“Hearing Spirit in a Noisy World.”

The Church of

Natural Health

 

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What is the Church of

Natural Health

-By Reverand Michael Malette

 

Leading an extraordinary life is

possible for everyone, as we

Hear Spirit in a Noisy World.

 

  • This Church was formed for the purpose of serving mankind and not for the purpose of worship.
  • We expect our members to attend their own church and maintain their own religious beliefs.
  • Together, we motivate and assist sincere individuals as they observe, experience, and apply Universal Spiritual Truths to “Become Calm, Balanced, and Centered” in a noisy World.
  • Using text, theory, and practices of restoration thought, positive psychology, emotional & social intelligence; followed by timely affirmations..... we can achieve to understand and share exceptional lifetime natural wellness.
  • Unlike traditional safe, quiet, or structured thought, we must realize how noisy the world can be.
  • Even if we observe negative thoughts, we can still claim and co-create goodness and prosperity, regardless of the chaos.
  • Our personal story is of utmost importance as we develop our personal and professional relationships.
  • We are all part of this Divine Creation.
  • We are all important, we all have stories to tell, we know what is right or wrong.
  • Temptation and evil are weak, YOU are extraordinary.
  • To be evil is too much work, goodwill always conquers negative thoughts.

 

There is a Natural Lifestyle that intentionally keeps your BODY TEMPLE in optimum health for greater Spiritual Living.  Mindfulness teaches you to be aware of what is happening in your body and mind in the present moment and open to it with curiosity and kindness. 

GlobalCnet has posted many articles, in no order, you have to just scroll down to read, enjoy, question, tie it all together or just peacefully know that you are a unique Spiritual Being, born with free choice. 

We have collected a whole bunch of knowledge and ideas.

Take the time, scroll down, and be calm, balanced, and centered.

 

It is the purpose of the Church of Naural Health to combine everyday living, with our own spiritual thought for healthy natural living.  I purpose that this combination will bring your greatest love of self. 

I believe everything we personally observe, dream, or

experience adds to our excellence. 

We all have a distinct purpose in life, with open hands and hearts

together we understand this wellness and awe.

 

 

Our creed

We of the church believe in 
- Doing good deeds -
- Good health for all mankind -
- Doing what is right -
- Freedom for all mankind -
- Enlightening others with the truth -
- Helping one another -


In support of our Creed, we hold sacred all communication

between God and Man and uphold the never-ending

empowerment of this connection.

 

Our beliefs

 

1. We believe that our individual spirits live within our temple or our PHYSICAL body and therefore need to maintain the said temple in a clean manner as God, our Creator demands.

 

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, he shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are”. II Corinthians 3:16-17 (KJV)

 

2. We believe that ALL people have the right to physical, mental and spiritual health and,

 

3. We believe that ALL people have the right to determine their OWN methods of attaining physical health and,

 

4. We believe that ALL people have the right to consume various products for their health including but not limited to vitamins, minerals, herbs, proteins, fats carbohydrates, and all other substances created by God in any quantities that they consider useful for their personal health and,

 

5. We believe that ALL people have the right to purchase these various products for their health and to maintain such products in their place of abode or wherever they so choose and,

 

6. We believe that ALL people have a right to live a disease-free life and,

 

7. We believe that ALL people have the right to accept or reject ANY drug, chemical, and/or any substance from being injected into their bodies, or suggested, ordered, or prescribed for their use by injection or ingestion or any other method of entering the human body and,

 

8. We believe that ALL people have within themselves the consciousness of what is right and wrong. It is God’s will that ALL people do what is right.

 

“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) - Romans 2:14 -15.

 

 

Our service to mankind consists of:

 

(1) Doing good deeds, (2) Good health for all mankind, (3) Doing what is right, (4) Freedom for all mankind, (5) Enlightening others with the truth, (6) Helping one another, (7) Maintain integrity in all things.

 

We do not feel that it is our mission to teach our members any kind of beliefs beyond the technology of our Sacramental Protocol Water and other cleansing technology of our healing Sacraments, LifeSkills, and theory for a happier life and Natural Health.

 

We believe that it is each member’s private responsibility to form his or her own religious beliefs and thus we remain neutral to all the religious beliefs of our members.

 

        Our lives are rich with potential sources of happiness

 

What Is Spirituality?

Mindfulness teaches you to be aware of what is happening in your body and mind in the present moment and open to it with curiosity and kindness.

 

woman with eyes closed breathing deeply outdoorsSpirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives.

In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life.

 

As such, it is a universal human experience—something that touches us all.

People may describe a spiritual experience as sacred or transcendent or simply a deep sense of aliveness and interconnectedness.

 

Some may find that their spiritual life is intricately linked to their association with a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue.

 

Others may pray or find comfort in a personal relationship with God or a higher power.

 

Still, others seek meaning through their connections to nature or art.

Like your sense of purpose, your personal definition of spirituality may change throughout your life, adapting to your own experiences and relationships.

 

Spiritual questions

Explore life purpose

 

For many, spirituality is connected to large questions about life and identity, such as:

  1. Am I a good person?
  2. What is the meaning of my suffering?
  3. What is my connection to the world around me?
  4. Do things happen for a reason?
  5. How can I live my life in the best way possible?

Experts’ definitions of spirituality

  • Christina Puchalski, MD, Director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health, contends that "spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred."
  • According to Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary, researchers and authors of The Spiritual Brain, “spirituality means any experience that is thought to bring the experiencer into contact with the divine (in other words, not just any experience that feels meaningful).”
  • Nurses Ruth Beckmann Murray and Judith Proctor Zenter write that “the spiritual dimension tries to be in harmony with the universe, and strives for answers about the infinite, and comes into focus when the person faces emotional stress, physical illness, or death.”

Relationship between religion and spirituality

While spirituality may incorporate elements of religion, it is generally a broader concept.

Religion and spirituality are not the same things, nor are they entirely distinct from one another.

 

The best way to understand this is to think of two overlapping circles like this:

Venn diagram of religion and spirituality

  • In spirituality, the questions are: where do I personally find meaning, connection, and value?
  • In religion, the questions are: what is true and right?

Where the circle's overlap is the individual experience, which affects the way you think, feel, and behave.

 

Spirituality versus emotional health

You will notice as you read that many practices recommended for cultivating spirituality are similar to those recommended for improving emotional wellbeing.

This is because there is a connection between the two—emotional and spiritual wellbeing influence one another and overlap, as do all aspects of wellbeing.

  1. Spirituality is about seeking a meaningful connection with something bigger than yourself, which can result in positive emotions, such as peace, awe, contentment, gratitude, and acceptance.
  2. Emotional health is about cultivating a positive state of mind, which can broaden your outlook to recognize and incorporate a connection to something larger than yourself.

Thus, emotions and spirituality are distinct but linked, deeply integrated with one another.

 

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going.
What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope.”
                                                     Thomas Merton
 
branch of a flowering tree

 

A reflective tool for exploring spirituality

Like other reflective practices, mindfulness can be a tool to discover how spirituality manifests in your life.

Mindfulness teaches you to be aware of what is happening in your body and mind in the present moment and open to it with curiosity and kindness.

This allows you to explore beliefs, perspectives, and experiences in a new way that might lead to new insights around spiritual questions. 

 

The Earl E Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing (the producer of this website) offers a wealth of workshops, classes, guided meditation sessions, and retreats on mindfulness, many of which are fully online and free.

Check out these offerings.

 

 

types of spirituality | types of spirituality pdf | 4 types of spirituality

Types of Spirituality & Spiritual Practices to Try in 2022

 

In the last ten years, people’s interest in the different types of spirituality has increased substantially. With it, the amount of information on this topic has grown quite a lot.

It makes it even more difficult to know which spiritual path is the best for you. You may know which type of sport you enjoy the most or which type of food you need to avoid.

From my point of view, it’s totally understandable. 

It’s a complex topic, and that’s why, in this article, I will explain to you the different types of spirituality and spiritual practices.

 

(Side note: One proven way to improve your happiness and life satisfaction is to focus on goals that truly matter. To get started, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.).

 

Let’s start with a simple one – how to define spirituality?

 

What Is Spirituality?

Spirituality is the place within yourselves where your soul can find a sense of peace. It’s a concept completely liberated from any rules, institutions or hierarchy and it’s dedicated to the human soul.

 

Spirituality is a personal experience that creates a system of personal beliefs when searching for the meaning of life.

It stands for something greater in life than the physical or material world.

Spirituality is also a way of dealing with everyday challenges in life and connecting with something bigger than yourselves.

 

Being spiritual can mean different things to different people.

For some, spirituality can be related to religion and even higher power.

For others, it can be a non-religious experience such as connecting with nature, art, yoga, meditation, etc.

Those experiences present different types of spirituality and practices. 

So let’s talk more about them.

 

Types of Spirituality

Getting in touch with yourselves is the core principle of spirituality and there are various paths for a person to achieve that.

Here are some of the most common ones:

 

#1. Mystical Spirituality

This type of spirituality is focused on the intuitional part of the soul.

People who have mystical spirituality believe that there’s a greater unity to every experience in life.

Every experience goes beyond the material or physical world, and everything can be brought into one greater unity.

For example, people with this type of spirituality may support the idea that everything happens for a reason.

There’s a greater explanation behind everything and that would be what unites all the different experiences.

 

#2. Authoritarian Spirituality

This type of spirituality is believing in a hierarchical structure of things or in authority.

People define their spirituality by following a set of rules and some restrictions. 

Often, this type of spirituality is associated with religious beliefs.

There are cases when not following the spiritual rules of religion may cause conflicts.

 

People with authoritarian spirituality can develop a form of fundamentalist religion.

Fundamentalists believe that their religion is the most truthful one.

They tend to exclude every other religion which, unfortunately, can be the cause for radical religious terrorism.

 

#3. Intellectual Spirituality

The core belief behind this type of spirituality is knowledge.

Intellectually spiritual people are prone to gaining knowledge of spiritual theories and analyzing the information they get their hands on.

spirituality examples | spirituality dictionary | spirituality definition the true inner meaning
Intellectually spiritual people are prone to acquiring knowledge of spiritual theories.

One form of this spiritual journey is studying theology, for example.

However, this type of spirituality is not solely related to studying religion.

Any knowledge that helps people improve their spirituality is a form of intellectual spirituality.

 

#4. Service Spirituality

This is one of the most common types of spirituality.

It’s because people experience spiritual peace when they serve others.

There are many ways to achieve this spirituality, but the core of it is helping others without expecting anything in return.

Doing something that will benefit someone without getting something back is a common way for people to get in touch with their spiritual selves.

 

#5. Social Spirituality

Experiencing spiritual awakening when you are surrounded by other people explains this type of spirituality.

Many people practice being around other people when searching for a greater spiritual purpose in life.

Being in religious groups is one way to experience this spirituality.

However, this can also be achieved with any other form of a group – exercising, nature-related activities, meditation, etc.

