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THE celebs, the magic water now, a possi ble health craze.
Manhattan doctor Raphael Kellman has a new book about the healing powers of Madonna's favorite mystical practice and it doesn't include wearing a red bracelet.
"Matrix Healing: Discover Your Greatest Health Potential Through the Power of Kabbalah," has a simple message: Be nice. You'll feel better.
Kellman says negative emotions such as greed and hostility have a damaging effect on our bodies, just like stress and anger. Positive feelings including generosity, love and forgiveness can repair that damage, he contends in the book, out next Tuesday from Random House's Harmony imprint.
"Studies show that the immune system improves when you are compassionate and giving," says the internist and head of the Kellman Center for Progressive Medicine in Midtown.
One of his patients was dying of cancer before he gave away almost all of his money to charity. Now he's in remission and doing fine, Kellmam reports.
"When you give to others, not just in an effort to perpetuate your ego, you activate a healing energy within yourself," he explains.
If the idea of giving away your money to beat cancer sounds a bit like the old Catholic trick of buying indulgences to pay your way out of purgatory, remember modern medicine has long accepted that stress and anger cause the levels of certain hormones in our bodies, particulary cortisol, to rise, weakening our immune systems and even contributing to weight gain.
"What Dr. Kellman is doing is tapping into an inner source of hope and motivation," says Dr. Zebulon Taintor, vice chairman of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.
"And to the degree with which he is successful with that, I wish him well. If people believe something will work, that can be very helpful. The placebo effect has been scientifically shown to be real, though not long-lasting."
Still, says Taintor, "There are a lot of wonderful anecdotal recovery stories. You never know what all the factors were, and it could possibly be dangerous encouraging people to donate all their belongings."
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