Posts tagged ‘Oregon’
By John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
I’m curious about what’s missing in Oregon’s media on health and health care. You see plenty on health care reform, lots on the latest trends in conventional medical research, and much discussion about society’s hopes for a cure to our most obstinate health challenges. What you don’t see reported much is the public’s increasing pursuit of alternative and integrative health practices.
People are concerned about their health, evidenced by the fact that 80% of adult internet users are looking for information about health. And I believe that people are looking for solutions to their health concerns outside the mainstream system.
One emerging trend is the inclusion of alternative and integrative medical services by hospitals in their array of offerings because many of these practices are proving to be effective, they are less expensive than traditional care, and the public is using these services more and more. In fact, Americans pay $34 billion per year out of pocket for complementary and alternative medicine.
“Although research supporting the efficacy of various complementary therapies is increasing, if hospitals confined themselves to those procedures supported by evidence there wouldn’t be much to offer,” says Ian Coulter, a senior health policy analyst at the Rand Corp. “(The same could be said of many conventional medical treatments, or course.) So hospitals pick and choose, based on what they judge to be most effective and what they believe patients want.”
According to a survey by the American Hospital Association and the Samueli Institute, the most common treatments offered by hospital outpatient centers were massage therapy, acupuncture, and guided imagery (visualization and mental techniques designed to reduce stress). Pet therapy, massage, and music/art therapy are the most popular on an inpatient basis.
One practice not listed above, but practiced by 49% of those surveyed, is prayer. I practice prayer on a regular basis with good results. I also value the practice of a healthy lifestyle.
I don’t pay a lot for my health care, and in fact I don’t have any negative side effects. What I do have is good health and I feel good, mentally and physically.
I’m wondering why Oregonians aren’t reading or hearing much about these trends in health care. Sure, they aren’t the dominant resource for a healthy life in today’s complex society, but certainly they’re significant enough to warrant regular attention for the benefit of Oregon citizens.
“Medical pot clinic manager gets prison term”
This headline in an Oregon newspaper isn’t particularly remarkable. Everyday the news carries stories of crime and punishment. Here the defendant illegally provided marijuana to people.
If we peel back the layers of this headline we begin to see a different issue than what’s on the surface. It really isn’t just about crime and punishment. It’s about humanity’s yearning to relieve pain and suffering.
Sixteen states and D.C. have legalized the use of marijuana for medical reasons. Oregon followed California, the first in the country, by passing its own law in 1998 along with Alaska and Washington. The prescribing physician and the patient must be registered with the state. And, its use is limited to treating suffering caused by debilitating medical conditions.
I used to think that the number of people using medical marijuana was relatively small, comprised mostly of hippies and the fringes of society. That’s until I looked up the numbers. In Oregon over 55,000 people have a medical marijuana card, and over 1,900 physicians supervise these patients. These numbers aren’t small potatoes.
When I was a young man marijuana was used exclusively for recreation. Somewhere along the way, however, it joined the ranks of pharmaceutical drugs. For some, it’s the medicine of choice for addressing symptoms caused by medical conditions that haven’t been healed. Some might consider this form of health care to be radical and groundbreaking.
Here’s the rub, though. This isn’t a paradigm shift. What was once exclusively an illegal drug has simply been moved into the realm of conventional medicine. Patients not achieving their health through conventional pharmaceuticals are just turning to another familiar drug with a different history to relieve their suffering.
Isn’t there a better way? Has marijuana permanently improved the quality of life for its users? I suspect not, given the number of people continuing to seek relief. But doesn’t the use of a consciousness-changing drug hint at some inner understanding that a change of consciousness is needed to be truly free of pain and remain healthy?
A growing trend in mainstream medicine is showing glimmers of hope that the medical establishment does recognize there are non-pharmaceutical alternatives for achieving health.
In Oregon, Dr.Barry Oken of the Oregon Health and Sciences University is a physician that conducts research on alternative health care. He’s director of the Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine In Neurological Disorders (ORCCAMIND). Though his research is narrowly focused, his work is making progress in the area of alternatives to conventional health care practices. It was his interest in yoga that originally got him to look at alternative health care.
Another physician, Mitchell Krucoff, MD tells Web MD that he has been studying prayer and spirituality since 1996 – and practicing it much longer in his patient care. He says that “…we’re seeing systematic investigations – clinical research – as well as position statements from professional societies supporting this research, federal subsidies from the NIH, funding from Congress”. “All of these studies, all the reports, are remarkably consistent in suggesting the potential measurable health benefit associated with prayer or spiritual interventions.”
Even though prayer might be seen as “medicine nouveau” by some in the medical establishment, it’s been around for along time. I’ve practiced it, as have many others, with great success in permanent pain relief. When systematically used, the results are consistent, avoiding invasive procedures, huge medical bills, and nasty side effects.
