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Kind of a miracle

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by thefreeprisoner, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    Jackie

    I could not agree more with you. I am reminded of the case of John Fagan, a Glaswegian who, in 1967, lay dying of a massive tumour...

    http://www.scalan.co.uk/fagan.htm

    I remember the event. I remember it being on television and in all the newspapers. It was undeniable that the man had a very physical disease and was completely, totally cured, instantly.

    I could list many examples of instant healing of very physical issues that I have seen with my own eyes, not to mention that I was personally healed of ME/CFS in 1996. And if anyone wants to tell me I wasn't as sick as the next one, I'll set my husband on them. ;)

    Why Rachel should not speak of her healing I'll never know. But then I remember that people accused a certain blind man of having faked it from birth.
  2. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    No he won't. No-one had an issue with it when I was out of the wheelchair I had occupied for much of four years, after being prayed over. My doctor actually believes in the power of prayer, as does one of his nurse-practitioners and the psychiatrist who was part of my original diagnosing team. A lot of research has been done in this area, demonstrating that people suffering from all manner of illnesses and who are prayed for (as opposed to praying for oneself) fare better than those who are not - even when the patients don't know they are being prayed for.
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I don't think this is the case. There was a study which showed prayer had a positive impact, but I think that's now been tainted by accusations of fraud http://www.time.com/time/columnist/jaroff/article/0,9565,660053,00.html (I'm not sure what's happened since then. As far as I'm aware, the broad sweep of double-blind trials (and there have been quite a few) have shown prayer to have no benefit. I think Templeton (a trying-to-find-evidence-for-religion group) did the biggest study, and that showed no improvement.

    I just found the Templeton one: http://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...serid=10&md5=b8f4a4b964c00cf5994be8a24111f0d5

    Prayer when patients didn't know they were being prayed for had no benefit. Prayer when they did seemed to make things worse. Sorry if this is a bit OT.
  4. @Knackered, esther

    Despite what my posts suggest, I am a rather skeptical person. (Hence me looking for the heater immediately after I'd been prayed for.) A lot of healings that I have seen can be said to be down to placebo effect. I usually scrutinise miracle stories for these kinds of explanations. I am try to be super-cautious about posting things that suggest ME is all in the mind, and I was afraid that some of you might be quite cross with me (you're right to be cautious and skeptical; that's important; I can really see how something like this might seem very unfair), so I truly agonised about posting this story as my husband can tell you. I waited for just under a week until I had tested myself sufficiently, including an 11-hour stint in the office followed by a 15 minute walk home.

    The thing is, many years ago I was also healed of a torn cartilage in my left knee which involved some truly weird physical stuff happening to my leg during prayer, which was quite painful. I have never heard of any kind of placebo effect causing pain, and I can only conclude that the really rather uncomfortable contortions happening to my leg which resulted in great improvement in my condition, could not have been stimulated by endorphin increase in my brain.

    Finally, I had gotten prayer on perhaps 7-8 occasions before this and saw mild improvements which tended to subside over time. THAT is the placebo effect in action. This was something entirely different.

    Rachel xx
  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I really don't think anyone would be cross with you for feeling better. It's a wonderful thing, however it happened, and it would be absurd for anyone to think less of you because of it. Regardless of what the double-blind trials into the efficacy of prayer show - I'm happy you're feeling better. CFS is a funny one, and I have no idea why some people seem to recover in the way they do. I've heard of a number of very rapid and then permanent recoveries, from all sort of different treatments (sometimes contradictory).
  6. Katie

    Katie Guest

    Actually, Wessely School would hold stories of healings like this as proof that it is abnormal thinking behaviour that lies at the root of ME/CFS. Afterall, there's is plenty of evidence that ME is biological but you don't see that having much effect on them. No matter what you believe to be true, how the Wessely school perceives this sort of story fits into their world view, but of course this story should still be posted. Anyway, we could make this thread fifty thousand pages long discussing religion/faith/atheism and the human body so we'll just gloss over that superficially until we get distracted by some other topic. :Retro wink:
  7. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    I was not thinking of the KC study and when I have time will plough through my papers to try and find who did them. As for prayer making people worse, I find that very, very hard to believe. After all, either prayer has an effect or it doesn't. It cannot be both ways - it doesn't have any effect except when it worsens people.

