I’ve started reading a new book, Prescribing Faith – Medicine, Media, and Religion in American Culture by Claire Hoertz Badaracco. Today I read the chapter titled Belief and Wellness: Medical Pluralism and Healing.
This chapter is one of the most concise writings I have read that explains the mind-body connection from a medical or scientific perspective. Among other topics, Badaracco discusses the following in the context of health and healing:
- The stress and relaxation responses
- Prayer, meditation and contemplation
- Habits of thinking
- Negative emotions – the anxiety pandemic
- Allostatic load
- Memories and remembered wellness
- The role of physicians and practitioners
- Personal transformation
- Media’s impact
As I read this chapter, I was not surprised to read that most all of the principles she mentioned about the findings of many researchers in this field of religion/spirituality and health are also principles that the writers of the Bible captured thousands of years ago. These principles or spiritual truths were provided to us by our Creator, God, and science is beginning to get a handle on them – to understand them from a medical perspective. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Our role as believers in Christ or as seekers of the truth, is to believe and understand the truth that is recorded in the Bible… and then to apply it to our life… in the way we behave and the way we think.
More and more it is clear to me that our purpose in life is to be in a right relationship with God – to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength – and to love and serve others with the special gifts He has given us. (Mark 12:30-31) When we do this, God is glorified. This is our purpose for being on this earth.
As we practice the principles found in the Bible – as we obey God out of love (John 14:15,23), one of the outcomes, in general, is a high quality of life including good health. (John 10:10) This is how God designed things to work. Good health and well being should not be the motivator for practicing the Christian faith, but it’s often an outcome of putting into practice God’s principles that He’s provided us with in the Bible.
I’m looking forward to reading more of Badaracco’s book and to understand the impact that media, and in fact my writings, might have on people’s understanding and impression about the religion/spirituality-health link.
More Resources on the Spirituality/Religion-Health Link
Article – Think Spiritual Thoughts/Renew Your Mind
Web Page – How God Designed Us
Web Page – Stress, Your Health and Faith