How to Beat the Clock

How to Beat the Clock

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Many of us are interested in having and maintaining good health, and Beverly Goldsmith, media and government representative for Christian Science in VIC, SA, WA and TAS Australia, shares some encouraging news and tips on this topic.

Staying active and well at every stage of life is a goal most of us hope to attain.  One way to accomplish healthy longevity, is to beat the clock and fears of an aging mind and body. It’s doable, and what’s more, it’s good for your health.

Time isn’t toxic

There’s no reason for our wellbeing to decline after a certain number of sunrises and sunsets. Nor should our thinking capacity wind-down with each tick of the clock. Researchers believe “aging is unnatural… there may be no immutable biological law that decrees human beings have to get old and sick and die…By design, the body should go on forever.” Also, meditative practices can actually aid longevity.

This is certainly encouraging news that can change our outlook and raise our expectations for living a long and healthy life .

TIP:

  • Resist noting the passage of time and fearing what it might mean for your health and life-style.
  • Don’t limit the good things you can accomplish down the track.
  • Look forward to maintaining your “vigor, freshness and promise” at every stage.  (Science and Health p. 246)
  • Quit thinking that you grow old because of the number of birthdays you’ve clocked up.
  • Plan now to join the growing number of supercentenarians – those who’ve reached 110 years or more.

Encouraging role models

Maybe you’ve heard more about mature people declining in later years, than those who’ve remained active and useful. Yet mental faculties, energy, and wellness can remain intact throughout life despite the number of times the earth revolves around the sun.

Clara Barton who founded the American Red Cross, never let the age clock beat her into submission. She lived a long, useful life, working tirelessly into her nineties.  Interviewed by journalist Viola Rogers for the New York American, Barton expressed this opinion about aging.

“Most troubles are exaggerated by the mental attitude, if not entirely caused by them. The mind” she maintained, “is so constructed that we have become firmly convinced that after a certain length of time we cease to be useful, and when our birthday calendar indicates that we have reached or are nearing that time, we become lax in our work and finally cease to accomplish; not because we feel in reality that we are no longer useful, but because we are supposed by all laws and dictums to have finished the span of life allotted to work.”

Barton’s advice to beat the time clock and remain alert and healthy is simple. Let your life be counted by the mile-stones of achievement and not by the timepiece of years.”  As a consequence, she believed that we’d “all be younger and would live to be much older”.

TIP:

  • Be heartened by individuals who’ve beaten the mental and physical limitations often associated with old age.
  • Refuse to say that you used to be able to do this or that, and now you can’t because you’re older.
  • Accept as true this ancient wisdom. You can “flourish like the palm tree: …bring forth fruit in old age…and be healthy and flourishing.” (Psalm 92)
  • Beat the stop clock by expecting to retain a fit mind and body as the norm into the future.
  • Look forward to leading a long, active, productive life.

A Bible Scholar Shares Ideas on How to Promote Health

A Bible Scholar Shares Ideas on How to Promote Health

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A guest post written by Madelon Maupin from Newport Beach, California

There is a Scriptural guideline for how we build church – or spread the healing message of Christ – in the book of Acts 13:4 – 11. It’s the story of Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey and their encounter with two individuals that represent the types of people we may meet in our own healing journey.Continue Reading

Relieve Stress Through a New Type of Pushup

Relieve Stress Through a New Type of Pushup

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by Don Ingwerson

Robert Piper, author, columnist, and writer, in an article in Huffpost Healthy Living, includes meditation in his description for a new and updated concept of the pushup. To explain the need for a new pushup he comments, “The pushup has been a standard part of being American. If you grow up in America and go to school, one of the first things you’re taught in gym class is how to do a pushup. Millions of Americans do pushups before work, during their lunch break, and at the gym. Because of pushups, we’ve mastered getting ripped pectorals, deltoids, and triceps.”

But experts say our health is suffering from stress – not something the traditional pushup is known for addressing. Is there a ‘new pushup’ on the horizon?

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s Chief Medical Editor, recently said, “Stress is a huge [health] factor when we look at medical problems such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease.” So, how do we find a “new” pushup to address stress and tension, which are at the base of many of our physical problems today?

