Category Archives: Spirituality in Healthcare

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…

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

Getting more out of your fitness workout

Remember the Royal Canadian Air Force 5BX (Five Basic Exercises) Plan? Hugely popular in the 60’s, it was simple to do, but boring as heck. I remember my dad struggling with sit-ups and tediously running in place. It wasn’t long before his exercise regimen was history. To stick with an exercise routine, one needs a compelling reason for doing it.

I was not old enough at the time to think to ask dad why he wanted to exercise. He got plenty of activity running the family hardware business. Maybe he was doing it because his friends were into it. Perhaps he was concerned about his health. Finding answers to the question “Why am I exercising?” fortifies the endurance needed in the fight to be fit.

Along with the sheer enjoyment, some people exercise to work off excessive weight, relieve stress, improve athleticism, and/or train for sporting competition. If someone is exercising for his or her health, though, something more than mere muscle-flexing is needed. Consistent well-being includes living an active life with a spiritual focus.  Read more…

Getting more out of your fitness workout

Saturday, September 26th is Family Health and Fitness Day USA

Wednesday, September 30th is National Women’s Health and Fitness Day

 

Remember the Royal Canadian Air Force 5BX (Five Basic Exercises) Plan?  Hugely popular in the 60’s, it was simple to do, but boring as heck. I remember my dad struggling with sit-ups and tediously running in place.  It wasn’t long before his exercise regimen was history. To stick with an exercise routine, one needs a compelling reason for doing it.

cropped-HealthInkLogo-1.jpgI was not old enough at the time to think to ask dad why he wanted to exercise. He got plenty of activity running the family hardware business.  Maybe he was doing it because his friends were into it.  Perhaps he was concerned about his health. Finding answers to the question “Why am I exercising?” fortifies the endurance needed in the fight to be fit.

Along with the sheer enjoyment, some people exercise to work off excessive weight, relieve stress, improve athleticism, and/or train for sporting competition. If someone is exercising for his or her health, though, something more than mere muscle-flexing is needed. Consistent well-being includes living an active life with a spiritual focus.

My favorite fitness activities are…Read more

Health by the numbers

My dad dabbled in paint, mostly wall and house paint, but occasionally he tried his hand at a paint-by-numbers kit. Remember those?  Craft Master kits were the rage. Just follow the numbers and a beautiful picture appeared after some trial and error.

HealthInkLogo (1)In many ways, that fad reminds me of current health care approaches.  Get the numbers right and you paint a picture of health.  You might be familiar with some of those numbers, like 98.6, 120/80 and 72 bpm. And more complicated numbers are now being utilized with the advent of mobile tech and wearable sensors, all cataloging voluminous numerical sequences that are designed to uncover sharper insights into what’s going on in our bodies.

But then the old adage comes to mind, “You are much more than a number.”  Numbers can’t give an accurate snapshot of man’s essence.  His spiritual self or individuality is invisible to biomarkers and data points. He is as much about qualities as he is quantities. “Man is more than physical personality,” Mary Baker Eddy once put it.

I appreciate what Amy McGuire had to say at the recent TEDMED conference.  Read more…