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.

Apparently Kuhn’s hypothesis goes something like this: accepted scientific paradigms are influenced more by common consent than evidence; and when new evidence conflicts with the accepted paradigm it is at first seen as a mistake. However, if there is sufficient evidence then a crisis or revolution is reached, before eventually the old data is subsumed into a new paradigm.

One recent example comes to mind. The new science of epigenetics shows that genes and DNA are not static and do not control our biology, but are controlled by signals from outside the cell, including our positive and negative thoughts. Molecules don’t trigger events in our cells; mind does!

Medicine may still be at a crisis point as to how to accommodate epigenetics because its emphasis is so much on how the mind (cause) needs to be treated primarily, rather than the body (effect).

Numerous scientific trials into the effects of love, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude and contemplative practices, show that loving, supportive people and a kind environment reduce stress and disease; that patient-centred care that treats the individual’s lifestyle and beliefs brings quicker healing; that happy, energetic people who eat well and are cared for are healthier; that contemplative practices like mindfulness meditation and affirming prayer help to heal, repair and prevent depression and may slow ageing.

Talking of paradigms, two thousand years ago Jesus Christ introduced a new scientific paradigm, the understanding of which had barely dawned on human thought until now; that our health can’t be separated from the quality of our thoughts. One of his followers instructed that we need to “have a new mind and heart” (Ephesians 4:23) for greater health and wellbeing; and this was Paul’s expectation for those he healed.

Nonetheless, as the world stands in the early years of the 21st Century in its expanding understanding of the gold standard of medicine that Jesus and his followers practised, the field of mind-body medicine is a small step in the right direction.

This week a new film called The Connection had its world premiere in Melbourne on Monday evening, to be followed by a screening in Sydney this Friday 5 September before its US and London screenings later in the month.

As co-author of the popular book Mindfulness for Life, Hassed is among other scientists, researchers, writers and doctors like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Herbert Benson, Dean Ornish and George Jelinek (from Australia) who share their research and introduce people with remarkable true stories who have recovered from severe back pain, heart disease, infertility, cancer and multiple sclerosis using these practices, including Aussie carpenter, Scott Stephens.

The Connection is a film about how frontier research is proving that there is a direct connection between your mind and your health. The promo asserts, “It’s a film for people who have tried everything.”

A young man who had “tried everything” that even integrative medicine could provide decided to take a completely different approach to healing – an entirely spiritual approach.

Edwin de Leon was diagnosed with a muscular skeletal condition a few years ago. Having relied on medications and painkillers constantly for some time, as well as other therapies to manage the problem which he was told would continue for the rest of his life, he decided to revert to the spiritual practice he’d grown up with but had left behind – the “divine Science of Mind-healing”, as Mary Baker Eddy once described it. Here’s his story.

This practice relies on an increased understanding of the divine Mind, rather than the human mind and is based on the contemplative practice of prayer that seeks a change of perception from a material sense of identity, to a higher view of being created “in the image and likeness” of the Divine, as the Bible puts it.

Within about three or four months he found he didn’t need the painkillers any more. He says the experience was “almost like having a light being shined on my thought” and as it turned out “this wasn’t just a physical healing … it changed my whole attitude and outlook on life.”

How long it will be until traditional and integrative medicine can accept this new-old paradigm based on true consciousness – the spiritual sense of being and of our true connection to the Divine – is unknown. Kuhn’s hypothesis explains why current medicine is still conflicted by it.

While a growing number of medical practitioners are certain of the need today for the integration of mind-body practices with useful treatments from the traditional medical paradigm, if Kuhn’s hypothesis stands true they will one day accept this new-old spiritual paradigm, which offers the gold standard of medicine.

This article was first published on Online Opinion.

Healthier views are springing up amidst the well-meaning daffodils


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

Working with the Whole Person: Interview with Petrea King

Petrea King talks to Kay Stroud for Holistic Bliss Magazine

Petrea King talks to Kay Stroud for Holistic Bliss Magazine

Read this cover story article where it was published in the February 2014 issue of Holistic Bliss Magazine….

Put simply, the standard prescribed way of treating disease needs to be reviewed and reworked.

This was the message that Petrea King and many of the health practitioners conveyed at the AIMA 19th Integrative Medicine Conference held at the Gold Coast late last year.

Following her workshop, King agreed to talk with me about her work and what she sees as the future of healthcare in Australia. Qualified naturopath, herbalist, clinical hypnotherapist, yoga and meditation teacher, author, founder and CEO of the Quest for Life Foundation, she has been instrumental in healing individuals and communities after tragedies such as the Queensland floods and is regularly sought after as a counsellor and commentator on integrative therapies on ABC Radio.

“… the whole relatively new science of epigenetics shows us that we have to move from treating diseases to treating people”Continue Reading