The alleviation of pain that feels more than miraculous

“I can still remember the feeling of love and wholeness that engulfed me…” © Glowimages
“I can still remember the feeling of love and wholeness that engulfed me…” © Glowimages

The four-hourly doses of morphine were such a welcome relief to the intense pain I was experiencing following major surgery. What could possibly make me give them up?

Amazingly, I found there was something that could persuade me to do so.

And that’s why, I want to share my experience with the sufferers who are being invited to break their silence about chronic pain for National Pain Week.Continue Reading

Digital natives lead way to an ‘unselfie’ New Year

Digital natives lead way to an ‘unselfie’ New Year © Glowimages – model used for illustrative purposes
Digital natives lead way to an ‘unselfie’ New Year © Glowimages – model used for illustrative purposes

“Our generation doesn’t send Christmas cards”, asserted my 30-year-old daughter when I complained about writing them. She followed up with, “I’ll be sending an e-card like last year”.

Whatever your position about handwritten Christmas cards versus e-cards (I’m in both camps this year), you’d have to admit that for most, it’s not so much about having a physical item or possession that counts.

In a digital age, we no longer need to possess an object to give and receive cards, listen to music, to watch videos or to read a book. Things are disappearing right before our eyes, as the dematerialization of society escalates.

Young people view ownership and the act of consumption as far less important today than being part of the perpetual feedback loop of social media and online personas, reports a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Are we all now on the same mind, body, spirit page?

© Stock photos/Glowimages – model used for illustrative purpose
© Stock photos/Glowimages – model used for illustrative purpose

A couple of weeks ago, thousands of people attended the Mind Body Spirit Festival in Brisbane. I made my way there through the gloomy weather on Sunday, to find a really ‘happening’ event, a lot like the Health Harmony and Soul Expo held on the Gold Coast earlier in the year.

There were a surprising number of Millennials and Gen Ys amongst the Baby Boomers and Gen Xs in attendance, as ready to explore the ideas of philosophy and religion, as they were to try out the organic tea or get their ‘reading’.

I got the impression that there was general agreement between those on stands and within their vibrant audience that health is about very much more than treating a body.Continue Reading

Expect health! Expectation can be a self-fulfilling prophecy

© Stock photo/Glowimages
© Stock photo/Glowimages

“Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can”, exclaims Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), the hero of Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, now showing in cinemas.

While Gatsby, the billionaire with shady business connections, may not be the ideal role model, you’ve got to give him full marks for his tenacity, vision and expectancy! Starting out life in poverty and misery, he turned his life around to achieve his boyhood dream of wealth and security. His aspirations, expectations and capability enabled him to succeed, as he focussed on the grand possibilities, rather than the roadblocks.

Maybe his background and life experience hadn’t equipped him to realise the underpinning significance of honesty, humility and compassion for a fuller, more complete view of himself … and others … and to achieve true happiness.Continue Reading

Being Mindful of World Health Day

This article first appeared on Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion.

© Stock photos/Glowimages – models used for illustrative purpose
© Stock photos/Glowimages – models used for illustrative purpose

There’ll be a functional cure for AIDs; your brain waves will be able to be manipulated to jog memory or scratch bad recollections; and, bandages will indicate how healing is progressing. These are just three of the many amazing medical breakthroughs that could become reality within the next 10-20 years, according to a recent Brisbane Times report on groundbreaking Melbourne-based research.

While these innovations focus very much on a biomedical approach to treating disease, there are another group of international researchers who are finding equally amazing results through the use of placebos. These treatments are often dispensed as inert sugar pills or ‘pretend operations’ whereby a patient’s belief in their efficacy and/or the authority of the dispensing doctor, results in improvement or healing.

Did you know that the placebo effect can produce higher test scores? Or that simply picking up a bottle of pills (and putting them straight back down again) can effect healing?Continue Reading

Want the Happiest of New Years? Trust Your Instinct to Care

@Glowimages 047046.

