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The connection between faith and health grows in Brazil


Religiosity is like a second skin for the Brazilian, to the point that it ends up being exploited by politicians when it comes to asking them to vote

That Brazil is a country where religion exerts a strong influence on society is not new.

It is even scientific confirmation that people die less desperate and even improve their health when they profess some form of religious spirituality.

José Augusto Messias, a member of the Brazilian Academy of Medicine, a professor at UERF, the Federal University of Rio and a world pioneer of an innovative experience in medicine for adolescents, confided to me years ago in an interview for this newspaper that patients with some kind of faith die, but "they make it calmer or less desperate."

Today, an experience in this regard at the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo, a world reference in advanced medicine, attended by great personalities, has confirmed and even reinforced Messias' intuition.

The hospital has just created a medical care group focused on the issue with the aim of delving into the effects of the combination between spirituality and medicine, even allowing religious leaders to visit the sick if they request it.

The coordinator of this group, the geriatrician Fábio Nasri, in a long interview with the newspaper

O Globo

, announces the new modality.

When a patient is admitted to the hospital, "only the heart or the appendix cannot enter, it is necessary to take into account their entire human dimension, including the spiritual one," according to him.

And he adds that this spiritual dimension is being discovered "can be a powerful health tool."

It is known that in Brazil, and not only among the poorest, religiosity encompasses a whole range of nuances, from Christians to rites inherited from African beliefs.

Even today I see how children, when they are at home with their parents, ask for their blessing.

Religiosity is like a second skin for the Brazilian, to the point that it ends up being exploited by politicians when it comes to asking them to vote, when everyone flaunts their spirituality.

True to its medical-scientific prestige, the Einstein Hospital, which is beginning to be followed by others across the country, is studying what kind of physical reaction it entails.

The first studies in this regard show that when a person performs some type of spirituality, the heart rate, for example, tends to decrease and blood pressure drops.

According to Nasri, now the problem will be to know “how this occurs at the cellular level.

For example, what is the protein and how does that energy come in?

The mere fact, however, that prestigious doctors recognize the important role of the influence that any type of religious faith can exert on physical and mental health and even on death is already news.

This opens the possibility, for example, of re-studying extraordinary physical phenomena such as the reproduction in the hands of Christ's wounds or the entire months of absolute fasting of some saints who tell us their biographies starting with Saint Francis of Assisi.

It continues to be curious, and it reconsiders a series of questions hitherto unanswered, the influence that the spiritual can have on the physical body, on health and even on death.

We live in times of profound transformations that call into question even the future of the

Homo sapiens

, not knowing where we will land after the creation of Artificial Intelligence, which begins to shake the columns that have supported us until today.

Will they also influence religious faith?

Will they shake religions?

Or vice versa, will this faith be able to be resurrected, a great paradox, at the hands of the science that one day persecuted it?

It is curious and interesting that at a time of major cosmic transformations like the ones humanity is experiencing, which call into question all our most atavistic beliefs, spiritual and cultural realities that we considered outdated seem to resurrect.

Thus, not only the unexpected insurgency of that embrace between science and religion, but also the resurrection, for example of poetry, a powerful instrument from the past to scrutinize the deepest corners of the soul, and which was condemning to death for the sad and rotten prose of the networks.

It does not stop being more than symbolic and perhaps even prophetic, that in these moments of existential fear, of anxiety about our imminent future, experiences that were unthinkable until yesterday begin to resurrect.

And this in the middle of the rivers of the most rabid modernity.

It is about placing on the wobbly and sometimes terrifying board of our future, the question, always unanswered, of whether spirituality, rather than pure religion that usually leads to politics, can even heal us or make us less unhappy.

Or even make us die pacified.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-28

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