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healthy th(ink)ing by KeithWommack
Keith Wommack
Mar 28, 2012 | 1725 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Health alerts that make you sick
by KeithWommack
May 20, 2013 | 1417 views | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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Have you ever listened to an advertisement listing the possible side-effects of a drug and then felt queasy? Reading about those effects can make you feel ill, as well.

Dr. Lissa Rankin’s recently published New York Times bestseller, Mind over Medicine, in part, examines this disturbing phenomenon.

Reading Rankin’s thought provoking book reminded me of Fiona Macrae’s 2009 Health post The health alerts that make you ill: Negative thoughts ‘can induce sickness’.

Macrae wrote for the Daily Mail:

 A series of studies from around the world has shown that if you believe something could make you ill, it might well do just that.

Simply reading the side-effects on a bottle of tablets raises your risk of experiencing them.

And, taken to its extreme, patients who believe they will not survive surgery, are more likely to die on the operating table.

It’s now evident that if you're taking medication, you could have concerns. While it’s important to use medicinal products wisely, studying their labels can cause you more problems. It seems you’re in trouble no matter what you do.

Doesn’t this dilemma tell you something? Doesn’t it show that your health is mental in nature? And if what you think causes what you experience, shouldn’t exploring a new way of thinking be considered?

In her 1875 guidebook on spiritual healing, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy relates:

A man was made to believe that he occupied a bed where a cholera patient had died. Immediately the symptoms of this disease appeared, and the man died. The fact was, that he had not caught the cholera by material contact, because no cholera patient had been in that bed.

Eddy described the incident to educate her readers to the mental nature of health. But she didn’t just stop there, for she had found there was no healthier way to think than with a spiritual mindset.

While health alerts and a diseased-centered focus can make you sick, pondering spiritual things, — a divine power and presence, enables you to experience improved and more consistent health.

The inspired prophet, the apostle Paul, understood this, and counseled:

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  (Philippians 4:8)

Again, it’s important to use medicinal products wisely. But, perhaps, more importantly, if you want to be healthy and stay that way, watch what you read, consider, and ponder.

If you ask me, there should be health alerts that remind you to maintain a consistent spiritual mindset.

Instead of scaring and causing you even more suffering, these alerts, if adhered to, could make positive differences in your physical well-being.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com    

Twitter: @KeithWommack

 

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6 Simple Things - help fill an empty heart
by KeithWommack
Apr 24, 2013 | 829 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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Do’s and don’ts to regain the joy of life.

1) Stop being critical. Criticism closes your eyes to the good that has always been yours. Critical states of thought lead to critical mistakes, as well as cause critical states of the body.

2) Stop keeping score. It is not what others do but how much divine goodness you express that will ultimately satisfy you.

3) Stop trying to prove you are right. Instead of telling others you are right and they are wrong, live what is right and your life will begin to sparkle.

4) Start forgiving. Forgiveness means starting over with love. It wipes the slate clean. Forgive yourself and others. Forgiving others is about your peace of mind, not about absolving someone else’s responsibility for wrongdoing.

5) Be grateful. Be grateful for everything good in your relationships and in your home. Gratitude completes the circuit in healing. It awakens you to the magnitude of your divine life. Pain and gratitude are incompatible.

6) Be honest. Honesty allows you to be at peace, even in the middle of unrest. It keeps you strong. “Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help.” (Mary Baker Eddy - Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Did Your Prayers Go Out To Louisville’s Kevin Ware?
by KeithWommack
Apr 04, 2013 | 1606 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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The jubilation from Louisville’s victory over Duke’s basketball team was overshadowed by Kevin Ware’s on-court injury on Easter Sunday. Ware a 6-foot-2-sophomore guard broke his leg in two places.

It was a disturbing picture. Players and fans immediately started praying. Across social media, people spontaneously began sending Ware messages of support. Professional athletes joined the chorus.

Michael Jordan tweeted, "Prayers go out to Kevin Ware. No athlete wants that to happen to anybody."

Robert Griffin III tweeted, “Prayers up for Kevin Ware, his teammates, & family.”

