Dr. Lissa Rankin’s recently published New York Times bestseller, Mind over Medicine, in part, examines this disturbing phenomenon.
Reading Rankin’s thought provoking book reminded me of Fiona Macrae’s 2009 Health post The health alerts that make you ill: Negative thoughts ‘can induce sickness’.
Macrae wrote for the Daily Mail:
A series of studies from around the world has shown that if you believe something could make you ill, it might well do just that. Simply reading the side-effects on a bottle of tablets raises your risk of experiencing them. And, taken to its extreme, patients who believe they will not survive surgery, are more likely to die on the operating table.
It’s now evident that if you’re taking medication, you could have concerns. While it’s important to use medicinal products wisely, studying their labels can cause you more problems. It seems you’re in trouble no matter what you do.
Doesn’t this dilemma tell you something? Doesn’t it show that your health is mental in nature? And if what you think causes what you experience, shouldn’t exploring a new way of thinking be considered?
In her 1875 guidebook on spiritual healing, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy relates:
A man was made to believe that he occupied a bed where a cholera patient had died. Immediately the symptoms of this disease appeared, and the man died. The fact was, that he had not caught the cholera by material contact, because no cholera patient had been in that bed.
Eddy described the incident to educate her readers to the mental nature of health. But she didn’t just stop there, for she had found there was no healthier way to think than with a spiritual mindset.
While health alerts and a diseased-centered focus can make you sick, pondering spiritual things, — a divine power and presence, enables you to experience improved and more consistent health.
The inspired prophet, the apostle Paul, understood this, and counseled:
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
Again, it’s important to use medicinal products wisely. But, perhaps, more importantly, if you want to be healthy and stay that way, watch what you read, consider, and ponder.
If you ask me, there should be health alerts that remind you to maintain a consistent spiritual mindset.
Instead of scaring and causing you even more suffering, these alerts, if adhered to, could make positive differences in your physical well-being.
– 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