Since there are multiple types of spirituality, there are also various ways of spiritual practices too.

 

Ways of Spiritual Practices

There are also 5 spiritual practices and with them, anyone can achieve a true spiritual self:

 

Path of Knowledge

The main idea behind this practice is the power knowledge gives to people.

This practice revolves around the idea that ultimate liberation can happen with acquiring knowledge.

This is not only about learning new things about the world but most importantly, knowledge about yourselves.

Self-reflection, who you are, why you do things the way you do are the main principles of this spiritual practice.

To achieve this, people use methods like studying, meditation and contemplation.

Some of the most famous approaches are Buddhism, Jnana Yoga, Kabbalah.

 

Path of Devotion

This spiritual practice has liberation from your ego as its core element. 

This is partly because many people who consider themselves religious will use some of these methods to express their spirituality.

However, it’s not always connected with religion.

People also devote themselves to a higher power source or their consciousness to experience spiritual freedom.

Some of those methods are chanting, praying, mantras, and belief to become more spiritually aware.

 

Path of Meditation

Meditation is one of the most common methods people are using to get better in touch with their true spirit.

Alongside meditation are breathing techniques, asceticism, and teacher relationship.

The basis of this spiritual practice is calmness.

People believe that whatever they accumulate through their life can be channeled through these methods.

This way, dealing with everyday life challenges becomes easier because there’s a way to let go of all the negative thoughts.

Raja Yoga, Nada Yoga, and Buddhism are some examples of this spiritual practice.

Path of Service

 

Similar to the service type of spirituality, this spiritual practice is about active selflessness.

The ultimate liberation can happen when helping and expecting nothing in return.

types of spirituality catholic | types of non religious spirituality | what is spirituality in religion
This spiritual practice is about active selflessness, similar to the service type of spirituality.

These people are liberated from any rules and rely only on giving rather than receiving.

For them, this is the only way to redeem themselves from any challenge or negative situation in life.

 

Volunteering, helping in Red Cross, helping those in need, working with people or children with disabilities – any type of selfless act falls under this category.

 

Path of Energy

More than a combination of different methods and core elements, this practice revolves around the idea of purification of your body and mind.

There are all kinds of methods, such as meditation, breathing, somatic techniques, and teacher relationship.

A person can achieve spiritual guidance in this practice in many ways.

Some people use ritual behavior or activity to achieve this, others may concentrate solely on improving their physical health.

Whatever the action, the goal is to achieve purified both body and mind, liberated from the toxic elements you encounter in everyday lives.

 

Final Thoughts on Types of Spirituality and Spiritual Practices

Taking care of your spiritual health is equally important as your physical health.

Dealing with everyday challenges becomes easier once you’ll have a proven spiritual method to free yourself from toxins.

 

That’s why there are 5 different types of spirituality, so everyone can find the one that suits them best.

There are also different methods to achieve spiritual peace.

Find the one that is most true to you and you will achieve spiritual calmness.

 

Finally, one proven way to improve your happiness and life satisfaction is to focus on goals that truly matter. To get started, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.

 

 

18 Major World Religions — Study Starters

Religion is a vast subject.

Actually, that’s an understatement.

Religion touches on everything about the world around us, from the explanations we seek for the creation of the universe and our purpose within to the higher power behind these things to the way we behave, treat one another, and interact with society to the values, laws, and beliefs that govern us.

Whether you are a person of faith, a skeptic, or something in between, the concepts of spirituality, organized religion, and morality affect us all.

They produce cultural constructs, power dynamics, and historical narratives.

They can also produce philosophical innovation, ethical reform, and the advancement of social justice.

 

In other words, religion is so diverse and nuanced a subject that it’s nearly impossible to encapsulate all of the world’s major religions in just a few words. But we’re going to try anyway.

 

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This is a study starter, an entry point for understanding the basics of the world’s major religions.

We’ll give you the quick low down on the belief systems, theologies, scriptures, and histories of the world’s major religions.

Taken together, these brief and sometimes overlapping histories offer a window into human history itself.

 

Each of these entries is a surface-level look at the religion in question. (Try capturing everything about Buddhism in just 250 words!)

We also scratch the surface when it comes to the number of actual religions and denominations, both current and ancient.

There’s a lot out there.

This is merely an introduction.

 

Use it to get started on your religious studies essay, to brush up before an exam on religion and world history, or just to learn more about the world around you.

Below are some of the leading spiritual and religious traditions in the world, both past and present:

 

World Religions

 

1. Atheism/Agnosticism

Atheism refers to either the absence of a belief in the existence of deities or to an active belief that deities do not exist.

This belief system rejects theology as well as the constructs of organized religion.

The use of the term originated in the ancient world and was meant to degrade those who rejected commonly accepted religious precepts.

It was first self-applied during the Age of Enlightenment in 18th century France.

The French Revolution was driven by the prioritization of human reason over the abstract authority of religion.

This prompted a period of skeptical inquiry, one in which atheism became an important cultural, philosophical, and political entity.

 

Many who characterize themselves as atheists argue that a lack of proof or scientific process prevents the belief in a deity.

Some who refer to themselves as secular humanists have developed a code of ethics that exists separate from the worship of a deity.

Determining the actual number of “practicing” atheists is quite difficult, given the absence of a unifying religious organization.

Polling around the world has produced an extremely wide variance, with the largest rates of atheism generally seen in Europe and East Asia.

 

Closely related is the idea of agnosticism, which doesn’t profess to know whether there is or isn’t a deity.

Instead, agnosticism argues that the limits of human reasoning and understanding make the existence of god(s), the origins of the universe, and the possibility of an afterlife all unknowable.

 

Like atheism, the term emerged around the fifth century BCE and was contemplated with a particular

interest in Indian cultures. It gained more popular modern visibility when coined by English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, who in 1869 recognized the incapacity of humans to truly answer questions regarding the divine.

To Huxley, and the agnostic and atheist thinkers who followed, theistic or gnostic religions lack scientific basis, and therefore, should be rejected.

 

2. Bahá’í

The Bahá’í faith is essentially a spiritual ideology that teaches the value of all religions, espousing the importance of universal equality and unity.

Bahá’u’lláh, the founding figure in the Bahá’í faith, officially established his ideology in 1863 in Persia (or modern-day Iran).

As something of a hybrid of other faiths, Bahá’í grew out of the tradition of Babism, which itself emerged from an Islamic denomination called Shaykhism.

(Today, Babism exists with a few thousand adherents, concentrated largely in Iran, and standing separately from the Islamic ideologies that surround it.)

Like Babism, Bahá’í incorporates some of the teachings of Islam but merges them with some Christian principles.

The central governing body of the Bahá’í faith, a nine-member council called the Universal House of Justice, operates from Haifa, Israel.

Today, the Bahá’í faith has somewhere between five and seven million adherents around the world.

 

3. Buddhism

Buddhism is both a religion and philosophy.

The traditions and beliefs surrounding Buddhism can be traced to the original teachings of Gautama

 

Buddha, a sagely thinker who is believed to have lived between the fourth and sixth centuries BCE.

The Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of ancient India, providing the template for a faith

based on the ideas of moral rectitude, freedom from material attachment or desire, the achievement of peace and illumination through meditation, and a life dedicated to wisdom, kindness, and compassion.

The Buddha’s teachings proliferated widely through much of Asia in the centuries that followed.

 

Though its scriptures and traditions inform countless subsequent sects and ideologies, Buddhism is largely divided into two branches:

Theravada — the goal of which is to achieve freedom from ignorance, material attachment, and anger by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path, all in pursuit of a sublime state called Nirvana;

and Mahayana — the goal of which is to aspire to Buddhahood by practicing the Zen principles of self-control, meditation, and expression of the insight of Buddha in your daily life, especially for the benefit of others, all to the end of achieving bodhisattva, or an ongoing cycle of rebirth by which you can continue to enlighten others.

 

Today, roughly 7% of the world practices some form of Buddhism, making it the fourth largest of the world’s religions, with an estimated 500 million adherents across both the Eastern and Western World.

 

4. Christianity

Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth.

Christianity teaches that Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah (the savior of humanity foretold in the Torah, the primary scriptural doctrine of the Jewish faith).

 

Christian scripture incorporates both the Torah (referred to by Christians as the Old Testament) with the story of Jesus, his teachings, and those of his contemporaneous disciples (the New Testament). These form the Bible, the central text of the Christian faith. Christianity began in Jerusalem as an outgrowth of Judaism that considered Jesus the Christ (meaning “anointed one”).

This idea and its adherents spread rapidly through ancient Judea around the first century CE, then throughout the ancient world.

 

Christians believe Jesus successfully met and completed all the requirements of the Old Testament laws, took upon himself the sins of the world during his crucifixion, died, and rose to life again so that those who place their faith in him are forgiven their sins, reconciled to God, and granted grace for daily living.

Christians maintain that heaven with God awaits them after bodily death, whereas eternal separation from God in hell awaits those who neither received forgiveness for their sins nor acknowledged Jesus as Lord.

 

Christianity has seen countless reformation movements, which spawned innumerable sects and offshoot denominations.

Far too many forms of practice exist to be named in one place, but the faith’s three largest branches are Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism.

Combined, Christianity is the largest religion in the world, with roughly 2.4 billion adherents, or 33% of the total population.

Its impact on the shape of world history and on present-day world culture is incalculable.

 

5. Confucianism

Confucianism was a dominant form of philosophy and religious orientation in ancient China, one that emerged from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, who lived 551–479 BCE.

 

Confucius viewed himself as a channel for the theological ideas emerging from the imperial dynasties that came before him.

With an emphasis on family and social harmony, Confucianism was a distinctly humanist and even secularist religious ideology.

Confucianism had a profound impact on the development of Eastern legal customs and the emergence of a scholar class (and with it, a meritocratic way of governing).

 

Confucianism would engage in a historic push and pull with the philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism, experiencing ebbs and flows in influence, with high points during the Han (206 BCE to 220 CE), Tang (618–907 CE) and Song (960–1296 CE) Dynasties.

As Buddhism became the dominant spiritual force in China, Confucianism declined in practice. And with the emergence of communism and Maoism in the 20th century, the mainstream practice of Confucianism was largely at an end.

 

However, it remains a foundational ideology and forces underlying Asian and Chinese attitudes toward scholarly, legal, and professional pursuits.

Indeed, the strong work ethic advocated by Confucianism is seen as a major catalyst for the late 20th-century rise of the Asian economies.

Today, there are various independent Confucian congregations, but it was only in 2015 that congregation leaders in China gathered together to form the Holy Confucian Church.

 

6. Druze

Druze refers to an Arabic ethnoreligious group that originated in and still largely inhabits the Mountain of Druze region in southern Syria.

Despite a small population of adherents, the Druze nonetheless play an important role in the development of their region (known in historical shorthand as the Levant).

