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Spirit Health


Religion and medicine have been closely linked for over 8000 years. In the last 400 years they have been separated, and medicine became a technical fixing of the body or the brain chemistry.

Only in the past few years has it been more generally known that faith has an impact on physical and mental health, the meaning of illness and suffering, and the choice of health care services. There are now many studies that document the benefits of faith in transformational healing. Spirituality is now taught and studied in many medical schools.

Spirituality is whoever or whatever gives guidance, meaning, and purpose to one’s life.  Everybody has a spirituality, and some people have a religion.

Healing involves the restoration to wholeness by realigning with the omnipresent true source and all of creation. The process of remembering and reconnecting with our true spiritual metaphysical source of existence brings about a sense of meaning and energy, which many report to be healing.

Many religions and cultures have used transformational rituals that invoke faith and spiritual interconnectedness to bring about healing.

Spirit is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as “the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; the soul. Such a part regarded as a person’s true self and as capable of surviving physical death or separation”.
From Anglo-Norman French, from Latin spiritus breath, spirit, from spirare breathe.

Tools for Spiritual Connection and Healing:

Faith prayers – used in many religions for healing (defined in the New Oxford dictionary as ‘solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship, an earnest hope or wish)

Breath techniques – Most traditions use the power of breath as a connection to our source. (Indian pranayama yoga techniques use the power of breathing life force to expand the individual energy into the cosmic energy)  . The English word ‘respiration’, referring to breathing has at its root in the word spirit. In Hebrew the word for spirit is Neshama, while the word for breath is Neshima – a single vowel separates the two. The word for Holy Spirit in Hebrew is Ruach Hakodesh which means the holy wind (as the air that moves through the wind pipe, or our breath that unites us with the Creator’s initial creation of the universe).

Connecting with our heart and evoking the emotion of unconditional love and compassion has been shown to be a most powerful force for a positive transformation and healing. (This technique is often used in Tibetan practice of compassion – see many books on the subject by the Dalai Lama)

Rituals that invoke our true source, release negative energies and beliefs, and end with invoking a positive desired outcome as if it has already occurred are common in many spiritual practices. (e.g. in the kabbalah tradition – the Ana Becoach prayer)

Various physical sensory deprivation methods intended to shut out the physical world in order to connect with the nonphysical spiritual realm include: silent retreats, closing of the eyes or prolonged exposure to darkness, and fasting. (these tools are used in many Indian yoga practices)

Physical sensory stimulation methods can be used to connect with our source –  chanting, dancing, visual stimuli of fire and lights, drumming and music or sounds, and the smell of incense and aromatic herbs and oils (as in African and American shamanic rituals)

Group and community relationship connection activities that bring purpose and meaning can be transformative and healing.

Vibrational Energy Medicine techniques such as qigong, reiki-tumu, and healing touch therapies are often incorporated into holistic practices of medicine.

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Body Health

Our body is made primarily of water. We must therefore drink and hydrate our body mostly with pure water, and not juice, soda, tea, or coffee. It is generally recommended to drink 1/2 our body weight in ounces of water throughout the day.
If we want to ensure a self sustaining clean environment, we may want to avoid the use of plastic bottles that pose a synthetic stress to our planet and to our body. When we drink water from plastic bottles, the water may have been tainted with toxic chemicals from the bottle that could have leeched into the water due to heat exposure from the sun or the environment. In addition, most bottled water companies simply serve purified tap water, a task we can all do at home at a much lower cumulative cost without the environmental threat posed by the shift of control of water supplies from governments to wealth building corporations.

Since food is a major source of energy for our body, it is crucial for us to be conscious of what we feed our body. In choosing healthy foods, we can use common sense principles to guide us. We want to chose balanced portions of a spectrum of colorful unprocessed whole foods that emphasize in-season, locally grown raw vegetables and fruits. If we like to cook vegetables, we may want to steam them lightly, as to avoid the breakdown of the biochemical molecules that occurs doing excessive heating or microwaving of food.  If we chose to eat meat or fish, we may want to indulge ourselves in free range, wild, organically grown or fed animals in order to avoid the potential contamination by artificial chemicals and hormones.
We may want to eat small frequent meals without ever filling ourselves in view of studies that suggest that caloric restricted diet has been associated with long healthy life. Eliminating sugars, dairy, and gluten (a major protein component of wheat) from our diet will often bring about improvements in variety of symptoms including excess mucus production by our body, or immune hypersensitivity response of our gut, skin, or joints.
As our body uses energy in the process of digesting and assimilating food, it is possible to reduce the demands on the body at times of stress. We can chose to eat soft, or liquid diets, eat smaller amounts of food, or even avoid altogether certain foods that may be stressful to our body. We may want to pay attention to our digestive process by ensuring a slow and adequate chewing process. There are many resources that we can refer to for juicing and blending of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices . We may even want to become self sufficient, especially in harsh economic times, and grow a small vegetable and herb garden, with surrounding fruit trees of our choice.
It is of utmost importance to avoid prepackaged, precooked, preserved foods, that may have multiple ingredients that could be harmful to our health . Because knowledge is power, in order to be more knowledgeable about our health choices we must carefully read all labels on foods and continuously educate ourselves about health and healing.