When accidents and tragedies happen, the use of the word “prayer” multiplies. This begs the question, “Does prayer help or is it just a kind word we utilize in times of suffering?”

It’s been reported that forty-nine percent of Americans say they pray when it comes to health issues. Thirty-six percent say they‘ve witnessed the healing of an injury or illness because of prayer.

Since there seems to be a correlation between prayer and physical betterment, hopefully, when “prayer” is mentioned, people will follow through by actually praying.

This brings us to the next logical question, “What is prayer?”

“There are four basic prayers,” Rabbi Marc Gellman once said, “Gimme! Thanks! Oops! and Wow!” Wow is a prayer of praise and wonder at the creation. Oops is asking for forgiveness. Gimme is a request or a petition. Thanks is expressing gratitude.

In order for prayer to improve health; it seems logical that prayer be tied to something wiser and superior than our own minds. Some find it helpful to consider that prayer is the utilization of the love in which God loves us.

My friend Cory and his family certainly do.

Cory, a sophomore pitcher from The University of Texas Longhorn varsity baseball squad was a student in my Christian Science Sunday School class. I had the opportunity to watch Cory pitch several times. One day, during a game, a ball was hit directly at him. Cory caught the line drive with his bare hand.

The next day a coach noticed that his hand was swollen and he couldn't grip the ball. An x-ray revealed a fracture. Cory was scheduled to pitch again in four days. He wanted to be healed, and knew from experience that a prayerful, spiritual approach could enable him to quickly recover. His family prayed for him. He prayed too.

Cory had planned to take a seven-hour trip to his girlfriend's cottage. Despite the injury, Cory followed through with his plans. While he travelled, he prayed, and as he did, he was convinced that changes were taking place. When he arrived, he knew the healing was complete. He went swimming and fishing, and wrestled with his girlfriend's brothers.

To satisfy his coach, he went back to the doctor who had x-rayed the hand. The doctor said he’d never seen anything like it. The hand was totally healed. When he pitched a few days later, he struck out seven of the eight batters he faced.

Cory and his family have confidence in spiritual power to be able to care for bodily needs. People of many faiths take solace in Biblical promises. The book of Jeremiah assures, “I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal,
says the Lord.”

When others are in need of help, if you move beyond merely social pleasantries, regardless of the kind of prayer you utilize, it appears as if you have the opportunity to watch God’s love at work. You have an opportunity to really pray.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Guilt harming your health?
by KeithWommack
Mar 26, 2013 | 1186 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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Know anyone who doesn’t feel bad about something they’ve said or done? Guilt tortures the best of us. Unfortunately, the discomfort is not limited to mental agony alone. Intense regret can bring physical torment, as well.

Sometimes, the pain is self-inflicted.

Studies show that people occasionally attempt to free themselves from guilt through pain. And they are not always aware that they’re harming themselves.

Since the human mind is where guilt begins, to get at the source of the problem, the medicine must be mental. In other words, in order to heal a body affected by guilt, a mind must change.

An example:

In 2005, I delivered a lecture titled Spiritual Solutions to Crime and Violence in Dearborn, Michigan. Before the lecture, I was speaking with the woman who was to introduce the talk. She asked if I remembered her. I told her, “No.”

She explained that she’d been at another of my lectures in Trenton, Michigan, three years earlier. She’d been in a wheelchair at the front of the auditorium. After she related this, I remembered her.

She described why she’d been in the wheelchair.

Believing that a traffic light had turned green, she’d accelerated her car through an intersection causing a collision with another vehicle. A young woman in the other car was killed. She, herself, was badly hurt. No one expected her to live, either.

She did pull through, however. And she told me that she believed it was the spiritual treatment she’d received that enabled her to leave the hospital, albeit in the wheelchair. She was grateful for the progress; yet, she was still experiencing mental and physical pain as she was wheeled into the Trenton lecture.

She’d always tried to be as conscientious and loving as possible. Therefore, the thought that she was responsible for a young woman’s death was crushing her.

My lecture in Trenton was titled Regaining Our Joy. In this lecture, I quoted from a book that describes how a spiritually changed thought helps us physically.

