Let's start off by clarifying a very important point, Asian medicine is NOT Asian philosophy, and all acupuncturists do not practice the philosophical principals. It is more important to know the heart of the practitioner than the type of medicine practiced.
I believe that the role of spirituality in healing is one of the most misunderstood aspects of medicine.
Being spiritual has nothing to do with man's efforts; it is all about our reliance on God. Let me explain further. Patients often think that they can will themselves to health or improve their condition by prayer or the power of positive thinking.
Doctors often think that they possess some special healing power and that their hands somehow are involved in the healing.
It is my belief that neither of these things is true. Such thinking leads to over-inflated egos and a sense of false security and ability.
The human race has been living this deception since the beginning of time, and I think it is time to stand up for the TRUTH and give credit where credit is due. We must remember that whatever work we do, we should do it with all our heart, working for the Lord not for man and for His glory not for our own. (Colossians 3:23)
God is our creator, and He alone is our healer. He is Jehovah Rapha (Exodus 15:26, Psalm 103:3), the great physician. He alone gives man the power of healing, and He alone heals whom He wishes. It is intercessory prayer that is the healer, much more that our own personal prayer. (James 5:14).
Personal prayers along with a strong relationship with Jesus are very important and effective. However, God makes it very clear that intercessory prayers are also needed. In the book of James God clearly states that if you are sick and wish to be healed, you are to call upon the elders who will anoint you with oil and pray over you. This was where God's healing would be. I believe God gave us this directive so that we would be protected against any false teaching like the "name it and claim it" or the "faith healing" movements. Also, remember that when appropriate, I am praying for and with my patients. As your doctor I will be lifting you up in prayer.
Dr. McNair Wilson, the famous cardiologist, remarked in his autobiography, The Doctor's Progress, "Hope is the medicine I use more than any other. Hope can cure nearly anything." Dr. Harold Wolf, professor of medicine at Cornell University College of Medicine and associate professor of psychiatry, said, "Hope, like faith and a purpose in life, is medicinal. This is not exactly a statement of belief but a conclusion provided by a meticulous controlled scientific experiment."
The biblical definition for faith includes hope. "Faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the substance of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Substance in the present is based on God's promise for the future. It is substance that leads to conviction. Faith sees the invisible, believes the impossible and receives the incredible. Faith is a God given ability to trust the future that God has given you. It is not a power you posses to create your own future.. I believe that this is ONLY possible if your faith and hope is a living hope that is founded and grounded in the Jesus of the bible the true and living Son of God.
Hope in healing is one of the most important factors, but the critical question remains: What is the object of your hope? If it is in man alone, you are sunk because man will eventually let you down. I believe that man's ability is ultimately controlled by the gracious and loving hand of God. He is the true and living God who reveled himself incarnate in Christ, the Trinitarian God.
With hope it does not matter what happens in your life. There may be disasters or calamities or bereavements or sickness and heartache, but the marvelous thing in the person with living hope who is rightly related to Jesus Christ is that there is no discouragement.
Max Lucado in his book, God's Sacrifice for You, stated, "We are a world in pain, a world that suffers collectively from the violence of the nature of man, and a world that suffers individually from personal heartache." This can all lead to sickness and disease.
There are two kinds of hope; human and living. It is clear that human hope, i.e. hope placed in any organization or person other than the Lord Jesus Christ, is doomed for disappointment and failure. On the other hand living hope, i.e. hope placed in Jesus is a saving hope. A man without faith and hope in a personal God has reactions to painful situations that are as varied as pain itself. Without God's guidance, our response to sickness and suffering is a futile attempt to find solutions to conditions that cannot be solved. We are living in a world where in spite of wonder drugs, sophisticated surgical procedures, and medical breakthroughs; suffering, both physical and mental, will become more intense.
Hope is the answer. It is vital to your recovery from any illness or troubling circumstance. Regardless of what challenges you face, it is vitally important to remember that the object of your hope and faith is what determines the outcome. Hope that is founded in one's faith and trust in our Savior Jesus Christ is the key.
It is commonly recognized in the health profession that virtually all disease is the result of man being out of sync--either with his environment, his fellow man, or his own conscience. Charles Templeton and John Mill both ask, "Why is God doing this?"
