Is there a connection between faith and health?
Historically science has not embraced the connection between faith and health but today, an increasing number of scientific authorities acknowledge that spiritual practices, including prayer, worship, and service to others, influence our health.
One of those people who welcome and is driving this shift is Greg Anderson. Diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in 1984, Greg's surgeon predicted he had just 30 days to live. "The shift that is underway is historic," said Anderson from his Cancer Recovery Foundation of America offices in Harrisburg. "We are now witnessing the uniting of science and spirit, the combination of body, mind, and soul, to reveal the stunning effects of faith on both physical and emotional health."
Anderson, along with United Methodist Pastor Michael Gingerich, has revised Anderson's classic, The Cancer Conqueror to address this critical health-faith connection.
The Cancer Conqueror with Bible Study is an uplifting guide to cancer patients and support networks of the Judeo-Christian faith. The book is currently available only through the Cancer Recovery Foundation website at www.CancerRecovery.org.
The historical link between science and religion began to crumble centuries ago as a reluctant church held fast to positions that science could empirically refute. "But today," said Anderson, "the shoe is on the other foot. Based on over 30 years of compelling data, medicine can no longer simply dismiss the role that faith plays in both the prevention of and recovery from illness.
"What I am seeing is a new whole-person sensibility," said Anderson. "It combines body, mind, and spirit in the best sense, a powerful blend of the scientific and what I believe should rightly be called the mystic. Instead of limiting the roles of healthcare providers, I see an expansion, an amalgam of skills, including part scientist, nutritionist, psychologist, and spiritual guide. The result is a new and vital healing paradigm that is now rippling through the American healthcare system."
Anderson has devoted the last 20 years to the study and teaching of this synthesis. Today he is widely recognized as one of America's foremost healing authorities. Author of seven books, including the 1.5 million copy international bestseller, The Cancer Conqueror, he sees a rapidly emerging agenda that draws on the knowledge available to us from experimental science, the wisdom gleaned from the personal experiences of patients, and the stories of healing from the world's great religious traditions.
Explained Anderson, "The stories of healing are always the most moving. They tend to fall into three groups. First are those who may not be completely cured of their illness but who learn to cope with illness through prayer and other forms of spiritual practice. For others, the faith/health connection may mean stopping the progression of an illness like cancer or heart disease. Still others experience the reversal or complete healing of their disease. It is impossible to predict or control the level of healing. But all typically result in a deep sense of inner peace. This almost always offers some degree of improvement and can be truly powerful."
Based in Hershey, the non-profit organization's mission is to help all people prevent and survive cancer. The organization's reach spans the globe and has been helping people since 1985.
Cancer Recovery Foundation focuses on the "people side" of cancer. It emphasizes a whole-person approach to getting well again, pioneering the "cancer survival pyramid," a tool widely used in cancer education.
Cancer Recovery Foundation's adult programs include retreats and support groups that emphasize healthy diets, ability-appropriate exercise, mind/body and faith/health disciplines. Cancer Survival and Bible Study Kits are available to all cancer patients. All Cancer Recovery programs are in addition to, not in place of, conventional medical treatments.
The Foundation's children's programs provide toy-filled gift bags to children during treatment, camp scholarships following treatment and emergency financial assistance to families in need.
Cancer Recovery Foundation serves through healthcare providers and directly to individuals. Its adult programs, services and materials are available through more than 300 cancer treatment centers throughout the United States, Canada, France, Great Britain and Germany. The Foundation's children's programs and services are available through more than 170 pediatric oncology treatment centers across the United States. A special medical mission outreach also is providing pediatric oncology services in Uganda and Ukraine.
To obtain a copy of The Cancer Conqueror with Bible Study or to find out how to start a support group in your place of worship, please call (800) 238-6479 or visit the website, http://www.cancerrecovery.org.
Cancer Recovery Foundation