This article was first published on these APN regional news websites: Toowoomba Chronicle, Bundaberg NewsMail, the Northern Star and Fraser Coast Chronicle.

A friend related how an acquaintance was in hospital recently, suffering from a life-threatening illness. Things were looking pretty grim and it seemed that he was hanging on by a thread. Then his heart stopped and he ceased breathing. At that moment, the medical staff on duty in that area of the hospital noticed that he was passing on and began to congregate around his bed …. not rushing to him with defibrillator or drip, but unexpectedly telling jokes, laughing and talking loudly and animatedly about everyday things. They continued by his bedside including everyone in the ward in the jovial conversation until he began to regain consciousness. When he later asked the fellow in the next bed what had happened, he related the incident. The man made a full recovery.Continue Reading

Top of our Christmas Wish-List is Health

@Glowimages 42-19542213.
© Stock photos/Glowimages

Versions of this blog article are published on the national forum, Online Opinion, as Know what’s at the top of our Christmas wish list? Health, and What’s at the top of your Christmas wish-list? on the APN media website.

All I want for Christmas is to go about my day pain-free,” writes one blogger.” “All I want for Christmas is the gift of good health,” blogs another. If you search these words on Google, you’ll find a common theme.

However, there’s reason to believe that our hopes for less pain or better health may not lie in the realm of the Santa Claus story or be as unachievable as we may think.

Did you catch Sunday’s 60 Minutes – Mind over Medicine? Revolutionary results are being achieved as a result of placebo research. Continue Reading

Health: Predetermined? Fate? For sale?

© Stock photos/

There’s a game where the price for goods that you produce is determined by a god called “Theoi”. Participants have the option of contributing some of their goods to Theoi in the hope of ‘pacifying him’ and becoming more successful.

Recently a group of players were part of a research study conducted at the University of Queensland. Researchers found that there was a belief among both believers (that Theoi made a difference to the outcome) and non-believers that expenditure and sacrifice might somehow reap rewards, even when there was no effect on outcomes. “There seems to be a default belief that people can bargain with the unknown, and they need a lot of evidence to the contrary before it fades away”, researcher Professor Paul Fritjers said. Even when witnessing hundreds of occasions where it made no difference, they kept sacrificing large portions of their income to the perceived source of the problem, Theoi.

Have you accepted the necessary sacrifice to the poker machine, Blackjack, cards or Keno god – hoping for that big win? Continue Reading

Obese Nation or Opportunity for New Health Model?

This post was first published on ON LINE Opinion, Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate, as Connect the dots out of an obesity epidemic to ‘picture of health’.

My childhood friend was getting quite plump, had trouble running and became the victim of chubby and fat jokes by kids and adults alike. This was back in the ‘60s when most children were quite slim.

If you’d seen her a year later, you wouldn’t have recognised her. She regularly rode her bicycle, played tennis and had established a healthy diet despite being part of a family who often overindulged. And her slender appearance hasn’t changed during the ensuing five decades.

What changed for her? There was more going on than just seeing-out the ‘puppy fat’ years. It was pretty clear that there was a major change in her thinking when she realised that she could take charge of her life.Continue Reading

Health – what’s love got to do with it?

Where does the love that heals come from? I think my guest blogger today answers this question really well. Check out today’s post by Anna Bowness-Park, media spokesperson for Christian Science in British Columbia, Canada.

Have you ever stood in a store line where a dear elderly gentleman is taking ages to go through his wallet to find that extra needed dime, while he talks to the cashier about what he ate for breakfast? Of course, you’re late for work, and your car is at a ticking meter, so you never really look at the eyes of the clerk, who understands the needs of this dear man to talk a little and to feel connected.

There is much positive and encouraging research on the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. However, for me, an even more important concept is love, and how tenderness, listening and compassion – the more spiritual aspect of our lives – play such an important part in our health and well-being. It’s interesting to me because these are feelings that are relational rather than solo, as in meditation.Continue Reading