Love can rewrite our prognosis

a kinder-hearted society

Out for my afternoon walk I was overtaken by a huge, gangly black puppy dragging along his owner. They brought a smile to my face and jogged a memory of my lovely little fox terrier-corgi cross, Tess. I couldn’t help contrasting the use of a body harness/lead worn by the pup and my use of a traditional collar and lead, which on reflection must have tugged constantly on dear Tess when we went for walks.

Things change for the better. A kinder-hearted society looks for and discovers better solutions.

I’m pleased to see that enlightened thought today is urging us to re-examine and move beyond Darwin’s theory of evolution and survival of the fittest based on an exclusively material view of the world.

For example, scientific reductionist, Michael Mosley, on a recent SBS documentary, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, volunteered to be part of research into the latest thought-based sciences of epigenetics, neuroscience and mindfulness meditation and what they have to say about personalities – and whether they can be changed for the better.

It took a humble approach to prove to himself that he didn’t need to accept a genetic trait of a pessimistic personality, but could in just seven weeks find kinder, joy-filled life goals and outcomes that made him realise that he could change his pessimism to an optimistic outlook.

A secondary payoff for Moseley was the peace that comes from a positive approach to life. He said goodbye to long-standing insomnia and had a great sleep each night for the first time.

A whole-person approach to healing is gaining ground among doctors and in medical schools. Many clinicians now practice holistically (treating organ-brain-psyche-social connection) rather than focussing just on our biochemistry and automatically accepting the survival of the genetically fittest premise. The tendency to direct scientific time, energy and resources into exploring only material effects is giving way to a new breed of investigator and investigation into mental causation.

When Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species in 1859 he drew together a number of contemporary intellectual currents of the time, but his theory also raised controversy.

Back then, when a spiritual renaissance was also occurring in western thought, a deep thinker of the day, Mary Baker Eddy, addressed the controversy in fundamental terms, “The true theory of the universe, including man, is not in material history but in spiritual development.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)

Stephen G Post, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Founding Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stoney Brook University in the USA, concurs with Eddy’s conviction of the primal importance of spiritual attainments like love, honesty and humility to human health.

His new book and tribute to financier, philanthropist and spiritual thinker, Sir John Templeton, establishes a fundamental line of reasoning: “Is Ultimate Reality Unlimited Love?” The goal of his Institute for Research on Unlimited Love is “to greatly increase awareness of the emotional and health benefits of love, both for those who give it and receive it, through innovative scientific investigations.”

An example from the book showed that the incidence of heart attacks and other stress related illnesses was highly correlated with how self-focused the patients were. Researchers recommended that “a healthier heart can result when a person is more giving, listens attentively when others talk, and does things that are unselfish.”

If a humble heart is seeking a kinder and diviner world view by loving, caring and giving more, health will be one of the many side benefits. You could say that this is a science that is provable and repeatable.

The success of a humane and spiritual approach to life and health is explained by Eddy, “Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power.”

Some will be hesitant to champion a science based on love for fear of looking foolish, but consider what a humbled Michael Mosley reluctantly concluded, “It’s never too late for you to change your mind.”

Experiencing Health via the Connection

Edwin de Leon

Why don’t you hear more about the revolutionary healthcare options and treatments that take into account the mind-body-spirit connection from your local doctor or hospital?

Here’s one explanation. In Dr Craig Hassed’s keynote address at the 20th Annual International Integrative Medicine Conference in Sydney last week he referred to Thomas Kuhn’s philosophy of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Continue Reading

Healthier views are springing up amidst the well-meaning daffodils

daffodils20142

Whether you buy a bunch or two of gorgeous yellow daffodils on Daffodil Day to support the Cancer Council’s objectives or not, you might let this explosion of colour in our shops stir you to take charge of how you think about your health.

If you do, you won’t be alone. There are an increasing number of medical voices speaking up for a new view of health and healing, based on the integral nature of our thoughts and beliefs to our state of health.

For instance, Dr Lissa Rankin has reviewed the research, and is vocal in naming some of the fears that make us sick and prevent disease remission, like thinking about sickness all the time, believing that we’re victims of our genes, and adhering to false programming about health and hygiene.Continue Reading

Buying or selling? You don’t have to be stressed

sold moving in

At last I’d found the perfect new home after weeks of searching and it ticked all the boxes!

The thing was, it would cost every dollar we had and more, and my joy in finding it was causing my long-suffering husband to experience horrific stress with the thought that we would be forever chasing our tails in financial hardship.

Tension was escalating between us, as circumstances dictated that a decision had to be made, and that very weekend!Continue Reading

Can a shift in thought boost not only Commonwealth Games success but future wellbeing?


Whats the spirit that makes you successful

If you’re from anywhere in the British Commonwealth, it’s fairly certain that the XX Commonwealth Games are in your thoughts right now as competitors line up with some of the best in the world in Glasgow.

With over 400 athletes hailing from Australia and a swag of medals already in the bag we are again asserting a claim to being the Number One sporting nation in the British Commonwealth.

One of our greatest Commonwealth and Olympic Games swimmers, breaking 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle world records, was Kieren Perkins, O.A.M.