    And anecdotally, of the many thousands with whom I have prayed, I have never seen a person worsen with prayer except in one case that I am not permitted to speak about, except to say that the person was coming out of the deepest levels of the occult and had been psychologically programmed to get sick if ever she tried to leave it behind. Most people experience some inner healing but I have witnessed several verifiable physical healings. Now that means that I am a liar, that I am confused, or that what I saw really happened. I know which it is and, to be honest, have absolutely nothing to prove. It gains me nothing to be believed nor loses me anything to be disbelieved. I just know what happened to me and know what I have seen.
  8. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    I will back Rachel up here. She wrote to me privately a day or so after it happened, then gave it another few days until she was a week in before writing anything here.

    @ Rachel

    The instant you mentioned that heat, I began to grin because I knew what it was. I told my husband, exactly as you told it, and he started to smile. Then I told my spiritual director and the moment I got to the part about the heater, he started laughing so loudly down the phone that I had to hold the thing away from my ear. Like you, I am very sceptical - my SD has to tell me to stop testing - not least because prayer can appear to have an effect, only for the person to relapse within an hour or two. But I was 100% sure that you had experienced a real healing.

    As for "abnormal thinking," psychiatrists allow an exception for religious beliefs that are shared by others of one's faith.
  9. Katie

    Katie Guest

    Martlet, I wasn't saying that believing in a religion was an abnormal thinking belief, I was referencing the Wessely School cornerstone that ME/CFS is triggered by a virus but maintained by abnormal illness beliefs after the virus is long gone.
  10. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Rachel/Marlett/All

    Hi Guys,

    I think this is really interesting. When I was reading your posts about prayer helping illness I remember some books I read a while back written by Larry Dossey - Prayer is Good Medicine, etc. And, if I am not mistaken, I believe he sometimes referrences some research done by Dr. Candace Pert. Is this the same Candace Pert that Dr. Mikovits brought up in her discussion - I believe with Cheney re Peptide T - somewhere else? Anyway, is this the same person???

    I will see if I can answer my own question in a search.

    Rachel, please keep us updated, very exciting.

    Take care,

    Maxine
  11. jackie

    jackie Senior Member

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    Martlet and Esther...Interesting topic! I've "heard" of several studies that showed "intercessory prayer" was quite helpful to some patents recovery. I seem to remember one study in a Kansas City Hospital some years back (late 90's I think - was that the one that was eventually found to be fraudulent?) that followed 900 Cardiac Patients...and 500 showed "marked improvement"....and these people were NOT informed of the intercessory prayer on their behalf? Regardless...when it comes to the power of prayer...I'm content with anecdotes, not just studies.

    (one of my Grandaughters is working on her Masters in Nursing and she's mentioned reading such studies - which I find fascinating AND encouraging!)

    Personally, I couldn't guarantee that I'd ALWAYS feel better if I was prayed for...BUT, I can't imagine that I'd feel WORSE?!

    Respectfully (as always!)... j

    I kind of look at it this way (since I KNOW, without a doubt, that I HAVE people praying for me)...what if I would be much WORSE if they weren't? Who's to say..................................?
  12. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    There was a cardiac study which showed cardiac patients who were prayed for needed lower levels of certain types of medication - but fatalities were the same for both groups. I can't remember if that was double-blind.

    I think the Templeton study was thought to have made those who were prayed for feel worse because they felt an added pressure to be well - they knew that they were part of a study. (Who knows - it was only one study. Maybe it was justa fluke).
  13. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    Maxine - I don't want to hog this thread but as you can tell, it interests me tremendously. I went to look up Larry Dossey because his name sounded familiar to me. The first book on his site is called "The Power of Premonitions" and I read a little bit about it, although I would probably call what he describes as discernment. Another little story...

