No! A Life Saver?

No! A Life Saver?

© GLOW IMAGES

by Don Ingwerson

“One Word Can Save Your Life: No!”  This Newsweek cover made me wonder how a word could save lives. It’s all about tests…too many of them.

At first I thought the article was slamming medical doctors and medicine, but I found it to be rather balanced in that regard. Sometimes tests are needed, but simply stated, less is more in the area of medicine.

Sharon Begley, the author, states that more health care can sometimes harm one’s health, while less health care can often lead to better health (an idea that runs counter to most patients’ belief that screenings and treatments are only beneficial).

Begley quotes Dr. Rita Redberg, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and editor of the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine, as saying, “There are many areas of medicine where not testing, not imaging, and not treating actually result in better health outcomes.” Redberg adheres to this idea in her own life and has chosen not to screen for certain diseases recommended by her profession.

Others in the medical field are also looking more closely at screening options. An article in the Huffington Post reported that medical societies made up of family physicians, cardiologists, and other specialists are telling America’s doctors not to be so quick to order expensive procedures like CT scans and x-rays.

Another article, in the New York Times, reports a shift in people’s receptivity to hear all the pros and cons of treatment before making a decision. In this article, Dr. Barry says, “When patients are fully informed, they tend to be more conservative.”

This conservatism Barry speaks about may have helped spark a growing interest in alternative medicines in place of and along with the traditional treatments of western medicine.

According to a 2002 NIH study on alternative medicines, out of the nine alternative medicines studied, the most used was prayer at 43%. The Bible is full of accounts of healing and health restoration through the use of prayer and my experience has been that prayer does heal – and is a reliable medicine for health challenges.

Saying No to screenings is changing our approach to keeping the body healthy. Awareness of over diagnoses and the increased use of alternative medicines are important factors to watch as the public (and elected and appointed officials) work to define the limits of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care laws. These laws, as they were adopted, have the potential of creating new mandates, which reach into every community and home.

One issue is whether each individual has the freedom to choose the type of health care he thinks is best for him, and that the insurance industry is able to provide. Insurance coverage for all choices, whether those choices involve traditional western medicine and/or alternative therapies like prayer, should be considered.

Say ‘Yes’ to patient choice in the interest of health that is safe, and meets our needs.

Article previously published May 21, 2012 and first published in Blogcritics.

Steps to a Healthier Christmas

Steps to a Healthier Christmas

© GLOW IMAGES

by Don Ingwerson

I shared “12 Spiritual Steps to a Healthier Christmas,” written by Tony Lobl (UK Committee on Publication), last year, but I thought it was definitely worth sharing again because Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away and then we will be into the Christmas season. Also, check out the comments at the end of Tony’s article, especially Bob Eklund’s haiku! He’s the assistant committee for the Inglewood-Westchester church.

Click here to read Tony’s article: 12 Spiritual Steps to a Healthier Christmas

No! A Life-Saver?

No! A Life-Saver?

Photo illustrated by Colm Costelloe

by Don Ingwerson

Article first published in Blogcritics.

“One Word Can Save Your Life: No!”  This Newsweek cover made me wonder how a word could save lives. It’s all about tests…too many of them.

At first I thought the article was slamming medical doctors and medicine, but I found it to be rather balanced in that regard. Sometimes tests are needed, but simply stated, less is more in the area of medicine.

Sharon Begley, the author, states that more health care can sometimes harm one’s health, while less health care can often lead to better health (an idea that runs counter to most patients’ belief that screenings and treatments are only beneficial).

Begley quotes Dr. Rita Redberg, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and editor of the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine, as saying, “There are many areas of medicine where not testing, not imaging, and not treating actually result in better health outcomes.” Redberg adheres to this idea in her own life and has chosen not to screen for certain diseases recommended by her profession.

Others in the medical field are also looking more closely at screening options. An article in the Huffington Post reported that medical societies made up of family physicians, cardiologists, and other specialists are telling America’s doctors not to be so quick to order expensive procedures like CT scans and x-rays.

Another article, in the New York Times, reports a shift in people’s receptivity to hear all the pros and cons of treatment before making a decision. In this article, Dr. Barry says, “When patients are fully informed, they tend to be more conservative.”

This conservatism Barry speaks about may have helped spark a growing interest in alternative medicines in place of and along with the traditional treatments of western medicine.

According to a 2002 NIH study on alternative medicines, out of the nine alternative medicines studied, the most used was prayer at 43%. The Bible is full of accounts of healing and health restoration through the use of prayer and my experience has been that prayer does heal – and is a reliable medicine for health challenges.

Saying No to screenings is changing our approach to keeping the body healthy. Awareness of over diagnoses and the increased use of alternative medicines are important factors to watch as the public (and elected and appointed officials) work to define the limits of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care laws. These laws, as they were adopted, have the potential of creating new mandates, which reach into every community and home.

One issue is whether each individual has the freedom to choose the type of health care he thinks is best for him, and that the insurance industry is able to provide. Insurance coverage for all choices, whether those choices involve traditional western medicine and/or alternative therapies like prayer, should be considered.

Say ‘Yes’ to patient choice in the interest of health that is safe, and meets our needs.

Steps to a Healthier Christmas

Steps to a Healthier Christmas

Photo illustrated by Vector

by Don Ingwerson

In keeping with the holiday spirit, I just finished re-reading “What Christmas Means to Me” written by Mary Baker Eddy at the request of The Ladies’ Home Journal, when I received a copy of an article published in the Huffington Post UK by Tony Lobl, Committee on Publication for Greater London/District Manager/Euro Rep. Tony’s article “12 Spiritual Steps to a Healthier Christmas” is very practical and uplifting.  Just click on this link and enjoy fresh insights that can’t help but make your Christmas more joyous.

The Indelible Spirit

The Indelible Spirit

by Don Ingwerson

The Huffington Post ran an article August 2, The Hope of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, which detailed the inspiring return of Giffords to the Congressional chambers. Reporter Paul Raushenbush closed his article about Representative Giffords appearance “as one of the real sacrifices of democracy,” and I would agree with that thoughtful statement.

However, I would like to think of her appearance as a new beginning, not a sacrifice. She, with the unbelievable acts of heroism on the part of a few, and including the prayers of a nation and unconditional love of those who cared for her, demonstrated that man is more than blood and bones. That there is an indomitable spirit in man and this spirit will rule the day with the grace of God. Gabrielle Giffords appearance in Washington may have been to cast a vote. But her presence was more than a vote. It was about us – the American people – and our ability for preservation no matter what comes our way.Continue Reading

Catching a Glimpse-Spiritual Care

Catching a Glimpse - Spiritual Care

Photo illustration by seiuhealthcare775nw

Posted comments by Russ Gerber

Just looking over the comments in The Huffington Post to “Spirituality: A Powerful Factor for Health Care Reform” written by my colleague Gary Jones. I get it that some people are in disbelief that spiritual care is a viable means for health care. Others find it so outrageous they ridicule it. Still others are catching a glimpse of something significant, of the mind-body connection in action, and that a change of consciousness produces a physical change. Spiritual care affects one’s consciousness, which in turn affects one’s health. While that may not be how most people approach health care, there are those who find spiritual care as taught in Christian Science to be safe and effective when practiced conscientiously, and they feel it should be one of the insurable options that citizens have in front of them as health care reform goes forward. I get that, too.

Gary Jones is a Christian Science practitioner. He is also Manager of the Federal Office, Christian Science Committee on Publication, The First Church of Christ, Scientist.

Link to Gerber’s blog.