But Jesus shows us that their question is misdirected. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Basically, man is his own worst enemy; he has chosen to ignore intimacy with God and consequently not cultivate a relationship with God. Thus he has been left to his own devices which all too often lead to destruction.
As doctors we are called to do no harm, and God is called to do the healing. Certainly we are to implement our training and education to the best of our ability, but beyond that, the rest is up to our Lord and Savior. Then there is the well known "god complex" that is most popular among allopathic physicians thinking it is they who save and lose life. What an insult this is to our Lord.
In holistic medicine, emotions are very important. Not only do they correspond to life circumstances, they also correspond to the health of the organs.
For example, anger and depression are associated with the liver; fear with the kidneys; joy with the heart; grief with the lungs; and pensiveness with the spleen. There is a cause and effect, i.e., our emotions affect our organs and visa versa.
This is all the more reason why the mind, body, and spirit must be treated. God created mankind in His own image (Genesis 1:27), and we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). So in treating health challenges, it is of utmost importance to address the mind, body, and spirit.
If spiritual health is not considered, then the patient's recovery will not be complete--and will not last.
Spiritual health is much more than reading self-help books or seeking counseling (which in the secular world is the wrong direction since the founding fathers of modern day psychology were atheists). It is vitally important that one has an intimate relationship with his creator in order to be truly healthy. Modern psychology extols healing oneself because its founders were atheists and so saw no relationship between health and God. A healthy person must have a complete perspective of his physical and spiritual selves working together in harmony with God's will for his life. It is vitally important that one has an intimate relationship with his creator and that the doctor is treating the whole person.
Asian medicine is the ultimate in holistic medicine. It is also known as "system theory medicine", which means the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Its western medical counterpart practices a "mechanistic theory of medicine" where the parts are greater than the whole and considered more important.
God created us as whole beings to function as whole beings in His image. This relates to mind, spirit, and body. The basic principle of holistic health is that each organ system is inter-dependent and inter-relational, i.e they work together as a whole. When they do, optimal health is achieved, and when they don't, it creates discord, confusion, and a state ofdis-ease. It is no coincidence that this process is mirrored perfectly in the body of Christ. It has the same inter-dependent, inter-relational nature as the human body. The Church is not a building, it is the "body of Christ", i.e. it consists of each member of God's family. Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with Christ. The reason I am pointing out this parallel is to emphasize the importance of our intimate relationship with our creator.
It is important to acknowledge that the mending and healing of the body has been generously given to us by our Creator. God has provided us with every plant yielding every seed that is on the face of the earth and every tree which has fruit yielding seeds. God said, "It shall be food for you". (Genesis 1: 29). God was speaking of food for our sustenance and for our sickness. In other words, in a broad sense, He is the founder of herbal medicine. God knew the human race would need medicine for what ailed them so He provided it. This is why herbal medicine administered by a skilled practitioner is safe and effective in preventing and treating illness.
The counterpart to herbal medicine is pharmaceuticals. The word pharmaceutical is derived from the Greek word pharmacopoeia, which means satanic and is derived from witchcraft and sorcery. Is it any wonder that prescription drugs taken as prescribed is the third leading cause of death in America. Prescription drugs taken as prescribed kill more people every year than A.I.D.S, alcohol, and automobile accidents combined.
My point is simply this. God has given us all we need for the prevention and treatment of disease. Man has given us solutions that lead to more problems. What's the surprise is the fact that left to our own devices, we will screw things up. The answer is simple and clear, and, once again we just need to embrace it with a thankful heart.
None of what I have said is to indicate that I don't love all of God's children. I have a heart to care for the sick in body and spirit, and all are welcome. The path you are on does not determine my love and willingness to help. My purpose is to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 1:4). I am not dismissing anyone's preference but just exposing the dangers.
Asian medicine is the oldest form of health care known to man. Archeologists have found Asian herbal prescriptions carved on the inside of Egyptian tombs. It is a very powerful and effective way to prevent and treat illness. Man has been using the food God has given us for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Even so, it is less than effective if used in the wrong way or with the wrong heart. Mankind can search the world over for that magical cure and never find it because they often are looking in the wrong place and using man-made remedies. If the Mind, Body, and Spirit are not right with the creator then whatever help is obtained is insufficient and will not last. The main point to be grasped is: The solution lies not with man alone but with Jesus.