    When I met my husband, he had a uniformly-coloured flat mole on his face. It never changed or did anything odd but our dentist (this was in England) was from Australia and he suggested hubby should get it checked out, "to be on the safe side." Well, it had been checked before but no harm in having it checked again. He saw our GP on the local USAF base. The doc thought it was nothing, but said hubby could see the dermatologist if he wanted. A few days later, the dermatologist looked at it and told us that it was nothing. Just a mole, as we had been told before. More days passed and my husband had gone to work, leaving me in bed (he started very early) when I had a dream in which I was walking next to Jesus. That was the first time I heard the term "malignant melanoma" because it was something we Brits never thought about. I woke up in a cold sweat, telling Jesus that I didn't want to have to live too many years without my husband, and the last thing I heard was "don't worry, you won't have to."

    Well, I got hurriedly dressed and drove to church to tell all this to our priest, who was a family friend. He said he thought I was supposed to do something about it, so I went home and called my best friend, who was a nurse. She recommended a dermatologist who had just moved up from Guy's, in London, so I called his home and as it happened, he insisted on seeing hubby right away. I called my husband, told him to get home and pick me up, then we would drive together to the dem's house. WHen we walked into his office, the dermatologist said, "That's a malignant melanoma and anyone who comes into my office with one leaves without it. He removed it, with a wide margin, immediately.

    A week later, the biopsy results not only confirmed that it was a melanoma, but that it had started to go deeper into the skin. "Weeks away," the doctor said, "from becoming invasive." Later, both the GP and base dermatologist wanted to see the report, unable to believe that it had indeed been a melanoma because it was so atypical.
  14. Robin

    Robin Guest

    Rachel, even though I am not religious I would like to echo what others have said. I am so happy that you feel better. :) Anytime anyone escapes this horrible illness for whatever reason it is truly a victory and a second change at a normal life! I hope there are many 11 hour work days in your future!! (I never thought I would say that to anyone -- hahaha!)

    Prayer and healing is an interesting topic. I looked quickly at the study Esther mentioned, and also found this Science Daily gem. It's a meta-analysis of many studies since the '60s and points out the problems with such studies.

    I think it speaks to the notion that perhaps science is in the mind and religion is in the heart. And that's OK. :)
  15. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    First of all, congratulations Rachel. :D Hope you continue to feel great!

    I want to encourage everyone reading this thread to consider how your reaction might be different if Rachel had simply posted that she appears to have gone into full remission quite suddenly, practically overnight. So far my experience here seems to indicate that most of us who've had this illness for quite a while have experienced at least one full or partial remission at some point, and thus we generally accept remissions as a fact of this illness, albeit an unexplained and perplexing one.

    So if anyone's concerned about appearing non-scientific, it should be noted that this thread is basically a story of full remission, and as far as we know most of us take remission as fact. This one is merely told from the perspective of someone who believes that God's miraculous touch was the reason behind it. If you have a different perspective on the whole God thing then there's still the fact of full remission due to an unknown explanation.

    Remissions can work against our case that CFS is physiological, but that's true no matter what explanation is given for it or if any at all is offered. Of course a Christian with an experience like that is going to credit healing to God, just as a Bhuddist with a similar before/after experience would probably credit the remission to meditation or enlightenment, or as a Shaman with a similar experience out in the woods would cite the earth as the healing power. Science knows that those who are very "into" their chosen faith tend to see everything through their "religion glasses" and thus interperet their experiences a bit differently. In my opinion, frankly, science isn't supposed to care either way about a person's religious interperetation of events or lack thereof, rather, science is just supposed to do it's job of finding a scientific explanation. Surely the advancement of science is not threatened by a single story about God, is it?
  16. dsdmom

    dsdmom Senior Member

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    Dainty, very well said!
  17. Frickly

    Frickly Senior Member

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    Rachel, I am not a religious person and feel a bit uncomfortable with these types of discussions. I just want to say that I am so happy that you are feeling better and hope that it continues. Also, I hope that you will continue to stick around the forum as your presence has been very valuable to many here, we need you! :D Keep us informed and enjoy your new found freedom!
  18. Snez

    Snez Senior Member

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    Rachel,
    Thank you so much for your courage in posting your miracle story. I totally love hearing testimonies like this. It is a great encouragement to my faith and does my heart and soul much good. God is awesome.

