“Healing” is a broad topic that has drawn debate from various sectors of society. Every group of people has a different and unique definition of the term depending on their interest area. For instance, medical practitioners describe healing as the recovery process an individual undergoes after receiving treatment. On the other hand, religious groups believe that it pertains more to personality, especially regarding mental wellbeing. Although both meanings relate to the state of the life, religious healing varies from medical treatment in diverse ways.
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Religious healing is different from medical treatment because faith-based organizations practice it through prayers and other divine gestures. For instance, it is believed that it can be achieved by visiting a holy shrine or having a strong belief in a supernatural being (Dallas et al., 2020). Similarly, medical treatment requires going to a hospital and following the drug prescription given by the doctors. Religious leaders, who pray for people to get healed, are believed to have been called by God, while medical doctors qualify to offer treatment after undergoing medical training and obtaining a license. Moreover, spiritual followers are convinced that all diseases can be healed through religious healing.
The main difference between the religious or cultural definition of illness and medical approach is the diagnosis’s nature. Religious groups define sickness as inability to achieve wholeness (Tomkins et al., 2015). In most cases, it has to deal with the state of mind and personal satisfaction. However, medically, illness is defined as an internal feeling of unhealthy, which is entirely personal to an individual. Such condition is often accompanied by a disease that is unknown until tests are carried out (Gonçalves et al., 2015). However, sometimes, a medical illness may be experienced even though there is no detection of any disease. Moreover, it requires treatments that can be conducted through oral medication, injection, and other procedures Therefore, illness is defined differently by religious groups and medical practitioners.
The definitions fit the idea that religious states of being are culturally constructed by taking into consideration the psychological wellness of a person. Culture is a set of beliefs that are perceived in the mind rather than the physical body. This implies that it can only be controlled by the rules and regulations that govern society. In some cases, cultural values determine if a person is well or suffering from an illness. For instance, an individual can be declared healthy if the person is self-satisfied and feels peace that can only be derived internally. Therefore, defining illness in relation to wholeness makes it relevant within the context of society’s values.
Succinctly, medical treatment is dissimilar to religious healing based on the type of groups that conduct them, places of healing, and administering of the process. People undergoing spiritual healings prefer visiting holy places or seek the divine intervention, believing that having a strong faith or being prayed for by a religious person anointed by God is the only way to achieve their healing. Moreover, they pay close attention to their inner feelings and the state of mind. On the other hand, medical treatment is given in the hospital by a person who is well knowledgeable about the sickness. The physicians mostly treat patients by providing medications that must be taken over a specified period. Therefore, medical treatment and religious healing differ substantially.
Dallas, T., Baroutsa, N. M., & Dein, S. (2020). The power of the divine: Religion, rituals, and healing in Greece. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 23(8), 718−732. Web.
Gonçalves, J. P., Lucchetti, G., Menezes, P. R., & Vallada, H. (2015). Religious and spiritual interventions in mental health care: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Psychological Medicine, 45(14), 2937−2949. Web.
Tomkins, A., Duff, J., Fitzgibbon, A., Karam, A., Mills, E. J., Munnings, K., Smith, S., Rao, S. S., Steinberg, A., Vitillo, R. & Yugi, P. (2015). Controversies in faith and health care. The Lancet, 386(10005), 1776−1785. Web.