Series: Health Psychology Research Focus
Historically, religion and medicine have been strongly connected. In more recent decades, various academics can be viewed as part of a larger movement to investigate the effects of religion on health in the field of complementary and alternative medicine. Such research is ongoing, but to date, the mechanisms underlying the association between religion and health remain unclear. A major reason for the lack of finding any mechanisms may be that religion and health literature provides no unified theoretical or theological basis from which to identify.
Thus, to address this gap, Chapter 1 of this book briefly introduces the doctrine of “Happy Science”, a religious movement founded by Master Ryuho Okawa in 1986 that has since grown into one of the most influential religious organizations in Japan, with a member base from more than 100 countries worldwide. As you will see in Chapter 1, Happy Science theory has embraced the basic teachings of the major religions (e.g., Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism).
Moreover, this theory provides concrete tenets on the spiritual views of life, the purpose of living in this world, the structure of our mind and soul, and the relationships between mind and body. In Chapter 2, the Happy Science theory on diseases suggests that 70% or 80% of diseases are caused almost exclusively by an individual’s state of mind. Master Okawa has detailed how almost all modern diseases are caused by three factors—what we eat, lack of exercise, and stress—which indicates that psychological factors have a much stronger impact on the etiology and prognosis of illnesses than any physical, environmental or genetic factors per se.
Chapter 3 explains the treatment theories and methods based on the basic tenets of Happy Science. In particular, since the Happy Science doctrine regards medical care as love, these treatment theories and methods are systematically introduced according to the stages of love: fundamental love (having spiritual views on life, smiling, and showing gratitude), spiritually nurturing love (having a healthy lifestyle, developing problem-solving skills, and making strategic withdrawals or adhering to Optimalism), forgiving love (detaching from greed, forgiving, and developing altruism), and love incarnate (using positive willpower, faith and prayer, meditation, and collapse of karma). In addition, throughout this book, the author has provided case reports that make it easier to imagine how those with severe disorders can be miraculously cured through Happy Science Medicine.