The author, Mary Baker Eddy, states in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures“We are all sculptors, working at various forms, moulding and chiseling thought. What is the model before mortal mind?  Is it imperfection, joy, sorrow, sin, suffering? Have you accepted the mortal model? Are you reproducing it? Then you are haunted in your work by vicious sculptors and hideous forms. …The result is that you are liable to follow those lower patterns, limit your life-work, and adopt into your experience the angular outline and deformity of matter models.”

The statement continues, “To remedy this, we must …form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives.”

During the lecture, I asked everyone in the audience to stand up. I had them shake their heads and stomp their feet. I wanted the audience to consider how they, with divine help, could express mental force, spiritual dominion. Possibly, they could shake off fear, guilt, or whatever plagued them.

With her son’s help, my introducer made it to her feet. She shook her head and gingerly stomped her feet.

After the lecture, she went home and examined her thought. She saw there an aggressive suggestion that claimed she was ignorant. Ignorant for assuming the light had turned green. This suggestion had been haunting her. She told me that instead of “continuing with the pity party,” she began to affirm that she was not stupid. She took her stand. She began to think of herself and the young woman who passed away as she thought God would be lovingly considering them. She was convinced that God knew each of them as being spiritually innocent, divinely alive.

During the next few days the pain disappeared. She got up out of the wheelchair. It was no longer needed. God’s love was the medicine that changed her mind and healed her physically.

The introduction this woman gave to the audience at Dearborn was special. She spoke with profound grace and joy. The spirit behind her words set the tone for the day. I believe it helped the audience recognize that spiritual solutions could help their city.

If guilt tortures you or your loved ones, something should be done. If possible, utilize what can free heart and soul, both mind and body.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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More to medicine than medicine
by KeithWommack
Mar 04, 2013 | 1156 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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Today, some health care providers are realizing there is more to medicine than, well, medicine.

For example, there is Mehmet Oz, best known as Dr. Oz. Oprah crowned him America’s doctor in 2004. He is a heart surgeon and the host of the weekday hit TV program, “The Dr. Oz Show.”

Oz entered medical school believing that traditional medicine had all the answers and he just needed to discover them. But the limits to this approach began to dawn on him while in medical school and as he began to talk with patients.

Michael Specter in a recent The New Yorker exposé on Dr. Oz, quotes Oz as stating, “Ultimately, if we want to fix American medicine we will need skeptical and smart patients to dominate. They will need to ask the hard questions, because much of medicine is just plain old logic. So I am out there trying to persuade people to be those patients. And that often means telling them what the establishment doesn’t want them to hear: that their answers are not the only answers, and their medicine is not the only medicine.”

Oz is bringing a much broader perspective on health to his viewers.

Yet, Dr. Oz and just about every practitioner trying to change perceptions have critics. Specter writes, “Much of the advice Oz offers is sensible, and is rooted solidly in scientific literature. …Oz is an experienced surgeon, yet almost daily he employs words that serious scientists shun, like ‘startling,’ ‘breakthrough,’ ‘radical,’ ‘revolutionary,’ and ‘miracle.’”

Oz tried to explain, “Medicine is a very religious experience. I have my religion and you have yours. It becomes difficult for us to agree on what we think works, since so much of it is in the eye of the beholder. Data is rarely clean. …You find the arguments that support your data, and it’s my fact versus your fact.”

Some critics say that those who suggest alternatives to traditional medicine are detached from reality. But, perhaps, those suggesting alternatives are gaining a connection to what is mostly unknown, therefore, unconsidered.

My day in a dental office might offer an insight into how a nontraditional method can have an effect.

My wife is a dental hygienist. Several years ago, she asked if I could do her and her employer, Dr. Steve, a favor. She explained that their receptionist, Annette, was sick and they needed someone to man the front desk the next day.

At first, I thought she was kidding. But, she wasn’t. They couldn’t find anyone else. I was their last resort.

I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I was willing to try. So, I agreed to help, but told them I’d need to be able to answer my own practice calls too.

Besides being a syndicated columnist, I am a Christian Science practitioner. I help people with mental and physical problems with prayerful, spiritual treatments. Most of my patients ask for treatment by phone and email.

