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Healing Threads: Do they work?

GUEST,LongJohn 15 Nov 00 - 05:56 PM
annamill 15 Nov 00 - 06:00 PM
Bert 15 Nov 00 - 06:05 PM
MK 15 Nov 00 - 06:08 PM
mousethief 15 Nov 00 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Max Tone, cookieless, thanks to ms software 15 Nov 00 - 06:09 PM
mousethief 15 Nov 00 - 06:12 PM
wysiwyg 15 Nov 00 - 06:15 PM
Banjer 15 Nov 00 - 06:20 PM
catspaw49 15 Nov 00 - 06:34 PM
Hollowfox 15 Nov 00 - 06:50 PM
Allan C. 15 Nov 00 - 06:53 PM
Dave Wynn 15 Nov 00 - 06:57 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Nov 00 - 07:02 PM
catspaw49 15 Nov 00 - 07:03 PM
wysiwyg 15 Nov 00 - 07:15 PM
Gary T 15 Nov 00 - 07:41 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 00 - 08:34 PM
alison 15 Nov 00 - 08:47 PM
Matt_R 15 Nov 00 - 09:53 PM
Amos 15 Nov 00 - 10:30 PM
Chanteyranger 15 Nov 00 - 10:33 PM
Amos 15 Nov 00 - 10:37 PM
Little Neophyte 15 Nov 00 - 11:26 PM
Lonesome EJ 16 Nov 00 - 12:35 AM
KT 16 Nov 00 - 01:03 AM
jaze 16 Nov 00 - 02:05 AM
BigDaddy 16 Nov 00 - 02:42 AM
GMT 16 Nov 00 - 03:30 AM
Banjer 16 Nov 00 - 05:40 AM
LR Mole 16 Nov 00 - 09:11 AM
Little Hawk 16 Nov 00 - 10:20 AM
bydand 16 Nov 00 - 10:37 AM
Kim C 16 Nov 00 - 10:55 AM
Patrish(inactive) 16 Nov 00 - 11:27 AM
Bert 16 Nov 00 - 11:29 AM
katlaughing 16 Nov 00 - 11:46 AM
Little Neophyte 16 Nov 00 - 11:52 AM
katlaughing 16 Nov 00 - 12:14 PM
Robby 16 Nov 00 - 12:32 PM
Gary T 16 Nov 00 - 12:51 PM
Bill D 16 Nov 00 - 12:51 PM
mousethief 16 Nov 00 - 01:00 PM
Bill D 16 Nov 00 - 01:22 PM
Peter T. 16 Nov 00 - 01:55 PM
Margo 16 Nov 00 - 02:41 PM
bydand 16 Nov 00 - 05:24 PM
mousethief 16 Nov 00 - 05:36 PM
GUEST 16 Nov 00 - 08:25 PM
Amos 16 Nov 00 - 10:45 PM
Gypsy 16 Nov 00 - 10:55 PM
Wolfgang 17 Nov 00 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,Fibula Mattock 17 Nov 00 - 09:41 AM
Bill D 17 Nov 00 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,food for thought 13 Jul 01 - 09:08 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jul 01 - 09:27 PM
Sorcha 13 Jul 01 - 09:37 PM
Noreen 13 Jul 01 - 09:42 PM
Shields Folk 13 Jul 01 - 09:54 PM
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RichM 14 Jul 01 - 12:29 AM
bbc 14 Jul 01 - 08:38 AM
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Subject: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: GUEST,LongJohn
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 05:56 PM

There have been lots of 'healing threads' and lot of well meaning messages here.

The well meaning messages are doubtlessly useful to the sufferer.

The idea that sending 'healing energy' is perhaps less well documented. For the record, it strikes me as complete rubbish. People get better by taking the right medicine.

If anyone can pursuade me otherwise, I be interested in their thoughts.

LongJohn


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: annamill
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:00 PM

Ya never know, LongJohn! Good thoughts can't hurt. I'm not a religious person, as I've said time and again, but I do think positive thoughts can be powerful. Here's to good karma!

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Bert
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:05 PM

People also get better by having the right attitude and a positive outlook. The thought that they have friends thinking of them and pulling for them can do a lot to cheer a patient and help speed their recovery.

So whether the energy effect is real or imagined I'll still keep sending good thoughts to anyone who needs them.

