5 Spiritual Concepts Western Medicine Must Embrace - page 2

In September 2011, in recognition of National Wellness Week, the Center for Integrated Health Solutions published a list of 10 recommended domains for promoting “whole health, wellness and resiliency.” This list includes the... Read More

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    I, too, balk at the use of the word "must." Sure, most of the concepts listed could be helpful -- but, "must embrace"??

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    Because we are primarily spiritual beings having a human experience, spirituality is inherent to the human condition. I know it is cliche, but one can be spiritual without being religious. It is difficult for our Western scientific minds to even begin to understand spirituality, because spiritual experiences and effects / prayer etc often are very difficult to capture by quantitative empirical means. Doesn't mean it is not real; the way we conduct science may be at fault. Qualitative studies may be more appropriate to study these phenomena. I wrote a little about the FICA Spiritual Assessment tool in my latest blog.
    somedaypeds and mindlor like this.
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    One final thought before I don my Kevlar vest and duck for cover: We are tripartite beings, consisting of spirit, soul, and body. Our soul contains our mind, personality, and emotions. The spirit is the eternal part of us that will live on forever. If we are only treating the soul and body, then we are leaving out a third of who we are. 66.7% is a failing grade by any standard. The spiritual aspect probably has the most profound effect on our health. No wonder there are so many ailments that defy treatment, because we are ignoring spiritual considerations in our plan of care.
    tnbutterfly and mindlor like this.
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    Quote from VickyRN
    Because we are primarily spiritual beings having a human experience, spirituality is inherent to the human condition. I know it is cliche, but one can be spiritual without being religious. It is difficult for our Western scientific minds to even begin to understand spirituality, because spiritual experiences and effects / prayer etc often are very difficult to capture by quantitative empirical means. Doesn't mean it is not real; the way we conduct science may be at fault. Qualitative studies may be more appropriate to study these phenomena. I wrote a little about the FICA Spiritual Assessment tool in my latest blog.
    Correct!! These types of things are strictly anecdotal and by definition they are out of the realm of science as there can be no definitive result as evidenced by the post that ryhmes made pointing to the wiley analysis of many similar studies....

    Which ultimately found no evidence that prayer helps and likewise no evidence that it hurts.

    Many times I feel that prayer is more therapeutic for the person doing the praying as it gives them a sense that they are doing something rather than struggling with feelings of powerlessness and helplessness.

    And although I cannot quantify it, there certainly must be a placebo effect yes?

    BTW I am one of those very spiritual, areligous, agnostic type fellows.....

    Body, Mind, Spirit, the perfect trilogy
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    Quote from VickyRN
    One final thought before I don my Kevlar vest and duck for cover: We are tripartite beings, consisting of spirit, soul, and body. Our soul contains our mind, personality, and emotions. The spirit is the eternal part of us that will live on forever. If we are only treating the soul and body, then we are leaving out a third of who we are. 66.7% is a failing grade by any standard. The spiritual aspect probably has the most profound effect on our health. No wonder there are so many ailments that defy treatment, because we are ignoring spiritual considerations in our plan of care.
    I cannot imagine any nurse disagreeing with what you have said Vicky I dont think you need the vest or that you will need to duck for cover. You are spot on in my opinion and I really enjoy reading your posts and learning from you!!
    VickyRN likes this.
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    Quote from VickyRN
    One final thought before I don my Kevlar vest and duck for cover: We are tripartite beings, consisting of spirit, soul, and body. Our soul contains our mind, personality, and emotions. The spirit is the eternal part of us that will live on forever. If we are only treating the soul and body, then we are leaving out a third of who we are. 66.7% is a failing grade by any standard. The spiritual aspect probably has the most profound effect on our health. No wonder there are so many ailments that defy treatment, because we are ignoring spiritual considerations in our plan of care.
    Well, I'm a nurse, and I disagree. There are no reasonable grounds for thinking that "spirit" even exists. So, it's not reasonable for us to attempt to treat it. You (probably) don't feel any need to take your patient's astrological sign into consideration in your care, even though there are people in the world claiming that stars affect us; they say that; but it's a completely unfounded statement. (If you do happen to be into astrology, then please substitute some other claim in here that you believe to be BS - maybe the old view that mental illness is caused by demon possession?) That's how I feel about statements about spirits and eternal life.