Joanne assured me I’d run the front desk and be able to use back office for speaking to my patients.

My job at the dental office was to have scheduled patients sign in, answer the phone and get the name and number of patients waiting to schedule an appointment, and gather information on emergency patients that called or walked in. I didn’t have to answer any questions.

I arrived for work at 8 AM. I sat dutifully at the front desk. Scheduled patients arrived and waited for their appointments. Joanne or the assistant ushered patients to operatories to be treated. The patients received care and then left.

I took my calls and prayerfully treated my patients. But a funny thing happened. Or, I should say, didn’t happen. Dr. Steve’s office phones never rang. No new patients called. There were no emergency calls. Nobody called to schedule an appointment. Nothing. This had never happened before.

I’d discussed the mental and spiritual nature of healing physical troubles with Dr. Steve many times. He was always respectful of my work and I of his. Both of us wanted to alleviate and prevent the suffering of patients. Our approaches were just different.

Dr. Steve treated each problem as a physical one needing material adjustments. I approached each problem as having a mental/moral cause and a spiritual solution.

In my mental treatment, I attempted to see the present spiritual strength and health inherent in each patient. I connected them with the divine. This allowed what was spiritually true of them to remove what was offensive. I’d learned that seeing people in this Christly way made them feel physically better.

My spiritual approach was good for my healing practice, but, apparently, not so good for business at the dental office. Did my expectation of health keep prospective patients from needing the doctor’s care?

Dr. Steve recognized the effect on his balance sheet at the end of the day. He looked at me and, with a twinkle in his eye, asked, “Could you go stand in Annette’s front yard?”

The evidence or data was clear. No new appointments and no income from emergencies that normally walk in the door.

This type of data may never be peer reviewed by “serious scientists.” It will be considered anecdotal. Funny, the “anecdotes ”have a way of consistently appearing. Some experiences and cures through what are called alternative methods may even be deemed “startling,” “radical,” “revolutionary,” a “miracle.” Though, I believe they are quite natural, even scientific.

Perhaps, both Dr. Oz and Dr. Steve realize there is more to medicine than, well, medicine.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Tips For a Wise Health Consumer
by KeithWommack
Feb 19, 2013 | 1708 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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If you’re a wise consumer, you shop around to find what you need. Today, there’s a product for every taste and helpful advice for just about every inquiry.

For example: If you don’t want to be noticed, Japanese professors have created glasses they say will prevent you from being identified by facial recognition software.

Questions about car buying? Even Oprah has a few answers for you on her website.

But then there’s health.

When it comes to health care, being an intelligent consumer requires even greater diligent examination.

Since February is National Wise Health Consumer Month, you may have noticed various published tips to guide you.

Most of these recommendations focus entirely on the utilization of conventional medicine. But, if you have ever been curious about spiritual options for healing and health, below are a few word-to-the-wise ideas for those contemplating the use of spiritual/thought-based care.

  1. Many are finding that prayer-moments improve them mentally and physically. Therefore, take time to connect with the divine and with those who can support you with spiritual care. Your friends and relatives may already know this. Ask them. It's been reported that 88% of Americans pray; 82% believe in the healing power of prayer; and 79% say praying speeds recovery.
  2. A better understanding of God has been found to help people experience better health. Therefore, preparing yourself by learning more about the divine could be considered a wise activity.
  3. Daily, take the medicines of honesty, humility, love, and forgiveness. Studies show that these spiritual attributes make and keep you healthy. Each canalleviate stress, which benefits mind and body.
  4. Those utilizing prayer as a first choice avoid unnecessary and expensive tests, and dodge the harmful effects of medical overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Consistent quiet moments of spiritual introspection can keep mind and body approximating a divine, healthy standard.
  5. The Bible is well stocked with spiritual truths capable of healing mind and body. Not only do these truths improve health when used in spiritual treatments, they have been shown to give relief from the tremendous financial burden imposed by other forms of care.
  6. As you experience improvements and cures through prayer, you will recognize the importance of having a health plan that covers spiritual benefits. The Scriptures describe how Jesus consistently and, as some say, scientifically, effected cures with divine power. And many feel that today’s mental and physical improvements show the present reliable tendencies of spiritual care.
  7. The link between mind and body, -- what you believe and your physical well-being, is documented. Spirituality improves bodily conditions because the essential nature of being is thought. And prayer with divine power behind it changes thought as nothing else can. Therefore, cultivate a deeper spiritual sense of things.
  8. The needs of your mind or body should never be neglected. Dependable help should always be sought. And those utilizing spiritual care should find it helpful to keep a list of those who can support them with prayer.

