I am lighting the candles on a cake to celebrate my one-year anniversary of publishing on the Simcoe County online paper! Celebrate with me – fifty-two weeks and here is the fifty-second column! It has been an eye-opening journey into the undeniable connection between consciousness and health.
Here is a sampling of some top concepts explored in the articles posted on my blog “Health and the Mental Signature”:
1. Patient centered care improves healthy outcomes
Dr. Bernard Lown states “Medicine is the art of engagement with the human condition rather than with the disease” In his book “The Lost Art of Healing” he concludes that the problems with our medical system will not be cured until the patient once again becomes central to the doctor’s agenda. This patient centered care begins with listening to the patient – putting down the stethoscopes and listening to the patient’s stories. The diagnosis may not be a physical one, but an emotional or mental one.
2. Stress management without drugs
Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Mind Body Institute teaches that prayer and relaxation techniques can replace fear and anxiety with a deep-rooted peace to become more balanced individuals.
3. Spirituality can make you happy healthy and whole
There is research that recommends handling stress – an issue which effects home, work and relationships- with some form of meditation or spiritual practice. To say that such a correlation between spirituality and health exists, there is nothing like personal experience. My spiritual practice of prayer and Bible study has helped me successfully overcome health and relationship challenges that could have overwhelmed me – some stories I have shared with you over this past year.
Author Maggie Lyon defines a spiritual practice as something you do every day to connect with your divine self. Happiness can be more consistent in our lives through a combination of spiritual-like qualities such as gratitude, joy, hope, inspiration and love.
4. A healthier lifestyle is most successful when rooted in thought
In my interview with Dr. Alastair Cunningham, he spoke of change coming from motivation from within, that there are ways to change thoughts, and hence habits. A change in thought can help to adopt and maintain new health habits and more permanent results.
5. Red flag raised for over-medication for Canadians
Experts in drug policy suggest we are taking more drugs and experiencing less health. The pharmaceutical industry may appear at odds with our health system as public consciousness takes a leaner view of medications through more information on drugs and side effects. Deepak Chopra, holistic health guru, recommends that people take control of their health and demand better information about alternative forms of treatment. Taking control may help reduce fear which underlies the scenario where a patient ends up taking more drugs than may be needed.
6. What the placebo effect tells us about our thinking and our health
Dr. Amir Raz of McGill University in Montreal states that in studies placebos have been shown to be extremely potent in many fields of medicine, including even surgery. How does a pill with no medical benefit heal patients just by the power of belief? The patients’ thought about the drug seems to be the determining factor.
Studies are uncovering the role the mind-body connection plays in caring for one’s health and well-being.
7. Healthcare at our fingertips – the hi-tech age
Apps for your cell phone are great fun and are used not only for entertainment and finding the nearest Starbucks, but applications for medical related uses have exploded. You can download apps for nutrition, sleep, gratitude and mindfulness. Gratitude and mindfulness? Huffington Post has launched the ‘GPS for the Soul’ – an app that can connect you to whatever you need to get to a place of balance, like music, family photos or vacation places. Does this not suggest a mind-body connection?
Will there be more issues and research that inspire us to adopt a more thought-based view of health? This field is exploding with new insights and research. Year two will be a whole new journey.
Thank you for reading – I’ll cut you a piece of cake…..