Final Judgment – Blog 5

If we take a look back on my first blog post, I mentioned that at first I was skeptical of the whole faith healing thing. I then mentioned over time and experiences that I do believe in faith healing. Over the course of this project, my opinion has stayed the same and I still believe that this health claim is true.

In closing, I would like to say that through the power of faith, a person can be healed. I obviously tolerate ambiguity on how the whole procedure happens because it’s God that does the whole fixing thing. The reason I can say it is a real thing because doctors have said it has happened, psychologists have said it has happened, and I have seen it happen.

I attended a mission trip with my school and helped at a place for people who were dying. They went there when their families leave them and they need a comfortable place to die. There was a man there that had something wrong with his stomach and couldn’t keep anything down, including water, and that was the reason he was dying. Just after lunch we had offered to pray for anyone that wanted it. A guy in my class walked over to a man and asked him what he would like prayer for. He said “I want you to pray for my healing. I believe that through your prayer God will heal me.” Zach held the man’s hand and prayed for the man’s illness to be completely gone. After the prayer the man grab the bowl of stew in front of him and downed it. We were all waiting for it to come back up like his first bowl had, but it didn’t. Today, he is a normal weight and has no pain.

So I can honestly say, I believe in faith healing.

Over the course of this class I have really learned to not believer everything I am being told and to look deeper into what I am being told. I ask more questions about the product and make sure that I really understand what is trying to be sold to me. I look at who is trying to sell the product and see if it is a realistic match. Looking at the background of the product also helps because I know what it is made up of. I now know what is good and what is bad. Shopping has become more difficult, but I’m getting my money’s worth now.

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Evidence Against Claim – Blog 3

Part 1
– Studies done
– A law



Part 2

Although it was very hard to find some evidence against faith healing I managed to find a couple things.

First, there was cases of people doing whatever their faith healer told them to do and then ended up dying. According to Caleb Lack “Dr. Hobart Freeman told his congregation to stop taking their medication and instead pray for god to cure them. This led to the deaths of 90 people…”
Secondly, it has obviously failed numerous times because there are now laws against it. Jesse Merriam writes down the law, “This regulation required that states receiving funds for child abuse prevention programs adopt exemptions for parents who practiced faith healing.” In other words, if a child does and all the parents had done to heal their child, they will be charged for child abuse.

References

-Lack, C. (2013, December 14). Faith Healing is Fake Healing • Great Plains Skeptic. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from http://www.skepticink.com/gps/2013/12/14/faith-healing-is-fake-healing/
-Merriam, J. (2009, August 30). Faith Healing and the Law. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from http://www.pewforum.org/2009/08/31/faith-healing-and-the-law/

Evidence in Support of Claim – Blog 2

Part 1
– The bible
– Faith healing stories
– Doctor’s opinion on why faith healing works
– Psychologists opinion/experience on why faith healing works


Part 2
After reading my first blog post, it is clear that I am researching Faith Healing as a health claim. Many people have claimed that they were struggling with something (pain, making ends meet, temptation, etc.) and when someone laid their hands on them and prayed, the problems were solved. So is this claim actually true?

If you look in the bible there is verse after verse about how prayer can do miraculous things. James 5:15 says, “Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well…” (NLT). A few other examples are: Mark 11:24, Mark 5:25-34, and James 5:14. I only listed three, but even if you looked it up online there would be a long list of verses.

If you’re not one to take the bible as the only answer (which is okay), here are some other people that back up the health claim.
Dr H Richard Casdorph underwent a experiment that involved faith healing. He took ten patients who all had serious health issues, but had been healed by what they claimed to be faith healing. Casdorph looked at all the patients’ case studies (included were x-rays, medical reports, appointments, doctor’s notes, etc.) and had them sent for medical reviews. In the end, all ten cases showed that a miraculous healing had only happened after the patient received prayer for healing.
Link to the 10 stories here: http://www.is-there-a-god.info/life/tenhealings.shtml
Nigel Barber, who has a Ph. D. in Psychology, suggest that faith healing is all about belief in a higher power. According to the dictionary, faith is the “Complete trust or confidence in someone or something, or the strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.” Barber states that if you believe, you can be healed. He is not sure why it happens, but he knows it does because he and his sister were both healed of ringworm through faith healing.
Link to Barber’s story: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201103/faith-healing-shouldnt-work-it-does

References
– Barber, N. (2011, March 2). Faith Healing Shouldn’t Work, but It Does. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
– Faith. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
– Hatfield, E. (2012, August 3). Is There a God? Retrieved October 14, 2015
– James 5:15 New Living Translation

Faith Healing – Blog 1

I started my blog back in June, but haven’t been blogging very consistently. For one of my classes I actually have to blog five times on a specific topic. I’m hoping to learn quite a bit on this complicated and bizarre topic, but also becoming comfortable with writing and consistently writing.

