Guide to Alternative Medicine and the Digestive System

Anil Minocha, MD FACP FACG

Chapter 25: Prayer and Spirituality (continued)

Some studies have shown clinical benefit accruing from prayer. Prayer is a matter of personal preference and should not be prescribed. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines prayer as an active process of communicating with and appealing to a higher spiritual power.1 Potential mechanisms of prayer include relaxation response, a placebo effect, or expression of positive emotions. Supernatural intervention, although frequently invoked, is highly speculative and not scientifically verifiable. Evidence from many studies, albeit somewhat conflicting, indicates…