As for the 'right medicine' it's my experience that the medicine is often 'not right'.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: MK
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:08 PM

Karma is a very powerful thing, and when you couple it with healing and positive energy, the results can be remarkable. It is not a substitute for proper medical treatments, but in conjunction with good medicine, it sure as hell can't hurt. (My $0.02)


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Subject: Does it matter?
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:08 PM

Does it matter? If someone says they are praying for me, or petitioning the Goddess on my behalf, or sending healing energies my way, or thinking me well, or visualizing my health, or even sacrificing chickens on their home altar, it means they care about me and wish me well, and whether or not it "works" is really quite secondary for me. I wouldn't stop taking my meds because of it, but I guarantee I would at least *feel better* knowing people care.

No chickens were harmed in the production of this message.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: GUEST,Max Tone, cookieless, thanks to ms software
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:09 PM

Let's hear it from the horse's mouth.
How are you, KarenSpaw, and does it help?
Get well soon, Rob


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:12 PM

Or from the Horse's Ass. How is your wife, Spaw?

O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:15 PM

There is, I understand, a lot of research on the effects of prayer. Perhaps some of thise interested in this thread might do some web research and bring some links to add here.

Anecdotal evidence certainly abounds, and I know of things from personal experience and as a clergy spouse. These include that the recipients of prayer can be very aware of prayer and its benefits occurring.

Why were you asking, might I inquire?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Banjer
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:20 PM

Whether it helps or not, what can it harm? If it does help, more power to it...If one believes in it, let them. Those that don't believe can just ignore it. I for one think that there is some good in it. Maybe just for the reasons already listed, maybe for deeper reasons. Whatever, keep up with the doctor's instructions and get a little extra boost on the side...


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:34 PM

I see this is your first post......Odd subject for that isn't it? My first suggestion is that if you have any qualms about these threads, ignore them.

Almost two years ago, I wound up LifeFlighted to a hospital with a diassecting aortic aneurism. I was in a coma for five days and in the hospital for another two weeks at which time I went home overnite and returned due to a bleeding tumor in the small bowel, almost impossible to find, and I lost 14 pints of blood.......all in all, a near thing. During that time, many of the people here began the first of these threads and I was prayed over and worried about and sent good thoughts from a dizzying array of religions and belief or non-belief systems. What I did know was that a whole boatload of wonderful people gave a damn whether I lived or died. It is accepted in the medical world that attitude has a lot to do with treatment and if I felt better because I knew of friends that cared, numbering in the hundreds, then I am convinced that the power inherent in those thoughts helped me to still be alive to write this.

Since then, I have sent my own personal good thoughts to many others when things are down for them and I hope they feel as I did that messages of support and caring are an asset in getting through tough times. My wife Karen is currently hospitalized with blood clots in her lungs and the support for her and to her has been amazing and a big asset to her well being. She knows that more than a couple of people care about her and about her family and its made the hospital time much easier and the healing not so worrisome.

You don't believe in it, no problem mate. Don't participate. Convince you? How? Why? It bothers me not a whit what you believe or feel for yourself and its pointless to argue about it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Hollowfox
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:50 PM

I see no need to try to convince you. However you want to go with the idea is fine by me. Myself, I'd rather have a bunch of personalized postings on a healing thread than have the same number of overpriced, mass-produced get-well cards.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Allan C.
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:53 PM

Yep, I'd say that about covers it.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 06:57 PM

Some years ago an experiment was undertaken in Britain to pray for a number of people who were undergoing a life threatening surgical procedure. It was a blind test. Some were prayed for and others were not , the orthodox churches did not take part for obvious reasons. The results showed that the people prayed for had generally better recovery's and better survival rates. The sample was too small for the medics to take any notice of and another larger experiment was promised. I don't know if it ever materialised. But love and best wishes can't hurt even if they don't help so why not send them. Please have mine for Karen Catspaw49.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 07:02 PM

I am not a believer in healing energy as such but I think that the fact that a person knows that others are thinking of them and wanting the best for them does some good and certainly a number of people do feel that they have benefited from them.

Perhaps its best not to question what mechanisms are involved but simply to accept that in one way or other some good has been achieved through them.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 07:03 PM

Thanks Spot.....Reminds me of a funny happening in England a few years back...must be the weather there or something. In any case, there was a strike of sorts by the doctors and during the strike the death rate dropped by about 60%. I guess you don't want to die unless your doc is on habd to tell you about it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 07:15 PM

Hey, Spot the Dog, this is Spot a New Member.

