Although we are educated to believe that sickness is both natural and normal – that everyone, at some point will have something wrong with them – voices in the health community are increasingly saying that this is not necessarily true.
There is a growing conversation that advocates that living a more natural life-style – an ecofriendly approach – will lead us to greater health. It’s especially true in medicine where “personalized lifestyle medicine” is now saying that health will become normal if we change our lifestyle to be more natural.
One such voice is Dale Bellisfield, R.N., a clinical herbalist with a practice in New Jersey, who wrote, “Everyone knows the expression ‘You are what you eat. But I tell my clients, ‘You are what you absorb.’”
There is today, however, often a key missing element in this idea that we are what we ingest and absorb through our skin, etc. That element is what we take into our thinking – what we absorb mentally.
Health researcher Mary Baker Eddy felt that what we absorb mentally determines our health. After investigating and practicing a wide variety of approaches to health and studying deeply the healing work of Jesus, she came to believe that health was natural because we are the very manifestation of a perfect, universal God. She even wrote in her seminal work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “…health is normal and disease is abnormal” (p. 120).
She told the experience of a patient who had a chronic breathing difficulty when the wind (a natural element) was blowing a certain direction. As Eddy sat by her side and prayed, she says the woman’s breathing became “deep and natural.” The lesson from this healing was that it was divinely natural for her to be free and healthy.
This idea that each individual’s innate spirituality is key to natural health is being explored more and more. “There is a quiet shift of consciousness from the solid hard science – measure this, measure that – to something that is a lot more spiritually-based,” Dr. Patrick Massey, MD PhD, Medical Director of Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the Alexian Brothers Hospital Network, told me in an interview.
Will this shift bring a recognition that health – when grounded in our relationship with the Divine – is normal? It’s a question to which more and more individuals are answering “yes!”