Science proves the health benefits of prayer

Binghamton, New York (ANTARA News) – Five times a day, about 1.6 billion Muslims around the world bow and prostrate themselves with their foreheads on the ground toward the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia as part of one of their obligatory rituals , Prayer actually has benefits for the health of the body and researchers have proven this.

Researchers from Binghamton University and the State University of New York have found that complex physical movements during prayer can relieve lower back pain, of course if the prayer is performed regularly and correctly.

“Solat movements are similar to yoga or physical therapy intervention exercises for treating back pain,” said Mohammad Khasawneh, a professor at Binghamton University and chair of systems science and industrial engineering at the State University of New York.

A study published in the International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering states that prayer-like movements are also found in Christian and Jewish prayer rituals.

“Physical health is influenced by socioeconomic factors, lifestyle and religion. “In addition, research shows that there is a strong connection between worship and vigilance when maintaining a physically healthy lifestyle,” Khasawneh said.

“Prayers and worship can relieve physical stress and anxiety, and there is also research showing that prayer rituals can be considered an effective clinical treatment for neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction,” he continued.

To reach these results, researchers analyzed computer-generated digital movements of participants, namely healthy men and women from India, Asia and America, as well as those suffering from back pain.

The results show that bending is the movement that puts the most strain on the lower back. However, for people with lower back pain, movements that affect the knees and back can actually relieve the pain. This condition depends on each individual's body shape.

“This movement can (safely) be considered a clinical treatment for low back pain because it requires different movements on a regular basis,” says Khasawneh.

For those who suffer from back pain, it may be difficult to maintain proper posture during prayer. However, if a person cannot stand, he is permitted in Islam to pray while sitting or lying down.

Then, when they can stand, they should maintain correct posture as much as possible.

“Positions that involve kneeling or prostration increase joint elasticity, so spending more time in these positions is recommended,” Khasawneh said.

According to the research team, incorrect prayer movements can actually increase pain. The team also pointed out the need for further studies with people with physical limitations. This is reported by Eurekalert.org.