Welcome!!

Are you related to my spotted dog Little Ruby Hoobie Doobie?

Anyway welcome to the Mudcat!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Gary T
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 07:41 PM

Im a rationalist, so I feel compelled to point out that it's not possible to simultaneously have the same person suffering the same ailment so as to compare healing (or lack thereof) both with and without healing threads, which leads to my answer to the question--How could you tell?

That said, I have no argument with the other responses. I might not choose to initiate a healing thread, but I see no reason to speak against them.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 08:34 PM

Among the benefits of healing thoughts and prayers is the effect on the person who asked for it. This is quite aside from its effect on the patient for whom the activity was requested. I can tell you from experience that having 'beams' of love and good will directed toward you is definitely healing. Ask for it, LongJohn, and you'll see.

And again, Mudcatters, many thanks...

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: alison
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 08:47 PM

there is a lot of power in "positive thought"

I have seen many patients "switch off" they just give up trying to live and slip away....... by the same token I have seen others who should die, make a decision and improve......

I've seen prayer work first hand too....

so whether you are praying, sending good thoughts, beaming energy etc... keep it up...

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Matt_R
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 09:53 PM

Sometimes it gives you a huge positive boost to know that someone actually cares about you.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 10:30 PM

Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Amos
Date: 15-Nov-00 - 09:49 PM

For those of you condensed into unshakeable conviction about the impossibility of knowing whether thought has an effect on a body or not, let me congratulate you on the fulfillment of your most heartfelt desires and decisions. You have reached a place from which you will never again be bothered by the really risky things in life, such as love, co-existence with others, imagination, openness to telepathic links, synchronicity, and the terrifying possibility that your own intentions might bring about conditions in your life.

This state of fulfillment and completion is easier to obtain if you match your goals with the universal trends of material space, time and mass -- condensation, entropy, solidification, reduction of reach, and universal uniformity. But regardless, I am sure you really do deserve congrats on getting where you set out to go, no mistake. Clearly, you are a force to be reckoned with.

Those of us still wrestling with progress in the opposite direction-- aspiring to more knowing, more seeing, clarity, expansion, and unique awareness and ability -- well, we'll just keep on struggling in our own paths, but we'll consider your example and take it into account.

Regards,

Amos


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 10:33 PM

Yes, healing threads have much value in letting the sick person and that person's family know how much you care. There is alot to be said for the effects of emotions on physical well-being. Before my cancer surgery last year, I read a book called "Prepare For Surgery, Heal Faster: A Guide For Mind-Body Techniques." One of the book's suggestions is to give the surgeon several suggested healing statements for him/her to recite after you are under anesthesia. One is in a sort of hypnotic state - and what is said in the operating room can actually be heard by the patient. The positive statements are recited in order to promote a faster, better recovery. They are not meant to reverse medical conditions. My surgeon agreed to use the statements, and I did have a surprisingly fast recovery. On the day of my release, my surgeon, as rational and non-new age as they come, told me - "You know those healing statements you gave me? They worked." He was not humoring me. This is, of course, different, but related to, what our newest mudcatter brought up in the thread title (I assume you're new?), but the relationship between the physical and the emtional cannot be stressed enough.

Religious belief is not nearly as important in my life as it is in Praise's, but who am I, or anyone, to question the efficacy of prayer? Not everything that's real can be put under a microscope.

Lastly, I think the timing of this thread title is more than a little insensitive, given what's happening with Spaw's wife. But, given that the question was asked, I didn't want to let it go without my own two cents worth.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 10:37 PM

Karen's already improving, thanks in part to the thoughts sent in her direction, I believe. We are not a race of Delft beings here on the Mudcat!

A


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 15 Nov 00 - 11:26 PM

LongJohn, if you were asked to pick one of the following, which one would you choose?.......
A physician who gave you the appropriate medical treatment you required.
Or
A physician who gave you the appropriate medical treatment you required and also prayed for your health to be restored.


Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 12:35 AM

Little Neo...:>] !!!