    Martlet,
    I am also thankful that you related your Jesus dream and the subsequent removal of your husband's malignant mole. It feeds and fans the hope within me.

    :hug:
  19. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Well said indeed, Dainty. What would we have said? I think we'd have said that this happens, that remission and relapse is not an untypical part of the pattern, and that for some people remission seems to be long-lasting, but for others ME/CFS is something that comes and goes with months and years. For my part, I'd have said that the one constant characteristic of my own remissions is that they never seem to last, the damn thing always comes back. And of course we would all echo the sentiment that we truly have fingers crossed for you, Rachel, that this marks the end of ME/CFS for you - we would all hope for that for you, and people do seem to report that happening to them, so there's plenty of reason to hope that this is what happened.

    I normally avoid threads on religion because I don't want to cause offence - and trust me, if you get me on the subject of religion, I will cause offence pretty quickly! My views on the subject are strong, coming from quite a bit of direct experience. But in this case, I do want to make a couple of cautionary notes - even though I don't want to bring people down - because my personal experience is that this is a dangerous area we are discussing.

    First: I've had some mystical experiences myself, some very powerful ones, and I've had a remarkable and apparently deeply spiritual remission too. I've experienced a lot of what people talk about when they talk about mystical/spiritual experience in religious contexts, and when you experience it yourself, you know for sure that it's real, and it's what everybody has been talking about, and that's something you never lose. I never had these experiences in a church though! I never had them in a religious context, and I didn't hold any religious beliefs when I had them, and I still don't. I don't think any of these phenomena have anything to do with the religions that exploit them - and these things happen in every culture and every religion by the way - and I think the dangerous and negative thing begins when people take this experience as evidence in support of their way and their religion and their beliefs and whatever their damn book says about how other people ought to live. That's where it all starts to get rather nasty...religion is quite brilliant at making good people do bad things...

    Second: my own 'faith healing' anecdote. It was all the buzz for about a week in my local area, when a young man paralysed from the waist down attended a faith healing at a local church, cast away his wheelchair, got up, and stood in front of the congregation. Everyone was abuzz and talking about it with great excitement...until the poor guy died prematurely a week later of (if I remember right) heart failure.

    So my caution would be to say: yes, religious techniques are powerful phenomena, and faith healing phenomena are clearly a universal human reality that has nothing to with any particular religion. But these phenomena are also not what they may seem to be, and the obvious danger is that in overriding your body's demands, you can perhaps push on through just about anything...up to a point...

    So I do hope for you, Rachel, that this is just what it seems to you and that your suffering is at an end. I know you've gone into long-term remission before, and relapsed quite recently, and I really do hope that's an end of it all for you now - even though you would be very much missed if you weren't around on these forums any more! I wouldn't suggest you change anything about your beliefs or your reaction to your experience - if it works for you, that's all that matters. I'd just like people to at least consider attributing this sort of experience to God, rather than to their own religion, because voodoo priests etc have been doing faith healing since time immemorial, so it really has little or nothing to do with the particular church in which it happens.

    Now I remember why I don't do religion...I'll try harder to stick to that rule in future...:D
  20. Knackered

    Knackered Guest

    I don't wish to attack any particular religion but the comments made in this thread kinda worry me and I'd like to post this video if anyone's interested in watching it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3VAEYEG53w

    I don't wish to offend anyone Marlet, I just wish to distance myself from this prayer solving illness chat.

    Believing a God will cure you or your family is dangerous.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/07/couple-sentenced-daughter-prayer-death
    Why would a god cure one person and let another die?

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