The Druze view themselves as the direct descendants of Jethro of Midian distinguished in Jewish scripture as the father-in-law of Moses.

The Druze consider Jethro a “hidden” prophet, one through whom God spoke to the “revealed prophet” Moses.

 

As such, the Druze are considered related to Judaism by marriage.

Like their in-laws, the Druze are monotheistic, professing faith in only one God.

Druze ideologies are something of a hybrid though, drawing from the cultural teachings of Islam, but also incorporating the wisdom of Greek philosophers, such as Plato, and concepts of reincarnation similar to those in the Hindu canon.

 

Jethro’s status as a hidden prophet is an important conceptual dimension of the Druze culture. Indeed, its present-day scriptures and community remain somewhat insular.

The close-knit communities rooted in present-day Syria, Lebanon, and Israel have long been subject to persecution, particularly at the hands of Islamic theocracies.

This may be one reason that the Druze while participating actively in the politics and affairs of their home nations, shields their customs and practices from the eyes of outsiders.

Today, there are between 800,000 and one million Druze adherents, nearly all of them concentrated in the Middle East.

 

7. Gnosticism

Gnosticism likely refers not to a single religious orientation but to an “interreligious phenomenon” in which various groups across an array of regions evolved to a similar set of beliefs and ideas.

 

A term adopted in modern historical discourse, gnosticism concerns the variety of religious systems and beliefs in the ancient world that emerged from the Judeo-Christian tradition.

These belief systems held that emanations from a single God were responsible for the creation of the material world and that, as such, all humans carried the divine spark of God.

 

Gnosticism is dualistic and draws sharp divides between the superior spiritual world and the inferior material world, with the gaining or receiving of special, hidden knowledge (“gnosis”) allowing transcendence from one realm to another.

Emerging in the first century CE — in close concert with the emergence of Christianity — gnosticism is perhaps best understood as the intermediary set of ideas shared by portions of the world as Christianity gradually eclipsed Judaism in size and scope.

 

8. Hinduism

Hinduism is regarded by some as the world’s oldest religion, likely dating back to what is known on the Indian subcontinent as the Vedic age.

During this period, 1500–600 BCE, civilization transitioned from tribal and pastoral living into settled and agricultural living.

From this emerged social classes, state-entities, and monarchies.

The primary texts retelling this period of history are called the Vedas and would significantly inform the so-called Hindu Synthesis.

 

The Hindu Synthesis was a period of time, roughly 500 BCE to 300 CE, in which the precepts of Hinduism solidified from multiple intertwining strands of Indian spiritual and cultural tradition, emerging from a broad range of philosophies to share a unifying set of concepts.

Critical among these concepts is the theme of the Four Purusarthas, or goals, of human life: Dharma (ethics and duties), Artha (prosperity and work), Kama (desires and passions), and Moksha (liberation and salvation).

 

Other important concepts include karma, which asserts a universal relationship between action, intent, and consequences; samsara, the Hindu concept of rebirth; and a wide range of Yogic practices merging the body, mind, and elements.

 

Though no one figure or group is credited with its founding, Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world today.

Its more than one billion adherents comprise more than 15% of the world’s population.

 

9. Islam

Islam is a monotheistic religion that — like Christianity and Judaism — traces its roots to the Garden of Eden, Adam, and the prophet Abraham.

Islam teaches that Allah is the only God and that Muhammed is his messenger.

Islam holds that God spoke to Muhammed through the archangel Gabriel sometime around 600 CE, delivering the revelations that would form the Quran.

This primary text of the Islamic faith is believed by adherents to contain the exact words of God and therefore provides a full and nonnegotiable blueprint for how to live.

 

The Quran and the Islamic legal code known as Sharia inform every aspect of life, from ethics and worship to family matters and business dealings.

Islam holds that good behavior and adherence will lead to an afterlife in paradise, whereas disregard for Muhammed’s teachings will lead to damnation.

 

The Islamic faith proliferated rapidly through the Middle East, particularly around the three holiest sites of the faith: Mecca, where an awakened Muhammed made his first pilgrimage; Medina, the center of early Islamic faith under Muhammed’s leadership; and Jerusalem, the spiritual capital of the ancient world. In the centuries to follow, Islam would simultaneously produce countless wars of succession and a growing sense of spiritual unity within the Arab World.

 

This dichotomy between internal conflict and cultural unity remains a presence in the Islamic faith today.

This dichotomy would also give way to a division between the two dominant sects of Islam, Sunni and Shia.

Today, Islam is the dominant faith for large swaths of geography, particularly in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and North Africa.

With more than 1.6 billion adherents, Islam is the second-largest religion in the world and the chief spiritual identity for more than 24% of the world’s population.

 

10. Jainism

Jainism is an ancient Indian religion that — according to its adherents — can be traced through a succession of 24 sagely teachers.

The first of these teachers is thought to have been Rishabhanatha, who lived millions of years ago. Jainism’s primary tenets are ahiṃsā (nonviolence), anekāntavāda (many-sidedness), aparigraha (non-attachment), and asceticism (abstinence from pleasure).

These and other concepts are outlined in the Acaranga Sutra, the oldest of the Jainist scriptures.

 

As one of the earliest extant religious traditions to emerge from the spiritually fertile Indian subcontinent, Jainism both shares with and diverges from features of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions that also emerged there.

Like Hinduism and Buddhism, Jainism teaches the doctrines of karma, rebirth, and monastic (as opposed to theistic) spiritual practices.

 

Jainists believe the soul is an ever-changing thing, bound to the body only for a lifetime, which differs from Hindu or Buddhist ideas about the soul as part of an infinite and constant universe.

This focus on the corporeal also extends to the Jainist caste system, which, not unlike Hinduism, requires adherents to eschew social liberation in favor of spiritual liberation.

Today, most of the world’s four to five million Jains reside in India.

 

11. Judaism

Judaism is one of the oldest monotheistic world religions, among the first ethnoreligious groups to move away from idolatry or paganism and toward the recognition of a single deity.

 

Judaism is said to have begun with the figure of Abraham, a man living in the Land of Canaan — a geographical expanse likely encompassing portions of Phoenicia, Philistia, and Israel. In the Tanakh — the body of Jewish scripture which includes a foundational text called The Torah, and later supplemental texts call the Midrash and the Talmud — it is said that God spoke to Abraham and commanded him to recognize the singularity and omnipotence of God.

Abraham accepted, becoming the father not just of Judaism but of the various monotheistic (or Abrahamic) religions that followed.

 

Thus, Abraham is seen not just as the first prophet of Judaism, but also of the Christian and Islamic faiths that sprung from the Judaic tradition.

The Jewish faith is based upon a covenant between Abraham and God in which the former renounced idolatry and accepted the latter as the only divine authority.

In exchange, God promised to make Abraham’s offspring a “Chosen People.” These Chosen People would become the Children of Israel, and eventually, the Jewish faith.

To seal the covenant, Abraham became the first recipient of ritualistic circumcision.

This circumcision is still performed today on every newborn Jewish male as a symbol of that covenant.

 

Historians observe that while Abraham almost certainly lived more than 3,000 years ago, literary liberties taken with the scriptures make it impossible to ascertain exactly when he lived.

But his influence would loom large in the ancient world, with the rabbinic moral codes of Judaism and its model of ethical monotheism both significantly informing the formulation of law and religion in western civilization.

With roughly 14.3 million adherents, practitioners of Judaism comprise about 0.2% of the world’s population.

 

12. Rastafarianism

Rastafarianism is a newer religious movement that follows in the Abrahamic tradition of monotheism, referring to the singular deity as Jah.

Rastafari holds the Christian Bible as their primary scripture but offers an interpretation highly connected to their own political and geographical realities.

Centered around early 20th century Jamaica, Rastafarianism emerged as an ethnocultural reaction to British occupation and oppression.

This oppression would play a major role in the Afrocentric interpretation of the Bible favored by Rastafari.

 

In the early 1930s, a movement of Rastafarians espoused that the faithful were living in an African diaspora, scattered from their homelands by colonization and slavery.

To be freed from oppression in Western society (or Babylon), many Rastafari believe it necessary to resettle adherents in the African homelands.

A figure of central importance in the Rastafarian faith, Haile Selassie rose to the rank of Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930.

This was considered the germinal moment in the emergence of the modern religious tradition. Selassie was viewed by Rastafari as the Second Coming, a direct descendant of Christ, and the Messiah foretold in the Book of Revelation.

 

Selassie was seen as the man who would lead the people of Africa, and those living in the diaspora, to freedom and liberation.

His 1966 visit to Jamaica would become the pivotal moment in the spread of Rastafari ideas and the resultant political movement for liberation within Jamaica.

This visit led to the eventual conversion of Rastafari’s most famous adherent, singer Bob Marley.

 

Marley would help to spread the popular visibility of the faith, as well as its practices of communal gathering, musical expression, preservation of the natural world, and the use of cannabis as a spiritual sacrament.

Today, between 700,000 and one million adherents practice Rastafarianism, the majority of them concentrated in Jamaica.

 

13. Shinto

Shinto is a religious tradition native to Japan.

Initially an informal collection of beliefs and mythologies, Shinto was less a religion than a distinctly Japanese form of cultural observance.

The first recorded use of the term Shinto can be traced to the sixth century CE and is essentially the connective tissue between ancient Japanese customs and modern Japanese life.

The primary focus of Shinto is the native belief in kami (spirits) and interaction with them through public shrines.

 

These shrines are an essential artifact of — and channel for — Shinto observation. More than 80,000 Shinto shrines dot Japan.

Traditional Japanese styles of dress, dance, and ritual are also rooted in Shinto customs.

 

Shinto is unique among religions.

As a reflection of Japanese identity, Shinto observance is not necessarily limited to those who view themselves as religious adherents.

Roughly 3–4% of the Japanese population identifies as being part of a Shinto sect or congregation.

By contrast, in a 2008 survey, roughly 26% of Japanese citizens reported visiting Shinto shrines.

 

14. Sikhism

Sikhism is a monotheistic faith emerging from and remaining concentrated in the Punjabi region that traverses Northern India and Eastern Pakistan.

The Sikh religion came into focus during the late 15th century and draws its tenets of faith, meditation, social justice, and human equality from scripture called the Guru Granth Sahib.

 

The first spiritual leader of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, lived from 1469 to 1539 and taught that a good, spiritual life must be intertwined with a secular life well-lived.

He called for activity, creativity, fidelity, self-control, and purity.

More important than the metaphysical, Guru Nanak argued, is a life in which one enacts the will of God.

Guru Nanak was succeeded by a subsequent line of nine gurus, who served as spiritual leaders.

The tenth in this line of successors, Guru Gobind Singh, named the scriptures as his successor.

This was the end of human authority in the Sikh faith and the emergence of the scriptures as a singular spiritual guide.

 

Today, the more than 28 million estimated adherents of Sikhism are largely concentrated in India, making it the seventh-largest religion in the world.

