U of M researchers study 'Hope' & 'Heart'

Aug 7, 2011

A new University of Michigan study finds a connection between spirituality and recovery for cardiac patients. U of M researchers took cardiac patients for a four day non-denominational spiritual retreat. 

During the retreat, the patients were encouraged to engage in meditation, guided imagery, drumming, journal writing and outdoor activities.  

Sara Warber is the director of UM’s Integrative Medicine program.   She says the cardiac patients who took part in the retreat showed more improvement than those patients who received traditional cardiac care.   Warber says the difference is ‘hope’. 

“We know that we don’t want to give ‘false hope’…but how do you just help people have hope.  This kind of retreat based program does that.”  

Warber says more research is needed to determine the long term benefits of ‘spiritual retreat’ therapy. 

The U of M study appears in the July issue of Explore: the Journal of Science and  Healing.