When asked how he achieved such feats he answered, “Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves”.

As personal bests are beaten and world records fall, many thoughtful people admit that health, like sporting success, is about overcoming the barriers we believe — not just about what’s going on physically but what’s happening mentally.Continue Reading

NAIDOC Week 2014: Spirituality linked to better indigenous health

@Glowimages 070617w0003.

A spiritual concept of ‘country’ is linked to health @Glowimages

Beloved Australian ABC gardening show host, Peter Cundall, is now retired. But when interviewed by Scott Stephens on Life’s Big Questions a year or two ago, he equated religious/spiritual teaching on a par with fairy stories.

It’s ironic really, because it seems to me that Peter’s joy for life and gratitude for every tiny evidence of good in his days is what has ensured his perfect health for more than 50 years. To me, this is spirituality in action!

I can see a similarity between Peter’s spirituality and that of aboriginal peoples. Continue Reading

Tune out the downbeat and ‘laugh, love, pray’ for winter wellness

Research says laugh, love, pray for winter wellness  © Glowimages

Research says laugh, love, pray for winter wellness © Glowimages

Are you sometimes mesmerised by the latest medication for the common cold on the TV? Fascinated by the computer graphics used to depict the symptoms and their soothing remedy being promoted? Impressed by the subliminal suggestion that responsible people purchase the latest advertised medication? Influenced by society’s bland acceptance of the assumption that colds and flu are unavoidable at this time of year?

Or are you often repelled by these downward tugs, loaded with obvious big pharmaceutical company backing?

Good thinking!

You’re part of a growing movement of individuals who have become more discerning and are prepared to take responsibility for their thoughts, and ultimately for their health and wellbeing.

“Your health care shouldn’t be all about drugs”, says family physician, Dr Chandra. They are just not the answer for healing and more consistent wellbeing. She points to considerable and repeated research that has found that alternative therapies, which recognise the influence of our thoughts and beliefs on our health, are far superior treatments.Continue Reading

Full recovery from PTSD is possible

PTSD sufferers address spirituality to rebuild lives © Glowimages

PTSD sufferers address spirituality to rebuild lives © Glowimages

Last week’s ANZAC Day commemorations highlighted the best of human conduct – servicemen’s and servicewomen’s courage, mateship, decency and willingness to lay down their lives for country and comrades in battle.

At the same time though, and in a quieter way, there was mention of those suffering from trauma as a result of seeing the devastation and brutality that go hand-in-hand with war. During the panel discussion on ABC Big Ideas ANZAC Day Special: Boys Don’t Cry, it was stated that 8% of serving Australian defence force personnel experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But it was also pointed that that figure indicates only those who have been diagnosed and there could be upwards of 30% of all who have served.

Not only Australian Defence Force personnel but also other first responders like ambulance personnel, fire fighters, police officers and hospital staff are all too often confronted with devastating accidents, natural disasters or and the basest of human behaviours, leaving them with recurring images of the carnage and devastation. It also often leaves them numb and detached, and sometimes suicidal.Continue Reading

Our View of Easter can Improve our Health

 

Easter signifies life instead of death © Glowimages

Easter signifies life instead of death © Glowimages

I felt really privileged to have time to amble through the cemetery on one of those picture perfect mornings recently. As I ventured further in, the structure of the cemetery impressed me. Dating from the 1860s, I discovered that early graves and headstones were grouped according to the professed religion of the deceased. Some of the signs read: Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Other Christian, Muslim.

Towards the end of the 20th century the fashion became the lawn cemetery. However I noticed that these were still divided into groupings by religion. More than half of Australians prefer cremation now, and this number is growing, but the lawn cemetery is still the preferred method for a lot of people, though not necessarily divided into religious groupings any more.

Then I got to thinking. It seems that our idea of God, our conception of heaven and earth has dictated how we bury our dead. It was clear in the early days that it was believed that our wealth needed to be displayed so that a manlike god could decide where we fitted into a mortal-like heaven. He also needed to know whether we believed in Him or not, if we were in high church, the chosen church, or none.

I am so pleased that we seem to have a much better understanding of our relation to the divine these days …. that we are all equal(-ly loved) and unfettered by religious differences.Continue Reading

Your calendar age doesn’t define you

Break free from the birthday shackle © Glowimages – models used for illustrative purposes

Break free from the birthday shackle © Glowimages – models used for illustrative purposes

Do you believe that you are you are ‘as young as you feel’? That you’re free to take charge of your own health, happiness and wellbeing, no matter what your age?

In frustration at some of the ingrained beliefs about aging that he saw shackling his colleagues and friends as they grew older, an American baseball legend asked, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” implying that you need to break out of the mental conditioning that makes you think you are defined by your age.

The calendar is a useful way to let you know the date, but if you let yourself be hemmed in by your chronological age, you may lock yourself out of potentially valuable opportunities.

Nextgen population researchers have recognised the greater import of health, cognitive function and life expectancy rather than age data as they plan for future populations. “We should not consider someone who is 60 or 65 to be an older person,” said researcher Sergei Scherbov. “Saying that ‘40 is the new 30’ .. is truer than people know.”Continue Reading