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Spirit, Soul, & Body Health (What is Natural Health? pt. 2)
This is a series explaining what natural health is. If you missed part 1 you can go back and read it. It’s okay, I’ll wait here. When you’re finished come on back.
Who do you think you are? What are you made of? It is a common misconception that we “are” this physical body we live in. And it’s also easy to think that our mind, feelings and body are somehow separate and unrelated things. It is also regularly perceived that each individual organ or part of the body works alone and apart from the rest of the body.
Based on the model of the current medical system in the US today it would be easy to think that each “part” of us functions independently of the others and has no affect on the other “parts”. Sadly, there are doctors for each system of the body and each only looks at that one system. There are currently over 60 different physician specialties and most don’t communicate with each other! I can’t count how many times over the years I have said that there should be a doctor that cumulatively compares and compiles the findings from every specialist and pulls it all together for a person! Another sad fact is that 1 doctor doing a few base level tests and connecting the dots of symptoms and causes does not generate the same cash flow as the trending insurance driven system does. The 1 doctor approach also eliminates most of the pharmaceutical prescriptions used to cover up symptoms because the root cause is dealt with and the symptoms actually go away as opposed to being suppressed.
The good news is that there is now a field called “Functional” medicine. Most doctors specializing in functional medicine are MD’s that have come to that same realization and decided to change directions. Instead of focusing on the isolation of each body system and ignoring the rest of the body they look at the big picture to see how every part of the body works together to “function”. Yay! At least we are beginning to realize that the body works as a whole unit. That is what “holistic” medicine means; looking at the person as a whole as opposed to only considering one part of them to have a health problem.
There is another separation that has happened in the modern medical community; the spirit and soul have been removed from the health equation much like the separation of “church and state”. The spirit was amputated from health a long time ago. That’s a big problem, but first let’s consider how the soul has been cut off. The soul of a person is their mind, will and emotions. It is the “place” of our thinking, conscious and unconscious decision making and our feelings. The connection between the condition of our mental and emotional health as related to our physical health is an area that has had much study but the results still seem to be ignored by the medical industry as a whole. The medical term for this is “psychosomatic”. It is technically defined as:
1. Of or relating to a disorder having physical symptoms but originating from mental or emotional causes.
2. Relating to or concerned with the influence of the mind on the body, and the body on the mind, especially with respect to disease: psychosomatic medicine.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Consider this: According to the latest statistics stress has been linked to all the leading causes of death. Here is an eye-opening report called Stress In America taking yearly statistics by the American Psychological Association. This study delineates the effects of stress nationwide by gender, generation and geography. Different years reports also consider factors such as economics, social status and career. Apart from that, 20 years it was already determined that almost 90 percent of all visits to primary health care providers are due to stress-related problems! The root causes are being identified but as of yet the only solution has been to throw more chemical drugs at them.
We need to see the BIG picture of how we are made so that we can find the root causes of sickness, illness, disorders and disease. Taking medications (whether pharmaceutical drugs OR natural remedies) just to cover symptoms does NOT cure or heal! To be abundantly well-thy we need to think beyond the body!
Are you not sure you believe that our minds, wills and emotions actually affect our physical condition?
Have you ever gotten excited and felt “butterflies” in your tummy? Excitement = mental & emotional state –> “butterflies” = physical manifestation.
Have you ever experienced the death of loved one and felt a “broken heart”? You didn’t physically have a cardiac malfunction in your heart muscle but you physically felt the “ache” in your solar plexus region. In this case grief = mental and emotional state –> “heartache” = physical manifestation.
Okay, we’ll add just one more example here (although there are countless numbers of these examples!). Do you remember the last time you felt afraid? Fear can gnaw at your gut, tighten your muscles, cause a headache and even physically paralyze you! Now, imagine what happens in a body that lives in constant, continuous and chronic fear every. single. day.
Alright, we’ve seen the world’s version of our disconnected health picture, now let’s take a look at the real way that we are “made”…
Are you ready for a little “out of body” experience? We’re gonna talk about spirits and souls a bit but not in the Halloween sense. A whole person is more than just the parts we can point to, count or surgically remove! We are spirit, soul and body. Our spiritual, mental and emotional health is a contributing factor to our overall well-being as much as our physical self.
We are a spirit, we have a soul (our mind, will and emotions) and we live in a body. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (CEV), “I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns.” (emphasis mine).