    The phenomena that Vicky describes as "soul" - mind, personality, emotions - clearly exist, but I don't see any reason to believe that they're something separate from our bodies. On the contrary, there are many clear connections between body and mind. The number of chromosomes in our cells affect our ability to think. The amount of sleep we get, and the amount of light we're exposed to, affect how we feel. Taking drugs that act on receptors in our brain cells will affect our personality and emotions. A blow to the head, or a vascular event that reduces oxygen supply to brain cells, will also affect all of these things.

    The only founded statement that can be made is that we are physical beings. Talking about our minds is just a subcategory of our physical nature, and talking about spirits is sheer speculation.
    elkpark likes this.
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    Quote from rhymeswithlibrarian
    Well, I'm a nurse, and I disagree. There are no reasonable grounds for thinking that "spirit" even exists. So, it's not reasonable for us to attempt to treat it. You (probably) don't feel any need to take your patient's astrological sign into consideration in your care, even though there are people in the world claiming that stars affect us; they say that; but it's a completely unfounded statement. (If you do happen to be into astrology, then please substitute some other claim in here that you believe to be BS - maybe the old view that mental illness is caused by demon possession?) That's how I feel about statements about spirits and eternal life.

    The phenomena that Vicky describes as "soul" - mind, personality, emotions - clearly exist, but I don't see any reason to believe that they're something separate from our bodies. On the contrary, there are many clear connections between body and mind. The number of chromosomes in our cells affect our ability to think. The amount of sleep we get, and the amount of light we're exposed to, affect how we feel. Taking drugs that act on receptors in our brain cells will affect our personality and emotions. A blow to the head, or a vascular event that reduces oxygen supply to brain cells, will also affect all of these things.

    The only founded statement that can be made is that we are physical beings. Talking about our minds is just a subcategory of our physical nature, and talking about spirits is sheer speculation.
    I suggest you read a little Kohlberg, may clear things up a bit
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    The bottom line on patient spirituality is that as nurses we need to park our own concepts and preconceptions at the door when we come to work. It doesn't matter what we think of a patient's spirituality, if he thinks drumming, chanting, praying, fetishes taped to his skin, a sand painting under the bed, or obvious con man preachers on TV are going to help him get better, they probably will. I have had the occasion to tolerate all of the above and I know the patients would have gotten worse had someone not tolerated them.

    Hospital chaplains are worth their weight in gold, IMO, for the role they play in helping the patients spiritually.

    However, that gang from a local church that was going from room to room uninvited and praying over all the patients whether they wanted it or not had to be stopped. Even patients who were believers were angry about that, and rightly so.
    leslie :-D, somedaypeds, and llg like this.
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    Quote from rhymeswithlibrarian
    Well, I'm a nurse, and I disagree. There are no reasonable grounds for thinking that "spirit" even exists. So, it's not reasonable for us to attempt to treat it.
    We don't have to agree about there being a spiritual part of every person, but we are required to assess and treat the spiritual needs of patients.

    In the United States, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requires that a spiritual assessment be completed on every patient. Because nurses work closely with the sick and dying, they often find themselves called upon to address a patient’s spiritual needs. At the same time, they may be concerned about the appropriateness of such activities, as well as have questions on how to proceed. Although not all nurses feel comfortable providing spiritual care in all situations, they should be sensitive to the spiritual needs of their patients.

    In my blog Body, Mind, and Soul, I address this in more detail in the entry The Nurse's Role in Providing Spiritual Care - Is It OK to Pray?
    somedaypeds and VickyRN like this.
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    Quote from VickyRN
    Because we are primarily spiritual beings having a human experience
    You feel sure about that for all people. I personally think that is a load of bull.

    That doesn't mean I ignore the spiritual needs of my patients IF they have some.
    elkpark likes this.


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