At age 33 after being an atheist for 10 years I got a severe case of sciatica from training for marathons. I went to tainers and medical doctors, even one who was a marathoner without any relief.
I finally went to Michio Kushi who was the head of Zen Macrobiotics in Boston. He explained that my problem was my diet. According to him and to Zen Macrobiotics, the body is regulated by several balances of minerals, the dominant one being a sodium, potassium balance, and the next most important being a magnesium, calcium balance.
In Zen Macrobiotics this is all represented by the principles of Yin/Yang. My diet was excessively Yin, too much potassium and calcium. As a result my cell structure including my nerves were enlarged. In biology lab I have since observed the shrinkage of cells in a saline solution. The sodium/potassium pump is also how signals are propagated along nerves.
So according to Michio, sciatica comes from when the nerves are enlarged and the discs in the spinal column have been damaged, so that the nerves passing through the damaged discs are pinched. The pain is referred and felt down one leg or sometimes both.
His solution was simple. Change my diet. He gave me booklets describing the relative yin/yang of all foods and told me to avoid all yin foods. It turns out that yin foods are all foods that make you feel good. The most yin are stimulants like alcohol and coffee. Next come acidic fruits. Next dairy products. Next foods like eggplants.
Brown rice was balanced. Salt was yang. For some reason I do not understand I had to avoid all animal products, even though they should be yang.
So I adopted the diet and in three days I had the first relief from sciatica in two years. After a week I found that I had to have a cup of coffee. In ten minutes the pain came back.
For about six months my sciatica was an in sitio experiment of the relative yin/yang of all the foods I ate. Meat would bring on sciatica, but it would take at least 30 minutes and last longer. Same for beer and fruits. I got over all my food addictions except for ice cream. About every two weeks I had to get an ice cream fix. I then would have sciatica for a day, but feel much better. These yin foods are the ones that have energy and the yang diet makes you yearn for foods with energy.
As Michio predicted, this went on for about 6 months while the injury gradually healed. The experiment became less sensitive to what I ate over the 6 months and finally I could eat most anything. Michio's explanation was that my nerves were so thick on my previous diet that fluids could not flow in my spinal column and healing was not possible then. But even for another year, if I, on a business trip, would consume liquor and steak, the sciatica would come back.
So what has this got to do with atheism. Well, that was such a remarkable experience for me that I began readings in Chinese and Buddhist philosophy and scripture. Then I broadened to Theosophy and scriptural prophecy. I joined a noontime bible class at work and we read the New Testament over and over. But what really turned my head was reading about Out-of-Body Experiences(OBE) also called astral projection.
I had become an atheist largely because in conventional science there was no possibility of life after death or of any medium in which disembodied spirits could exist including souls and god, etc. But OBE could not happen unless there existed an invisible medium for consciousness travel.
Theosophy had rather mechanistic theories for everything supernatural including OBE, and being a physicist, the explanation of how everything supernatural works made it more believable.
Finally I decided to be thiestic again. My bible studies made Judaism appealing as Jesus was foremost a jew, and besides living in a Zen Macrobiotic house, I began study to convert to Judaism. That took longer than curing my sciatica. My rabi dragged his feet terribly. Of course, he knew that I thought that all religions were more or less valid and that I was attracted to mystical Judaism and eastern religions.
Anyway he finally converted me. But several years later when I went bankrupt, I could no longer could afford the temple dues and I dropped the practice. Finally I landed in a Siddha Yoga ashram teaching children, but got kicked out of there for three different reasons- god is redundant.
But all during this time, from age 33 to now, over 30 years, I have been looking in physics for mechanisms/media in which OBE, afterlife, heaven (not necesarily hell) and souls and god could exist. The culmination of all that is the 'Dark Matter Model of Consciousness' paper in the Arizona Quantum Mind 2003 conference. It postulates the medium in which all that can happen, an axion condensate that is frictionless like a superconductor. The supernatural is super in the same sense as a superfluid or a superconductor, and it amounts to 90% of the mass of the universe.
I postulate some simple mechanisms in that paper, but the whole thing is probably just as complicated as physical life.
So physics has reinforced my faith. Foods first turned my head. But what maintains my faith is coincidence. The manner in which coincidence rules my life is uncanny. And I cannot even think of a mechanism by which such detailed control could be maintained from the suprnatural. The interaction of the physical and the supernatural has to be active. I can ubderstand passive mechanisms, but do not see how such active control is possible in physics.
Hope this all answers your question.