Over the next semester I will be researching and discussing faith healing. As we discussed in Health Claims, “A health claim is anything such as clothes, accessories, food, drinks, belief, etc. helps your health in hopefully a positive way.” I used to be very skeptical about this topic even being raised in a Christian home, but now I believe that there really are people out there that can heal you using the power of Jesus.

I understand that this is a very touchy topic because it involves faith. Bare with me and don’t feel the need to agree.

Discrimination – Blog7

Definition
Discrimination is also linked back to Classical Conditioning and has to do with how we react to certain situations.
We learned last blog that generalization is pairing similar things to the Conditioned Stimulus to the Conditioned Response. Discrimination means you only have a Conditioned Response to the Conditioned Stimulus and nothing that looks/is similar.

Application
Again, I will add to my last blog to give you an example of discrimination. I had mentioned that after my first dentist procedure I had become terrified of the dentist. Over time I had paired that fear with anything that reminded me of the dentist or did work on my mouth.
When I had gone to the orthodontist I had been nervous for weeks before my first appointment. Once I got there they did x-rays and I am sure my heart was beating the fastest it ever has. They did impressions and I wanted to be sick. They talked to my mother and I and I was sure they were going to tell me that I had to get four teeth pulled. After the appointment, I was in no pain and I could breathe.
After going to multiple ortho appointments I realized that just because someone is working on your teeth does not that it will always be painful. Now that I am aware of this I have a discrimination mindset towards the dentist. Whenever I hear the drill or see the freezing needle I get anxious, but that is it. I can chew bubble gum, watch a dentist on the TV, and even use fluoride.

Before and After
Now that I am aware that I have a discrimination mindset towards the dentist, I would like to keep it that way. Hopefully I get to the point where I am not scared of the dentist at all, but until that point I want keep it at just being anxious over two things.

Generalization – Blog 6

Definition
Generalization is connected back to Classical Conditioning, and happens when we have the same Conditioned Response (CR) to similar objects that represent the Conditioned Stimulus (CS).

Application
I will add on to my last blog and the example I gave about the dentist to create an image of Generalization.
After that dentist I paired fear with the sound of dentist instruments. Over time I found that if I saw a dentist on TV I was reminded of the painful procedure. Before I went back to the dentist the next time I was completely terrified of anything that reminded me of the dentist. If I saw one on TV, if I smelled something that smelled like my dentist office, if I heard a drill of any sort. I paired all of those with the fear and uneasiness that I got from that first procedure.
A couple years later I had to go in and get examined for braces. I found myself unable to sleep for the week leading up to that appointment. I was terrified because I knew that they did something to teeth. I had generalized my fear of the dentist to anything that sounded, felt, tasted, looked, smelled, or worked on your teeth.

Before and After
Like I said in my last blog, I knew that I was afraid of the dentist, but I was not aware of why I was as afraid as I was. I did not think that bubble gum (which tastes like the flavour of fluoride I got) made me nauseous. Now that I know I can make myself more conscious of the setting and realize that the bubble gum I am chewing has nothing to do with the dentist.

Intro to Generalization and Discrimination – Blog 5

Definition
The next blog topics will be about Generalization and Discrimination, but before I get into those you will need an understanding of Classical Conditioning.

Classical conditioning is “a simple form of learning in which a neutral stimulus comes to evoke by another stimulus by being paired repeatedly with the other stimulus” (Rathus, Maheu, & Veenvliet, 2012). In other words, it is how you react to a certain situation because the two have been paired time and time again.

Here are the steps to Classical Conditioning:
1: The unconditioned stimulus (UCS) will draw out an unconditioned response (UCR).
Ex: A certain person (UCS) brings out happiness for Tom (UCR).
2. UCS becomes paired with the Conditioned Stimulus (CS).
Ex: Mary (UCS) wears a vanilla scented perfume (CS) every time she sees Tom.
3. The CS has been paired with the UCS and has created a Conditioned Response (CR).
Ex: Every time Tom smells vanilla scented perfume (CS) he becomes happy (CR) because he has paired it to how he feels when he sees Mary.
4. Neutral Stimulus is the CS, but before it had any meaning.
Ex: The vanilla scented perfume did not use to cause happiness until he met Mary and paired the two.

