Our research focus is on the healing effects of infrequently studied theistic contemplation. Our research has already shown promising results, which have been presented at major international secular and religious conferences, several recorded on our YouTube site.
Our published preliminary research shows improvement of quality of life for four treatment-resistant Parkinson’s patients who were taught Centering Prayer. All experienced fewer freezes, less depression, no nightmares and increased sleep, improved appetite and interest in living. This link shows the patients during a freeze and after being taught Centering Prayer. Follow-up research is proposed on a larger sample of patients.
In 1999, Andrew Newberg, M.D. studied a group of Franciscan nuns who had been practicing Centering Prayer. It was the first brain scan of Christian contemplative practitioners. He discovered that there were significant neurological changes that differed from normal human brain functions. The frontal lobes, known to be the seat of moral judgment and spirituality, had increased activity; the limbic activity decreased; and the combination generated a peaceful and serene state of consciousness.
Since that early work, there has been considerable research on the subject, much of which has been on non-theistic Tibetan Buddhist monks, yet comparatively little on theistic Christian practitioners. As valuable as that research has been, it misses the opportunity available from the findings of research on the power of faith, which over 90% of the U.S. population has. Though most researchers are Christian, they have difficulties getting enough practitioners, since the focus has been mostly on a small number of Tibetan monks; whereas, there is a much broader base of theistic interfaith practitioners with over 100,000 Christian contemplatives alone. Research incurs a high cost of transporting equipment and researchers to the practitioners, rather than capitalizing on these local practitioners. There seems to be a greater emphasis on theoretical neuroscience, as opposed to clinical applications. The research is fragmented worldwide, rather than having a physical focal point, as could be the case in the Houston Texas Medical Center (TMC), which is the largest in the world, exceeding the next largest by four times.