Because it seemed the newspapers and food labels were using a much smaller font, I saw an optometrist for an eye exam for reading glasses. Unfortunately, I received an unwelcome diagnosis….my dimming vision was being caused by cataracts.
You know things are bad when "phobophobia" (fear of fear itself) becomes one of 530 documented phobias now on record.
Many medical doctors agree that a large percentage of disease is rooted in fear and anxiety. These are also the biggest drivers of overdiagnosis and overtreatment, two chief causes of the upward spiraling cost of health care. Gilbert Welch chronicles and analyzes this phenomenon in his 2012 book Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health.
We often focus on gratitude during a holiday or special occasion, and doing so can fill that time with a special sense of purpose by stimulating feelings of joy and good will. But if gratitude is so good at those times, why shouldn’t every other day also be an opportunity to take a step back and become more aware of what we are grateful for?
In a recent column, I wrote about my escape from shoulder pain by the use of prayerful treatments. What I didn’t detail was the mental course correction that took place because of the treatment.
The day before the pain began, my wife and I were playing with Kirby, a small kitten we’d rescued off the street. During our playtime, the kitten bit my finger. I yelled, “Ouch!” And while I was staring at a spot on my finger, my wife looked at me, shook her head, and said, “For someone who heals others’ problems by affirming they are safe in God’s care, you’re sure making a big deal out of a little pain.”
Or is it? Perhaps things are not as black and white (or gold and white in this case) as we sometimes think.
The echoes of #dressgate continue to reverberate throughout social media. My son and I were sitting on the couch when he showed me the picture, on his phone, of the now infamous dress. He asked what colors I saw. I suspected a trick question, but answered truthfully, black and blue. It was obvious.
According to Alzheimer's expert Naomi Feil, if you're feeling alone and someone enters into your world and you look at them and you communicate with them, there’s a wholeness that comes about, there’s a feeling of, ‘I am wanted, I am needed, I am complete.’
Naomi Feil begins by caressing the face of her patient as a mother would her child – wiping away a tear, letting her know she’s not alone. Then she begins to sing quietly:
“Jesus loves me, this I know / For the Bible tells me so.”
Spiritual healing is often stereotyped as a belief in miracle cures. Sometimes healingcan come quickly. At other times it takes persistence and gaining a deeper spiritual understanding. Here’s one young woman’s story of her journey to full freedom from manic depression.
'Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.' Despite the fact that nearly every critic on the planet gave it an emphatic thumbs-down (current Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating: 26%), “Fifty Shades of Grey” still managed to rake in more money over the Presidents Day weekend than any other movie in history. Go figure.
That’s a message that must be heard more widely because suicide is a growing healthcare concern. In a first-of-its-kind report, the World Health Organization recently reported that 800,000 suicides are estimated to occur worldwide each year.
Weekly snowfall has become the norm in my Boston suburb. Even the hearty Canadian transplants are starting to weary of our endless winter.
The historic snowfall has spawned jokes (free snow!), prompted neighborliness, and made school closings the norm rather than the exception. Some cabin-fever Bostonians looking for an escape have even taken to posting videos as they fling themselves from their second story decks into huge piles of fluffy snow. (This resulted in a stern safety warning from the mayor.)
Qualities of thought such as sincerity, gratitude and honesty are essential to stimulating the mind and revitalizing the body. There was a time during the late Middle Ages when anyone with enough cash on hand could appeal to the local church “pardoner” for the remission of their sins, in effect buying their way to heaven. The bigger the pardon (for instance, salvation from eternal damnation), the larger the donation, ensuring, if not a rosy afterlife, a well-funded Crusade and a first-rate cathedral.
It’s a question that keeps crossing my mind as I scan the news. Do I believe the politicians I’m reading about, or the news anchor, or the sports figures, or the celebrity, or the health claims? Am I getting an honest view? How long until someone sifts through the allegations and evidence and comes to a conclusion? When will we get to the bottom of this?
The story of St. Valentine serves to encourage us to look beneath the superficial meaning of cards, flowers and chocolates to a deeper, healing love.
The legend that inspires our annual celebration of love on Valentine’s Day focuses on only one aspect of an interesting man – as if romantic love is the only thing for which we should remember this patron saint.
Nearly three feet of snow fell in the suburbs of Boston where we live during the epic Blizzard of 2015. It's on record here as the biggest storm in a century. Despite early predictions, there were not widespread power outages and the snow remained light and fluffy for easier removal.
Currently a buzzword in India, good governance appears to have different meanings for different people. Governance is the way a city, company, country is controlled by those who run it. Most people consider governance to be the sole responsibility of those in power, but does an ordinary person have any role in good governance?
I recently watched a video circulating on my Facebook feed that featured a veteran Gulf War paratrooper’s inspiring transformation. He’d jumped from a plane too many times and his repeated landings had taken a toll on his back and knees. After several operations, he walked on crutches and gained a lot of weight. He couldn’t exercise anymore. For 15 years his doctors told him he would never walk unassisted again. He accepted this as fact.
Even if we can’t all agree on how it’s achieved, it’s still something we all want. You’d be hard-pressed these days, at least here in the U.S., to come up with a more divisive subject than universal health care, but probably just as hard-pressed to find a more universal desire than good health. Even if we can’t all agree on how it’s achieved, it’s still something we all want.
Prayer, the act of humbling one’s self before a higher power to find wisdom and healing, can offer solutions to even our most challenging local and national health dilemmas. And there’s never any lack of unhealthy situations that are begging for such solutions!
'As if actual diseases weren't frightening enough, we now have what seems like a whole encyclopedia of pre-diseases to fear.' According to Ivan Oransky, a medical doctor and former editor of Reuters Health, everyone reading this column is suffering from the universally terminal condition called pre-death. This assumes, of course, that everyone reading this article is actually alive.
MUCH has been said on this topic by psychologists, psychiatrists and religious thinkers, and because it is such an important issue, it bears another look. If there is a relationship between thought and health, as research and academic studies show, it becomes imperative to identify what type of thought is beneficial or predisposes to good health.