This being February and National Wise Health Consumer Month, this month and every month, take care of yourself and your family. Be a wise health consumer. Learn how spirituality can be a key to maintaining and improving your health.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Reducing stress the military way?
by KeithWommack
Feb 04, 2013 | 1278 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Marine Lance Corporal Carlos Lozano drops from a helicopter during a simulated raid, confronts mock Afghan villagers, and is rocked by loud explosions. Then, obeying orders, he sits silently and stares at his boots.

The Marine isn’t happy about stopping to meditate. But it just might be for his and the entire Marine Corps’ good.

The Associated Press spoke with Lozano about his training exercise:

“Lozano said he and fellow Marines were skeptical at first. Some wondered why their rigorous combat training was being interrupted by a class asking the warfighters to sit in silence and stare at their combat boots, becoming aware of how their feet touched the classroom floor.”

Jeffery Bearor, the executive deputy of the Marine Corps training and education command in Quantico, Virginia, told the AP, "This is not tied to any religious practice. This is about mental preparation to better handle stress."

Marines are taught to quiet the mind in order to reach an inner calm.

Many are finding the mind to be the door to improved mental and physical health. Those utilizing mindfulness, meditation, or prayer-moments, to control and calm thought, claim these methods reduce stress and increase productivity.

4 years ago, Time reported that the Army intended to train its “1.1 million soldiers in the art of mental toughness.” The Defense Department hoped that “giving soldiers tools to fend off mental stress would toughen its troops at war and at home.”

Years ago, I had the opportunity to unofficially introduce prayerful reasoning to a member of a very selective federal law enforcement agency.

In 2001, I was flying in a prop-plane from Dallas to Waco, Texas. I asked the man sitting next to me about his business, and he mumbled his answer. I thought, perhaps, the noise of the propellers made it difficult to hear. "What?" I asked again. He repeated softly, "Secret Service."

Turns out this man guarded the President of the United States. President George W. Bush was about to travel to Italy to attend the 27th G8 summit, to meet with Pope John Paul II, and to meet with President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. A majority of the passengers onboard the plane were also agents on their way to Bush’s ranch near Waco.

I asked the agent if he knew that people prayed daily for the safety of the President and for those guarding him. He told me, "I can feel their prayers and they are greatly appreciated."

I asked him, “What is the biggest challenge of your job?” He told me, “Fear. Fear would paralyze me and keep me from making immediate and correct decisions."

I didn't think it was a good idea to pry too much, but I did share with him what has helped me. "I give talks on the connection between health, thought, and spirituality," I said. "Even when I'm confident about talking in front of an audience, fear will start to sneak in. But if I quickly recognize that the fear is not really mine -- it has nothing to do with me -- then it actually lessens or even disappears and things go better."

The agent was still with me although not saying much, so I continued.

"Now, of course, standing in front of an audience is quite different from keeping the President from harm. But, there is a principle governing both of our thoughts and actions. And, I'm learning that this wise and operative principle is the Supreme Being."

He turned to face me, listening openly to what I was sharing. I explained that this principle constantly maintained his wellbeing and intelligently ordered his daily movements. Just as the principle of mathematics keeps the rules and outcomes always consistent, this divine Principle was ever at work governing his life, enabling him to protect the President.

To remind him that he wasn’t working alone, I suggested that before each activity, he prayerfully cherish the divine guidance he inherently possesses. Finally, I told him I was confident that his intelligent decisions and quick, fearless responses while guarding the President were, and would be, evidence of this spiritual Principle at work.

