A six-week stay at a Hindu temple in India has produced thesame healing in patients with severe psychiatric disordersas a month-long course of standard drugs. A team led byRamanathan Raguram of the National Institute of MentalHealth and Neurosciences in Bangalore studied 31 people whostayed at the Muthuswamy temple between June and August 2000.
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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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