Advertisement

Religion, Spiritual Practices, and Well-Being

  • Angele McGrady
  • Donald Moss
Chapter

Abstract

Religion, medicine, and healing have been connected in most cultures and eras. The development of scientific medicine in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries produced a practical divorce between medical care and religion. However, over four decades of research has shown that religious adherence, attendance at services, beliefs, spiritual practices, and sense of purpose in life can all impact health and longevity. This chapter explores the general impact of religion and spirituality on health, reviews research on specific elements of religious engagement and their effects on health, and examines the approaches of two Christian churches that have placed special emphasis on health and healing. The chapter also introduces religious and spiritual practices commonly used for comfort, consolation, and well-being.

Keywords

Religion Spirituality Religious practices Health Well-being 

References

  1. Agogino, G. A. (1965). The use of hypnotism as an ethnologic research technique. Plains Anthropologist, 10, 31–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aldana, S. G., Greenlaw, R. L., Saiberg, A., Merrill, R. M., Ohmine, S., & Thomas, C. (2006). The behavioral and clinical effects of therapeutic lifestyle change on middle-aged adults. Preventing Chronic Disease, 3(1), A05.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. American Nurses Association. (2012). Faith community nursing: Scope and standards of practice (2nd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: Author.Google Scholar
  4. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  5. Banerjee, A. T., Boyle, M. H., Anand, S. S., Strachan, P. H., & Oremus, M. (2014). The relationship between religious service attendance and coronary heart disease and related risk factors in Saskatchewan, Canada. Journal of Religion and Health, 53(1), 141–156. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-012-9609-6 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bellous, J. E., & Scinos, D. M. (2009). Spiritual styles: Creating an environment to nurture spiritual wholeness. International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 14(3), 213–224. https://doi.org/10.1080/13644360903086471 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Benedict. (1975). The rule of St. Benedict (transl. A. C. Meisel & M. L. del Mastro). New York, NY: Image/Doubleday.Google Scholar
  8. Berghuis, K. (2007). The development of fasting from monasticism through the reformation to the modern era. Christian fasting: A theological approach. Bible.org. Retrieved from https://bible.org/seriespage/chapter-4-development-fasting-monasticism-through-reformation-modern-era#P1100_411069
  9. Brown, C. G. (2011). Global Pentecostal and charismatic healing. Oxford: New York, NY.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Christian Science Journal. (2017). Christian Science Journal Directory. Retrieved from https://journal.christianscience.com/directory
  11. Committee on Publication. (1989). An empirical analysis of medical evidence in Christian Science testimonies of healing. Boston, MA: The First Church of Christ, Scientist.Google Scholar
  12. Dalai Lama. (2002). How to practice: The way to a meaningful life. New York, NY: Pocket Books.Google Scholar
  13. Dixon, A. L. (2007). Mattering in the later years: Older adults’ experiences of mattering to others, purpose in life, depression, and wellness. Adultspan Journal, 6(2), 83–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dossey, L. (1993). Healing words: The power of prayer and the practice of medicine. New York: HarperOne.Google Scholar
  15. Dossey, L. (1996). Prayer is good medicine: How to reap the healing benefits of prayer. San Francisco: Harper.Google Scholar
  16. Dossey, L. (1997). The return of prayer. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 3(6), 10–17, 113–120.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Duffy, E. (2009). Two healing prayers. In M. Rubin (Ed.), Medieval Christianity in practice (pp. 164–170). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Eddy, M. B. (1895). Manual of the mother church: The First Church of Christ, Scientist. Boston, MA: Joseph Armstrong Publishers.Google Scholar
  19. Eddy, M. B. (1994). Science and health, with key to the scriptures. Boston, MA: The First Church of Christ, Scientist.Google Scholar
  20. Ellison, C. G., & Hummer, R. A. (2010). Religion, families, and health: Population-based research in the United States. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Emmons, R. A., Cheung, C., & Tehrani, K. (1998). Assessing spirituality through personal goals: Implications for research on religion and subjective well-being. Social Indicators Research, 45(1/3), 391–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. First Church of Christ, Scientist, Riverside. (n.d.). Questions and answers. Retrieved from http://christianscienceinriverside.org/index.php?pr=Questions#drugs