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: KT
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 01:03 AM

Believe it, GuestLongJohn. As chanteyranger said, not everything that's real can be put under a microscope. KT


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: jaze
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 02:05 AM

Speaking as a newcomer to a forum such a this,I can say definitely that healing thoughts and prayers do help. Honestly, I wouldn't know one of these people if I fell over them in the street. However, that didn't stop them from sending compassionate and caring thoughts to me, a stranger, when I needed it most. When you're emotionally down, you need that contact with others to lift you up again. That's what makes us human- our ability to care about one another. It also keeps us from going crazy. Next time you've experienced one of life's nastier blows, let us know, we'll send some healing your way. Then you'll know for sure. Peace. James


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: BigDaddy
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 02:42 AM

There's an old story about the time an elderly Jewish woman was attending a virtuoso performance by a pianist of great fame. It was time for the concert to begin, and nothing happened. The audience began to grow restless, and finally a spokesman for the venue appeared on stage. He succeeded in quieting the impatient crowd and announced that the great artist whose performance they had all so eagerly anticipated had died moments earlier of a heart attack. The Jewish lady cried out, "Give him an enema!" The embarrassed host replied that the artist was dead and nothing could be done. Again the strident voice rang out, "Give him an enema!" Annoyed, the MC again stated that the artist was dead and such a suggestion was inappropriate. Again the distintive voice cried out, "Give him an enema!" This time the MC became angry. "Lady, what good would that do? He's dead!" "Vat could it hurt?" came the reply.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: GMT
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 03:30 AM

Aw come on it's obvious isn't it ?

In the same way music can heal, and dogs being petted in hospitals.

It's all magic; let's let some of it in to our lives
(he say preaching (mostly) to the converted).

Cheers
Gary.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Banjer
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 05:40 AM

Yes, GMT you are definetly preaching to the choir here in most cases. I can't say if 'good thoughts' or prayers help because I have not (to my knowledge) been on the receiving end of many. However, when you get glowing testamonials from the likes of Catspaw and Jaze, who know what it feels like to be in a less than desirable position and have folks send thoughts and prayers their way that should prove something!


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: LR Mole
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 09:11 AM

Directing energy is what humans do. If words are only symbols of thought, and they transfer, how much more purely must energy itself flow.Words, music, prayer, friendship...we're born to it all.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 10:20 AM

Everything in the universe is made of energy. Even apparently solid objects, when seen under an electron microscope are made up of little bundles of energy, which are organized and in motion.

Healing thoughts are a form of conscious, intentional energy. Why should not one form of energy have useful effects upon another form of energy, especially when directed with purposeful intention.

That's exactly what happens when you cook a meal or chop up some firewood, by the way. It's just a bit more obvious in those cases than it is in the case of thought, because thought cannot be seen. It can certainly be felt. Spend a few minutes in the presence of someone who hates or loves you passionately and you will definitely feel it.

Beyond that, we are all one in an energetic sense, so yes, healing threads work. The only question is, to what extent do they work? That probably varies a good deal, depending on the willingness of the subject to accept healing at that time, among other things.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: bydand
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 10:37 AM

I'd like to add my ($0.02)
Will James once observed: "If you believe (in Jesus), and you are wrong; what's the harm, you have lost nothing. But, if you do not believe (in Jesus), and you are wrong, then you have lost everything"
You can insert (good thoughts), (healing threads) or whatever you will; the logic is still clearly in favor of believing.
-charles


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Kim C
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 10:55 AM

Good thoughts certainly do not hurt. I know that I feel good when I wish someone well, whatever the reason. I do believe in energy, or "vibes" as the hippies used to say, and I think energy can be manipulated. Some are better at it than others.

In keeping with bydand's post, I'll say that I don't think it's ever wrong to be a fount of good energy. :)


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 11:27 AM

Yes they do work, but only if you believe the poeple behind the thoughts. And luckily I do
Patrish xxx


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Bert
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 11:29 AM

You may have something there BigDaddy! Maybe LongJohn needs an enema *BG*


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 11:46 AM

Where attention is directed
Energy flows


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 11:52 AM

Oy Kat, that is sooooo true!
And it has gotten me into a 'heck' of a lot of trouble!

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 12:14 PM

LOL, LilNeo! I saw it on a bumper sticker this morning!


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Robby
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 12:32 PM

I believe that every expression of support, caring, etc., for someone who is suffering is a prayer, whether or not the sender and/or the receiver are believers. I believe that there is a Supreme Being who hears all prayers, and that prayer is a powerful healer, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. I believe that when all of us offer such prayers, as a community, the person for whom we pray, as well as those of us who offer the prayer, are benefitted.