We were created in the image of God. In Genesis 1:26 (AMP) “God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness…”
God created us, therefore let’s look to Him for understanding and instruction on how we function day to day. In Hosea 4:6 (NLT) God says, “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.” I think we can safely say that modern diseases are destroying people we know and love every day. It grieves the Lord when we don’t know Him and then, consequentially, don’t know the guidelines He gave us to know how to live in naturally good health.
Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows.) John 10:10 (AMP). To help us find the way to that abundantly healthy, well-thy life, God gave us His words in what we call “scriptures”. In 2 Timothy 3:16 (GNT) it tells us that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living…”.
Right now, if you’re asking, “Is this whole ‘what is natural health?’ thing just going to be about Bible verses?” The answer is no, but we are going to start by looking to the Bible to find answers about our health. I promise we’ll get to the herbs and oils part eventually.
In Genesis chapter 2 the Bible tells us that God formed man out of the dust of the earth and then breathed life into him and he became a living soul. Likewise, when we die, it says “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7 (KJV)
So we see that what we truly are is a spirit and the (dirt) house God made for us to live in is the body. Then He gave us our soul which includes our minds, wills and emotions. The Scriptures speak of the soul often; it is written many times that we should “love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength”. This, of course, isn’t referring to the heart muscle in our bodies but that untouchable place within us that is our “heart of hearts”, where love (and hate) originate from. The feelings of our “heart” don’t come from our chest just like our “thoughts” don’t come from the brain in our head. This is why so many accounts of people in accidents that were legally declared brain dead were actively having thoughts and could share them when they were revived back to (body) life. This wonderful menagerie of other-worldliness is just that – the spirit and soul that is eternal – the part of “us” that will go on to either heaven or hell when the body remains to decay. But the good news is that “…whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” 1 Corinthians 6:17 (NIV) and will be with Him eternally!
“We are a spirit, we have a soul (our mind, will and emotions) and we live in a body.”
The real us, our spirit, is the eternal part of us that was created by God and will go on eternally long after our mortal bodies have decayed – either with Him in Glory or without Him in Hell. Since the “real” person is the spirit of a person doesn’t it make sense that we should consider our spiritual health as the very root source of our resulting mental and emotional health and our soul’s manifestation of our physical health?
Spiritual health –> leads to –> mental & emotional health –> which leads to –> physical health.
That’s about as “out there” as this gets, but it’s important for us to understand that our “health” isn’t just about what symptoms or issues we’re having in our body. The condition of our spirit drives the bus, so to speak; if we don’t know our creator, we are being destroyed – even if it is so slowly we don’t see it happening. Yet. But that can change! I’m not going to preach a sermon here but I will show what that looks like:
When we personally know that Peace then we also have faith that “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him...” Romans 8:28 [NIV]). Let’s bring it on home with one last scenario:
What if you don’t know that Peace in your spirit. Let’s say it’s noon and your boss tells you to meet him in his office at 2pm (so far you only know a fact, not good or bad, right?). Then you wonder, “What’s wrong?” (now you’re thinking with your mind that’s not guarded against fear and doubt). Then you start feeling nervous (feeling with your emotions). Then your heart starts palpitating and you start to sweat (oh no! you forgot to put on deodorant this morning!) and now you not only stink but your stomach starts churning and you have to run (bad pun, sorry!) to the bathroom and you have diarrhea…
Now it’s easy to see in this scenario how not having peace in your spirit can cause what you were thinking in your mind to turn to feeling in your emotions and then turn to what you are experiencing in your body. It would be easy to believe that you just “got sick” or “maybe a flu bug is going around the office?” but in reality you actually had complete control over how you felt in that scenario! And the best part? ….The boss was actually calling you in to give you a raise!
That’s a silly example but it happens all the time! The sad part is that this doesn’t usually just stop there; most of us make a regular habit of allowing our minds to think negative thoughts (not trusting God) and we continually train our emotions to live in full time “drama” mode. Living that way ALWAYS manifests in poor health, usually chronic conditions.
So, we always need to consider the condition of our spirit first, then our soul (our mind, will [choices] and emotions) when looking how to naturally treat the health of our body.
This is my prayer for you.
“So I bow in prayer before the Father. Every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name from him. I ask the Father with his great glory to give you the power to be strong in your spirits. He will give you that strength through his Spirit. I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with everything God has for you.
With God’s power working in us, he can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21 (ERV)
Now that we have a big picture of what we are let’s look at why that is important…
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