Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Kimora Kachelmyer

Reader (Advisor 2)

Dr. Charles Nuckles


Current medical practitioners are discovering their patients are actively seeking alternative and complementary medical practices. The search by the patient is due to dissatisfaction with current medical practices and the fact that alternative and complementary seems to do no harm. In the course of medical history, traditional practices of the time have been challenged, resulting in the current allopathic methods. Within those traditional practices, throughout the centuries, complementary and alternative medical practices have also been present. These practices included the spiritual well being of the patient. Today's current medical practice has deviated from treating the whole patient. Patients are seeking physicians or treatment methods that also allow them to use their belief systems in the healing process. In this parameter is also the use of prayer as a complementary treatment method. Based on the patient's desire to include a belief system in the treatment process, studies have been conducted and reported in various medical journals regarding the use of prayer in the healing process. As with any new methods, there is opposition to these studies for numerous reasons. This thesis discusses the topics of historical medical practices and how it has changed over the centuries, alternative and complementary medical practices that patients may seek out, and the use of prayer as a complementary medical practice. Additionally, the opposition to prayer as an alternative medical practice will be addressed as well as how medical schools are responding to a patient's need for an alternative to traditional medical practice.


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