While it is desirable to support our body’s metabolic pathways with a balanced and synergistic blend of nutrients directly from food, it is not possible to obtain all the nutrients for optimal health from food.
There is widespread evidence documenting the need for supplementing our diet with micronutrients. Current intake of individual micronutrients is significantly below the established dietary reference intake levels. The soils used for farming are known to contain depleted amounts of essential minerals like selenium and zinc. As a result, the fruits and vegetables grown today have a fraction of the potency of nutrients that were found 20 years ago. Many foods ingested today have lost nutritional potency due to storage, shipping, freezing, and preservation methods that alter their biochemical makeup.
Increased stress in modern western society has been shown to reduce body stores of magnesium and other nutrients, with increased need for antioxidants to neutralize the increased number of free radicals induced by greater loads of external toxins and internal stress hormone breakdown products.
Nutritional supplements have been shown to strengthen the immune response and reduce the incidence of chronic illness compared to placebo supplemented subjects. Higher intake and higher blood levels of micronutrients in many prospective studies lead to decreased incidence of degenerative diseases and lowered death rates over a period of years.
Nutrient absorption has been shown to gradually decrease with advancing age, requiring greater intake of supplements.
Many of today’s pharmaceuticals originate from plants. Digitalis, used to treat congestive heart failure, initially came from the leaves of the foxglove plant. Taxol, from the yew tree is used for chemotherapy. Belladonna is used for respiratory and gastrointestinal complaints, and many other medications are extracted from nature.
With advances in the science of nutraceutical medicine, supplements can be given to the body reversing a variety of targeted disease causing chemical reactions.
Supplements include minerals, vitamins, herbs, concentrates, and homeopathic remedies .

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Mind Health

Science is beginning to discover the ancient knowledge of the power of our intention in initiating any physical manifestation including the power to heal ourselves.

Anything that has ever been achieved by humans was first a thought in someone’s mind. Anything that is created in our life, mainly our health and well-being, begins in our mind and is influenced by our conscious and subconscious choices of thoughts and emotions.

In order to take a more active role in the creative process of our lives, we must become aware of our words and thought patterns. We also must be aware of the following known universal principles:

* Self Healing – The mind and body system has an innate ability to heal itself. The healing arts and sciences just assists the process by accelerating the innate ability.
* Universal Energy – Everything visible or invisible is energy and is all interconnected. The dictionary defines energy as the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity, from Greek energeia, from en- �in, within� + ergon �work.�. Our inner thoughts and emotions are forms of energy, and they can become words, which can shape our actions, habits, and character.
* Cause and Effect – Anything created has an impact. Since our thoughts, words, and actions are creative we are responsible for their impacts. Like causes attract like effects, so that negative thoughts, words, and actions  attract negative outcomes, and wholesome thoughts, words, and actions attract positive outcomes.

To create vibrant health, we must therefore take responsibility and consciously reprogram our mind by choosing positive thoughts, words, and actions. We must also let go of negative, or non supportive conscious or subconscious beliefs. The path to achieve such a mastery of our mind and body has been called “enlightenment”, and is a natural progression of our ability to control some of our thoughts. In the natural process of evolution, we come to realize that gaining mastery of the self is simply stepping out of the way and allowing without resistance the self healing mechanism of life to lead us to wholesome health and happiness.

The field of psychoneuroimmunology and the works of Drs. Candace Pert and Bruce Lipton have suggested that the “mind� is part of every cell, and emotions exist both as energy and matter in the vibrating receptors on every cell in the body. The mind can then produce a wide variety of mind-altering chemicals.

“Mind Body Medicine” therapies have been reported to be effective in many conditions including pain control, migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, ADHD, epilepsy, hypertension, peptic ulcer, anxiety, depression, and diabetes.

Tools to help us in the process are:

Emotionally Charged Positive Affirmations
Positive Goal Setting
Balancing Life Sectors
Accelerated Learning
84% of migraine sufferers can control their headaches when they learn temperature control of the index finger (the least difficult biofeedback technique according to Norman Shealy, MD, PhD)
Breath Techniques
Guided Imagery
In the 1970s, Dr. Herbert Benson first reported on the physiologic benefits of meditation known as the “Relaxation Response”.  Benson demonstrated that individuals who did 20 minutes of deep relaxation twice a day had a 50% decrease of both stress related catecholamine production and insulin requirement for the entire 24-hour period.