Today’s guest post is from my friend Steven Salt’s blog, Healthy Salt, Pinch of Spirit. Like me, Steve’s blogs explore the dynamic relationship between health, spirituality, and consciousness. Enjoy! And share your comments below.
That’s many people’s take on staying healthy. The approach to wellness can be full of angst for some who feel it’s all about walking a fine line. Advertisements and water-cooler talk have encouraged incessant contemplation of ill health and the notion that every malady the world has to offer is right at our doorstep ready to knock us over. It’s a conditioned response educated in western culture . . . the promotion of illness and the subsequent anxiety it unleashes.
It’s smart to live sensibly, eat properly, and avoid unnecessary risks. Many also include prayer and meditation in a regimen of health maintenance. Just about half of Americans use prayer for health concerns, a percentage that has been increasing over the past decade according to the American Psychological Association 2011, Psychology of Religion and Spirituality report.
This approach is having an impact in the medical community as well. In a survey of medical students conducted by researchers from UCLA and UC San Diego, nearly one third of the respondents indicated using prayer for health reasons.
And it appears the influence of prayer and spirituality in the halls of medicine will continue to receive increased attention. A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report “forecasts the gradual adoption of an expanded view of health by the medical establishment. This view incorporates social, mental and spiritual factors.”
Spirituality provides a stabilizing influence, a life-line to rational thought and peace of mind. It reminds me of a quick trip I had down a zip line not long ago. No matter how intense things looked, I knew that line kept me secure. That security allowed me to enjoy the ride.
The benefits of spirituality go beyond just a reassuring effect. Studies confirm a growing body of evidence that prayer and other spiritual practices actually speed healing and improve the functioning of the immune system.
Considering all the factors that uphold wellness will go a long way in finding a sure footing in preserving health.
Steven Salt is a Christian Science practitioner and the media and legislative contact for Christian Science in Ohio.