  23. Foster, R. (1998). Celebration of discipline: The path to spiritual growth (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  24. Fraser, G. E., & Shavlik, D. J. (2001). Ten years of life: Is it a matter of choice? Archives of Internal Medicine, 161(13), 1645–1652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Galloway, A. P., & Henry, M. (2014). Relationships between social connectedness and spirituality and depression and perceived health status of rural residents. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care, 14(2), 43. Retrieved from http://rnojournal.binghamton.edu/index.php/RNO/article/view/325 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Goldiner, S. (2012). Medicine in the middle ages. In Heibrunn timeline of art history. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-2017. Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/medm/hd_medm.htm
  27. Gopinath, B., Buyken, A. E., Flood, V. M., Empson, M., Rochtchina, E., & Mitchell, P. (2011). Consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids, fish, and nuts and risk of inflammatory disease mortality. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 93(5), 1073–1079.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hill, P. C., & Pargament, K. I. (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: Implications for physical and mental health research. American Psychologist, 58(1), 64–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hill, P. L., & Turiano, N. A. (2014). Purpose in life as a predictor of mortality across adulthood. Psychological Science, 57(7), 1482–1486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Horowitz, S. (2010). Health benefits of meditation: What the newest research shows. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 16(4), 223–228. https://doi.org/10.1089/act2010.16402 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hummel, C. E. (1986). Worldwide renewal: The charismatic movement. Christianity Today, 9. Retrieved from http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-9/worldwide-renewal-charismatic-movement.html
  32. Hummer, R. A., Ellison, C. G., Rogers, R. G., Moulton, B. E., & Romero, R. R. (2004). Religious involvement and adult mortality in the United States: Review and perspective. Southern Medical Journal, 97(12), 1223–1230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hummer, R. A., Rogers, R. G., Nam, C. B., & Ellison, C. G. (1999). Religious involvement and US adult mortality. Demography, 36(2), 273–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jackson, B. R., & Bergeman, C. S. (2011). How does religiosity enhance well-being? The role of perceived self-control. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 3(2), 149–161. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021597 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. Jones, T. (2005). The sacred way: Spiritual practices for everyday life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.Google Scholar
  36. Jung, C. G. (1961). Memories, dreams, and reflections (transl. by R. Winston & C. Winston). New York, NY: Vintage.Google Scholar
  37. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. New York, NY: Delacorte.Google Scholar
  38. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2006). Mindfulness for beginners: Reclaiming the present moment (Educational CD). Louisville, CO: Sounds True.Google Scholar
  39. Kapogiannis, D., Berbey, A. K., Zamboni, G., Krueger, F., & Grafman, J. (2009). Cognitive and neural foundations of religious belief. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(12), 4876–4881. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0811717106 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. Kent, L., Morton, D., Hurlow, T., Rankin, P., Hanna, A., & Diehl, H. (2013). Long term effectiveness of the community-based Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) lifestyle intervention: A cohort study. BMJ Open, 3(11), e003751. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003751 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  41. Koenig, H. G. (2008). Medicine, religion, and health: Where science and spirituality meet. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Press.Google Scholar
  42. Koenig, H. G. (2012a). Medicine and religion: Twin healing traditions. Catholic Exchange. Retrieved from http://catholicexchange.com/medicine-and-religion-twin-healing-traditions
  43. Koenig, H. G. (2012b). Religion, spirituality, and health: The research and clinical implications. International Scholarly Research Network, ISNR Psychiatry, Article ID 278730, 1–33. https://doi.org/10.5402/2012/278370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M. E., & Larson, D. B. (2012). Handbook of religion and health (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Kushner, H. S. (1981). When bad things happen to good people. New York, NY: Shocken Books.Google Scholar
