Whole-Body Healing…Good Step

Whole-Body Healing...Good Step

Model used for illustrative purposes

A guest post written by Rich Evans, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Arizona, and is the spokesperson for Christian Science to the media and to Arizona governmental entities including the state legislature.

The Arizona Republic recently ran an article (Thursday, January 3, 2013) titled, “Integrative medicine is growing in popularity” written by Ken Alltucker. The article focused on patient centered, integrative medicine.  Good news…the founder of the term “integrative medicine” is in our backyard.  While the field is growing, the term and concept have been developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, who heads the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM). As the article indicates, integrative medicine, while viewed in various ways, can be defined as “the practice of combining conventional medicine with complementary and alternative medical techniques that are supported by medical literature or evidence”.  This is a breakthrough article for this column.

The article further described that the CIM has opened an office in Phoenix, the Arizona Integrative Health Center, which approaches health with the patient at the focus of the practice, rather than the disease. Then, there are several examples given of work being performed at the Mayo Clinic and by an individual psychiatrist in their respective practices using integrative medicine techniques successfully. I find all of this encouraging, as it begins to recognize healing as involving a more complete understanding of the whole person as patient. The examples given demonstrate that solutions emerged when either habits of thinking or acting were corrected, demonstrating the importance of thought on the body and its connection to healing.

One has to appreciate the courage, candor, and clarity shared by Drs. Bergstrom (Mayo), Hernandez (independent psychiatrist), and Rula (medical director of the CIM), as they push the frontiers of their professions into a more holistic frame.  In the article, among the varied healing strategies of patient centered, integrative medicine, there was a brief mention of spiritual well-being as part of the “whole.” Given that among the stated purposes of the CIM are evidence-based and lower cost methods, spiritual well-being may be key to achieving those goals.

The spiritual basis of healing is perhaps the longest running method in the spectrum of integrative healing, actively utilized well before that term existed. Not only can we find numerous accounts in Biblical history, especially after the establishment of Christianity, but there is ample evidence today of its efficacy. My own experience includes healing of pain, viruses, malaria, and many other disorders all through spiritual prayer…prayer that is not wishful thinking or a function of the human brain, but a recognition of divine, loving consciousness, divine Mind, if you will, reflected in our individual thought and lives. More than a remedy, the advantage of spiritual well-being is that it includes a fulfilling sense of identity and health for all, without economic barriers.

I like the direction of The Arizona Republic article and hope that the “whole-body” concept continues to expand the role of spiritual well-being. Perhaps we will learn that it is at the center of our health. It certainly is for me.

Link to Evans blog.

About the author

Guest We are pleased to present Notes from the Field authors, who are assistant committees and church members in the Southern California region; and Notes from The Mother Church authors, who are Committees from the United States and around the world, as well as the Federal Committee on Publication office.


  1. Judith says

    Thank you for sharing these articles and keeping us informed of these growing trends and ongoing discussions.

  2. Tracy says

    Thanks, Rich, for a very informative article. I think this is a trend that will continue to grow, and the more it’s discussed, the more people will realize it’s okay not to rely exclusively on conventional medicine for health. Often when my friends ask me about Christian Science and why I would rely on prayer for physical ailments, I ask them to first tell me how satisfied they are with conventional medicine. “Not very,” most reply. “There’s part of your answer,” I respond.

    Great post!

  3. Don Ingwerson says

    I appreciate your response to Rich’s blog. Your comments are very helpful and supportive.

  4. says

    Thank you for this important information on the changing, progressive trend in the areas of health care that we are all concerned with. I am also proud of these thought leaders and their evidence-based research results. Keep up the good work Doctors Bergstrom, Hernandez and Rula! I continue to depend on spiritual healing from a lifetime of proof!