Celine Dion is famous for her song, “Let’s talk about love.” I think that’s a great idea! Many scientists are doing more than just talking about love. They are investigating it and its health benefits.
Scientists, supported by the National Institutes of Health, have been studying the impact of love on health. In a study at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Dr. Kathleen Light asked couples to spend at least ten minutes holding hands and talking together about a happy memory. She found that even this short exercise produced health benefits.
The Institutes further reported that relationships between close friends, parents and children, as well as couples, can help the brain, heart and other bodily systems.
Dr. Harry Reis, PhD, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Human Relationships, stresses that long-term relationships can stable blood pressure, control pain, promote faster healing and bring a longer and happier life.
Author and medical practitioner, Dr. Larry Dossey, commented, “If scientists suddenly discovered a drug that was as powerful as love in creating health, it would be heralded as a medical breakthrough and marketed overnight – especially if it had as few side effects and was as inexpensive as love.”
According to the book, Colorus of Love, by J.A. Lee, there are six types of love – including spiritual love: Agape. This is the kind of love often referred to in the Bible, and in my experience is the kind of love that can produce health. It recognizes a Love that has its source as divine power – whether we call it God, Allah, Adonai, or Holy Spirit. This Love is not fickle like human emotions and is more powerful.
One night I had excruciating pain in my jaw. My daughter, who was about eight at the time, saw me suffering. I could tell in her eyes that she wanted to help me because she loved me. To show her love, she read to me from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy – a book that teaches about the direct relationship between understanding Agape and how that impacts our health.
In about fifteen minutes the pain disappeared. My daughter’s human love couldn’t solve the problem, but the powerful sense of Agape that I felt while she read could.
Is love a powerful force in healing? The experience of myself and others says yes!