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DO NOT IGNORE YOUR SPIRITUAL HEALTH

by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | March 27th, 2016

DO NOT IGNORE YOUR SPIRITUAL HEALTH

Being healthy is not the absence of disease but finding balance between our mental, physical, and spiritual health or mind, body and spirit.  It is so important to nurture our spirit and I was fortunate to have that opportunity this past week. It has been a long time since I have had the opportunity to be off work for Holy Week. I spent a lot of time in church – Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  I had a lot of time to reflect on the true meaning of Easter – God sent his only begotten son to earth and he was crucified and rose on the third day so that we may have eternal life.  Jesus Christ was here to provide us hope. I was spiritually fed this past week and it felt wonderful.

Science has shown that there are health benefits related to religion. These benefits include lower blood pressure, more life satisfaction, more resilience in the face of insurmountable odds, a healthier immune system, and a longer life.

On a previous blog, I had discussed blue zones and what lessons we can learn. Blue zones are areas in the world where people live long lives. Dan Buettner’s book, The Blue Zones, Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest outlines several lessons which I described on a previous blog. Lesson 7 was to Belong – Participate in a spiritual community. In the book he comments “…the simple act of worship is a powerful habit that seems to improve your chances of having many more good years. It does not matter if you are a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or Hindu. Adherence to a religion allows one to relinquish the stresses of everyday life to a higher power”. We are learning a lot in medicine about how stress can affect our health.

As we move towards maintaining a healthy life style, not only must we be nourished physically and mentally, but also spiritually. Make an effort to find that spiritual community. I welcome your comments.

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The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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