For centuries, there have been healers who claim to be able to heal by touch. Now scientists think they?ve discovered the mechanism that makes this work?a natural chemical called immunoglobulin A, which fights invading micro-organisms and diseases.

The act of laying hands on flesh can trigger the release of these disease-fighting chemicals. A team from Tennessee State University investigated the clinical effectiveness of touch by giving the therapy to patients who had never been exposed to it before. They found the level of chemicals that resulted was higher in the people who benefited from the treatment. Health improvement was reported by 59 per cent of patients, and pain relief by 55 per cent.

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Our hands are actually evolving, thanks to cellphones and GameBoys. Using these devices has caused a physical mutation in young people?s hands, according to Dr. Sadie Plant of Warwick University?s Cybernetic Culture Research Unit in England.

New research carried out in nine cities around the world shows that the thumbs of people under the age of 25 have taken over as the hand?s most dexterous digit. The change affects those who have grown up with hand-held devices where the thumbs are used for punching in numbers or playing games.

In her research, Plant noticed that while those less used to cellphones used one or more fingers to access the keypad, younger people used both thumbs ambidextrously, barely looking at the keys as they rapidly dialed. ?The relationship between technology and the users of technology is mutual. We are changing each other,? says Plant. ?Discovering that the younger generation has taken to using thumbs in a completely different way and are instinctively using thumbs where the rest of us are using our index fingers is particularly interesting.?

To learn about how cancer patient Russell Targ was healed, read ?Heart of the Mind? and ?Miracles of Mind? by Russell Targ and Jane Katra, click here.

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