by Judith Orloff M.D –
We are on the vanguard of a health care revolution as profound as civil rights or feminism. All over, I see an uprising fueled by courageous people, demanding that their spiritual and intuitive voices be honored in the healing process. Attitudes are shifting. I meet medical practitioners and patients everywhere who rail against the icy sterility of technological advances alone-no matter how miraculous-when simple kindness, love, and awe for our inner vision is sacrificed.
As a psychiatrist and practicing intuitive, my passion has been to bring spirituality and intuition into mainstream medicine. Then we can choose from the best of both worlds. A palpable connection with a compassionate higher power (whether or not connected with traditional religious beliefs) can help us heal. Intuition is the spiritual language that links us with our hearts, and thus to wellness. I’ve written my latest book, Dr. Judith Orloff’s Guide to Intuitive Healing, (Times Books), to provide concrete tools for everyone to access their inner voice and truest sense of the spiritual.
Science and spirituality mix. Over two hundred scientific studies have shown that spirituality is good for your health. In 1995 the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center found that a major predictor of survival for heart surgery patients was religious faith. A National Institute on Aging study found that geriatric patients were physically healthier and less depressed when they attended regular spiritual services. Research underscores the necessity of not waiting until illness or pain comes to draw on spirituality as a resource for health and healing.
Is there a center in our brain for spiritual experience? Scientists currently associate our spiritual center with a part of the brain called the limbic system. When this area is electrically stimulated, some patients report visions of angels or devils. And brain tumors, which overexcite the limbic system, can trigger enhanced spiritual awareness. What scientists are willing to conclude is that the brain and spirituality are interrelated; if you develop a belief in something greater than yourself, you’ll have a better chance of staying healthy longer and healing faster if you become ill.
As a physician, I have a continual sense of awe for the relationship between body and spirit. As your heat opens, so does your intuition. Your intuition will teach you how to see and how to love. It will instill in you a renewed faith to face anything.