  46. Lehrer, P. M., & Gevirtz, R. (2014). Heart rate variability biofeedback: How and why does it work. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 756. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00756 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  47. Lehrer, P. M., Sasaki, Y., & Saito, Y. (1999). Zazen and cardiac variability. Psychosomatic Medicine, 61, 812–821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lutheran Deaconess Association. (2017). History of deaconesses and parish nurses. Retrieved from http://www.thelda.org/assets/docs/history_deacs_nurses.pdf
  49. Mahoney, A., Pargament, K. I., Cole, B., Jewell, T., Magyar, G. M., Tarakeshwar, N., et al. (2005). A higher purpose: The sanctification of strivings in a community sample. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 15(3), 239–262. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327582ijpr1503_4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McCraty, R., & Shaffer, F. (2015). Heart rate variability: New perspectives on physiological mechanisms, assessment of self-regulatory capacity, and health risk. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 4(1), 46–61. https://doi.org/10.7453/gahmj.2014.073 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  51. Morton, K. R., Lee, J. W., & Martin, L. R. (2016). Pathways from religion to health: Mediation by psychosocial and lifestyle mechanisms. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 9(1), 106–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. National Cancer Institute. (2015). Spirituality in cancer care—For health professionals (PDQ®). Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/day-to-day/faith-and-spirituality/spirituality-hp-pdq#section/_4
  53. Oman, D., Kurata, J. H., Strawbridge, W. J., & Cohen, R. D. (2002). Religious attendance and cause of death over 31 years. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 32(1), 69–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Orlich, M. J., Singh, P. N., Sabaté, J., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Fan, J., Knutsen, S., et al. (2013). Vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality in Adventist Health Study 2. JAMA Internal Medicine, 173(13), 1230–1238. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6473 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  55. Pargament, K. I., Koenig, H. G., & Perez, L. M. (2000). The many methods of religious coping: Development and initial validation of the RCOPE. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 56, 519–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Park, N. S., Lee, B. S., Sun, F., Klemmack, D. L., Roff, L. L., & Koenig, H. G. (2013). Typologies of religiousness/spirituality: Implications for health and well-being. Journal of Religion and Health, 52, 828–839. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-011-9520-6 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Riggins, L. (2013). Understanding the health benefits of yoga and implications for public health. Health Education Monograph Series, 30(1), 46–53.Google Scholar
  58. Roberts, S. T. (2014). Parish nursing: Providing spiritual, physical, and emotional care in a small community parish. Clinical Nursing Studies, 2(2), 118–122. https://doi.org/10.5430/cns.v2n2p118 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Schorsch, K. (2015). Alexian, Adventist have a new name for their joint venture. Crain’s Chicago Business. Retrieved from http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150413/NEWS03/150419957/alexian-adventist-have-a-new-name-for-their-joint-venture
  60. Steinhorn, D. M., Din, J., & Johnson, A. (2017). Healing, spirituality, and integrative medicine. Annals of Palliative Medicine, 6(3), 237–247. https://doi.org/10.21037/apm.2017.05.01 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Tarakeshwar, N., Vanderwerker, L. C., Paulk, E., Pearce, M. J., Kasl, S. V., & Priferson, H. G. (2008). Religious coping is associated with the quality of life of patients with advanced cancer. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 9(3), 646–657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Westberg, G., & Westberg McNamara, J. (1990). Parish nurse: Providing a minister of health for your congregation. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Books.Google Scholar
  63. Windsor, T. D., Curtis, R. G., & Luszcz, M. A. (2015). Sense of purpose as a psychological resource for aging well. Developmental Psychology, 51(7), 976–986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Ziebarth, D. (2014). Evolutionary conceptual analysis: Faith community nursing. Journal of Religion and Health, 53(6), 1817–1823. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-014-9918-z CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angele McGrady
    • 1
  • Donald Moss
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of ToledoToledoUSA
  2. 2.College of Integrative Medicine and Health SciencesSaybrook UniversityOaklandUSA

Personalised recommendations