Meditation: Real Medicine for Dr. Larry Dossey and ISSSEEM
Larry Dossey, M.D., internist and former Chief of Staff at Medical City Dallas Hospitalhas made a career writing books and lecturing on alternative healing and the power of meditation and prayer. Tapping into the national healthcare debate, it’s interesting to note that since 1990, more and more people are believers, too. Today’s increased angst and waning confidence in the medical system correlate to the trend toward placing healing faith in the minds and spirits of patients rather than in the hands of traditional doctors and big medicine. Conventional methods of treating illness are being enhanced or replaced by meditation while sole reliance on drug therapy may become a practice of the past. Dr. Dossey will present on this topic in June at the 20thannual conference for the International Society of the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine (www.issseem.org).
Whether called meditation or prayer, over one hundred published studies show everyone has the power to heal their maladies. More and more people are becoming believers. As of June 2005, the odds that a person believes in psychic or spiritual healing are 1 in 1.82 persons. According to Book of Odds (www.bookofodds.com) this compares to 1 in 3.85 who do not believe and in 1990, the ratio of believers was 1 in 2.17.
Medication vs. Meditation
According to Dr. Dossey, “People who practice meditation and prayer live longer and have lower instances of major diseases such as all types of cancers, heart disease and chronic pain. Many studies show the practical applications of meditation and prayer.” ABC News article “Meditation as Medication on the Rise”confirms the same, finding that traditional medical schools are researching the very same phenomenon and teaching subjects based on the mind/body/spirit healing connection. Health insurance providers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield are paying attention to the benefits patients receive after learning meditation practices to mange chronic pain, stress, and other maladies.
Changing the body through changing the mind
Dr. Dossey had nearly completed medical school when he considered giving up. Classical migraine headaches caused Larry to experience partial blindness as well as nausea. This medical condition had been with him since childhood but the added pressure and stress of med school almost debilitated him. Larry sought biofeedback treatment as a last resort. He was cured of persistent, chronic migraines within six weeks. (Through biofeedback, the patient uses visualization and imagery techniques to control physical changes. Eventually these changes are maintained without the use of any monitoring equipment. ) For a man, such as Larry, with a scientific focus of mind, biofeedback astonished him. From then on, Larry became passionate about the research conducted in the mind/body field and eventually led to a segue way into the spirituality field. As Larry says of himself as a med school student, he was “open to the possibility of what biofeedback might offer” and the results made him a believer in the power of the mind and spirit.
About ISSSEEM’s 2010 Conference
Each year, the ISSSEEM conference gathers fascinating and technical research over the course of four days. This year’s conference occurs June 25-29 in Westminster, Colorado. This event provides presenters and attendees the opportunity to refine and integrate spiritual practices with scientific knowledge for the advancement of human happiness, psychological and physical health, spiritual growth and beneficial life styles for oneself and others.
According to the ISSSEEM website (www.issseem.org) “It is time to move on from seeking the scientific basis for humans as spiritual beings to practical applications of what is already known. For example, how can prayer healing and psychic healing be taught more widely and effectively? What’s the best way to integrate these into the best of regular medicine? Do we survive bodily death in some form, as some mediumistic communications and reincarnation research suggest? How can we get better evidence for or against this idea, and if the evidence keeps piling up for it, what are implications for how we live our lives?” The conference is open to all and information is posted on the website for more information. As a featured speaker at the upcoming 20thannual ISSSEEM conference, Dr. Dossey will present at 10.m. on June 27, 2010, on “Spirituality, Consciousness and Health: What Does the Evidence Show?”
The Secular Spirit
When Dr. Dossey began writing about spirituality and the implications of meditation and prayer over twenty years ago, his endeavor presented a great professional risk. His first book, published in 1982, entitled “Time, Space and Medicine” presented the field of holistic medicine to an audience unfamiliar with the field. Three decades ago, three American medical schools out of 125 offered coursework about the connection between spirituality and health. Today, over ninety medical schools teach the subject routinely and lend credibility and legitimacy to this developing subject matter. Larry’s later book published in 1992, “Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine” became a New York Times bestseller. Over the course of years, Larry Dossey has penned eleven books.
More and more, meditation is being accepted by the public and the medical community as a viable and relevant treatment option. It may be premature to say that meditation and healing have gone mainstream. Meditation, as a tool for preventing and treating maladies, impacts society on all levels and is a noteworthy addition to the American view of healing. Are you paying attention? Is your consciousness shifting?