Medicine and Spirituality/Religion have gone hand in hand since the beginning of Human kind. This goes back as far as Traditional Science has a model…The Prehistoric Era, Egypt, Greece, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance Period, up into the Age of Enlightenment. There has clearly been artifacts and archeological evidence discovered, that support this.
Religious Cults in History provided Medical Care for those who could not otherwise afford it. During the Middle Ages the church in Europe provided medical care via their friars and monasteries and was the only organization, at that time, to provide training for doctors in Europe.
Even though religion can also be said to have limited the progress of Medicine there would not have been medicine without these beginnings. The church originally honored Galen and Hippocrates and for centuries following no one dared to challenge their teachings, even though limitations and even errors in these teachings later became evident, at the time the teachings of the church were considered to be the word of God. As a result, medical knowledge stagnated for quite some time.
Faith Healing and pilgrimages also go far back in recorded history. Today we could say this remains part of certain circles in dealing with ailments, along with prayer and is often used alongside guidance from the Medical Industry. This has branched into what we now are calling “The Alternative Medicine” industry, which includes Complimentary Medicine, Chiropractic Care, Some parts of Osteopathic Medicine, Homeopathic Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Energy Medicine, Aroma Therapy, Functional Medicine and so many more today that this in itself is room for another article.
“Religion” has had more influence on the Medical Industry than any other factor, including Science. Though there was a long period of time starting in the Age of Enlightenment that religion was no longer allowed to be intertwined with Medicine due to the belief that religion was irrelevant to our health, we can definitely find evidence since then that has again influenced different aspects of Health Care, Whether on a personal bases or an entire religious platform it is still very present even into this modern age.
Traveling outside of the US there are thousands of “Alternative” Practices and each has its own unique way of treating a disease process or ailment. We can track newly discovered Tribes that have had little to no contact (until now) with the outside world and see that what they suffer from, how they suffer and how they treat their disease processes are vastly different than what we know. What we do know is that even in remote places we find Spirituality influencing Medicine.
Bringing us back to the present day and age we now have more and more “Spiritual Practices” and more and more “Integrative Practices” that incorporate more than just Science into the Healing Process. We now have the beauty of Science that backs up a Spiritual connection during the healing process.
We find that Science has finally admittedly discovered the connection between our beliefs and our outside world. Simply put, what we believe influences how we show up in the world as well as how we perceive the world around us. They have discovered that we can change our “gene expression” regardless of what we see in the lab of the gene itself.
So the age old debate between “Nature vs. Nurture” is also greatly in question. Nature and Nurture are equally influencing our every gene expression.
Have you ever met someone in s a family that just doesn’t seen to “belong” to that family? You see patterns in families and you see patterns in groups of people yet once in a while you see individuals that just don’t “fit the mold” and stand out of the crowd. Their beliefs are different than the rest, their ideas appear to be unique, their responses almost opposite than the rest, they are in all intents and purposes “the black sheep” in that specific crowd. However, they may not be different in a different crowd at all. As a matter of fact, they may even “fit right in” in a group unrelated to the crowd they are associated with. This is what is known as “finding YOUR Tribe”. For these people they know they are different and they know they don’t belong. They just may not know how to find their way to the Tribe they feel safe and comfortable in.
Which leads us to, our believes, our religion, our spirituality; which, by the way, are not always separate however, they can absolutely be worlds apart.
Our beliefs initially are influenced by those who influence us as children. As we grow, we garner our own information and perceptions of the world around us and we start creating our own beliefs. This may have to do with how we were influenced via the Church, our family, and our friends, or rather how we personally perceived the influences of the above. From there we grow according to the decisions we make on our own life path as we grow and learn along the way. Sometimes that means we go far and wide from what we had known as children and sometimes we stay close to the same influences. Regardless, we reach a point where we “decide” what we believe and we begin to build a life around that.
Our personal experiences, our belief system and our willingness to learn are great predictors as to how much we will grow and in what areas. All of this affects our health and the decisions we make pertaining to it. Did you know when you decide to make a change and see that change as already happened before it has physically manifested, that the brain cannot tell the difference between the change and the change in process. It sees that you know it’s already happened and like your BFF it makes sure it happens.
So, what do you believe? Can you see some influencing ideas or thoughts that may be limiting you? Do you want to make changes? Do you believe those changes are hard? Do you see change as a good thing? Do you have supportive people around you that hold you up even in times of doubt and fear?
These are just questions to make you think…there is not right or wrong answer of course. The old adage “you are the master of your own fate” however is only as true as you believe it to be.
Here’s to wishing you the life YOU wish….