I believe that this is one of the more important threads of our social fabric that weave us together as joint inhabitants of this planet. I hope that, not only for those we know, but also for those we've yet to meet, we will always be ready to offer our support, encouragement and, thus, our love.

Robby


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Gary T
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 12:51 PM

bydand, I have heard that quote before, in the context of intellectually dediding whether or not to believe. I find that useless, in that you don't make a decision about believing--you either have faith or you don't. (Not criticizing you, but criticizing the notion I have seen elsewhere, with that quote, that one makes a calculated choice about the matter.)


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 12:51 PM

bydand's example is a short rendition of the claim made in "Pascal's wager"....a classic philosophic argument about why one should 'believe'...this is also one of the most hotly refuted arguments around. Studying the structure of Pascal's wager and the various refutations can really give one an idea of what is as the basis of a lot of our disagreements on these matters...(There are VERY many pages devoted to all this, if you are so inclined to do a search.)

Me?...I have NO belief that there are 'energies' zapping about when people think at me....but I also have no doubt that the understanding in my own mind that people CARE can help me to participate in my own healing better.

That said, I am profoundly torn about 'public' threads on healing, Jesus, etc., just as I am about 'praying' over loudspeakers before a high school football game.... I can respect beliefs easier if those who share them do so in more private exchanges....which Max has provided us with. I guess that is already happening to some extent. It ain't easy, and I have mostly gone to just not commenting when my input is not relevant...if Max allows it, my ideas are not gonna change it.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 01:00 PM

I'd say there is a huge difference between a Mudcat thread on healing, Jesus, etc. (which I wholeheartedly approve of -- even ones not oriented to my particular religious way of looking at things), and prayer over the publicly-funded loudspeakers at a football game (which I disapprove of).

O..O Alex
=o=


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 01:22 PM

yep...there is a real difference....which is why I said 'torn' rather than disapprove...and why I am resorting more to 'no comment' rather than badgering and bitching.

But I, like you, mousethief, have some education in the analysis of the argument structure...so I popped in a bit of stuff on Pascal...just in case anyone cared to indulge in a modicum of "knowing thyself"...*grin*


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Peter T.
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 01:55 PM

Just to clarify the statistic about when the doctors went on strike in Britain. The gravediggers also went out on strike. (in sympathy with their colleagues, it was said; lack of trade, it was also said).
My own feeling, having been there at the time, is that people were energised by an emergency, people talked to each other, there was a "wartime spirit".
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Margo
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 02:41 PM

Healing threads work if they keep you in stitches... Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

Hey, who am I to refute? I believe in the power of prayer, and much happens online these days... Margo


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: bydand
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 05:24 PM

BillD, I agree with you that the notion of "energies" zapping around is a bit much
Actually the "argument" is not about why one should believe, but merely the results, or consequences, of believing or not. Any arguments for believing would need to be much more substantial, and require some sort of evidence which one could examine.
Perhaps Starbucks could concoct a stronger "brew" for us to evaluate. **grin**
-charles


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 05:36 PM

Perhaps a better question would be, what good does it do, when others are acting out of faith (of whatever sort), for a skeptic to pop his (or her) head up and say, "I'm a skeptic and you all are in delusion"?

I submit, it doesn't do any good AT ALL, and potentially a lot of harm, at least to interpersonal relationships here on the Mudcat and in other such forums (fora?).

But what do I know? I like steel-string guitars.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 08:25 PM

A slight segue here: yesterday I saw an interview on TV of an Episcopal priest where he made the point that belief changes routinely, ie, I believe one thing today. If I get different, convincing evidence tonight, I will believe something different tomorrow.

Faith, on the other hand, he said, is where you live, it's what defines who you are.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Amos
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 10:45 PM

Well the structural components of faith, if I may say so, which define the who you are of which you speak, are themselves deepseated constructions of knowing, also known as beliefs in shorthand. They are not just the lipservice class, though -- I mean the core set with which one is often so deeply identified as to lose sight of them altogether, like the Chinaman's pigtail.

Those are the ones that not only define the whoness of who, but also tend to filter your life so that those experiences allowed show up to be experienced. The Pascalian loop in this view is that you may deeply believe that your beliefs have no effect on your experience. And if you do, you will experience it, and find lots of evidence to support that argument to boot.

