Article written by Sandy Edwards
What were the chances that a consultant at an NHS city hospital would let me work as a volunteer healer in his clinic? What were the chances that within a few months of me starting at the hospital that the National Lottery would announce the offer of research funding for projects that help people? (To put that into perspective, the Lottery had never offered researching funding before and said they never would again.) And what were the chances that the hospital consultant would have the right contacts at a top UK university to put a world-class quality trial together? The list of improbabilities goes on, yet all this—and more—happened, culminating in a controlled clinical trial of spiritual healing. With 200 patients, each receiving five healing sessions, this is the largest medical research trial of spiritual healing in the world.
All 200 patients had conditions that have no medical cure, and few conventional treatments to address their dreadful and depressing symptoms. The vast majority of participants were highly sceptical that healing could help them, but they had already suffered for a very long time. Why not try something new, different and safe? Consequently, almost all patients who were invited onto the programme agreed to be involved.
Despite their initial scepticism, many patients commented after their first session that they'd never relaxed as deeply before and that they felt energised. Very few people left the programme once they had received their first session. Actually, one did. She said all of her symptoms disappeared after the first session so there was no point coming again! Unfortunately, because she did not complete the programme, her data could not be included in the results. There may have been others like her whose remarkable experience would have improved our results. Nevertheless, the research results were excellent.
The data showed that these patients benefited by a significant degree, both clinically and statistically, in respect of physical symptoms and quality of life. At the same time, not one person suffered a side effect. Had the same outcomes been achieved by a pharmaceutical, there would have been great excitement in the media and also within medical circles. There would have been further funding made available for more detailed research, most likely to quantify the potential cost savings for the NHS regarding life-time sufferers requiring less medical intervention.
The challenge now is to get this message across to the public, to the medical profession, to the Government and to the NHS. Two research papers have been published in medical journals, which cater for the scientific and medical community, but hardly anyone reads research papers. Even medical professionals might not understand what the figures are saying, and the text description does not convey just how exciting the results really are. So I've written an easy to read book about the project, available from any bookstore or online.
If you’re willing to help spread the word, may I suggest that you ask your local library to stock my book, or donate your own copy, so that more people have access. I'm also offering free talks for voluntary groups and charities, which could double as a fundraiser for the group. And if you have contacts in the media, or have other promotional ideas, do please get in touch through this website's Contact Us page.
Sandy’s Book ‘Spiritual Healing in Hospitals and Clinics’, detailing this and other significant studies, can be found at all main book sellers.