When discussing stress Mr. Piper encourages, “Simple mindful breaks through the day will do wonders.” Those mindful breaks for me are moments filled with prayer and meditation. Dr. Gail Saltz, a New York Psychiatrist, states, “As you manage to get past things, your ability to look back as something else comes along and say, ‘Well, I got through that’ – that goes a long way.” Simple mindful breaks could be one way to build good coping skills, which Robert Piper feels could help in overcoming stress.

The public may already be using this new pushup. According to the 2002 NIH Study, 43% of the public was using prayer and 7.6% was using meditation for health concerns. The new American pushup, involving prayer or meditation and used to relieve stress and tension, may be as successful as the old American pushup. This new pushup seems to be more effective if applied immediately when the problem that creates tension or stress appears.

I can speak to the efficacy of this approach. I experienced a back problem created by unresolved work stress. Each time the back pain became intense, I would take a “simple mindful break” and meditate and pray. In one break, I referred to a Bible verse from Romans, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” My thinking about the work problem began to change, my stress lessened, and I was able to promote a climate of good will. This helped to create a new awareness for me of how to address health issues – just as the new pushup, which uses prayer and meditation, will today.

Article previously published march 18, 2013 and first published in Blogcritics.

Listen to an Audio Chat: A Spiritual Approach to Health Care

Listen to an Audio Chat: A Spiritual Approach to Health Care

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Gary Jones, Christian Science practitioner, teacher, and Manager of the Federal Office for the Committee on Publication in Washington, DC, answers questions about turning to a spiritual approach to health care – which was exemplified by Christ Jesus healing multitudes, and by Mary Baker Eddy, who wrote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which opened the door of health and healing to millions who read it and practice what it teaches.

To listen to this chat, click here: mp3

To find this audio page on JSH online, click here: Health care: a spiritual approach

 

 

How To Take It To The Next Level

How To Take It To The Next Level

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My colleague Tim Mitchinson is a health blogger from Illinois, who like many of us, has been inspired by the performances of the Olympians competing in Sochi, Russia. He writes about the health benefits gained in our lives when thought and character is taken to the next level.

People all over the world have been enjoying the 2014 Winter Olympics.  We have seen athletes exceed beyond “personal bests”; in Nike’s current campaign, it’s: “Take it to the next level”. To me, it’s all about breaking through our own limitations and doing or being the best we can.

This doesn’t just apply to Olympians or professional athletes.  The readers of this blog have found in their own lives ways to “take it to the next level.”  Maybe they are walking further each morning than they did the previous day, swimming farther, or lifting heavier weights.

But I think there are many ways to take life to the next level.  How about embracing a new level in the good emotions we cultivate and express in our lives?  Maybe we can express more affection, compassion and gratitude than we have in the past.  Why should we do that? Well, one reason is simply that it makes us feel good. Additionally, it’s quite possible that doing those things can have a significant impact on our health.

Kory Floyd, an associate professor at Arizona State University’s Hugh Downs School of Human Communication has studied the effect of affection on one’s health.  “Being affectionate is good for you,” Floyd says. “Affection can be a simple, non-pharmaceutical, cheap way to reduce stress.” Floyd has found that there are direct associations between being an affectionate person and a lower risk of depression and stress.  “Highly affectionate people tend to have better mental health and less stress. They also react to stress better,” he stated (http://researchmatters.asu.edu/stories/effects-affection-960).

The impact of affection and love on health has also been the subject of studies on cancer patients.  Wendy Mclain, Fruitland Park Senior Health Examiner, wrote about The Love Study conducted by the Institute of Noetic Sciences.  She reported that this study consisted of couples who had been together for a long time.  One of the two had cancer.  The healthy participant was asked to show their love toward the other while the receiver’s physiological state was measured. Immediately, health benefits came to the ill partner.   According to Mclain, “They concluded the study demonstrated that focusing love selflessly on another individual has significant healing properties for the one who is sick.” http://www.examiner.com/article/the-emotion-of-love-and-its-healing-properties”.