Legalizing marijuana use for medical purposes really isn’t breaking new ground. If I could tell those holding marijuana cards one thing, it would be this: There is a better way to relieve pain and suffering, and there’s a better way to achieve health. Look toward mind and away from matter.
This blog post by my colleague and friend in Texas, Keith Wommack, illustrates the all inclusiveness of God’s presence and efficacy in health care. I know you will enjoy reading his thoughts on this topic. John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon.
by Keith Wommack, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Texas
The prayer that heals us (dogs and cats too) is not a matter of wishing and hoping for the best. It is based on spiritual laws. It is reliable and responsible. It makes us see more clearly how God has spiritually made us. It teaches us how loved and safe we are. Just ask Lee and Sambo.
You see, Lee loves her 12 year old dog, Sambo. Lee and Sambo live on a ranch in east Texas. The ranch is about an hour away from town. One evening, when her husband was out of town, Lee saw a five foot Timberback Rattlesnake in front of her in the yard. Lee grabbed her twenty-two rifle and started shooting. Sambo saw what was happening and rushed to protect Lee. He caught the rattler in his mouth but the snake bit him.
After lots of excitement, Lee called her neighbors (who live two miles away). They came and took care of the snake. But already Sambo showed the violent symptoms of a deadly snake bite. He quickly became stiff. Lee then called a veterinarian. The vet told Lee she was too far away. Sambo needed instant help.
Lee then remembered that a friend had given her a copy ofScience and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy. Christian Science is the Bible-based method of spiritual healing discovered by Eddy. Lee had used the ideas from this spiritual guidebook along with the Bible several times when she needed comfort. So, while Sambo lay in her arms, she prayed, using what she was learning.
For a solid hour she prayed. Then her neighbors suggested Lee call the vet again. Since Sambo was still alive, the vet said to come immediately. She prayed all the way to town. About five minutes before they reached the vets office, Sambo sat up in Lee’s lap and acted normal.
The vet couldn’t believe it. He said in all his years he’d only seen one dog survive a snake bite from a snake that big. However, the vet told Lee that Sambo would be lethargic for several days. And the next day Sambo was lethargic. He lay in one spot. He didn’t move.
This is when Lee called me. Lee was calling because she knew I was learning how Christian Science heals. I agreed to pray with Lee for Sambo. And I did. Sambo then got up, ate, wagged his tail, and was fine. Sambo was Sambo again. Lee knows that without prayer she would have lost Sambo. And Sambo is again running around the ranch in east Texas.
Again, the prayer that heals us (dogs and cats too) is not a matter of wishing and hoping for the best. It is based on spiritual laws. It is reliable and responsible. Just ask Lee and Samdo.
Have you experienced or seen prayer heal? Please comment on what you are learning.
Hi folks. Again, my friend from the UK, Tony Lobl, has written an excellent and timely post which I want to share here. At this moment I am sitting in health care reform hearings in the Oregon State legislature, and I am struck by the absence any discussion of spiritual care as a viable alternative. Tony provides compelling reasons as to why we should consider spiritual care. I hope you enjoy reading his thoughts as much as I did.
John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
Posted on February 10, 2011 by Tony Lobl
Are you one of the 245,386?
In an answer to a question put by Lord Pearson of Rannoch on Herbal Medicines in the House of Lords, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health, Earl Howe, reported on records of adverse drug reaction (ADR) obtained from health professionals, patients and indirectly from the pharmaceutical industry via the Yellow Card Scheme. Earl Howe said that since 200o, in England and Wales, 245,386 ADR reports have been received of which, 10,446 (4 per cent) recorded a fatal outcome. (Corresponding figures for herbal medicine were quoted as 837 ADR and 8 fatalities.)
Despite the preciseness of the figures, Earl Howe qualified the statistics. Firstly, they may be too optimistic. He said that “The number of reports received via the Yellow Card scheme does not directly equate to the number of people who suffer adverse reactions in the general population to medicines as this scheme is associated with an unknown level of underreporting.” Alternatively, they might be too pessimistic, “It should be noted that healthcare professionals are asked to report suspected adverse reactions on a voluntary basis and the submission of a report does not mean that the reaction cited was definitely caused by the medicine or herbal.”
Either way, they are LARGE numbers. (more…)
By John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
It’s not uncommon for the topic of Christian Science to come up in my conversations with others because people know I’m a Christian Scientist. Healing through prayer is often a part of these discussions. Invariably, it comes out in subtle–or not so subtle–terms that prayer is nice, but medical science, i.e., the medical model, is the ultimate and final solution to health problems.
I haven’t been able to find the definitive definition of ‘the medical model”. However, (more…)