AUDIO CASSETTE COURSE
Complementary medicine at Duke University Medical Center is heavily woven into the traditional fabric of high-tech health care. Its first Mind-Body-Spirit conference, held in 1996, started off convincing physicians to take seriously such techniques as relaxation and guided imagery, yoga and mindfulness-based stress management. This year, it is teaming up with the University of Arizona to teach health care givers who now understand the value of complementary medicine how to provide such techniques in a clinical setting.
Topics at the conference will include nutritional and botanical medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy, support and coping skills and meditation. Presenters will offer "case-based" learning sessions designed to address specific health conditions including cancer, arthritis, allergies and women's health.
Physicians will also undergo a "personal health assessment" at the beginning of the conference and revisit that initial assessment at the end in order to apply what they have learned. The purpose of the personal health assessments is to illustrate to physicians how to apply complementary care techniques in the clinical setting, by using themselves as an example.
"It is becoming increasingly evident that lifestyle and psychosocial factors play an important role in both the origin and management of chronic illness in this country, and we, at academic medical centers, want to provide the most well-rounded and effective care possible to our patients," said Dr. Martin Sullivan, co-director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Duke and one of the conference coordinators.
Weil, director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, has his fair share of both fans and critics within the medical community:
"I think people are fed up," Weil has said. "They want to be more in charge. Throughout the world there is a growing suspicion of non-natural things and a growing belief that Western medicine doesn't have all the answers. Perhaps I speak to that belief."
Organizers of the second annual conference, "Integrating Mind, Body and Spirit in Medical Practice," say the conference reaches far beyond the usual healthy-lifestyles lectures espoused by the medical establishment. Instead, the issues delve far deeper into the human experience by exploring, for example, the biological basis for human touch's palliative effects, the power of spirituality in curing addiction, and the importance of social support in treating and healing cancer patients.
But perhaps most practically, the conference will address ways to overcome the growing discontent among medical professionals who recognize that the symptoms they fix often fail to cure the underlying problem. Toward that end, a major theme of this year's conference is the doctor-patient relationship and how it can be improved despite the restrictions of managed care.
Orwell said that language makes humans easy to control—control their language and you control the people. Language is central to our experience of being human, and the languages we speak profoundly shape the way we think, the way we see the world, the way we live our lives. An ongoing debate in the field of linguistics is whether language is controlled by thought, or thought by language. Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf proposed a hypothesis claiming that a person's native language will control their thoughts and that if a concept is not expressed in one's native language, they will not understand this concept.
THE SPECTRUM OF VITAL [NATURAL] PSYCHOLOGY
Mentalology is an extension of the concept of vitalology being the assessment and practice of cultivating the state of being strong, active, and energetic by building vitality and health through specific wellness, lifestyle, and good state of mind.
MENTAL HEALING, OUR FOUNDATION
Like all the laws of nature, the law of natural medicine is universal in its application; and, like all the others, it is simple and easily comprehended. What many practitioners fail to recognize is that there is an intelligence that controls the functions of the body in health, it follows that it is the same power or energy that fails in case of disease. Failing intelligence, with plunder into chaos, the body requires assistance; and that is what all therapeutic agencies aim to accomplish. No intelligent physician of any school claims to be able to do more than to “assist nature” to restore normal conditions of the body.
That there is a mental energy that requires assistance, no one denies; for science teaches us that the whole body is made up of a summation of intelligent systems - neural, endocrine, cardiovascular, etc. - each of which performs its functions with an intelligence exactly adapted to the performance of its special duties as a member of the whole. However, there is no life without mind, from the lowest unicellular organism up to man/woman. It is, therefore, a mental energy that actuates every cell, nerve and fiber of the body under all its conditions. That there is a central intelligence that controls each of these mindful organisms and systems is self-evident. That mind totality directs its proper agency which results in healing is the foundation of Christian Science and allied schools.
Whether, as the materialistic scientist insists, this central intelligence is merely the sum of all the cellular intelligences of the bodily organism, or is an independent entity, capable of sustaining a separate existence after the body perishes, is a question that minimally concerns us in the pursuance of the present inquiry of therapeutics. It is sufficient for us to know that such an innate intelligence exists, and that, for the time being, it is the controlling energy or agency of God that normally regulates the action of the myriad cells of which the body is composed.
It is then, a mental agency or soul that all righteous therapeutic agencies are designed to energize, and when, for any cause, it fails to perform its functions with reference to any part of the physical structure, disease is the outcome. It follows that mental therapeutic agencies of both physician and patient are the primary and normal means of energizing the organism. That is to say, mental agencies operate more directly than any other system upon a sick organism. Although physical agencies such as medicines and nutrition are by no means excluded, all experience of the ages shows that the physical organism responds best to mental stimuli which follows by corrective measures, elimination of habits, dietary reform, and other natural agencies.
In his book, The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes stated "Religious Science is a correlation of laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion applied to human needs and the aspirations of man." He also stated that Religious Science/Science of Mind (RS/SOM) is not based on any "authority" of established beliefs, but rather on "what it can accomplish" for the people who practice it. In 1926 Holmes published The Science of Mind, which references the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Bible as well as Buddha. As stated in Holmes' other book New Thought: A Practical American Spirituality, "New Thought still is evolving; it may yet be the point at which religion, philosophy, and science come together as the most effective combination to move the world to greater peace, plenty, health, and harmony. Many believe it might be the quintessential spirituality for the next millennium."
All that can be realized in the enlightened physician is that in therapeutics, a mental stimulus is necessarily more direct and more positive in its effects, all other things being equal, than a physical stimulus alone can be, for the simple reason that it is intelligent on the one hand and tangible on the other. It must be self-evident that it is impossible to wholly to eliminate mental suggestion in the administration of material remedies. Extremists may claim that the whole effect of material remedies is due to the factor of mental suggestion; but this is not realistic. The most that can be claimed with any degree of certainty is that material remedies, when they are not in themselves positively injurious, are good and legitimate forms of stimuli, and, as such, are invested with a certain therapeutic potency, even as in the administration of the placebo. It is also certain that, whether the remedies are material or mental, they must, directly or indirectly, energize the mental organism in control of its bodily functions. Otherwise the therapeutic effects produced cannot be permanent. One may take a vitamin supplement as a temporary tonic and obtain energy, but it will generally not overpower a state of chronic mental depression without the corrective agency of mental intelligence.
It follows that the therapeutic value of all remedial agencies, material or mental, is proportioned to their respective powers to produce the effect of stimulating the subjective mind to a state of energized activity, and directing its energies into appropriate channels. We know that mental suggestion fills this requirement more directly and positively than any other known therapeutic agent; and this is all that needs to be done in many cases for the restoration of health outside of the domain of necessary surgery or trauma care. No power in the universe can do more to energize the mental organism than therapeutic suggestion which is the seat and source of restoring health within the body. The clinical value of therapeutic suggestion is well documented in the medical literatures. It can be administered by voice, presence or even human radiation. It is a psychological process by which an idea is induced in or adopted by another without argument, command, or coercion and leads to corrective agency. This is a paramount duty of physician, therapist, counselor, or pastor to cultivate and use this marvel of God. A miracle could do only more.
- Msgr. Prof. McWilliams: Maria Popova