, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Nepal are usually based on spirituality and religiosity. However, in Western countries, the medical care usually revolves around physical well-being of the patient, where the spiritual aspect is not being taken care of. But lately, the Western world has also realized the usefulness of spirituality in maintaining human health and well-being. About 75% of American medical universities, as part of their curriculum, have included spiritual care in their medical courses. In Germany, several medical schools offer course in spiritual care.
Health care professional should devote some time listening to the spiritual beliefs of their patients.
So including spiritual training in medical curriculum would empower the young budding doctors to provide holistic care to the patients. Health has physical, mental, and social dimension as well. While imparting care to our patients, we must consider their spiritual dimensions as well. So if we ignore the spiritual dimensions, we may not be able to heal the person completely.
- 1 Delgado-Guay MO, Hui D, Parsons HA. et al. Spirituality, religiosity, and spiritual pain in advanced cancer patients. J Pain Symptom Manage 2011; 41 (06) 986-994
- 2 Puchalski CM, Blatt B, Kogan M, Butler A. Spirituality and health: the development of a field. Acad Med 2014; 89 (01) 10-16
- 3 Hummer RA, Rogers RG, Nam CB, Ellison CG. Religious involvement and U.S. adult mortality. Demography 1999; 36 (02) 273-285
- 4 Lo B, Quill T, Tulsky J. Discussing Palliative Care with patients. Ann Intern Med 1999; 130: 744-749
- 5 D'Souza RF, Rodrigo A. Spiritually augmented cognitive behavioural therapy. Australas Psychiatry 2004; 12 (02) 148-152
- 6 Chidarikire S. Spirituality; the neglected dimension of holistic mental health care. Adv Ment Health 2012; 10 (03) 298-302