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Spiritual beliefs and practices are important in the lives of many patients seeking medical care. There is no single, agreed upon definition for spirituality as it means something different to everyone. For some it involves participating in organized religion, while for others it can be found in meditation, reflection, or even nature or art.

The majority of Americans (79%) believe a spiritual practice can hasten illness recovery time and provide valuable coping skills. Many believe that religious affiliation is correlated with a reduction in the incidence of some diseases and research has suggested that prayer and spirituality may help with anxiety and depression. Many find that spiritual involvement helps improve quality of life and helps in coping and recovering from illness.

In particular, some patients find that benefits of spiritual practice can include:

  • Better pain management
  • Stress reduction
  • Boosted immune system
  • Lower rates of depression and anxiety
  • Fewer stress-related doctor visits

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