Finding the thought and health connection

@GlowImages

@GlowImages

Martin Pistorius has a remarkable story to share. The title of his 2011 book says it all: Ghost Boy: My escape from a life locked inside my own body. The host of a recent NPR program that featured him as a guest explained: “Eventually Martin found a way to reframe even the ugliest thoughts that haunted him…And slowly, as his mind felt better, something else happened — his body began to get better, too.”

In spite of his doctors’ fatal prognosis, he eventually went to college, began working, and married.

The Martin Pistorius story resonates with me. I’m always moved by stories of recovery which seem to follow a mental shift. For instance, a landmark text on spirituality and health has a concluding chapter devoted to letters from some of those who wrote the author to say they had become well after reading and reasoning with her book.

The first letter shares the following healing of rheumatism: “I was placed under an X-ray examination… and consulted a celebrated specialist, who after a thorough examination said my condition would continue to grow worse and that I would become completely helpless. At that time a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mrs. Eddy was loaned me.”

“I read it more from curiosity than with the thought of any physical benefit… I realized that the mental condition was what needed correcting, and that the Spirit of truth which inspired this book was my physician. My healing is complete, and the liberation in thought is manifest in a life of active usefulness rather than the bondage of helpless invalidism and suffering.”

For many, such books are popular for giving hope in difficult circumstances. Reading the example of another’s recovery can often uncover practical ideas that lead to help and healing.

No wonder there is such a large, growing international discussion on the thought and health connection – it’s been found!

Posted in Freedom, Healing, Health, Hope, Listening to God, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Spiritual Healing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Contemplating Christmas?

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(c)Glow Images

A discovery – a big discovery – happened when the first Christmas was celebrated over 2,000 years ago. Shepherds were tending sheep and praying just outside of Bethlehem. Suddenly the glory of the Lord shone around them and an angel encouraged them not to fear.

Just what is this glory that outshines darkness and calms fear?

The ancient Greek definition of glory, as used in the passage above, explains a transforming element of prayer. Strong’s Concordance has, “glory: a condition to be enjoyed now through the devout contemplation of the divine majesty of Christ… This will include not only the blessedness of the soul, but also the gain of a more excellent body.”

I experienced this glory two years ago. For weeks I had been preparing for a full day of important meetings. Early that morning I awoke rather ill. My first resort in taking care of myself or addressing any crisis is prayer. Now though I was not feeling the immediate help I needed. Despite feeling poorly I got dressed. And I continued to pray, turning my thought to the gratitude I genuinely felt for the opportunities these meetings presented.

My prayer did include a contemplation of the Christ, the goodness or God-likeness that Jesus exemplified and which we can discern in ourselves and others. For me this led to a successful day. I went to bed as soon as I reached home that evening and awoke the next day refreshed and well.

Those shepherds went on that Christmas night to bring gifts as they followed a bright star to the nativity. I wish for everyone the glory and joy they found!

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Thanksgiving..happy thanks-living!

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Years ago I was struck by an article in my morning newspaper counseling not to be the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner! Apparently this holiday, more often than not, is fraught with the stress of an undercurrent of unresolved family issues.

A 19th century leader in a more spiritual approach to living and health, Mary Baker Eddy, was no stranger to adversity at home. She was the youngest of six siblings with a father known for his “iron will”. In a letter to a student she wrote, “Under affliction in the very depths, stop and contemplate what you have to be grateful for.”

Eddy discovered that gratitude lived, as well as making life more positive, often results in prayer that heals.

Many of us can relate in our own experience or a friend’s where finding gratitude helped to leap frog over something impossible to an unexpected good outcome. I have found that contemplating what I am grateful for in others (one might say thanks-living) has often led to forgiveness and common ground.

So have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone and join me in happy thanks-living!

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The New Heart of Health Care

 

There is a growing awareness by physicians and patients that one must consider not only the physical diagnosis but include the impact of mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences on health.

One aspect of this new direction is The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation’s “Choosing Wisely” campaign that educates both doctors and patients to question medical tests and treatments to avoid over-diagnosis and over-treatment. They developed a fun parody of Pharrell Williams hit “Happy” to advise us to think twice about health care before taking a pill or getting a medical exam.

And very interesting in the search for effective care are the findings of Harvard Medical School professors Dr. John Peteet and Dr. Michael D’Ambra. Their book, The Soul of Medicine: Spiritual Perspectives and Clinical Practice (2011) states, “Americans spend about $1.5 billion annually on books on spirituality and religion, and about 40 percent have sought out complementary and alternative therapies.”

By way of an example, I was a participant in a statewide initiative charged with developing healthcare reform recommendations for our legislature. During a meeting of medical and non-medical (I am a Christian Science Practitioner) providers, a physician had a comment for me. He said, “I believe prayer has a place at this table. I have had two patients with the same diagnosis. One chose to pray and the other did not. The one who prayed beat the prognosis. Over the years I have seen that prayer works, but I don’t know how.”

For me prayer begins with a yearning to listen to what some may call intuition or God’s grace. Often I turn to the scriptures to help me ponder something higher than the problem. About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with a very painful condition that required surgery. I mentioned to my HMO’s attending physician that I would like to pray before deciding to schedule surgery. He equated praying with doing nothing, telling me that the condition would not go away on its own but would continue to incapacitate me further.

Physical transformation by focusing on and living the word of God was first written about several thousand years ago. For instance the book of Proverbs tells us, “My son, attend to my words; …keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.” And this is what I experienced. The pain disappeared and I have had no trace of that condition since.

Perhaps this new heart of health care is broader than was first thought!

Posted in Healing, Health, Health Care, Mind and Body connection, Modern Medicine, Prayer, Spiritual Care, Spiritual Healing, Spiritual Perspective, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Emmys continue Escape Fire buzz

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The film is remarkable because it is solution oriented. It follows several patients as they leave “ill care and overmedicated treatment” for some already established – though somewhat ignored – “well-care” methods. And this documentary records that for first time in their search for health, they find renewal and healing!
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A soldier and a dog

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(c)glowimages

Many of us may have experienced relief just walking across a threshold into a place where we know we are loved – unconditionally. Think though what life could be if a calm, peaceful consciousness became our focus where ever we may be, became the perspective for any difficulty in which we find ourselves? Continue reading

Posted in #PTSD, A soldier and a dog, Comfort, Freedom, Healing, Healthy Thinking, Hope, Spiritual Perspective, Unconditional Love | Tagged , , , | Comments Off