Category Archives: Research

Building on our expectations

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” Mark Twain made that observation years ago when jokingly offering his philosophy on what it takes to stay healthy.  Obviously, his expectations for lasting health were not too high.

Today we are treated to a similar message through various sources that a disease-free life is practically impossible to maintain without the intervention of diets, drugs, exercise routines, therapies, and more.  With the constant barrage in media to “do this to stay healthy,”  we are accepting a subtle, but relentless sub-message that illness is inevitable.

What are your health prospects?  It is an important question.  If living by a “Murphy’s Law” mentality you are essentially portending anything that can go wrong will happen to you at some point in time adding to a life full of doubt and anxiety.

On the other hand, giving your consent to living a life grounded by spiritual, guiding principles that supersede health uncertainties empowers you to be the expression of wellness.  Read more…

Thinking Faster, Higher, Stronger

At times aging seems like an Olympic sport. Successfully maneuvering through this time of life depends on a certain amount of preparation, perseverance and endurance. It can be a Herculean effort that requires not a little confidence.

“Perhaps two-thirds of all the people who have ever lived to the age of 65 are alive today.” Peter Peterson’s, Gray Dawn, points out some sobering statistics about the aging of the world’s population and its impact on society.  It’s unchartered territory.

And that’s what makes preparing for the “golden years” such a challenge.  This many people living this long is a relatively recent phenomenon. Never have so many faced this situation. And it is creating a lot of angst for individuals and planners.

By what standard do we qualify as old?  Read more…

The gritty part of well-being

As summer swings into full gear Americans’ attention turns to freedom and fireworks. Independence Day reminds us of the boldness of our forefathers which brought freedom from political tyranny and established a new form of governance in the world.

Grit and confidence are contributing factors to successfully conquering things that would enslave us.  This includes health-related challenges that run the gamut from cancer and Alzheimer’s to anxiety over going to the dentist.

Swedish researchers Mia Vainia and Daiva Daukantait have been looking at the relationship between grit, authenticity and well-being and have concluded that “Grit (is) positively related to all well-being factors.”

Standing up to the fear that accompanies health woes is paramount to overcoming them. But how is a gritty stance established when one is confronted with overwhelming health concerns? Read more…

Simple Prayer

The most important thing we can do today is pray.

It turns out most of us already know that, even if we don’t talk about it. Nine out of ten Americans have turned to prayer for healing at some point according to a study.

Calamities and sickness impel many to turn to God whether religious-minded or not. “For active believers and people of faith, prayer, including for healing, is more than a situationally motivated response to one’s own suffering; it is an ongoing expression of piety and of taking up the yoke to be of service to others,” writes  the study’s author, Jeff Levine at Baylor University.   Read more…

Is materialism health care’s Achilles’ heel?

“Turtles all the way down.” That’s the now famous response to a scientist’s inquiry as told in an anecdote by Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time.  After explaining the basics of astronomy and the relationship between the earth and sun, a little old lady expresses her disbelief to the scientist and pipes up, “The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.”

Hawking continues, “The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, ‘What is the tortoise standing on?’  ‘You’re very clever, young man, very clever,’ said the old lady.  ‘But it’s turtles all the way down.’”

There’s both humor and heartbreak in the old lady’s retort.  Such determinism has propelled the achievements of many a visionary.  It also illustrates the stifling nature of a stubborn dogma that can blind thinkers and shutter what should be the open-minded nature of true science and scholarship.

Today’s healthcare practices offer a similar dichotomy…Read more