 

15. Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism is considered one of the world’s oldest religions, and some of its earliest ideas — messianism, posthumous judgment, and the duality of heaven and hell — are believed to have informed the evolution of Judaism, as well as Gnosticism, Christianity, and Islam.

 

Its founding figure, Zoroaster, was an innovative religious thinker and teacher who is believed to have lived between 700 BCE and 500 BCE in Persia (modern-day Iran). Its primary text, the Avesta, combines the Gathas (Zoroaster’s writings) with the Yasna (the scriptural basis of Zoroastrianism). Zoroaster’s influence loomed large in his time and place.

In fact, Zoroastrianism was soon adopted as the official state religion of the Persian Empire and remained so for nearly a thousand years.

 

Zoroaster’s ideas finally fell out of authority after the Muslim conquest of Persia in the seventh century CE.

What followed was centuries of persecution and suppression by Muslim conquerors, to the point of almost entirely snuffing out Zoroastrian teachings and practices in the Arabic-speaking world.

These practices have seen a small resurgence in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with some Iranians and Iraqi Kurdish populations adopting Zoroastrianism as a mode of resistance to theocratic governance.

 

Today, there are roughly 190,000 Zoroastrians, mostly concentrated in Iran, Iraq, and India.

 

16. Traditional African Religions

Countless religious traditions inform the inhabitants of the African continent, each with its own distinct practices and beliefs based on region and ethnicity.

Because Africa contains diverse people groups, and their religions remain deeply tied to geography and tribal lands, the continent’s history is a tapestry of distinct spiritual traditions.

Many share common threads, including the belief in spirits, respect for the dead, and the importance of the intersection between humanity and nature.

Also common: many of these religions rely on oral history and tradition, rather than scriptures.

 

Though Christianity and Islam are today the dominant religious traditions in Africa, informal estimates place the number of adherents to Traditional African Religions at 100 million.

The following list — borrowed from Wikipedia — identifies some of the best known or most prominent of these religions:

 
  • Bushongo mythology (Congo)
  • Lugbara mythology (Congo)
  • Baluba mythology (Congo)
  • Mbuti mythology (Congo)
  • Akamba mythology (Kenya)
  • Lozi mythology (Zambia)
  • Tumbuka mythology (Malawi)
  • Zulu mythology (South Africa)
  • Dinka religion (South Sudan)
  • Hausa animism (Chad, Gabon)
  • Lotuko mythology (South Sudan)
  • Maasai mythology (Kenya, Tanzania, Ouebian)
  • Kalenjin religion(Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania)
  • Dini Ya Msambwa (Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Kenya)
  • San religion (South Africa)
  • Traditional healers of South Africa
  • Manjonjo Healers of Chitungwiza of Zimbabwe
  • Akan religion (Ghana, Ivory Coast)
  • Dahomean religion (Benin, Togo)
  • Efik mythology (Nigeria, Cameroon)
  • Edo religion (Benin kingdom, Nigeria)
  • Hausa animism (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Togo)
  • Odinani (Igbo people, Nigeria)
  • Serer religion (Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania)
  • Yoruba religion (Nigeria, Benin, Togo)
  • West African Vodun (Ghana, Benin, Togo, Nigeria)
  • Dogon religion (Mali)
  • Vodun (Benin)

17. African Diaspora Religions

The European slave trade and the practices of colonization created what is known as the African diaspora.

Here, individuals, families, and whole groups were displaced from the communities or tribes they called home on the African continent. The result was the proliferation of innumerable religious groups around the Caribbean, Latin America, and the southern United States during the 16th through 18th centuries.

Each had its own linguistic, spiritual, and ritualistic customs, generally rooted in their respective histories and their new geographic surroundings.

Often, like the traditional African religions they emerged from, these groups shared common threads regarding reverence for the spirits, veneration of the dead, and similar creation mythologies.

Though too extensive to name, the following list — borrowed from Wikipedia — identifies the most notable African diaspora religions:

 
  • Batuque
  • Candomblé
  • Dahomey mythology
  • Haitian mythology
  • Kumina
  • Macumba
  • Mami Wata
  • Obeah
  • Oyotunji
  • Palo
  • Ifa
  • Lucumi
  • Hudu
  • Quimbanda
  • Santería (Lukumi)
  • Umbanda
  • Vodou

18. Indigenous American Religions

Native American religions encompass the broad and diverse set of customs, beliefs, and practices observed by the indigenous populations that thrived in the Americas before the arrival of European colonists.

The diversity of customs and beliefs represented here is as diverse as the major population centers, tribes, and small nomadic bands that inhabited the Americas for millennia.

 

Theologies vary widely, representing a range of monotheistic, polytheistic, and animistic beliefs.

Also highly variant are the oral histories, principles, and internal hierarchical structures of these different indigenous groups.

Some religions emerged around established kingdoms and settlements — especially in the monarchical societies of pre-Latin America — whereas others emerged around tribes that moved within and between regions. Some common threads include the belief in spirits and a sense of connectivity with nature.

 

Though many individuals and families descended from these tribes do practice some of the customs of their ancestors, indigenous religious customs have befallen the same broader fate as the Native American peoples.

The arrival of Europeans signaled the beginning of cultural, spiritual, and actual genocide, one that wiped out tribes wholesale through violence, disease, and religious conversion.

Some religions would disappear entirely.

Other religions are still practiced by dwindling populations, many living on reservations.

 

Wikipedia identifies a few major native American religions:

  • Earth Lodge religion
  • Indian Shaker religon
  • Longhouse religion
  • Mexicayoti
  • Peyote religion
  • Waashat religion

This is by no means a complete list.

It is, by its intent, a concise look at major world religions.

Truthfully, this subject defies brevity.

Each religion or tradition represented here, and the countless not represented here, offer worlds unto themselves, replete with scriptures, histories, leaders, events, codes of ethics, richly drawn mythologies, and unwavering adherents. You could spend a lifetime studying each of these traditions. Of course, many people do!

 

 

8 Things Christians Say That Just Ain’t True

When I read Bible scholars—I was shocked

 
 

As a kid raised Evangelical I kept hearing about an angry God who hated sex, women, gays, non-white people and—people in general?

When I checked in with Bible scholars, I found that the sacred text of Christianity wasn’t being described accurately.

Here are eight favorites.

 

1. Masturbation is not a divine crime

 

For centuries, the “church” waged total war on self-touch.

They’ve eased off in the last few decades—a nice reminder that the “timeless theology” changes whenever they want it to.

But it’s useful to remember that they pointed to a story in Genesis 38 about a guy named Onan as an anti-masturbation text, and loaded on warnings about extreme health problems that would result.

 

In retrospect, the clerics had no such medical knowledge and misrepresented the Onan narrative to boot.

It was theological fraud.

 

No text in the Bible even hints at masturbation.

But the Calvinist effort to crush the practice led to 17th-century men turning to prostitutes en masse. As Sheldon J. Watts notes in Epidemics and History: Disease, Power, and Imperialism, this made a “major contribution” to the rise of syphilis.

 

Having been told that masturbation led to health problems, efforts were made to curb it even in infants, leading to routine male circumcision and female genital mutilation, as countless children were terrorized with the idea of a deity who surveils and punishes their most private moments.

 

So when you hear “Christian tradition”—you know what that means.

 

2. No, Jeremiah doesn't say everyone is “wicked”

Christian theology has a core idea, which is that everyone is utterly, horribly bad.

It relies for this point on a line in the Old Testament.

 

As the old KJV translates Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

 

Having heard this all my life, I was shocked to learn that Jewish scholars had been saying it was wrong.

In a study, Tzvi Novick suggests this translation: “The heart is more closely kept than anything and humanity — what human beings can know it?”

 

The Hebrew wording is complex, but the ancient Greek translation called the Septuagint has this:

 

“The heart is deep above all else, and so is man, and who shall understand him?” The Peshitta, translating from Syriac, has this: “The heart is stronger than any man (all men); who can understand it?”

 

The secret of the mistranslation is Christian anti-Semitism, that beating black heart of its history.

In the 4th century, Jerome writes that Jeremiah 17:9 suggests to him the idea that “no one knows a person’s secret thoughts except God alone,” but he’s noticed an effort “to use this passage against the Jews…”

 

Christian men made a Jewish prophet attack Jewish people—and kept up the assault until Jeremiah was reading the whole world to filth.

 

3. No, God doesn’t hate women

Why was this a surprise?

I had to face the tradition which had just lied to me about women being second-class.

Scholars had to work on untwisting many passages that supported this campaign of error. In the Bible, human males are never placed over human females.

 

The Bible has as many or more heroines than heroes—and odd figures in between, like Jael, who can’t be sexed.

I love the beautiful Sarai, praised for her wisdom, and Tamar, who has sex with three guys in a row and is called ‘righteous’.

All heroines are super-sexual, incidentally. No spiritual value is ever assigned to lifetime virginity.

 

Over and over, we see men in the Bible described as psychotic, murderous, as brave women rise to oppose them.

When the male Pharoah is butchering boys, it isn’t men, but midwives, who stage a dangerous intervention.

As Tikva Frymer-Kensky notes, the Bible is often the story of women who “foiled the plans of men and shaped the destiny of the world.”

 

And thank God, because men will drive this thing into the ditch.

 

4. No, God is not all-male

Though they don’t eagerly volunteer this information, even conservative Christian theologians know that God, in the Bible, is a male-female process. As Robert A.J. Gagnon notes:

 

“It is true that the Hebrew Bible describes God in both masculine (predominantly) and feminine imagery (for the latter, see Isa 42:14; 49:15; 63:13; Hosea 13:8; by inference Num 11:12; Deut 32:11, 18; Hos 11:1–4).”

 

But somehow, it seemed so shocking to me—that Christian men had misread the text on so fundamental a level as to leave the impression that God was male and only liked men.

I had to go back to the start, with scholars as guides, not clerics—who were just liars.

And God created man in his image,
in the image of God created he him;
male and female created he them.

 

“The poetical structure of Gen. 1:27 clearly suggests that God himself too was both male and female,” as Johannes C. de Moor observes.

 

From ‘El Shaddai’, which means the “breasted one,” to the female Wisdom figure (see Annette Schellenberg‘s 2018 paper, “May Her Breasts Satisfy You at All Times”), we see a female deity throughout the Bible.

 

Moses didn’t think God was all male.

In Numbers 11:15, the prophet addresses the deity using a female pronoun.

The “mother and father” to be honored in the Ten Commandments is likely God.

 

5. Women can be “clergy” if they want

A bizarre amount of Christian debate concerns a question about which the Bible is mostly uninterested.

There is no special category of “clergy” as overlords, telling everyone what to do.

 

As many times as male clergy bark out speeches on stage on Sunday, it’s just people talking, and the Bible isn’t regulating that process.

You can get on the stage and talk if you’re a man or a woman, on any day of the week, as it turns out. Shocking spiritual facts.

