By KEITH WOMMACK — I was glad to see Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare nominated for an Emmy Award. I hope you’ve had an opportunity to view it. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will host the 35th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards Ceremony on September 30.
The filmmakers of Escape Fire realize that society desperately needs a paradigm shift when it comes to providing people with better healthcare. The film focuses on the problems in our healthcare system and offers alternatives to the traditional treatments most Americans are familiar with.
A Los Angeles Times review of Escape Fire states, “What we have now, Dr. Andrew Weil and others in the film attest, is actually not a healthcare system but a disease management system. It’s a system that believes drugs are the only way: We spend as much on them as the rest of the world spends combined. It’s a system, these folks say, that does not want you to die or to get well; it wants you to keep on spending. And spending. If milk prices had risen as astronomically since 1945 as drugs have, a gallon of milk would cost $48.”
An Indiewire review describes part of the film: “We follow one soldier, Robert Yates, on his way home from Afghanistan. …His journey towards recovery illustrates how the military, out of sheer pragmatism, has turned to healing techniques such as acupuncture, meditation and yoga in order to relieve the stress and pain of these men. Not only are they curbing narcotic dependency and teaching them empowering techniques to heal themselves for a lifetime, but these procedures are relatively low-cost and low-tech.”
Healthcare is important to me as a Christian Science practitioner. When it comes to helping others through prayer, I feel that I’ve found my calling. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help and heal. I also appreciate it when others help me find relief.
Two years ago, as I stood outside and reluctantly prepared to mow my yard, my neighbor’s yardman pulled up with his trailer full of yard equipment. I was reluctant to begin working because my back was aching. It had been hurting for several weeks, and I was having trouble bending over.
While watching the yardman drive his riding mower off the trailer, I thought perhaps he could help me. I didn’t realize just how much help he would be.
I walked across the street to ask if he had time to mow my yard too. Knowing that my wife and I always cared for our own lawn, he stopped what he was doing and asked, “Are you feeling OK?”
I told him about my back. He smiled and said, “Sure. I will mow it.” Then, with a compassionate, caring tone, he described exercises I should try. Apparently, at one time, he’d been a massage therapist. He said that if I would do the exercises, I’d feel better.
I thanked him and walked back to my house. However, as soon as I closed the door behind me, I began to feel better. Even though he suggested exercises, they weren’t needed. It was my reaction to his genuine compassion that facilitated my escape from pain.
Then, the next week, when he returned to mow the neighbor’s yard, I told him how his caring had helped me find complete freedom. He smiled and said, “I just don’t like to see anyone suffer.”
My back pain paled in comparison to many others’ intense sufferings. Yet, the experience confirmed for me that health is a mental and spiritual condition.
Again, even though my neighbor’s yardman suggested exercises, it was my reaction to his genuine compassion that facilitated my escape from pain. Years of practicing a spiritual-based form of treatment has taught me that aligning consciousness with God’s love results in physical improvements. The yardman’s heartfelt caring touched me, and it served as the catalyst I needed to prayerfully conquer the pain. His care made God’s care real to me. And I quickly responded.
An American Psychological Association study released in 2011 stated that more Americans than ever are using prayer as an alternative for health concerns. The authors of the study found that in 1999 13.7 percent of the people surveyed used prayer, while by 2007 the percentage had risen to 49 percent. Many are finding Bible passages reassuring. For example, it is helpful to learn that you can cast “all your care upon [God], for He cares for you.”
A film guide for the Sundance Film Festival stated, “Destined to be hailed as the definitive film on American healthcare, ESCAPE FIRE offers a way out—a primer on how to save the health of a nation.”
Saving the health of a nation starts with recognizing that it can be done. Identifying and utilizing effective healing systems is a good start. As innately caring and spiritual people, I believe, we can and will make it happen.
(Update to an earlier column about the release of Escape Fire)
– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com