:>)) But whatever experience your beliefs bring you, I hope you commit yourself to enjoying the hell out of them.

A


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Gypsy
Date: 16 Nov 00 - 10:55 PM

What a lonesome world you must live in. Not to rely on others,and the help that they can provide....people DO get better with prayer..Have you never noticed, that once you VOCALIZE a wish, a thought, that is ultimately becomes DEED? That's what prayer is, in a nutshell. Applicable to any philosophy.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Nov 00 - 09:28 AM

My main reason for posting here is that Spot the Dog and Praise have written about research on praying and I know how this research is usually done and have read several of the original reports. In addition to that I think that some posters, starting with LongJohn, fail to make the necessary distinction between the positive effect of being cared for (whichever way) and the purported means by which a positive effect is reached (see Bill D as an example of a poster who makes the distinction clearly).

Does it help if a patient is cared for in a supporting way and knows about it?
The answer both from anecdotal reports and from research is an unequivocal 'Yes'. Having positive feelings toward the own healing process, being in a good mood, knowing that others care for them in whichever way they show it, having a positive outlook on life in general etc. helps the patient to get well. The effect is in many cases somewhat smaller than we all would wish (compared to the effect of taking or not taking a medication) , but it is there. It has been shown with several outcome variables. Studies have shown that the human immune system profits from a positive mood in the patient. How and why, is less well known than the people studying these effects wish for.

One problem is that the potential effects are completely confounded and so you cannot know from these studies what the causal agent was, like was it the prayer as such, was it that the patient knew about the prayer, was it that the patient knew that she was cared for enough to be included into others' prayers....Some of you have made clear that they do not care at all about causation as long as a practice helps. I have not the slightest problem with that position if you are comfortable with it, but others, me for example, do care a lot about what was the causal variable and what was only a variable concomitant to (correlating with) another.

Some of you make statements about the causal agent (karma, energy, prayer,...) and even use words like 'know' in that context. In my eyes you'd better make a clear distinction between things you know of from observation and your personal interpretation about which way an effect you have seen was caused.

Before I come to studies that try to disentangle the potential causes of healing by support I'll shortly mention another set of research on religion and well being.

Are religious persons more healthy?
Surprising perhaps to some, the response in many studies is 'Yes'. The studies, however, are surveys or correlational studies. You cannot do experiments in that field for that would mean to randomly assign people to a group which lives according to one religion for a decade or so and the others not to lead a religious life for the same time. You wouldn't let someone else make this decision about your life. So a typical study would look whether 'religious' persons (often simply determined by regular church going, but there are other measures) live longer, have less health problems,...There are two obvious problems with this research: First, in some studies the health problem looked for did interfere with the ability to go to church and it seems kind of unfair to say, e.g., that regular church goers have less problems with the legs. Second, the variable 'religious life' is hopelessly confounded with others as 'drinking less alcohol', 'living healthier', having more social support'...and again you do not know what the real reason was, and churchgoing is but one of many candidates. Studies that have tried to take other variables into account and to separate the effects statistically usually have found that church going per se was neither healthy nor unhealthy. How about real experiments on religious practices and health?

Do prayers help healing when the prayee doesn't know about being prayed for?
The response to this question is 'No, there is no evidence for that'. I'll talk only about prayers for most experiments I know of have been done with prayers, but there has also been research about other methods of support. These are the experiments Praise and Spot the Dog allude to, but report incorrectly the gist of the results. The idea in these experiments is to keep everything constant except the one single variable, e.g. prayer (or not, for the controls). In order to keep everything else constant (e.g., expectation of relief) you don't tell the prayees and the controls whether they are prayed for or not (blind experiment). In addition, in order to disallow differential treatment by the doctors you don't tell them which patient is prayed for and which isn't (double blind experiment). If the treating doctors are not the evaluators of the health state you also do not tell the evaluators which patient was in which group (triple blind experiment).
Spot the Dog has written that a blind test has been made. I assume that (s)he has meant 'double blind' when writing 'blind'. For a blind experiment alone would be incompetent research. (If you actually mean what you have written, I apologise, for a blind study might well have the result you report, but it would not be taken serious by anybody with a sound methodological knowledge).