 

The “pulpit” is not a special spiritual location.

A “church” is not a temple—it’s just a building!

The word ‘pastor’ is just the word ‘shepherd’—a job usually done by women (cf. Gen 29:9; Exo 2:16–21; Song 1:5–8).

 

Indeed, when Moses becomes a shepherd he probably learns it from his wife.

A nice model for Christian men, perhaps.

 

6. No, divorces aren’t some spiritual crime

Oh, the Christian men go on and on about God hating divorce.

They like to quote Malachi 2:16 on the point, the Jewish prophet evidently having banned divorce for the whole human race—for all time?

 

It was just another lie.

The scholar Jack Collins notes traditional commentators haven’t liked to talk about the actual problems in translating Malachi 2:16, as this “weakens the Biblical testimony against divorce.”

 

Divorce is totally legal in Old Testament law and repeatedly required in situations of Jewish intermarriage.

And Malachi 2:16 is not even against divorce.

The actual verse is difficult to translate (you can follow Collins’ complex discussion if you like).

 

The Septuagint has this: “But if, since you hate her, you should send her away . . .”

 

From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Latin Vulgate, there are many other possibilities.

Russell Fuller, in a 1991 study, notes many versions “support the act of divorce.”

A reading of Malachi 2:16 from the Dead Sea Scrolls is: “If, having hated, divorce! says the Lord the God of Israel . . .”

 

And none of this has anything to do with the Jesus community—which is seen as “one body” (1 Cor 12:27, etc.), a people who “shared everything” (Acts 4:32).

This seems to have been a sort of a group theological marriage among people who liked each other.

 

Let’s not kid ourselves.

That’s not later Christians.

 

7. No, God doesn’t hate prostitutes

It’s quite the opposite.

I stared in shock at James 2:25.

In this passage, there is the praise of Rahab the Harlot — who is held upon the level of the great Abraham.

 

Then I realized the mystic madam of Joshua 2, an ancestor of Jesus, was, throughout early Christianity, a huge heroine.

She was the prototype of the Gentile convert! Scholars say, interestingly, that Rabah’s name means ‘female genitalia’.

 

I love saying ‘Cunt the Harlot’ as a Christian heroine.

The Old Testament law has no ban on prostitution, and sex, in general, is largely unregulated.

 

Men, of course, can have sex with prostitutes, concubines, and multiple wives.

In the narratives, not just Rahab, but several women on the sexual margins play key roles—from Delilah to the woman who anoints Jesus’ feet.

There is no reason to think they’re anything but exalted heroines.

 

8. No, God doesn’t hate LGBT people

Somehow Christian men decided that the great cosmic villain of history was the florist down the street.

But actually, God isn’t in the hating game.

That’s more a Christian men thing.

 

So they summoned a range of weird references to make their case.

Scholars look over the anti-gay translations made by “the church,” which is to say, Christian men—and just sigh.

By means unknown to any intelligent life forms, the Greek word arsenokoita, about which almost nothing is known, became the late 19th-century word “homosexuality,” as found in translations of 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10.

 

Then we got a Christian rewrite of Leviticus 18:22:

“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”

 

It’s less easy to hit people over the head with a literal translation provided by scholars: “And-with a male not you-will-lie ‘lyings of a woman.”

 

What does that mean?

Too bad there aren’t any Levitical priests around—for a couple of thousand years.

For Jewish rabbis, it’s been a real puzzle.

 

They note the problem of the plural “lyings” and that the verse doesn’t say: “Don’t have sex with men as with women.”

It just doesn’t say that.

 

Susan Pigott, an Evangelical professor of Hebrew, thinks the context might be idolatry.

But she offers: “Isn’t it interesting, that when Jesus quoted Leviticus, he quoted a verse about love (Lev. 19:18)?

Maybe, if we’re going to pick one verse out of Leviticus to plaster on signs, that’s the one we should choose.”

 

“Love one another.” That’s what Jesus says.

Not that a lot of Christians seem to have noticed the “new commandment” of John 13:34?

May they receive their reward. ?

 

 

Sometimes music can help you connect with family, friends, and higher conscience and power.

 

In this video 'John Barrowman - I know him so well (duet with Daniel Boys), two brothers connect, or does this music help to connect with the Universe? 

Explore Utube for thousands of new ideas and thoughts.

 

 

God Is Healing You Now

By Mary L. Kupferle

 

God is healing you now!

It is occurring at this very moment whether you know it or not.

You need not have some mystical experience.

You need not feel any unusual physical sensation.

You need not even be aware of how it is happening—you need only to relax, to let go, and to be assured that it is being done.

If you are facing a healing challenge of any kind, you can be sure God's healing power will see you through. Indeed, it is happening at this instant.

God is healing you now!

 

A Healed Life Is Always Possible

 

Whether you are in your home, hospital, office, bus, plane, or car, God's great love is there, healing you now.

Whether you have a lot of spiritual understanding or a little, whether you are old or young in physical years, whether you have a great deal of faith or little, you can grasp these few words: God is healing me now.

They can bring you into a realization that will lead you into total healing, total rebirth, and total change of your life experience for good.

 

God can and does work through anyone or anything in an infinite variety of ways and means to help, bless, and heal His children.

 

You need not question, reason, or seek out the ways.

He will open them up to you, at the right time and appropriate moment, for God is already at work within every detail of your life, bringing about healing in every aspect.

He is already at work within every detail of your life, bringing about healing in every aspect.

 

If your heart is downcast about yourself or a loved one, know that God is healing you now, that God is healing your dear one now.

Decree and affirm this consistently and faithfully, and you will be placing yourself in a receptive attitude, readying yourself in a receptive attitude, readying yourself to receive.

 

If you are plagued by doubts and fears, and if negative thoughts fill your mind, use the words God is healing me now as a rudder to keep your mind turned around in the direction of His presence and power …

 

The Spirit of Release: God’s Infinite Healing

If you become discouraged, thinking that healing will never come, if you see little sign of progress, quietly realize that God's continuous healing power is at work beyond your ability to judge.

Do not reason or compare or try to figure it all out. Instead, deliberately trust that in every moment and in every detail, God is there, guiding, helping, seeing you through to total healing.

 

Knowing that it is the Father who dwells within you who does the work, you can leave the outworking to Him, regardless of whether the healing is for the mind, body, relationships, or any of your affairs. God knows the ways and means to bring the right results.

 

 

 

 

“Hearing Spirit in a Noisy World.”

 

The Church of Natural Health

 Reverend Michael J. Malette

 

 

 

 

What Is the Church?

By Robert Velarde

 

 

The Visible and Invisible Church

 

When speaking of the church, theologians often use terms such as the visible and local church as opposed to the invisible and universal church. The visible and local church is, of course, the physical churches that we see around us and around the world, as well as the members of those churches. The invisible and universal church, however, refers to all believers everywhere and is one church, united in Christ, not many physical churches. Everyone in the universal church is a true believer, but such is not necessarily the case with visible and local churches.

 

Why is it relevant to understand some basic differences between the visible and universal church? One key reason is so that we do not confuse what we sometimes see fallible churches doing with the reality of the universal church. Not only do visible and local churches often host nonbelievers, but also the believers themselves are imperfect, resulting in challenges and tensions in every visible church.

 

 

What Does the Church Do?

 

The church is not a building, but a body of believers with a specific nature and purpose. These biblical roles or ministries of the church are foundational to it. What are these roles? They are many, but key to any church are foundations in worship, edification and evangelism.


Worship is God-centered and Christ-centered. It is not about entertaining Christians with flashy displays or presentations, but about expressing our love by worshiping our Creator. We are to praise and glorify God in worship. As such, every Christian needs to be part of regular fellowship and worship.

 

Edification is also a role of the church. It involves edifying believers, but also nurturing, building up or helping believers to mature in Christ. To this end, churches are tasked with a variety of ministries such as Bible study, continuing education in related areas, praying for one another, acts of genuine hospitality and more.

 

Evangelism is also a key role of the church. This means reaching out to a lost world with the Good News about Jesus.

 

Since people often have questions or doubts about Christ and Christianity, knowing the truth and being able to defend it (apologetics) is also part of the role of the church. But beyond evangelism in the sense of reaching out with the gospel, the church must also express compassion and mercy tangibly by helping others. In following Christ's example to love others, the church, too, must seek to make a real difference in the world while not neglecting to share the message of Christ.

 

If a church fails to fulfill any of these key roles - worship, edification, evangelism - then the church is not functioning as God intends. Granted, there are times when churches face challenges and struggles to one degree or another, but a healthy church seeks to overcome such challenges in a way that honors God and His intentions for His church.

 

 

A Church Divided or United?

 

The concept of the visible and local church also touched briefly on the challenges and tensions that sometimes result in churches. Critics point to divisions and disagreements among Christians as evidence of a lack of unity and, hence, a lack of real biblical support undergirding the Christian church as a whole. Is this true? In some cases Christians do indeed need to admit to shortcomings and, at times, un-Christ-like behavior.

 

But in looking at the bigger picture, the Christian church has always been united on key points of belief such as the reality of a personal, loving God, salvation that is found in Christ through His death and bodily resurrection, human depravity and the need for redemption through Christ and more. This "mere" Christianity or core of unshakable truths has united Christian churches throughout the centuries and continues to do so.

 

 

Making an Eternal Difference

 

The Christian church is not a building, but a body of believers united in Christ. Its role is to worship God, nurture and edify and reach out to a suffering world with the saving message of the gospel as well as the practical compassion and mercy exemplified in Christ. To this end, ecclesiology is not some ivory-tower, academic discipline removed from the reality of daily life. Instead, learning more about the church helps us make a real difference in the world, not just temporally, but for all eternity.

 

Series About:

The Study of God

 

 

Global Healing Center

 

NATURAL HEALTH AND HEALING

 

What Is Natural Health? A Comprehensive Guide to Living Healthy

 

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to taking your first steps towards natural health, this comprehensive guide can help. This article is full of health tips, trends and natural health wellness information. I’ll explain how your daily lifestyle choices can create optimal health – or take away from it. These include making positive decisions about how and what you eat, your physical fitness habits, and the products you buy for your home and body. You can also find a wealth of natural health benefits, recipes, and resources at a great natural health website, like ours.

 

What Is the Definition of Natural Health?

 

Natural health is a whole-lifestyle approach to overall wellness that addresses every component of life: how you eat, how you take care of your body, how you deal with stress, and which healthcare providers you entrust with your care.

 

By looking at body, mind, and lifestyle, natural health is holistic. People following a natural health approach try to identify the root cause of symptoms so they can solve their health concerns, restore balance and optimize health. Eliminating unhealthy habits, performing detoxifying cleanses, and choosing positive, life- and health-affirming choices helps restore the body’s natural vitality.

 

The natural approach offers greater personal power over your health.

