The rest listened to music (easy listening, classical, or country music) followed by 10 minutes of guided imagery. Results found that people who received prayer appeared no better after the heart procedure than those who did not. Prayer and MIT therapy did not have an effect on the risk of further heart complications or readmission to the hospital. Although MIT recipients were found to be 65 percent less likely to die within six months of their surgery than people who received no intervention. Researchers suggest that these alternative therapies may help speed recovery when used in conjunction with traditional methods.
They add that MIT may help to reduce stress prior to and following surgery which leads to decreased inflammation and quicker healing.
Prayer on behalf of the ill plays a prominent role across cultures around the world. It may be
practiced by individuals or organized groups within the framework of organized religion or without a
particular faith. Intercessory prayer refers to prayers said on behalf of a person. Intercessors can
have specific objectives in mind or can appeal for the general improvement of a patient's health.
Prayers said by intercessors may or may not be known to the individual. Intercessory prayers may
be performed from a distance or in the presence of patients, and in some cases will involve the
laying on of hands. Studies of the effects of prayer on health report variable results with most
research in this area not being scientifically well designed. This is because there are many different
types of prayer and religious orientations, intercessors do not always know the patients in studies
and prayers are often non-specific, it is hard to design a study with placebo prayer, and there is not
an accepted test to best measure outcomes. Therapeutic guided imagery is used to help patients
relax and focus on images associated with their personal health issues. Experienced guided
imagery practitioners use an interactive guiding style to encourage patients to find solutions to
problems by exploring their existing inner resources.
For more information please visit Natural Standard's Complementary Practices database.
References: 1) Vogel JH, et al. Integrating complementary medicine into cardiovascular medicine.
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Complementary Practices in Heart Health
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Jul 5;46(1):184-221 View Abstract.