Australia’s quest for increased health and longevity

MAKING GAINS: Australians' life expectancies have increased due to a decline in the incidence of chronic health problems. Courier Mail, June 20, 2011

There’s been some good news in the media about the health and longevity of Australians.

The national news media, including The Courier Mail, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph all carried this report: “The number of people dying early because of chronic health problems is falling, boosting Australians’ life expectancy, a new government report has found. The report, released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare today …… found the number of people aged under 75 dying from chronic illness such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and mental illness had dropped by almost 20 per cent in the 10-year study period which ended in 2007.”

My interest was sparked by the report and I went to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website to learn more. What really interests me is the Australian Government’s National Preventative Health Strategy that is currently being implemented. It is presented as a comprehensive approach by the Government with seven strategic directions, including shared responsibility, act early and throughout life, engage communities, reduce inequity, contribute to closing the gap for indigenous Australians, and refocus primary healthcare towards prevention.Continue Reading

Michelle: Christian Healing > No Miracle > Natural

People are often perplexed at how to deal with the over-consumption of alcohol, especially by teenagers and 20-somethings. Although any change in young people’s behaviour will require a change of the collective thought on the use of alcohol, we would probably all agree that needed social change is rarely made quickly or easily. However, despite all the debate on this subject, my colleague Keith Wommack, from Texas USA has inspired me to broaden my thought about this issue and the possibilities that scientific prayer can bring ……. no matter what! Check out the re-post of his blog below.

Many years ago, I taught Michelle in Sunday School. A few years later, when she was a teenager, she went to a party and drank until she was drunk. Friends took her to a house and left her alone for several hours. When they returned at 3:30 in the morning, they found her unconscious and not breathing. When firemen were unable to revive her, she was immediately taken to a hospital. At the hospital she was found to have alcohol poisoning and wasn’t expected to live.Continue Reading

Unselfish love empowers children …… and adults

Amy Chua’s new novel, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, has sparked hot debate around the world about the style of parenting that is most conducive to raising successful children.

Apparently, Tiger mum rigidly “commands her children to get A’s in every test…. they can’t choose their own after school activities, or play any instrument but violin and piano, and must play violin and piano. Successful Tiger children never get a playdate, a sleepover, a part in the school play, any TV or computer games or go on school camps.”

Responses to the book have ranged from there being merit in many of the strategies, to this ultra-strict Chinese-inspired parenting style being labelled a form of child abuse by local mothers and child psychologists (Herald Sun/Sunday Sun, 13 February, Hamish Heard).

As a Christian Scientist and mother of two adult children, my response would be in line with the Christian Science Monitor’s article “Where love and discipline meet” (10 February 2011) by Katherine Stephen. Commenting on Chua’s book, she says, “Most parents are intuitively on track when they place unselfish love as the best motivation – the default setting – for interactions between parent and child. This is perhaps the key to ensuring that the efforts of parents have only a constructive influence on their children. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor, saw the qualities of love as being inherently strong and productive in human affairs. She wrote, “Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p.250).Continue Reading