 

Natural Health and Conventional Medicine

 

A natural health approach provides a more balanced way to create a healthy lifestyle compared with conventional medicine. Natural health means promoting wellness with the natural solution. For example, if you're tired, drinking an energy drink is the unnatural approach. Your body doesn't need caffeine, sugar, and chemicals; it needs sleep.

 

Natural health can be used on its own – which is called alternative health – or integrated with traditional healthcare. Complementary, integrative or functional medicine combines conventional medical care with one or more alternative, natural health approaches. Alternative and complementary therapies include massage, acupressure, detoxing, and health supplements.

 

More and more traditional medical doctors and healthcare practitioners are integrating holistic natural health into their repertoire.

 

In a Nutshell

 

In a nutshell, natural health means “out with the bad, in with the good” – out with the toxic chemicals, processed foods, bad habits, and in with healthy, environmentally-friendly, toxic-free choices.

 

If you want to get healthy, you should know that natural health works. A health revolution is taking place, and I invite you to be part of it.

 

Out With the Bad

  • Eliminating bad habits (smoking, drinking, unhealthy foods)
  • Detox to get rid of toxic chemicals accumulated in the body
  • Removing toxic chemicals from your home and body products

In With the Good

  • Organic, wholesome, preferably plant-based diet
  • Corrective habits (exercise, meditation, counseling)
  • Natural therapies (acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy)
  • Nutritional and therapeutic plant-based supplements and herbs

 

The Natural Health Approach: An Example

 

Rather than isolating one issue, natural health methods look for the ultimate cause of a health issue. Take a headache for example. Using a conventional approach, you may take a couple of over-the-counter acetaminophen pills. These pills merely mask the pain, though, and the particular solution of taking pills does not take into consideration what caused a headache to begin with.

 

Using a natural health approach, a person would instead try to figure out different possible causes of the head pain. Could it be emotional stress, dehydration, muscle tension, or a serious issue needing medical attention? Each of these symptoms could be a possible cause of the headache and requires a different solution. Counseling, aromatherapy or massage work best for mental stress headaches, drinking water can solve dehydration headaches, and a visit to a doctor to further identify the cause of a more serious or unidentified headache issue.

 

Is Natural Health Anti-Science?

 

Some websites claim that naturopathy, alternative medicine and the natural health approach are not backed by science, or are “pseudoscientific.” This is unequivocally false and here’s why.

 

Natural Health Is Internationally Recognized

 

Not only is complementary and alternative medicine more popular than ever among the public, it is also receiving broader recognition and more funds for research.

 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of the world’s most prominent medical research centers, established the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (formerly called the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) in 1998, as “the [US] Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.”

 

NIH defines complementary medicine as that which combines mainstream medicine with non-mainstream, alternative approaches – herbal supplements, massage, yoga, mindfulness, acupuncture, and so on. NIH defines alternative healthcare as that used instead of mainstream medicine; hence, truly alternative healthcare is exceedingly rare since most people use some combination of natural approaches with conventional ones.

 

  Claims that the natural health approach is unscientific are unequivocally false.
 

Internationally, natural health approaches are also gaining wider use and recognition. Natural health approaches – particularly nutritional supplements, massage, meditation, chiropractic care and yoga – are used by a full third of people in the U.S. and Europe.[1] The European Parliament recently held a workshop to discuss how to integrate the growing use of complementary and alternative therapies into traditional healthcare systems.[2] In Australia, complementary and alternative natural health approaches are even more widespread: almost 70% of the population uses one or more alternative approach to healthcare.

 

Natural Health Is Gaining Wider Acceptance

 

People with higher incomes use these non-conventional approaches more. This may be because insurance or Medicaid often does not cover alternative therapies, and lower-income individuals may not be able to afford it.[3] Even so, around 59 million people in the U.S. spend $30 billion out-of-pocket on natural, non-conventional approaches to healthcare every year.[4, 5]

 

Because more patients are asking for holistic, natural, patient-centered care, more hospitals and healthcare treatment centers are adopting natural remedies and approaches to health. As of 2017, twenty-eight medical centers, healthcare systems and cancer treatment centers in the U.S. now have at least one naturopathic doctor on staff.[6]

 

Natural Health Is Cost-Effective

 

According to the Institute for Natural Medicine, institutions that use complementary and alternative approaches are “delivering better health outcomes at lower costs.”[6]

 

Studies have found patients adhered to their treatment plan better, felt their healthcare providers spent more time with them and rated their overall experience more positively. In a different study, naturopathic therapies saved nearly $1,000 per patient with low back issues and people missed 6.7 fewer days of work.[7]

 

Natural Health Had Its Day in Court… and Won

 

It’s well known that Big Pharma and Big Medicine have in the past made concerted efforts to keep alternative therapies from becoming mainstream. For decades, the American Medical Association (AMA) tried to shut down the entire chiropractic industry, convincing the public that chiropractic medicine was based on pseudoscience, which means fake science.[8]

 

The AMA established a Committee on Quackery in 1963 to keep chiropractors from being included on medical insurance, or from becoming mainstream. They spread the word in schools and columns like Ann Landers and Dear Abby, and wrote TV scripts that the entire field was anti-science, and even “killed people.”

 

But in the David vs. Goliath battle, chiropractic won out. Five chiropractors sued the American Medical Association in 1972, and after an 11-year court battle, the AMA was found guilty of trying to destroy its competition – chiropractors. As a result of this legal victory, chiropractic medicine has now become widely accepted and used and is even now recommended by conventional doctors.

 

Natural Health Is Ahead of the Curve

 

However, there are some alternative therapies and supplements for which scientific research has not caught up.[9] There are simply not enough controlled studies on the effectiveness of various therapies, herbs and supplements – but I emphasize, a lack of studies does not mean that alternative therapies are not effective or are pseudoscientific. It only means that scientists have not studied these yet.

 

Natural Health Success Stories

 

People often turn to natural health approaches because it gives them a sense of greater control over their health. People also report that they feel they get better overall support from alternative healthcare providers, who typically give more time to patients.[1]

 

 

Katja’s Story: Nothing Left to Lose

 

Sometimes people turn to natural health when conventional medicine lets them down or runs out of options. “My medical doctors had reached a point in the treatment of my autoimmune disorder where they couldn’t do anything more. The only thing they could offer me was steroids,” says Houston-based artist Katja Akhtar. At that point, she knew she had to take her life into her own hands, “What did I have to lose?” So she researched online and discovered the integrative and functional medicine approach.

 

People often turn to natural health approaches because it gives them a sense of greater control over their health.
 

Katja’s functional medicine doctor “took not just my medical history but my emotional history and my lifestyle history,” she says. “The approach has been vastly different than my experience with standard medicine.”

 

The old adage by Hippocrates that ‘food is medicine’ applied to Katja’s health. “Altering my diet was fundamental to my recovery, and on top of that supplements. Most of what I’m taking are nature-derived supplements,” she says. That’s the advantage of natural health or integrative medicine. “They consider the entire body, as well as how the [body’s] systems interact with forces outside of it. It’s been extremely effective for me.” Katja no longer has brain fog, she has more energy, and her quality of life has dramatically improved.

 

Orna’s Story: Medicine In the Garden

 

In Oregon, licensed naturopathic doctor Orna Izakson has her own story of discovering the benefits of natural medicine. One day she felt so sick that she worried she may need to go to the hospital. Her herbalist neighbor recommended some medicinal plants. One was growing in her garden. Imagine, she says, “I am sick as a dog, I can’t breathe. But I go to the garden, pick some thyme, pour boiling water over it, breathe the steam, and I went from being on the verge of hospitalization to out of the woods in less than a day.”

 

Natural health requires taking positive action to change your life.

Orna went on to become a naturopathic doctor, completing a rigorous 4-year medical program. Dr. Izakson is a fierce advocate for the natural approach to healthcare which includes both physical and mental wellness. She regularly hikes in nature to reduce stress and bring more peace into her life, and takes several natural health supplements to boost her energy and overall wellness. “This is the people’s medicine. It’s the weeds growing in your backyard.”

 

Starting the Natural Health Lifestyle: Out With the Bad

 

“The bottom line is that it’s empowering,” says Dr. Izakson. “You have the power to change your health and your life. The downside is you have to do it.” In other words, there is no magic bullet solution to health. Instead, natural health requires taking positive action to change your life. So where do you begin? First, you remove harmful elements from your life, as much as possible.

 

Removing Toxic Chemicals From Your Home and Products

 

Green living and a natural lifestyle go hand in hand. One of the first steps you can take when choosing a more natural lifestyle is to eliminate products that contain toxic chemicals – such as traditional cleaning products, beauty and body care products – and replacing them with healthier, environmentally-friendly, or organic options.

 

Eliminate products that contain toxic chemicals and replace them with healthier, environmentally-friendly, or organic options.

Many companies sell green toxic-free cleaning solutions and are better options for your home. Some people create do-it-yourself cleaning formulas – such as baking soda to clean a toilet or bathtub, or vinegar to clean windows, or more complicated solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

Approved Chemicals Aren’t Always Safe

 

Many people think that because a chemical is present in a product, it must be OK – perhaps at least studied and tested by a government agency. The truth is, many chemicals present in beauty products, home cleaning products, and even furniture, pots and pans, or clothing receive minimal to no testing. As a result, many chemicals have been later recalled and removed from circulation after enough evidence accumulated that they were toxic and could harm health, as well as the environment.[10]

 

Getting Rid of Household Toxicants

 

Think about where toxic chemicals may lurk and then go through your home eliminating them where you can. You can get replace nonstick cooking pans with cast iron or stainless steel, choose glass storage containers and avoid plastic for storing and cooking. You can choose organic cotton clothing, sheets and mattresses. And of course, you can choose to buy organic makeup and beauty products that do not have chemicals that make aging worse.

 

 

Eliminating Toxins From Your Body: Detox and Cleansing

 

A core part of a natural health lifestyle involves detoxing or cleansing the body organs. Cleansing the body can boost your overall health and quality of life. For optimal health, you should detox different organs in your body.

 

Why You Need To Detox

 

Detoxing is necessary because the standard Western diet (or Standard American Diet, SAD) includes a lot of processed and deep-fried foods, meat, and non-organic fruits and vegetables. Even if you eat relatively healthy, most foods contain trace pesticides, antibiotics, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). During digestion, these toxic chemicals get into the bloodstream and end up stuck in body tissues, but particularly your colon.

 

With any detox or cleanse, you may experience a healing crisis when you first begin to eat raw. A healing crisis is a short-term increase in fatigue, headaches, aches and pains, among other symptoms, as your body eliminates stored up toxins.

 

Types of Body Cleanses

 

You can do a whole body cleanse, which means you detox all organ systems, one at a time, or you can just focus on one. To detox, you can use specific cleansing kits, herbal supplements, and detox-friendly foods.

 

Some report colon cleansing is the single most effective natural remedy for detoxing the body.

