Three Religions That Can Teach Us Something About Healing
Spirituality in Health Care
July 31, 3000
Healthcare validated by science, and spirituality validated by the faith of people are two very different ideologies in the healing process. The two at times seem to be opposing forces. It can be a very tough concept to grasp for some providers and nurses as well as people of faiths in need of treatment for an illness, injury or disease. Many times the beliefs of a religion and its practices will or can interfere with the treatment necessary for appropriate treatment that leads to healing. It is for this reason that the medical and nursing community be well educated and educate themselves at times with the customs, beliefs and values of the area around them as well as some around the world. This essay will discuss and explore three religions and their customs as well as beliefs: Buddhism, Scientology, and Native American Spirituality. These faiths will be contrasted to the Christian approach to healing.
Buddhism is one of the world’s largest religions. It examines the basis of healing as a process which affects all areas of life and the body. The process of healing is not seen identifying the cause of a disease or condition then treating it. Instead, it is a process of healing and improvement that could last ones entire life. Western medicine on the other hand identifies sickness with a list of symptoms or symptomotology. These symptoms however, are mixed in with a patient’s spiritual, psychological and mental state. Often in times past the medical community treated the disease, illness or injury and left it up to Clergy to deal with the spiritual or religious aspects of healing. In the area of Buddhism, when a person is sick they are not just sick physically, but spiritually as well (Blia, 2013 Par 2). Western medicine has only recently began to formally include and/or educate medical and nursing personnel(although I’ve seen and heard of many a nurse praying at the bedside with their patient or patients family) on the aspects of spirituality in healing, however in Buddhism they have always been intertwined. There are four steps to healing in Buddhism. They are: discovering the origin of the illness, achieving a thorough understanding of the illness, prescribing the appropriate herbs or plants or medication for the illness and completely curing the illness in way that stops it from coming back (Blia, 2013 Par 12). Upon of these four things its then up to the patient to undergo a spiritual healing process so that the body can be made whole in every way. Even after healing, the spiritual healing is lifelong (Blia, 2013 Par 12). Buddhism does tend to center on the spiritual aspect of healing; however, Buddhism is very compatible to treatment by use of science and medical intervention. Buddha acknowledged the importance of a doctor in the healing process, though a doctor was much different in Buddha’s lifetime then a doctor today.
Today physicians may find that in the Buddhist religion it’s quite common for Buddhists to be very compliant to treatment and care and knowledgeable with advances in modern science. They will also find that the spiritual aspect of healing is a priority as well. The Buddhist patient may necessitate the need for environmental changes or accessibility to spiritual resources. In Christianity there is some spirituality but Christians call upon God for healing while receiving treatment. In contrast Buddhists observe healing as a spiritual journey towards perfection which is a continual ongoing walk through life.
Another interesting religion is Scientology, which stands alone in its uniqueness. It’s a religion that focuses on science as the very foundation of its tenets. One of the beliefs that is known for is its arguable and controversial approach to medicine. A lot of its teachings are against and not for, especially mental health specialists such...
References: “Buddhism, Medicine, and Health”. (2013). BLIA.org. Retrieved from http://www.blia.org/english/publications/booklet/pages/37.htm
“Native American Healing”. (2013). Cancer.org. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/mindbodyandspirit/native-american-healing
“Scientology Versus Medicine”. (2013). Xenu.net. Retrieved from http://www.xenu.net/archive/books/tsos/sos-16.html
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