Application
As a child I was never afraid of going to the dentist, I actually really liked it because I loved the fresh and clean feeling after they were done. When I moved to Riverview we got a new dentist and a couple years after I had gotten my first cavity. When I went in to get my cavity filled, the freezing needle was a little scary, but I dealt with it and knew that after that I would not be able to feel anything.
The dentist came back five minutes after and started filling the cavity. It turns out I was not completely frozen yet and could feel everything that he was doing. I had mentioned that I could feel it and he asked me if I could bare through it because he was almost done. I ended up sitting through the whole procedure being able to feel everything and instantly became afraid of the dentist whenever I heard the sound of their instruments.

Before and After
Before psych I was aware of the fact that I was scared of the dentist, but I never really knew why. It was not until after Classical Conditioning that I could look back and pin point where the fear had all started. I can now also  tell what will set off the fear.

References

McLeod, S. (2014, April 19). Classical Conditioning | Simply Psychology. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from http://www.simplypsychology.org/classical-conditioning.html

Rathus, S., Maheu, S., & Veenvliet, S. (2009). Psych (2nd ed.). Toronto: Wadsworth

Exercise – Blog 4

Another thing that is a great stress reliever is exercise. A lot of people claim to not have time to go to the gym or go for a run, but I would highly recommend it. Exercise reduces stress by an amazing amount. “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects” (Otto, 2011). If only five minutes starts reducing stress, just imagine what an hour would do.

Application
It was not until University that I decided to give the whole gym thing a try. When I went to university last year we were given a free membership. My roommate went to the gym almost every day to reduce her stress. There was one afternoon that I was feeling overwhelmed with my work load and she invited me along with her. I decided to give it a go because I did not see anything else helping me at that time.
When I got there, I did her work out with her and ended up really enjoying it. I was happier, calmer, and just happier in general. When I got back to my room I was much more positive about the situation and I was a lot more focused. I finished my work that day and had never felt better about myself and my work ethic.

Before and After
Before university I never really took the time to exercise because I was always a busy kid. It never was important to me because I could keep up to everyone in gym class, I have always been smaller, and I just never used to have the time to do so. Even before I did this project I was not aware of how great the results of exercising to reduce stress were. Now that I do, I make sure to go to the gym at least four times a week or whenever I feel stressed.

References

Otto, M. (2011, September 14). Exercise for Stress and Anxiety | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from http://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety

Humour and Socialization – Blog 3

Now that you know to define how you cope, access the stressor, and avoid, alter, or adapt to the event, I’ll write about one of the best ways to turn any negative stressful situation into a good one. Everyone has experienced an event that has gotten a little overwhelming and they feel like they just cannot cope with it anymore. According to a lot of studies, laughter is the best medicine. “It stimulates the output of endorphins, which might enhance the functioning of the immune system. Another is that the benefits of humour may be explained in terms of the positive cognitive shifts they entail and the positive emotions that accompany them” (Rathus, Maheu, & Veenvliet, 2012). So not only does it improve your mood, it could also enhance your immune system and keep you from getting sick.

Humour and socialization with family or friends will increase your mood and decrease your stress. There have been many tests and studies done that prove socialization can help reduce stress. The science behind laughter reducing stress is, “[It] stimulates circulation and aids muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress” (Gendry, 2012).

Application
When I was a teenager, I could not keep my room clean. I was very busy and never really home. When I was home it was to drop stuff off, pick something up, change, or sleep. This resulted in a lot of dumping stuff on the floor, moving stuff from one pile to another, trying on different outfits and leaving the ones I did not want on the bed, and right before crawling into bed I would take the clothes off my bed and create a new pile for them on the floor. After a couple weeks, my mom would have enough and get me to clean my room and I would put it off for as long as I could. I did so because when I walked into my room to clean it,  I was automatically overwhelmed. Cleaning my room was stressful because I never knew where to start.
One day I decided to invite my friend over that lived across the street. She sat on my bed and talked to me while I tackled my room. We laughed and talked about the things happening in our lives and before I knew it, my room was cleaned. Ever since then I always invite a friend over when I clean my room because time passes so quickly and I never feel overwhelmed.

Before and After
Before learning about how socialization reduces stress, I never really spent time around my friends. I knew that when I was stressed I was grumpy or sad. I did not want to bug them if I was going to be like that. After I learned about it, I make sure that if I am feeling extremely overwhelmed I take some time to be with a friend. Now that I’m living with roommates and living so close to my best friend, I honestly feel less stressed.

References

Gendry, S. (2012, January 9). Why More Laughter = Less Stress = Better Health And More Energy – Laughter Online University. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/laughter-less-stress-better-health-energy/

Rathus, S., Maheu, S., & Veenvliet, S. (2009). Psych (2nd ed.). Toronto: Wadsworth.