If experiments are made this way the usual result is 'no effect of treatment (prayer)'. Look at the first experiment I know of, Galton, F. "Statistical inquiries into the efficacy of prayer," Fortnightly Review, 12:125-135, 1872, look at the more recent work by Joyce, C.R.B., and R.M.C. Welldon "The efficacy of prayer: A double-blind clinical trial," Journal of Chronic Disease, 18:367-377, 1965, or look at Collipp, P.J. "The efficacy of prayer: A triple blind study," Medical Times, 97:201-204, 1969.
There are studies reporting a small positive effect, e.g. Byrd, R.C. " Positive Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer in a Coronary Care Unit Population", Southern Medical Journal, 1988, 81, 826-829, or the most recent one that also has been reported about in the popular press, Harris, W.S. et al., "A randomized, controlled trial of the effects of remote, intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients admitted to the coronary care unit", Archives of Internal medicine, 1999, 159, 2273-2278. These studies are not taken serious by the research community for they have serious methodological problems and flaws:

The first has not a proper design and a faulty statistical analysis (testing for many variables and interpreting only the very few significant ones which were intercorrelated to make it even worse; most probably, the few positive results were alpha errors stemming from an inflation of significance tests). The second one has a flawless design, in principle, but again some errors in statistical analysis. The detail that makes it completely invalid, however, is the interesting finding (you have to go into the fine print of the tables to spot that) that the patients who have been assigned to the to be prayed for group have been less sick than the controls even before the 'random assignment' has been performed. That leaves open two interpretations: One is that prayers even work backwards in time, that is God heals those patients before the prayers that nobody (on earth) knows yet will be prayed for at a later time. The other is that the assignment to the groups was much less random than can be wished for, i.e. it has been done by someone who was interested in a special result. If you know which religious groups, especially in the USA, sponsor such studies, you'll trust them as much I do trust lung cancer studies sponsored by the tobacco industry.

In summary, there is no convincing evidence at all yet that thoughts, prayers or similar activities have any healing power as long as the healee doesn't know about these activities. And when there is no evidence of a fact there is no need for building theories to explain a fact that may no be a fact at all. How new age thinkers construct such theories misusing good words from the physical sciences has been shown above by Little Hawk in a splendid parody on this type of thinking (BTW, I like it better than your parody on earthquakes, for it is much more subtle and not so easy to look through).

Back to the question of this thread. Do the healing threads help? Yes, of course, they do, unless Spaw, e.g., would choose to deliberately withhold all supporting thoughts and wishes in the respective thread from Karen. And that is definitely not the idea of such a thread.

A final personal remark on the titling of that thread which I did not want to make in the thread in question but feel free to make in a thread about such threads. I personally very strongly disagree with the use of the words 'healing thoughts' in the title and would wish for a titling which is neutral ('support', 'supportive thoughts', ...) and does not imply by the very titling itself a mode of action which implies one particular belief system which I do not share at all. Any thread asking for support titled in a way implying a particular belief will not see my contribution, may it be titled 'pray to Allah for...', 'sacrifice a lamb for...', 'boil a life toad for...' or 'healing thoughts needed for...'.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 17 Nov 00 - 09:41 AM

Wolfgang's hit the nail on the head with regard to thread titles - as one of those heathenistic atheist types (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) I am very much put off contributing to threads with the words "healing" or "prayer" in the titles, but would often like the person involved to know I am thinking about them and care about what happens to them. Other peoples' support counts for so much.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Nov 00 - 01:24 PM

Fibula...I'd like you to write speeches for me...*smile*...you said a lot of what I wanted to say better than I could say it myself....I do want folks to know I care, and I have no doubt it would help ME to get good wishes and happy postings that I might read...bio-feedback is a marvelous process.

(I am, however, one of those who cringed everytime someone in "Star Wars" said "the Force be with you")...I suppose I am too delicate. *grin* (did anyone besides me automatically come up with the phrase, "The Farce Bewitch You")?


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: GUEST,food for thought
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 09:08 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 09:27 PM

I suppose that healing threads work very well as a source of comfort for those who believe in things like chain letters and pyramid schemes and television evangelism and eating to lose weight.

I guess healing threads also work in the same way Spam does. If you stick enough bait in the water, you're bound to get a fish sooner or later. The variety of fish you catch will most likely be a sucker.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 09:37 PM

Thank you, Joe.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Noreen
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 09:42 PM

Joe, you are of course entitled to your opinion, as are we all.