You can eat foods to cleanse the liver, you can detox your kidneys to prevent stones, or you can do deep breathing along with specific herbs like peppermint or oregano to cleanse the lungs. But many people report that colon cleansing is the single most effective natural remedy for detoxing the body and starting their natural health lifestyle – or keeping it on track.

 

 

Eliminating Toxins From Your Body: Fasting

 

Fasting is another way to detox the body. If you’re interested in getting healthy, water fasting can be an extremely effective way to jump-start weight loss, detoxification and a new lifestyle. Studies show that intermittent fasting in both laboratory animals and people has profoundly positive long-term impacts on health.[11, 12, 13]

 

The Health Benefits of Fasting

 

A prominent study summarized the research this way: “periodic fasting protects against diabetes, cancers, heart disease, and neurodegeneration, …[and] helps reduce obesity, hypertension, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.”[14] Scientists found that intermittent periods of fasting increases longevity in many organisms, including people, and this works by reprogramming the metabolic pathways and increases the body’s resistance to stress. Fasting helps cells regenerate and improves their ability to repair any damaged DNA.

 

Intermittent fasting in both laboratory animals and people has profoundly positive long-term impacts on health.
 

And this is remarkable: fasting for three days before chemotherapy protected normal cells and triggered stem cell regeneration of damaged immune system cells.[15]

 

Natural Health Lifestyle: In With the Good

 

The natural health lifestyle encompasses the body, mind and spirit. Each person has age-specific needs to keep your body functioning properly. But no matter what your age, everyone needs physical exercise, nutritious food, and a healthy outlook on mental wellness and spiritual life. The natural health approach takes into account all these spheres of life.

 

 

Mental Wellness Habits: Meditation, Yoga, Mindfulness, and Sleep

 

Having a healthy mental outlook is a key part of the holistic approach to natural health, since there are known connections between the mind and body. When your body is hurting, it is sometimes hard to have a positive outlook and it can affect your mood. But there are also tools and techniques that you can use to feel better and get stronger, no matter what personal situations you are going through.

 

Natural Approaches to Mental Wellness

 

Scientists have evidence that mindfulness meditation, acupuncture, music therapy, and relaxation techniques have a positive impact on depression, anxiety and stress. The NIH is studying the use of mindfulness meditation and self-hypnosis for managing chronic pain in military veterans.[16, 17] NIH studies have already found that using complementary natural health approaches with cancer patients resulted in less anxiety and pain.[18] Other studies found that yoga and mindfulness meditation helped people quit smoking,[19] and yoga reduced fatigue in patients.

 

You Need Sleep for Mental Health

 

It’s also important to get enough sleep every night if you want to have a positive outlook during the day. There are natural solutions for sleep problems, including essential oils, avoiding foods that keep you awake, and herbal remedies. A natural approach seeks to identify the root cause of something like sleep problems. Then, the goal is to manage symptoms based on that knowledge, rather than immediately taking a pill. Getting sleep is very important to your overall health because during sleep your body strengthens brain cells stressed during wakeful periods.[20]

 

Mental Wellness: The Advantage of Outside Help

 

Psychological counseling can also be an important part of a mental health approach. There are many life coaches, licensed therapists, and social workers who actively recommend and practice alternative therapies in mental wellness treatment, from color therapy to music therapy to biofeedback – training the mind to tell the body to reduce anxiety, slow heartbeats or other physical conditions.

 

 

Physical Fitness Habits

 

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy, and staying physically fit is a key part of a natural health lifestyle. Exercise is the best medicine!

 

The Health Benefits of Exercise

 

Physical activity has countless benefits to your mental wellness. Studies show that exercise improves mood, decreases the incidence of depression, and helps you sleep better.[21, 22] It also improves cognitive function – the ability to think and learn – especially as you age. But even physically active children have lower rates of depression than those who are not as active.

 

Exercise is the best medicine! An integral part of a natural health lifestyle, it improves mood as well as physical health.
 

Exercise has many benefits to your overall health, as well. It helps the heart and lungs deliver oxygen throughout the body, lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol, and reduces inflammation and insulin resistance.[23] Exercise strengthens the heart muscle and reduces the risk of heart attacks.

 

Easy Exercises To Get Started

 

Your physical fitness level can be improved with cardiovascular exercise, like aerobics, running or sports, but also gentler methods of exercise can have remarkable benefits, including yoga, tai chi, and pilates. Weight training is another great way to improve your overall fitness.

Exercising outside can be a great way to get fresh air, sunshine for vitamin D, and the healing power of being in nature. You can walk barefoot to ground yourself in the earth. There are even specific exercises to improve your sex drive.

 

Protecting the Environment

 

Many people who adopt a natural health lifestyle are also interested in living green, or in other words, considering how our actions and consumer choices affect the environment. The only way that our children will live healthy lives in the future is if we make efforts to clean up the environment today, and make choices that reduce our impact.

 

The only way that our children will live healthy lives in the future is if we make efforts to clean up the environment today, and make choices that reduce our impact.
 

To reduce the toxic burden on our children, people will need to collectively clean up the environment. This means reducing the impact of our daily choices, from the cars we drive to the electrical power we choose to the products we buy. Each choice has an impact on overall air and water pollution, toxic waste accumulation, and global climate change.

 

Easy Ways To Get Started

 

Some of these efforts will take longer than others. For example, we can’t easily get rid of the persistent organic pollutants which, persist in the air, water and soil although they have been banned for many years.[10] However, here are some simple steps you can take:

  • You can lobby your representatives to force past polluters to clean these up.
  • You can make your consumer voice heard by paying attention to where you spend your money.
  • You can educate yourself about where toxic chemicals lurk, and minimize your exposure as much as possible, especially if you are pregnant or for young children.
 

 

 

A Natural Health Diet: A Way of Life

 

If you want to live in a more healthful way, you must address the way you eat. Healthy eating is not a trend; it is probably the single most important thing you can do for your health on a daily basis.

 

Eat Organic Foods

 

Choosing organic foods is best because certified organic producers must follow specific laws and regulations, which include using virtually no chemicals — although truth be told, some are allowed.

 

Buying organic is better for your health and better for Planet Earth.
 

Organic farming is better for your health: one study found organic fruits have more antioxidants and less pesticide residue.[24] And buying organic crops and meat is better for the earth: organic farmers must follow sustainable farming practices, like improving biodiversity, crop rotation on fields, and biologically-friendly pest management.

 

Organic products can not use genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or any genetic engineering.[25] Even organic produce contains chemical traces; you can wash some of it off, but research shows that washing does not remove all the chemicals.[26]

 

Quick Tips for Cleaning Produce

 

  • Avoid the Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables which have the most pesticide residue, and look for the Clean Fifteen, which have the least, if you must eat conventionally grown produce.[27, 28] If your budget is tight, you can choose which fruits and vegetables to buy organic, versus conventional, for yourself and your family.
  • To remove pesticides from produce, soak fruits or vegetables for 20 minutes in a large bowl full of a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water (i.e., if you use 4 cups of water use 1 cup of white vinegar), then scrub lightly with a scrub brush and rinse.[29]

 

Eat A Plant-Based Diet

 

Eating a low-fat vegan or vegetarian diet has many health benefits: it can lead to weight loss, improve insulin function, lower blood pressure, and lower your risk of heart problems.[30, 31] Vegans generally have lower levels of bad cholesterol than people who do not eat a strictly plant-based diet.

 

Eating lower on the food chain also reaps enormous benefits for the planet, and is kinder to animals. Agriculture – including both animals and plant crops – account for one-third of all global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO).[32] Livestock in particular account for more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation – the world’s cars, trucks, and planes.

 

Reducing the amount of meat you eat can, therefore, help curb climate change, which is one of the biggest threats to the environment and the future of humankind.[33, 34]

 

Quick Tips for Cutting Down on Meat

 

  • Try Meatless Monday, an international movement where people eliminate meat one day a week.[35] This can be a good trial for vegetarian or vegan natural health recipes, and to begin a transition to a plant-based lifestyle.
  • Look for one of many superfoods for quick boosts to energy and health, like goji berries, chia seeds, or golden berries.
  • Many people interested in a healthy, natural diet choose to eat a gluten-free diet because this protein — found most commonly in wheat but also in other common grains — can trigger digestive problems.

 

Try a Raw, Vegan Diet

 

Have you heard about eating raw? Some people are choosing to eat exclusively raw food; this preserves all of the natural enzymes and nutrients present in food. You can start with 75% raw and 25% cooked and gradually work your way up to a fully raw diet. Or you can do a raw food detox, eating raw for a week or a month, and see how much better you feel afterward. Gradually introducing one food type back into your diet, such as corn or dairy or wheat (gluten), can help you identify which foods your body is most sensitive to.

 

One study found a 70-100% raw diet reduced bad cholesterol, but also decreased vitamin B-12, which you need, but it’s typically only found in animal products.[36] When eating raw or vegan, you will need a vegan B-12 supplement.

 

The Benefits of Eating Healthy: Weight Loss, Wellness and Energy

 

Can a plant-based, clean diet help people lose weight? Absolutely. People who eat vegan or vegetarian generally have lower body-mass index (BMI) than those who eat meat; in other words, they weigh less.[37] One study found that people who eat more fruits and vegetables also have a probable lower risk of cancer and osteoporosis.[38] A diet high in saturated fats (often found in red meat) can reduce the effectiveness of good cholesterol (HDL) and increases the risk of hardened arteries (atherosclerosis).[39]

 

"People who eat vegan or vegetarian generally have lower body-mass index than those who eat meat; in other words, they weigh less."
 

Will eating vegan give you more energy? That depends on what you eat. If you eat a lot of sugar, starchy carbs like potatoes and rice, and few vegetables you may miss out on the energy boost that comes from eating raw, “live” fruits, vegetables and nuts. Not only that, meat takes more energy for your body to digest.

 

Nutritional Supplements and Natural Health Products

 

The use of natural health vitamins and nutritional supplements has seen a steady rise over the past two decades, with more than $36 billion in retail sales in 2017.[40] A National Institutes of Health Survey found that 85% of people use natural products for overall wellness, and more than 40% use them to treat a health condition.[41]

 

As of 2012, the most popular natural supplements in the U.S. – not including regular vitamins and minerals – included fish oil (though we recommend vegan alternatives like flax oil or hemp seed oil), probiotics/prebiotics, melatonin, echinacea, and ginseng, among others.[41]

 

Today, nearly 20% of American adults take one or more natural health supplement. Aging men and women need more calcium and aging support, while infants as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women need to get more vitamin D. Active adults often seek out plant-based supplements like ginseng, ginkgo and vitamin B-12.[42]

 

Introducing prebiotic and probiotic supplements has a positive impact on your health by improving the state of your gut. The gut biota acts like an “organ within an organ,” that affects not just the obvious – digestion — but also the immune system, metabolism, and even mental health. [43, 44, 45, 46] Prebiotics are fiber-dense foods that feed good bacteria, and probiotics are specific strains of bacteria that your body needs for optimal health.

