Ancient Indians were pioneers in rejoicing religious ceremonies, they knew religious congregation will usher peace, tranquillity, universal brotherhood and reassure positive health. Perhaps, based on our ancestral deep rooted spiritual powers & encouraged by the outcomes of these initiatives, western researchers are foraying in to the newer dimensions of connection between religious practices and its impact on health. Our saints, sages on multiple occasions have proved that spiritual practices/faith have greater impacts on our mind, body and soul. Thats how festivities, celebrations, worships, religious discourses, observing days of various religious leaders, etc are part of Indian culture.
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has recently found that African American adults participating in frequent religious functions had better scores for blood pressure, cholesterol and other metrics known to influence cardiovascular health. The study also highlighted that study subjects who regularly participated in religious events hold deeper spiritual beliefs, are more likely to score higher in indicators linked to good heart health than those who don’t as per recent research.
The lead author, Dr. La Princess C. Brewer, a preventive cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, opined, I am surprised by the impact of spirituality associated with improved cardiovascular health across multiple health behaviours that are extremely challenging to change, such as diet, physical activity and smoking.
The study looked at survey responses and health screenings from 2,967 African Americans between the ages of 21 and 84 living in the tri-county area of Jackson, Mississippi. The analysis did not include participants with known heart disease.
“Practicing a religion entails discipline, diligence and a willingness to follow the guidance of a religious leader. These traits may also lead people to engage in better health practices under the guidance of their healthcare providers”. This research proves that religious practices and beliefs are correlated with better measures of cardiovascular health.
The study once again substantiates the ancient Indians knew the hidden powers of spirituality hence religious practices are part of our culture which unites families, bring harmony, prayers, worships, devotional songs, etc., ensure peace there by overall better health and wellbeing.
Our researchers are required to glance into our age-old practices and show the treasure of Indian spiritual power to the scientific community across the globe for better health outcomes.
Dr. Pramod N Sulikeri, Ph.D