News Anchor Dan Harris on Happiness and Faith

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By Guest-blogger Kim Shippey in recognition of Men's Health Week, June 9-15, which concludes with Father's Day on Sunday:  I have long been an admirer of ABC Television‘s news reporter and host Dan Harris -- a seemingly unflappable anchor, in the truest sense of that word. Then, in June, 2004, live on air, Harris suffered a panic attack in front of an audience of millions and we came face to face with a vulnerability we wouldn’t have believed possible in someone of his experience and Continue Reading

Women’s History Month: Mary Baker Eddy as a Pioneer in Health


March is Women's History month. This year's theme, according to the National Women's History Project site is: Celebrating Women's Character, Courage, and Commitment. The following blog honors an extraordinary woman in the 19th century who made significant contributions to spiritual and religious education as a teacher, writer, and leader. Her courage and commitment are clearly evident in the body of work she accomplished. Mary Baker Eddy was no ordinary woman. Behind her Victorian-era Continue Reading

The Benefits of “Thank You”


Send just one letter of appreciation to someone who has never been properly thanked and the feel-good benefits could last up to a month. Write in a gratitude journal every day for 10 weeks and you will likely feel more optimistic about your life and visit your physician less often. If you're a manager and you take the time to say thank you to your employees you'll find they'll be motivated to work harder. That's according to research at Harvard Medical School ("In Praise of Gratitude"). In the Continue Reading

One Man’s Journey From Obesity and Diabetes to Health

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I recently met John, a trim, silver-haired, energetic man in his mid-sixties who was a guest at our church. In my remarks at our evening service for the community, I shared some of the ideas I had gained after attending a lifestyle medicine conference. John introduced himself to me afterwards and offered his story. We both feel our meeting wasn't a coincidence. A few years ago John was a self-described chocolate and Mountain Dew addict, ate the "American" diet of meat and potatoes, and was Continue Reading

When Health Care Providers Take a Page From A Gardener’s Handbook


"Would you like your doctor to be a mechanic or a gardener?" That's the question Dr. Donald B. Levy posed at a talk I attended in mid-October at the Kessler Library in Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. He addressed the almost entirely female audience, giving an introduction to integrative medicine and speaking on "Health Care for the Whole Person." "A mechanic fixes broken parts," he said, "and a gardener is interested in the whole plant. You have to till the soil, strengthen the Continue Reading

Is That God Calling Me?

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Guest blogger Kim Shippey is a full-time writer and editor in Boston. I have always loved Poetry magazine without realizing what an inspiring story lies behind the seesaw life experience of its editor for the past decade, Christian Wiman. His new book of essays, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux), reveals that even through the secularism of his college days, which led to disillusionment and a break with his childhood church in West Texas, he never Continue Reading

Dr. David Rosmarin Says Spirituality and Faith Key to The Future of Mental Health

Everyone wants a piece of the future when it comes to health care. If only we could all peer ahead and find the golden key to better outcomes, cost-cutting, and patient-focused care. There are a lot of people ardently focused on those very outcomes. Yet, a significant part of the solution has “been around for ions,” Dr. David H. Rosmarin told me in a recent phone conversation. Health professionals have simply been ignoring it. What is this "golden key"? The power of a patient’s spirituality and Continue Reading

The Power of Hope in Healing

You can also read this post on my weekly syndicated blog, “Health Conscious” at MetroWest Daily News. Hope. That's the word  I came away with this past weekend after I took part in a panel discussion on the topic of "Spirit and Healing in the 21st Century" at the Open Spirit Center in Framingham. The motto for the center: "A place of hope, health, and harmony" to address the deeper spiritual yearnings of the wider community. I joined four local spiritual leaders on the panel, along with two Continue Reading

What Does it Take to Be a Wise Health Consumer?

More people are asking themselves this question in part because of the newly mandated healthcare law, or Affordable Care Act, and in part because health care in the United States isn't exactly delivering on the goods. “We have a disease care system, not a health care system," says Shannon Brownlee, senior research fellow at the New America Foundation and author of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer. “And the disease care system . . . if it really was honest with Continue Reading

What’s under your Christmas tree? (Think out-of-the-box)

Truthfully? My cat. He loves settling in under all the sparkly lights with so many dangling "toys" within reach. Our family jokes that he's the best Christmas gift we could get. Christmas Eve is less than a week away. For some this marks one of the most joyful times of the year; for others it can be stressful, whether there's concern about being with certain family members or just being alone, as well as pressure over time and money. And perhaps the biggest issue many people face: their Continue Reading