Health and wellness are important to everyone. 80 percent of Internet users look for health information online. We want to be educated.
Yet, health information flows toward us even as we commute to work or relax at home. Advertisements repeatedly broadcast the symptoms of diseases and the side effects of applicable medications. But is this knowledge always helpful? Are we educating ourselves into illness and suffering, inducing problems with fearful predictions and images?
A pioneer regarding the mental nature of health believed so. After stating, “Every medical method has its advocates,” Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “The preference of [one’s thought] for a certain method creates a demand for that method, and the body then seems to require such treatment. You can even educate a healthy horse so far in physiology that he will take cold without his blanket, whereas the wild animal, left to his instincts, sniffs the wind with delight.”
Eddy, the founder of the healing system known as Christian Science, recognized that the human mind could be a tool for harming in addition to helping one’s physical condition. She alerted readers of her writings to this in the late 1800s.
Today, we are still being informed of the disadvantages of certain forms of health education. For example, Fiona Macrae, in her Health post at the Daily Mail, writes, “If you feel ill just looking at the side effects of the medicine that's supposed to cure you, it might be best not to bother. The warnings themselves might actually be making you sick, scientists say.”
Macrae concludes her Daily Mail post with a quote from Dr. Clifton Meador of Vanderbilt School of Medicine: “Bad news promotes bad physiology. I think that you can persuade people that they're going to die and have it happen. I don't think there is anything mystical about it. We're uncomfortable with the idea that words or symbolic actions can cause death because it changes our biomolecular model of the world.”
If mentality has such an impact on health experiences, we should encourage any education that promotes health. To obtain the best education possible wouldn’t it help, as Dr. Meador suggests, to have a different model?
Research shows that we may be educating ourselves into illness because our thought can impact our body. Research also reveals that spirituality impacts thought. If spirituality improves thought and thought impacts us physically, perhaps, the new model should be a spiritual one?
A survey of American family physicians found that 99 percent of these physicians are convinced that spiritual beliefs can heal. Further, 75 percent believe that the prayers of others can help a patient recover more quickly. And remarkably, a Pew Research survey revealed that 36 percent of Americans say they’ve experienced or seen healing through prayer.(4)
Many spiritual thinkers find that the heartfelt desire to understand spiritual things -- prayer, actually -- results in a higher, holier consciousness, one that’s less occupied with fear, anxiety, and other harmful influences. This higher quality of thought leads to minor as well as dramatic physical changes.
I’ve experienced this phenomenon in a small way. Many years ago, I took a six-month job as a telephone operator. On one of my first days of work, another operator asked if I had started experiencing headaches. I thought this was a funny question; but soon afterward, I began to have headaches every day.
The only thing that I could tell had changed was my attitude toward the people calling in for assistance. At first, serving each caller had been enjoyable; but that quickly changed. I started reacting to each one as an absolute jerk – impatient, unloving, and unintelligent. I could have taken some form of medication, however, I felt it was my thought that needed attention. It seemed better, in the long run, to educate, rather than medicate myself.
I picked up a Bible, opened it at random, and found this: “I will make a man more precious than fine gold.” The word precious made me think of how much God loves each of us, including those I heard from each day at work.
I realized I should start seeing others as spiritual and precious, as kind and intelligent, too, and not as a pain.
As an operator, I pushed a button that brought each call to my station. With each push, and even before I spoke, I paused just long enough to appreciate each caller as valuable, even precious. The headaches stopped immediately.
Again, if mentality has such an impact on health experiences, and if you want to keep yourself (and your horse) healthy, educate yourself wisely and in a way that promotes health.
[Keith Wommack is a blogger, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, musician, and step-dad. He is the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science in Texas. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). He is also fond of breakfast tacos.]
» Life » Love » Science » Christian » Health » Prayer » World » -- Yes, we are finding that they are connected. Discovering the links and exploring how each one impacts the other is an adventure.
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