Sunday, January 17, 2010


I have always been one to speak on balance when it comes to wellness. A person who is physically fit but has many things that are weighing heavy on their mind to the point of constant worry will find that if not managed properly will have a profound impact on their health.
Another area that many people don't often consider when they think of wellness is the area of spirituality (note...I said spirituality not religion). We all need to have something that helps keep us centered. For me one of the things that helps keep me centered is to strive everyday to have a positive impact on someone else life. This can be something as small as a friendly greeting to a stranger. Have you found that often people look at you strange when you step into an elevator and show a gesture of a friendly greeting? I find that when I take the focus off me and place it on others often when I have my own life challenges they seem a little easier to tackle.
Check out this article on how to achieve spiritual fitness. Make a firm commitment to yourself in this new year to work on achieving balance in mind/body and spirit.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Spirituality and Medicine

In the temples of Ancient Greece dedicated to Asclepius, the God of Healing, there was the integration of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing. This approach to medicine could also be found in the Indian, Egyptian and Chinese culture as well as the monasteries and convents of Medieval Europe. With the advances of technology in Medicine, the spiritual and mental aspects of healing were put aside. The human body became one only viewed functionally as a mechanical machine. Scientific research once again began to explore the connection between the mind, body and spirituality. It is being shown more and more how prayer and meditation can indeed contribute to the healing process. It is known that negative thoughts set up a friendly environment to harbor diseases. Meditation actually can change the wiring of the brain, creating a more positive frame of mind.
Dr. Christina Puchalski, MD was the pioneer introducing coursework at George Washington University School of Medicine in 1992 on spirituality and health. At that time it was an elective course only only offered by 2% of schools. By 2004 the number increased to 67%. Now for many of the Medical Schools it is a requirement to take at lease one course related to the topic. The goal for such curriculum is to help the student gain an understanding of how to be compassionate participants in their patient's lives.
Many physicians today respect and some actively participate in the patient's need for prayer, meditation and other forms of spirituality.
For more on this topic the book Spirituality and Medicine: Can the Two Walk Together by Dr. Glenda Hodge, MD can help one gain further insight.