Western medicine leads the world in the technological aspects of medicine. Wonder drugs were developed along with sophisticated machinery to cure the physical body, often ignoring the tremendous powers we have within ourselves to influence our own healing. This attitude stems from the idea that the mind is one thing, and the body is another.
Other cultures give more important to alternative approach. In the Orient, for example, there are naturopaths and holistic health practitioners who consider the totality of the human being, including the spiritual, mental and emotional aspects, before making a diagnosis or suggesting a treatment.
We also hear or read accounts of faith healing and miracle cures, where the patients admit the reality of cures, pointing out that the key factor responsible for healing is their faith or belief. The famous example is the miracle cures that happened at the grotto and spring at Lourdes, France.
Pilgrims visit Lourdes each year, including many who are sick. Every year, major religious ceremonies and pilgrimage take place at the shrine, during which the sick are plunged or bathed in the spring water.
Yet medical scientists who have conducted an investigations regarded the successful outcome due to the emotional difficulty of the trip or the emotional state of the pilgrims. They pointed out that the chances of healing correlate with the difficulty of the trip, the longer and harder the trip, the greater is the investment of faith.
Can belief alone elicit cures? If you ask the question to faith healers, they would demonstrate that belief alone, without any physical intervention, is enough to bring about therapeutic success.