Distance Healing:

A technique known as therapeutic touch, prayer on someone’s behalf and other kinds of “distance healing” may have a positive effect on patients, according to a University of Maryland School of Medicine researcher. John A. Astin, Ph.D., assistant professor in the school of Medicine’s Complementary Medicine Program, analyzed 23 clinical studies involving prayer, a technique called non-contact therapeutic touch, as well as other unconventional forms of spiritual intervention in which there is no physical contact between the practitioner and the patient. Dr. Astin says 57 percent of the studies showed a positive impact on the patients, such as less pain or a faster than expected recovery time. “Statistically speaking, the figure of 57 percent is highly significant,” says Astin, who considers himself an “open-minded skeptic.” [ Whether the pointy heads can determine how it works doesn’t really matter as long as good vibrations continue to be sent for all the right reasons.]