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Maintaining Health Through Mandatory Insurance – A Fuzzy Picture

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What comprises good health and how to maintain it can sometimes add up to a fuzzy picture for many of us. A growing number of studies point to the ineffectiveness and inappropriate use of drugs, while over-diagnosis and over-treatment by physicians continue to be a concern.

 

 

Then there’s the ongoing dialogue about the lifestyle choices we make – the impact of food choices and the value of exercise. But even in these areas, health journals issue a word of caution – individual results are dependent upon personal characteristics and don’t necessarily correspond to research findings.

As individuals create health habits that help them become more accountable for their own health decisions, mandated health insurance policies should provide benefits to cover the services that individuals use to support their health. Many newer studies are indicating that more holistic views and practices enhance the health of those who choose them. Among these holistic views are alternative therapies, which include meditation and prayer. According to author Cara Santa Maria, “An overwhelming 83 percent of Americans say that God answers prayers…”

Yet, even as more of the public see spirituality and prayer as effective in helping individuals maintain their health, researchers remind us that the beneficial effect of prayer/spirituality isn’t confined to churchgoers. Many believe that health care providers should take advantage of this correlation between health and spirituality by tailoring treatments and rehabilitation programs to accommodate the spiritual beliefs of the people being treated.

With more holistic treatments offered by health care providers, more patients likely will take advantage of these treatments – an idea echoed by Dr. Michael J. Barry, MD, who believes patients are ready to hear the message of shared decision making, less treatment, and the inclusion of spirituality.

Although adding spiritual care services like meditation and prayer to an insurer’s list of covered benefits will not, in and of itself, turn our current disease care system into a bona fide health care system, it is a step in the right direction – a step that much of the public desires, that could save money, and that could have a very real impact on the health of our state and our nation.

If nothing else, it could give focus to a pretty fuzzy picture of how to obtain health through the nation’s new and untried health care system, which at present is still deciding what treatment options to offer.

© GLOW IMAGES. Model used for illustrative purposes

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About Don Ingwerson

Previously in the education sector as Superintendent of Schools, Don Ingwerson now serves as the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science in Southern California and corrects misconceptions about Christian Science. Don is a frequent blogger about health and spirituality.
  • http://www.cinemalowdown.com/ The Other Chad

    Anyone who believes that prayer can be an effective way of maintaining health ought not to have the prefix Dr. before their name.

  • Igor

    Prayer and other mentally manipulative notions (perhaps even pot smoking) can have palliative effects. They are placebos. Some work, some don’t. The best is if they’re easy and cheap to try.

    I know that I’m suggestible (like most people, otherwise the advertising business would collapse) so if I contract some dreadful terminal illness I’ll immediately try my local pot vendor, preferably legal.

    I’ll also try meditation. Why not?