When the plane landed, all the agents exited first, walked down the ramp to the tarmac, and started getting into limousines. When I reached the bottom of the stairs, the agent I had spoken with left the others, walked up to me, stuck out his hand, and shook mine with a strong clasp. Looking me in the eye, he said in a heartfelt tone, "Thank you very much."

Today, the mental and physical toll that stress causes is immense, and fear is a major stress factor. However, meditation and prayer, humbling our mind to the divine, may be solutions that can help the military, security agents, and the rest of us.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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The elephant in the room (about your health)
by KeithWommack
Jan 28, 2013 | 441 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

They can’t ignore it. It’s there. Doctors, patients, and pharmaceutical companies can’t escape it. You can’t either. What is it?

The placebo effect.

The placebo effect is the health response patients experience when they believe they’re receiving a drug or surgery but are actually being given dummy drugs or simulated treatments.

Dr. Lissa Rankin writes, “The placebo effect is real, it works about 18-80% of the time, and it’s not just in your head – it actually dilates bronchi, heals ulcers, makes warts disappear, drops your blood pressure, and even makes bald men who think they’re getting Rogaine grow hair!”

Yet, there’s more.

Since there are two sides to every pancake, let’s also look at the nocebo effect:

Rankin states, “The same mind-body power that can heal you can also harm you. …If you tell a patient treated with a placebo he might experience nausea, he’s likely to feel nauseous. If you suggest that he might get a headache, he may. Patients given nothing but saline who thought it was chemotherapy actually threw up and lost their hair!”

How does this happen?

A recent editorial for Global Advances in the Health and Medicine by William Scott included a conversation with Dr. Alex Cahane, an internationally recognized anesthesiologist and pain specialist who leads the Division of Pain Medicine at the University of Washington.

Scott quotes Cahane as saying, “The biomedical model is unlikely to adequately provide an answer to the placebo question: How is it that the patient's belief affects the body? It remains one of the ‘elephants in the room’ that exists in all fields of medicine.”

A pioneer in the mind/health connection in the late 1800s, Mary Baker Eddy, confronted this very question. She experimented with differing healing methods, including homeopathy and the use of placebos.

During her research, Eddy discovered that as medications were diluted by attenuation, patients’ improvements increased. She eventually came to the startling conclusion that drugs and surgeries had no intrinsic abilities to heal on their own. The human mind empowered them both.

And, simply stated, a patient's beliefs, along with others’ thoughts, affected his or her body because life was ultimately mind or consciousness-based.

This revelation led to more questions. Such as:

If expecting health leads you to good health and expecting illness turns you away from good health, is there a rudder that can keep expectations on a straight course, pointed “due” health?

Attempting to answer this question, Eddy’s research went further. The human mind could do marvelous things. However, she learned it was also the cause of most pain and disease.

She eventually concluded, through trial and error, that the needed rudder was the spirit or mind of God (Christ). Her experiments with healing showed her that both the human mind and body are, in the long run, subordinate to the divine.

Since, Eddy’s early research, the acknowledgement of a place for spirituality in health care has been expanding. In 2001, a survey showed that “of the curricula in the 144 medical/osteopathic schools in the United States,” 101 were found to have “courses, classes, and topics (required and elective) in spirituality and health.”

Today, people across the globe are learning about, teaching, and utilizing spiritual methods for healing.

For example:

A doctor’s diagnosis of an internal kidney deformity closed the door on a friend of mine ever having children. It was explained to Kaye that it would be a threat to her life if she tried to carry a child for nine months.

However, Kaye’s husband, Jim, had a calm way of handling the news. Throughout his life, he had experienced the benefits of relying on the divine for healing.

Motivated by his confidence, Kaye began to read the Scriptures and pray daily. Significant changes took place in her thought. She felt freer of the belief that she was bound by the original diagnosis.

Then during their second year of marriage, Kaye became pregnant. A gynecologist confirmed the sense of freedom she had been feeling. He found no evidence of the deformities previously diagnosed.

Kaye now has two healthy, grown boys. She is quite convinced that spirituality changed her thought, body, and life for the better.