Health researcher and author Mary Baker Eddy saw the importance of taking many emotions out of what she called the “physical” level and taking them to what she termed the “moral”.  In her best-selling book on spirituality and health, she emphasized the health-giving properties we acquire as we raise our life above fear, pride, envy, deceit, hatred and revenge, and learn to express the qualities of humanity, honesty, affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, and temperance.  She wrote, “Whatever guides thought spiritually benefits mind and body” (Science and Health, p. 149).

Allowing our thought to be guided spiritually can help any one of us to “take it to the next level” – whether we are an athlete, a patient, a caregiver or simply someone looking to overcome limitations in some area of life.

©2014 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois

Feeling Satisfied Brings Peaceful Sleep

Feeling Satisfied Brings Peaceful Sleep

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A guest post written by Tracy Clifton from Glendale, California.

We’ve all experienced what it feels like to wake up from a wonderful night’s sleep – feeling completely rested and ready to take on the new day.

Sadly, for a few years I had a hard time falling asleep, and when I did there were many times when I would wake up too early and not be able to go back to sleep. This led to difficulties during the day because I felt drained. Even worse, an activity that was supposed to feel restorative became something I dreaded.

But it’s important to get a good night’s sleep for personal health reasons and I yearned for a solution. I tried various methods that friends recommended, such as turning off all electronics an hour before bed or drinking tea. Nothing helped for very long.

Fortunately, I had an additional resource – a spiritual understanding of myself. As a Christian Scientist, I’d been taught from a young age to search for spiritual solutions to my problems. I remembered my mother used to sing me songs at night when I couldn’t sleep, so I turned to the Christian Science hymnal and found this quote from Mary Baker Eddy’s hymn Satisfied: “The centuries break, the earth-bound wake/God’s glorified! /Who doth His will — His likeness still —/Is satisfied.”

I also looked in the Bible and found in Matthew: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I realized the root of my sleepless nights was from feeling deeply unsatisfied. I was working incredibly hard at my job during the day, but I was reciting a laundry list of things I still needed to accomplish when my head hit the pillow each night.

I pondered where the feeling of dissatisfaction came from. It certainly wasn’t from God! I had always enjoyed pushing myself in my career, but this obsession with jamming as much into each day didn’t feel productive – or helpful. I was carrying a burden that wasn’t mine to carry, instead of understanding my value as God’s expression.

So I started taking the time to feel satisfied and proud when I accomplished a task, rather than simply moving on to the next thing. I began feeling more fulfilled and happy, and at the end of the day I thought of all the things I had done – instead of what still remained. I felt grateful to God for the time I had each day and stopped wishing that I could cram more hours in. It became easier to fall asleep knowing that I’d made the most out of my day, and that tomorrow was another opportunity to do the same.

Expressing God in work truly satisfies.

Medical Overtreatment Needs to Change – But Will It?

Medical Overtreatment Needs to Change - But Will It?

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by Don Ingwerson

There is much in the news about medical over diagnoses and overtreatment, but where is this information going to lead us? Elizabeth Loder, BMJ research editor, reported that the general consensus at an Avoiding Avoidable Care conference was, “US healthcare costs are unsustainable and a large amount of money is being wasted on unnecessary treatment.” I find it heartening that one of the goals of this conference was to figure out what is behind unnecessary health care treatments.

Along with this goal, the participants found that defensive medicine, inappropriate patient expectations, and fee-for-service payments had to be addressed in order to change the nature of an unrealistic and excessive-treatment healthcare system. They identified four categories to focus on:

–Affordability (Financially sustainable)

–Accountability (Patient ownership)

–Partnerships (Medical, patient, spiritual)

–Expectations (reasonable)

It seems to me that there is an underlying optimistic desire for change, despite some negative comments at the conference concerning the need for follow-through. This ties in really well with the recommendations in another article in American Medical News that I read about over-prescribing of drugs. Dr.Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut stated, “We really need to bring more rationality to prescribing.”

This rationality works hand in hand with the idea of accountability, which has been one of my greatest concerns. I feel that everyone should take ownership of his or her health. For me, I take control of my health by starting with prayer.

Deep prayer has enabled me to be accountable for much more than my body; it has helped with financial, intellectual, emotional, and educational issues. And my experience has been that health is best accomplished when all aspects of my life are kept in balance. I find that this is easier when I start from a spiritual perspective that balance is God-given, not something I have to engineer.

