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Experiencing health via the connection

By Kay Stroud - posted Friday, 5 September 2014

Why don't you hear more about the revolutionary healthcare options and treatments that take into account the mind-body-spirit connection from your local doctor or hospital?

Here's one explanation. In Dr Craig Hassed's keynote address at the 20th Annual International Integrative Medicine Conferencein Sydney last week he referred to Thomas Kuhn's philosophy of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Apparently Kuhn's hypothesis goes something like this: accepted scientific paradigms are influenced more by common consent than evidence; and when new evidence conflicts with the accepted paradigm it is at first seen as a mistake. However, if there is sufficient evidence then a crisis or revolution is reached, before eventually the old data is subsumed into a new paradigm.


One recent example comes to mind. The new science of epigenetics shows that genes and DNA are not static and do not control our biology, but are controlled by signals from outside the cell, including our positive and negative thoughts. Molecules don't trigger events in our cells; mind does!

Medicine may still be at a crisis point as to how to accommodate epigenetics because its emphasis is so much on how the mind (cause) needs to be treated primarily, rather than the body (effect).

Numerous scientific trials into the effects of love, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude and contemplative practices, show that loving, supportive people and a kind environment reduce stress and disease; that patient-centred care that treats the individual's lifestyle and beliefs brings quicker healing; that happy, energetic people who eat well and are cared for are healthier; that contemplative practices like mindfulness meditation and affirming prayer help to heal, repair and prevent depression and may slow ageing.

Talking of paradigms, two thousand years ago Jesus Christ introduced a new scientific paradigm, the understanding of which had barely dawned on human thought until now; that our health can't be separated from the quality of our thoughts. One of his followers instructed that we need to "have a new mind and heart" (Ephesians 4:23) for greater health and wellbeing; and this was Paul's expectation for those he healed.

Nonetheless, as the world stands in the early years of the 21st Century in its expanding understanding of the gold standard of medicine that Jesus and his followers practised, the field of mind-body medicine is a small step in the right direction.

This week a new film called The Connectionhad its world premiere in Melbourne on Monday evening, to be followed by a screening in Sydney this Friday 5 September before its US and London screenings later in the month.


As co-author of the popular book Mindfulness for Life, Hassed is among other scientists, researchers, writers and doctors like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Herbert Benson, Dean Ornish and George Jelinek (from Australia) who share their research and introduce people with remarkable true stories who have recovered from severe back pain, heart disease, infertility, cancer and multiple sclerosis using these practices, including Aussie carpenter, Scott Stephens.

The Connectionis a film about how frontier research is proving that there is a direct connection between your mind and your health. The promo asserts, "It's a film for people who have tried everything."

A young man who had "tried everything" that even integrative medicine could provide decided to take a completely different approach to healing – an entirely spiritual approach.

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About the Author

Kay Stroud is the media spokesperson and legislative liaison for Christian Science in Queensland.

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