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Spirituality helps lessen arthritic pain

Dr. Francis J. Keefe of Duke University Medical School in Durham, North Carolina and colleagues have published a paper in April issue of the Journal of pain. Patients who use religion or spirituality to cope with the chronic pain of rheumatoid arthritis can reduce their pain and boost their sense of well being, the researchers say.

Dr. Francis says, "One might expect that people coping with chronic illness or chronic pain might find it difficult to maintain a positive outlook or feel connected to God or the beauty of life. The results of this study suggest otherwise."

In the study, 35 people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis were asked to keep daily diaries of their moods, religious and spiritual experiences, levels of pain and coping strategies.

The authors stress that the types of spiritual experiences patients reported using in their diaries were not “unusual phenomena, such as seeing visions or having out of body experiences, but rather spiritual experiences that ordinary people have in the context of daily life.”

The study, Keefe said, suggests that understanding the daily spiritual and religious experiences of patients is important in key to understanding their experience of their disease.

So the in thing now is positive mental attitude and feeling strong to cope with pain with spirituality
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