Perhaps, you’ve been hearing a lot about health reform and new models of care. The National Institutes of Health reports that 40 percent of Americans are actively seeking alternative approaches.
Possibly, you like the thought of a patient-centered approach. The idea that you can have more control over your mental and physical wellbeing might appeal to you too.
In addition, you’ve noticed that more and more items on the grocery shelf claim to be good for your health. And this being the holiday season, perchance, you’ve looked up at the mistletoe hanging from doorframes and wondered if that sprig, as well, has possible medicinal benefits.
However, you can forget about the mistletoe.
After some investigating, it appears that no measurable evidence exists to support claims of a healing effect or improved quality of life from the use of mistletoe extract.
If you’re like most people, when it comes to mistletoe sprigs, you are probably just looking for a kiss.
Nevertheless, if you are wondering whether a kiss has any health benefits, actually, you would be on the right track. Frequent kissing has scientifically been shown to stabilize cardiovascular activity, as well as decrease blood pressure and cholesterol.
It’s also been reported that those who kiss their partner goodbye each morning live five years longer than those who don’t.
But, what if a mistletoe sprig isn’t handy or you’re without a partner at the moment?
Most kisses are motived by love, and research shows that it is actually love that promotes health. It is love, not the kiss, which leads to healthy outcomes.
Perhaps, the kiss could be considered a symbol, an act that reminds us of the love that is truly medicinal. Danny Deza in a Foxnews.com article recently wrote, “Love does indeed impact our bodies in measurable ways. You feel different and are different.”
If love changes bodies, this medicine’s ingredient is more than human emotion. It must be something divine, spiritual, for love cannot be squeezed from a flower or synthetically created.
At the Christmas season, love motivates us to give gifts. Christians do this in honor of God’s gift to mankind, the gift of His son Jesus. They believe Jesus’ compassionate example set the standard for what love is and can accomplish. The spirit of Christ that Jesus so naturally reflected heals.
Maybe you have experienced love’s healing benefits. I have, several times.
For example: After carrying and sorting two large pallets of cookie dough for a fundraiser, one of my shoulders and my back were in pain. I couldn’t move. I was afraid I would be immobile for days. However, right then, I began to prayerfully ponder what a healing, powerful thing love was. I knew my actions that day had been motived by love. And as I prayerfully reasoned, my suffering ceased. I was free.
One minute, I was in pain. The next, love, the spirit of Christ, inspired my prayer and healed my body. However, this love didn’t start with me. It was divine. You could call it our Father-Mother Love.
As your search for what can heal you and keep you healthy continues, perhaps you might consider what a wise physician is reported to have once said to a patient:
“I have been practicing medicine for 30 years, and I have prescribed many things. But in the long run I have learned that for the most of what ails the human creature the best medicine is love.”
When asked, “What if it doesn’t work?” The physician answered, “Double the dose.”
For that reason, during this holiday season, you can nail up the mistletoe and grab a kiss or two, however, for your health’s sake, don’t forget the love.
[First published in The Washington Post]
– 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). All of Keith’s columns can be found at: KeithWommack.com