Americans with all their good intentions have a tendency to want instant everything. It seems we are always looking for that proverbial “silver bullet” solution. That’s true for many things including our health.
What is the best way to develop and maintain excellent health? From every front, we are advised that the path to health is through rigorous attention to our physical needs such as the food we eat, the exercise program we pursue, and the regular check ups? Yet, these efforts, as well intentioned as they may be, do not always provide good outcomes for the short- and long-term health needs of our nation.
Looking at these issues and seeking answers to these questions, many may ask why is it that sometimes those who practice the best eating and exercising habits do not have good health, and those who pay little if any attention to these habits are well and happy? Lisa Rankin, MD, may have found at least one reason when she says that whether someone becomes sick or stays healthy “might have more to do with everything else that’s going on in their lives than with any specific health standard they abide by.”
After Rankin started working in integrative medicine, she found that good nutrition, exercise, and sleep weren’t enough for many of her patients. So she dug deeper, by asking questions – for instance: “What do you love about yourself? What’s missing from your life?” She concluded that in order for these patients to be healthy, they needed to address non-physical issues in their lives, like relationships, stress, or money. In order to address these concerns she says that it’s important to care for the mind, heart, and soul. Rankin suggests you tap into the deeper true part of you – your spiritual identity.
Author and founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy wrote and taught about the spiritual identity and the mental nature of disease in the 19th century. She proved that a Mind-based view of health and life leads to cures in both mind and body. Her book, Science and Health, points out some of the states of thought that might precipitate disease, such as hatred, envy, dishonesty, and fear.
If this is the case, that all conditions of health could be tied to our mental environment, are we responsible for making ourselves healthy? Rankin’s comment of needing to address the non-physical issues along with the physical suggests one must consider the effect of his thought.
Kathryn Thomas in the article, “How Quantum Physics Can Bring You Wealth, Better Health, and More Fulfilling Relationships” wrote: “Focus, with gratitude, on what is right about your health. Visualize your good health now, and the more good health you want. Avoid focusing on what is wrong with your health. For example, if you need to reduce pain, don’t think about how the pain hurts and how you want relief. Instead, think about the joy of being able to move every which way freely and easily.”
If, in fact, thinking impacts the material things around it, then it makes perfect sense that prayer can be helpful to our health. Prayer is a word that can have many meanings, but if such contemplative moments help bring a spiritualized perspective – based less in limiting paradigms, fads, or fears and proceeding more from an awareness of the whole-person – the state of our bodies will reflect that harmony.
Apparently there is no single silver bullet, but a series of ongoing key decisions that must work in harmony with one another if excellent health is to be achieved and maintained.
Photo © GLOW IMAGES. Model used for illustrative purposes.