Got pain? Piece of cake. Just take your mind off it.
I know. Sounds crazy. But …
Recent revelations about the placebo effect, and studies showing that distractions help relieve pain, are revealing that health is more mind-based than has been previously acknowledged. So, if you are suffering, get distracted.
You read that right, get distracted. And, yes, it does strike some as being simple, but I’ve actually seen distractions stop pain.
Several years ago, my wife and I were cleaning leaves out of a rain gutter. Joanne reached into the gutter to dig out some leaves that just wouldn't budge. As she did, she was stung on the finger by a red wasp and immediately felt pain.
When the pain intensified, Joanne went inside to lie on the couch. I asked if there was anything I could do to help. She asked me to sing to her. I said, "If you think you're in pain now, just wait till I start singing." She laughed out loud and the pain disappeared. She never suffered from the sting again.
You might think tricking the human mind caused Joanne’s release from pain. However, behind the diversion was something even more than health being mind-based. We believe spirituality had a role. Could this possibly explain why certain changes in thought affect health enough to make pain vanish for good?
The awareness of the connection between spirituality and health has been steadily growing. In 2003, and looking ahead to 2010, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation studied the future of health and health care in America and forecasted the gradual adoption of an expanded view of health by the medical establishment. This view, it said, would incorporate social, mental and spiritual factors. Apparently, this has taken place.
Dr. Larry Dossey, former Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital, writing for The Huffington Post, stated in August, 2010, “A survey of American family physicians found that 99 percent are convinced that spiritual beliefs can heal, and 75 percent believe that prayers of others can help a patient recover. A recent survey of over 4,000 nurses found that 80 percent felt that spirituality should be covered in nurse education as a core aspect of nursing.”
Behind this shift, in part, is a belief held by some that not only is health thought-based, but more importantly, a Spirit or God-based conscious experience.
Joanne and I found it interesting that when we were teaching our sons to learn to read; once they knew what a word looked and sounded like it was almost impossible to distract them with a wrong word. Once they recognized what was true, their absolute faith and understanding in its realness helped keep them from making any more mistakes. This phenomenon worked with words, then with numbers in numerical equations, and as well, with health issues.
Could this be how Jesus healed? The Bible relates that the initial Christian healer once said, “Know the truth and the truth will make you free.” The definition of truth is open to interpretation and a wide variety of applications. Some feel that human experience defines truth. Others believe, including Joanne and I, that truth has a divine origin which molds and guides human experience. Many are finding that seeing God as Truth can bring changes, such as pain giving way to health as naturally as darkness gives way to light.
It is believed that once thought locks onto “truth,” the sufferer’s spiritual selfhood comes alive, so to speak, and health becomes spectacularly real. In this conscious state of well-being, it is almost impossible to be mentally pulled back to pain or darkness.
No wonder more and more people are using prayer or spirituality as a first choice for pain management and health care.
It should be understood, though, that suffering, any suffering, should never be taken lightly. I hope we all want sufferers to find freedom from discomfort and pain, and in the quickest and most efficient way. But …
Evidently, if you are distracted by the truth, it is a good thing. Sometimes, it is quite medicinal. And, it appears, that the healthy outcomes last and last.
-- Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Health Blogger, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, 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).
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