Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Warning Label for Medicinal Prayer


Children, teenagers, young adults, and a small number of older adults beginning a medicinal prayer regimen may initially experience doubt and confusion as to its effectiveness. In most cases, these symptoms disappear over time and are replaced with either

  1. discontinued use, or
  2. a total confidence in effectiveness regardless of even significant contrary indications.

If prayers persist for more than four hours, consult a mental health professional.

Prayer vs. Medicine. Prayer is not a replacement for medicine. Tell your doctor if you are taking any medicine, i.e., medication or treatment with non-zero efficacy.

Medications are distinguished from prayer as follows. Medicines

  1. are made of matter,
  2. exhibit a positive, non-zero efficacy in clinical trials,
  3. are FDA approved, and
  4. are not chiefly promoted by television episodes greater than 60 seconds in length (infomercials, church services, etc.).

Examples of effective medicines and treatments include over-the-counter and prescription medicines (except for homeopathic medicines), physical therapy (except for acupuncture, holistic touch therapy, laying on of hands, etc.), and counseling by a qualified professional (as opposed to a preacher or a psychic, or a family member who seeks counseling from a preacher or a psychic).

Prayer vs. Homeopathy. Common sense trials indicate prayer is as safe and effective as homeopathy, regardless of symptoms, condition, or specific pathology. In fact, specific prayers and homeopathic remedies may be freely exchanged without any change in overall efficacy. For example, one study showed that there was no detectable difference in the effectiveness of praying to be cured of a headache, taking a homeopathic pain reliever for a headache, or doing nothing at all for a headache. (Data was corrected for self-delusion, wishful thinking, and real things.)

If you are currently either medicinally praying or taking homeopathic remedies, do not tell your doctor. Doctors are busy people.

If your doctor recommends prayer or homeopathic remedies, see a doctor.