The idea of taking control of your body and not succumbing to overtreatment and over diagnosis is really changing the way many view healthcare. Professor H. G. Welch wrapped up what he has found in medical overtreatment/diagnosis by saying, “For years now, people have been encouraged to look to medical care as the way to make them healthy. But that’s your job — you can’t contract that out. Doctors might be able to help, but so might an author of a good cookbook, a personal trainer, a cleric, or a good friend. We would all be better off if the medical system got a little closer to its original mission of helping sick patients, and let the healthy be.”

But for me, ‘taking control’ means more than personal accountability; it’s tied to my God-given nature.

Article first published in Blogcritics and published June 18, 2012.

Treating Alzheimers Through The Creative Arts Brings Results

Treating Alzheimers through the creative arts brings results

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The arts play an important role here in Southern California and I for one enjoy the creative expression of beauty artists exhibit. My colleague Anna Bowness-Park of Canada writes how the arts can transform lives of those with dementia. Her article was first published in the Vancouver Sun.

Watching her mother Hilda Gorenstein slowly disappear into the labyrinth of Alzheimers diseaseBerna Huebner asked her: “Would you like to paint again?” Her mother, a celebrated and acclaimed painter known as Hilgos, responded: “Yes, I remember better when I paint.”

This small comment inspired her daughter to seek ways to help her mother reconnect with her artistic life, and with those around her. The doctor suggested to Huebner that she could link her mother with some students from the Art Institute of Chicago, and following this advice, several became involved with Hilgos. Slowly and patiently, Hilgos rediscovered what she loved to do best – paint. It was through her painting that Huebner was better able to communicate with her mother – not in the same way, but differently, and with a new language.

Following this experience, Huebner was inspired to make a documentary that explores how the arts can transform the lives of those living with different forms of dementia. Produced in collaboration with film director Eric Ellena, the movie, “I Remember Better When I Paint,” celebrates the courage of her mother who rediscovered her painting gift, and explores the experiences of others who are discovering the influence of art on cognitive ability.

Read the complete article here.

 

How Can I Reach Beyond the Material to the Spiritual?

How Can I Reach Beyond the Material to the Spiritual?

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A guest post written by Charles Lindahl from Fullerton, California.

Maya Angelou once said, “Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life.” What I find interesting about this statement is that spirituality, usually thought of in connection with religion, has gained a broader meaning and usage. From promoting personal peace and happiness to being recognized as a key element in achieving and maintaining physical and mental health, spirituality is being included in a wide variety of discussions. Spirituality is even being recognized as important in the work place.

But what is spirituality? Spiritual is often defined as “relating to the spirit or soul and not to physical nature or matter; not tangible or material.”

But how can we grasp something that is not physical or material? A promising beginning is by accepting the possibility that there is something beyond what the five senses can recognize.

Christ Jesus provided the most helpful model of spirituality. Most of his ministry was devoted to showing us how to awaken to and claim our innate spirituality. Another spiritual pioneer, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote extensively on spirituality:

Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God.

Spirit and all things spiritual are the real and eternal.

Spirit imparts the understanding which uplifts consciousness and leads into all truth.

Correct material belief by spiritual understanding and Spirit will form you anew.

“I want to know God’s thoughts, the rest are details,” said Einstein. Many are finding it is possible to move beyond the apparent material monopoly in human consciousness to spiritual identity. I feel that developing, expanding, and preserving a clear sense of my spiritual identity is the most important thing I can do to ensure my health, happiness, and success. Here are some spiritual practices that help me develop spiritual understanding and keep it alive, fresh, and practical:

  • Studying the Bible to understand its central teachings about spiritual reality.
  • Working with other sacred texts such as Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
  • Arranging for uninterrupted quiet time to pray.
  • Actively looking for examples of God’s grace and infinite Love and giving thanks to God.
  • Consciously listening for God’s inspiration as I go about my day.

These practices make room in my consciousness for God to show me who I really am. Embraced wholeheartedly and accepted unconditionally, spirituality can be a powerful healing presence.