The placebo and nocebo questions (elephants) are still in the room. They can’t be ignored. However, many health care professionals are becoming aware that a thought-rudder can steer patients away from harmful beliefs and in a healthier direction.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Family Meals - Nourish body, mind, and soul
by KeithWommack
Jan 15, 2013 | 1127 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Stephen looked puzzled. What he saw didn’t make sense. Our neighbors’ ten-year-old son was peering at us through the glass of our backyard French door.

Slowly, he opened the door, stepped in, and continued to stare. Finally, he asked, “What are ya’ll doing?”

It wasn’t as though he couldn’t tell we were eating dinner. He’d walked in while we were at the table many times. And, usually, we’d grab another plate and fork and Stephen would take his place next to our own ten and eight year-old sons, Jarrod and Jordan.

However, this time it was different. What confused Stephen were the flickering candles. Still befuddled, he asked, “Somebody’s birthday?”

Joanne, already setting a place at the table for Stephen, said, “No, sometimes it’s fun to make a normal meal special by having candlelight.”

Sadly, Stephen and many other children, for one reason or another, grow-up without the opportunity to receive the rich benefits of consistent family mealtimes. For Joanne and I, these precious evenings were often when we learned what our kids were doing, who they were “hanging out” with, and what really mattered to them.

These undistracted mealtime-moments let them know that we cared about everything in their lives. Since they are now in their twenties, they have a better understanding of why we always ate together.

There are multiple benefits to family mealtimes:

  • In 2012, researchers at Cornell University noted that if you practiced shared mealtimes, “Your child may be 35% less likely to engage in disordered eating, 24% more likely to eat healthier foods and 12% less likely to be overweight.”
  • Twelve years ago in a study of sixth graders, researchers at Cornell’s Medical College noticed a link between those who had family meals and lower rates of delinquency and aggression.

Why are family mealtimes so beneficial?

It could be that some children behave better when they believe they are constantly supervised.

Author, Polly Campbell, suggests another possible reason: “Mealtimes are an ideal place to practice mindfulness, [the] art of paying attention. Mindfulness is about noticing, experiencing, seeing what is all around you. …When we are mindful we connect to our inner self, the spiritual center, the place where love and appreciation and compassion and gratitude bubble up. Mindfulness …often leads to the bigger thing.”

Joanne and I have seen how connecting with the sacred helps in making mealtimes nutritional on all levels. We’ve learned that the spiritual, what we understand to be “the bigger thing," enables us to take care of all the little things, -- our family’s and other’s needs.

Perhaps, we can give others attention, appreciation, and affection because we are spiritual beings animated by the divine. Could we be part of the divine’s strategy for nourishing another’s mind, body, and spiritual sense?

As our meal surprised Stephen, your meals can surprise your family and friends. Let them eat by candlelight. Shower them with attention, appreciation, and affection. If you do, they will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of a shared meal.

No matter how small or large your family is, a daily effort should be made to bring its members together.

Undistracted mealtime-moments will let your family and friends know that you care; that you care about everything in their lives.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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Keep your family safe – Improve mental health
by KeithWommack
Jan 07, 2013 | 1153 views | 1 1 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Last Thursday, children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, began attending classes at a repurposed school in the neighboring town of Monroe.

Heart-wrenching tragedies stir our desire to aid in the healing process and to prevent further harmful acts from taking place.

As the gun control debate continues, another factor is being discussed as a possible connection between this latest and other recent violent acts. This link is mental illness.

After a disturbing event, the warning signs of a troubled gunman are often recognized. But even though a certain number of the mentally ill do commit crimes, studies suggest that the mentally ill are not generally predisposed to perpetrating violent acts. More often than not, they are victims of violence, not the ones usually responsible for criminal acts.

Although the number of crimes committed by the mentally ill may be lower than the rest of the population, every violent episode should be stopped, if at all possible. And high on the list of steps to be taken to improve the mental health that can keep our families safer should be the education of everyone about elementary principles, standards as simple as caring for others.

This is why, one theme at the September 2011 Wave III Baylor Religion Survey news briefing I attended in Durham, North Carolina, grabbed my attention. And why the loss of life in Newtown, Connecticut, motivated me to reexamine it: Mental health can be improved through greater spiritual awareness.