My opinion here is that your above comments go further than stating your opinion on healing threads, and abuse those who do set store by them. I wouldn't dream of criticising your beliefs, and I'm surprised that you stooped to do so.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Shields Folk
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 09:54 PM

I believe that Newcastle will win the Cup next year. Please pray for the Lads.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 12:00 AM

I am not religious nor do I believe in the power of sending positive energy but it all comes out as human kindness & support at the end of the day. With 2 days from death it's such a boost to know that their are ones who are rooting for you no matter what the form used may be. The nurses & doctors could not believe my recovery, no need for meds to bring down my blood pressure down after surgery, I was off the breathing tube in a matter of hours, I was up within 2 days & walking in about 3, off strong pain meds in no tim & home after nine days. It wasn't that many wished me well that made me well, the doctors & nurses get that credit BUT what pushed me on like a steamroller was the hundreds of long posts & brief thoughts that I was sent (excuse me, I'm very misty at the moment). I'd lie in the bed not knowing if I would last a few days more or not, never mind lasting the 2 months for an organ, sometimes in tears, not in fear of dying, I already resolved that I had had a far better life than ever was expected or due me, but to know that what I had become was a person that many people cared for, & I was content in my tears to know that my life was worth all that love or even just the bother of a mention. They were tears of accomplishment & satisfaction I shed. I won't enter into any debate as to weither or not posting healing threads should or should not be seen on mudcat (after being here more than 4 years I know I'd just be pissing into the wind anyway & oh how I hate wetting myself), I don't usually post to them if I don't have some kind of connection to them (just being here or being the loved one of someone here is enough IMHO) & when I do I usually may only post a few short posts, my feeling is in the knowing that there's someone who'll speak up for you that counts. So, do healing threads work? I don't know but I do know that when a boxer's in trouble they need someone in their corner to help & encourage them to get up & come out fighting & to know that your corner is overcrowded is such a strong emotional medication that the punches can be endured to no end & the recovery from the knockdowns keeps on going till the last breath is past. There is no way to ever thank people properly for that second push in life & they'll probably never know how much they really helped . Barry, thatsnolongerbedridden


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: RichM
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 12:29 AM

There's no changing people's minds through discussion ,when you discuss something so far out of ordinary experience. Can you discuss music with a deaf person? Or color with a blind person?

I don't intend to slight anyone's beliefs -or disbeliefs- by saying this; but unless you have some personal experience of such things, how could you believe?

Rich


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: bbc
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 08:38 AM

Barry,

Thank you for your post. We were glad to lend our support. I think the distinction that Joe is trying to make is between praying here for those we know, who will have the ability to benefit from reading our contributions as opposed to people who are not directly associated w/ Mudcat. It's not that he doesn't have goodwill for all, it's just to keep some balance in the content of the discussion forum. Mudcat tends to be cyclic & Max allows it to be self-regulating. What that means is that, every now & then, we get a lot of non-music threads, people object, & we get back to more music for awhile. Unfortunately, in the process, there's usually some bad feeling. I am a mainstream Christian who certainly prays & believes in the power of prayer, but I am totally in agreement w/ Joe on this one. People will continue to do as they choose &, yes, we *can* choose which threads we open & read, but there *are* 2 sides to this issue, even among believers.

best,

bbc


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Brendy
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 08:43 AM

I'm a 'screen toucher' myself

Great for removing static ;)

B.


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 03:25 PM

Hi bbc, I know what's being said here & no where in my post did I disagree with Joe, Lord knows Joe is a hero to me & I'd have to side with him. It's just that both sides of the same coin are different yet they hold the same value & it's really just a matter of which the coin falls on as to who stands where. I'm not gonna take issue either way, to me it's a strong enough belief for those that are really concerned that all will eventually benifit from the discussion in the end & it happens so rarely that when this one ends the old & the new members will all have a better understanding of each other & by that will earn more respect & consideration when posting & we'll probably not run into this again for another year or better. So my take is that once again it will work itself out for the best. To you Joe Offer, I can't think of a better person to have in one's corner than you. Barry


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 04:50 PM

Here's my answer for today: Yes, no, and maybe...depending on the sincerity of the contributors, the actual need involved, the receptivity of the one being healed (some people don't want to be for reasons of their own), and about 10 million other factors probably not worth going into here and now.

Each case is unique.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Healing Threads: Do they work?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 04:59 PM

Barry, you're first post made my day.


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