Before the briefing, I had an opportunity to talk with Dr. Paul Froese, associate professor of sociology at Baylor University. Froese was part of the research team that studied the connection between mental health and spirituality. He was also one of the participants who shared the survey’s findings.

Froese explained that respondents in the study on mental health, who have strong beliefs about their relationship with God, “have significantly better mental health.”  He said the survey discovered, as well, that those who attend religious services regularly have the lowest reported number of mental health issues.

This study mirrored what I have been witnessing in my healing practice for the past 29 years, and why I strongly feel it is imperative that spiritual reasoning, prayer, and religious attendance be recognized for the healing impacts they have on our and our children’s wellbeing.

Spiritual awareness and practices cultivate a concern for others and the greater good. They encourage outward thinking and selfless acts. Because of this, they facilitate improvement in mental health. They are the reverse of the disturbing and destructive inward, materialistic, self-centered state of thought that lends itself to acting in ways that are foreign to mankind’s natural inclinations.

Many individuals suffer needlessly from obsessive-compulsive disorders, social anxiety, stress, and panic attacks. According to a study, more American adults are reporting being disabled by the symptoms of anxiety, depression, or emotional difficulties.

The report, published September 2011 in the American Journal of Public Health, found that people who said they could not accomplish daily tasks or engage in social and leisure activities because of a mental illness jumped from 2 percent in 1999 to 2.7 percent in 2009. The increase amounts to almost 2 million more people disabled by mental challenges in the past decade.

It has long been believed that the brain is the cause of consciousness, and as such is what rules mental health. Yet, physicians and researchers are beginning to join those in the spiritual healing practices in accepting that things are not always what they appear to be.

During a meeting about spirituality’s role in mental health, Dr. Thomas Curry, a licensed psychotherapist in Texas, told me that research is now showing that the brain changes according to one’s thought.

Curry explained, “This phenomena is called neuroplasticity. What makes this interesting is that if the brain directs consciousness, one would think that as the brain changes, consciousness changes. Yet, we know for a fact that consciousness can change first, and then the brain follows suit by re-connecting, or circumventing certain neural pathways. This implies that the brain is an object of thought, and not the thinker.”

This certainly coincides with what I am learning.

I find that prayer impacts wellbeing because, as radical as it sounds, thought is the engine that essentially forms and drives the brain, as well as the entire body. This is why a significant change of thought leads to adjustments and changes in mental and physical health. And prayer, with the power of God behind it, changes thought as nothing else can.

The suffering of so many is disheartening. Yet, there are those who have found that a divine awareness has replaced fear and panic with a deep-rooted peace. It causes increased caring for others and a healthier outward look on life. Isn’t this what we want expressed by our children and those who are near them?

Alertness to signs that may indicate the planning of an unthinkable act is wise. However, an intelligent answer to violent acts will not include the pigeonholing of another as the next maniacal assassin just because they appear aloof or different. If paranoia drives us to accuse the innocent and commit unjust violations of personal freedom, perhaps we are expressing a little mental imbalance ourselves.

Most importantly, the mentally ill need our help, not our suspicions. They need attention, treatment, and guidance. They need something that will effectively help and heal them.

To improve our families’ safety, we must improve mental health by learning to control and stop self-destructive materialistic thinking. Apparently, spiritual awareness and practices can help.

– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com

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laselva
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January 10, 2013
Thank you for a well-written, informative article. There are so many causes of mental illness: from genetics, to drug and alcoholic birth mothers, poverty and stress, that the practice of spirituality or a belief in God sounds a bit simplistic, but sometimes a simple solution is exactly the answer. And the church community itself can be a great help in times of stress. One topic not discussed is the environment itself. Many studies have linked psychotic episodes to sleep deprivation. Video games, light pollution and excessive noise are the most obvious culprits and communities need to be aware of this. Do we need fifty foot tall lights illuminating the auto mall 24 hours a day, or building homes next to the freeway?

The tragedy is that we do have laws regulating guns, but nothing regulating bullets. And it is bullets that kill people. Anyone can walk into a gun shop and buy 1,ooo rounds of ammo without any background check or permit. I can't imagine anyone would argue that maybe bullets should be regulated.

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