 

While your body will have some of these from living in the world, enhancing the number of good bacteria you have in your gut will improve your digestion as well as overall health.

 

Always have questions for your physian, they are human too.  This video shows doctors in action.

 

What Kinds of Natural Healthcare Providers Are There?

 

People who use natural or complementary approaches to health often do it because they feel conventional medicine focuses too narrowly on one symptom or body system, with little integration of the body with other aspects of life, such as lifestyle, diet, and social factors.[46] The great thing about adopting a natural health lifestyle is that it is inherently empowering, allowing you to take charge of your health.

 

"Adopting a natural health lifestyle is empowering, allowing you to take charge of your health. But sometimes you have a specific health concern and you want to see an expert."

Sometimes you have a specific health concern and you want to see an expert. There are many different types of healthcare providers who adopt a natural approach.

 

Naturopathic Doctors (N.D.) and Naturopath Practitioners (N.P.)

 

Naturopathic doctors (N.D.) must receive a 4-year post-graduate medical degree from one of 5 schools in the U.S. focusing on naturopathic principles and herbalism, and like traditional medical school have done clinical rotations. Naturopathic doctors in the U.S. are licensed by state medical boards. Some people earn a certificate in naturopathy that is not as rigorous as the full N.D. medical training; they are called naturopathic practitioners (N.P.) or just naturopaths.

Generally, six key beliefs guide the practice of naturopaths:

  1. Heal with the power of nature: the human body has a strong, built-in power to heal itself.
  2. Identify the root cause: find what is underlying symptoms and treat that, rather than suppressing symptoms.
  3. Treat the whole person: healthcare providers need to treat a person holistically, including their physical as well as mental, emotional and social health.
  4. Doctor as teacher: Naturopaths help patients learn what they can do to improve their own health and well-being.
  5. Do no harm:Use methods, herbs and techniques that do not cause harm on a person’s self-healing mechanisms.
  6. Seek prevention first: Always seek to proactively prevent disease and illness.
  7.  

Twenty-three states in the U.S. license individuals with N.D. degrees to practice medicine. Each of these states has slightly different laws. In some states, N.D.s can call themselves a doctor, diagnose and treat patients with natural substances, education, and lifestyle prescriptions. In a handful of states like Vermont, Arizona, Oregon and Washington, a N.D. can also prescribe medications or do minor surgery.

 

Integrative & Functional Medicine Practitioners

 

Integrative medicine means integrating conventional and complementary approaches when treating people. It is a holistic approach, involving a person’s physical body, but also the mind, emotions, and social habits that may affect overall health and wellness.

 

Functional medicine practitioners use an integrative approach but additionally use an approach that considers all the body systems to understand the root cause of diseases, similar to naturopathic doctors. Functional medicine goes a step beyond integrative medicine by looking for a specific cause for every problem, especially issues like autoimmune diseases or diabetes, to find a solution tailored to each individual.[47]

 

A functional medicine provider may run genetic or environmental tests, in addition to traditional tests of biological function, for example.

 

People trained in several healthcare fields can receive a certificate in functional medicine or integrative medicine, including doctors (N.D., M.D., D.O., D.C.), nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered dieticians, and acupuncturists.

 

Chiropractors

 

The field of chiropractic medicine focuses on the neuromusculoskeletal system, or in other words the nerves, muscles, and skeleton. They are concerned with how the spine and its alignment affects overall health. They perform spinal manipulations or adjustments to correct alignment problems. These adjustments not only reduce pain but can improve overall health. In general, many chiropractors believe in a natural approach to healthcare, supporting good health practices like nutrition, exercise, therapies like massage, and natural supplements. Chiropractors believe in the body’s ability to heal without drugs or surgery.[48]

 

Chiropractors must complete at least a 4-year university degree, 1000 hours of clinical training, and they must receive licensing in the state or province they practice in.

 

Osteopathic Doctors

 

Like chiropractors, osteopaths are trained to focus on the neuromusculoskeletal system, but they take a whole-person approach to healthcare, looking at all of the body’s interconnected systems.[49]

 

Whereas chiropractors focus on the spine, osteopaths focus on physical manipulation of the entire body’s muscles and skeletal system for optimizing health. They focus on improving health without drugs and unlike traditional medical doctors, treat the whole person rather than just addressing the specific presenting issue.

 

A Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) is a licensed, board-certified medical doctor who attended a medical college of osteopathy. There are more than 100,000 Osteopathic doctors in the U.S., and they are licensed to practice in all 50 states in the U.S.

 

Homeopaths

 

Like other natural health practitioners, homeopathic practitioners also embrace a natural, holistic approach to healthcare and take a comprehensive history of the patient and his or her condition. Homeopathic care follows three principles[50]:

 

  1. Like cures like: prescribe a natural substance that is similar in nature to the condition. The goal is to help the body heal itself.
  2. Minimum dose: prescribe the least amount of a medicine needed to heal an issue.
  3. Single remedy: give people one treatment at a time.

 

Homeopathy is a popular but controversial form of complementary medicine, mainly because the mode that homeopathy purports to work seems to go against what scientists know about science. According to the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “Several key concepts of homeopathy are inconsistent with fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics.”

 

Despite that, reviews of studies have found the positive effects of homeopathic treatment for certain conditions – including acute diarrhea, flu, and allergies – cannot be explained by a placebo effect alone (the placebo effect is when people get better because they are receiving some pill, even if that is a neutral “sugar pill”).[51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57]

 

Homeopaths come from a wide variety of backgrounds. There are currently only five colleges in the U.S. and one in Canada which provide a four-year program in homeopathy. However, Naturopathic Doctors (N.D.s) receive training in homeopathy as part of their medical training. Other colleges and institutions offer shorter training programs and certificates in homeopathy.

 

Natural Health Coaches & Dieticians

 

You can also go to natural health coaches or dieticians which have a wide variety of certifications and training. Registered Dieticians (R.D.) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (R.D.N.) have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and they also finished a certified practice program offered by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and passed an exam.

Other types of nutritionists or dieticians, include Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Nutritionist, and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.

 

Also, some individuals become health coaches to support other people on the journey to health and wellness, often after having an experience with it in their own lives. Not all of these healthcare practitioners take a natural health approach, so you will have to do your research into each provider.

 

 

 

Try These Natural Health Therapies and Modalities

 

Whether you are engaging in natural health self-care or you are under the care of a healthcare provider, there are dozens of alternative, natural health therapies that can be used for various conditions, or simply to support overall physical and mental health. Some of the most popular are below.

 

Massage

Massage is one of the oldest, most well-known and most used alternative therapies. Not only can massage relax you, but it also has specific health benefits. Studies have found that massage can reduce pain, decrease anxiety and depression, increase alertness, and improve the immune system[58]. Two-thirds of hospitalized patients attributed their greater ability to move around, higher energy levels, and speed of recovery to getting massages during their stay.[59]

 

"Massages are one of the most used alternative therapies. They relax muscles and boost the immune system."
 

How do massages help? Physiologically, they relax muscles and increase blood and lymph circulation. Some studies have found massage boosts the immune system in both sick and healthy people.[60, 61] One study found massage increased the hormone oxytocin, sometimes called the love hormone, and decreased levels of cortisol and adrenocorticotropin, hormones produced by the pituitary gland during stress.[61, 62]

 

Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine from India.[63] Ayurvedic medicine takes the approach that the mind and body are intricately interconnected, and the mind has a strong ability to heal the body. According to Ayurveda, people have three different constitutions or “doshas,” which means life force:

 

  • Kapha types are dominated by water and earth, and are typically strong and stable as long as they exercise regularly, but may tend towards weight gain without exercise. To be balanced, kaphas may need to be motivated or energized through the various Ayurvedic therapies, including herbs, food, and mind-body practices.
  • Pitta doshas are ruled by fire and water elements, are typically medium build, have ruddy skin, and can be competitive and sometimes irritable. To find balance, they need to manage their fiery tendencies.
  • The final dosha type is vatta, dominated by light and air, and who tend towards a light, airy constitution. They think on their toes, are fast-moving, and creative, but may tend towards anxiety or fatigue, and may need to find ways to ground their airy energy.
  •  

Ayurvedic practitioners use panchakarma, a system of cleansing different body systems using essential oils, massage, and foods. Meditation, yoga and deep breathing, getting outside in nature, getting adequate exercise and sleep, and including all six tastes in every meal (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent) are used to help bring balance to the body and its systems.

 

 

 

Acupuncture, Acupressure and Traditional Chinese Medicine

 

 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was developed more than 2,500 years ago in China, and involves understanding and redistributing the body’s energy force, called chi, along meridians or channels in the body. TCM healers use herbs and medicines (some of which come from endangered species, such as tigers or rhino horns), as well as mind-body practices like tai chi and acupuncture. In acupuncture, practitioners will insert tiny needles along the body’s meridians to heal an ailment.

 

There are few studies accessible to the western world that have systematically evaluated TCM, making it difficult to evaluate scientifically. However, some studies have started looking at the disease-fighting capabilities of certain TCM herbs.[64, 65] Although scientists do not understand how it works, several studies have shown that acupuncture treats chronic pain more effectively than no treatment or “sham” acupuncture treatments (placing needles on non-meridian points). Not only that, some brain imaging research has found that stimulating specific acupuncture points activated specific parts of the brain.[66]

 

Acupressure is a bodywork technique that involves putting pressure on the meridian points associated with a particular ailment, instead of using needles as they do in acupuncture.

 

Aromatherapy

 

Scent is one of our most prized senses, and it can be used to improve health and well-being. Massage therapists often add in aromatherapy into their practice, but this is a great therapy to do self-care. There are hundreds of essential oils that you can use for various needs, and these are sold at grocery stores, online and specialty stores.

  • Lavender oil can reduce anxiety and improve sleep.[67] Inhaling lavender also lessened the effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women.[68]
  • Orange oil was found to lower heart rate and decrease stress for students studying for exams[69]
  • Peppermint oil not only improves muscle relaxation and achy joints, inhaling peppermint oil can reduce nausea,[70] reverse mental fatigue[71] and improve physical performance in both mice and men.[72]

 

Natural Health Wrap-Up

 

 

There are a number of other alternative and complementary natural therapies, but what they have in common is that they look to natural herbs, nutrition, and lifestyle changes like exercise to maintain wellness while seeking to avoid costly and invasive surgeries or treatments.

 

Natural therapies can be empowering because — although many are not as well-researched as some conventional medical treatments — they typically have fewer side effects. However, always be sure to research the quality of the healthcare or therapy provider, natural health supplements, or treatments you are interested in. Check reviews, read as much as you can, and be an informed decision-maker about your own healthcare.

 

I truly believe my purpose on this planet is to help people live healthier lives. There are many simple, natural ways to improve your health and make you happier every day. I hope this guide helps you on your journey to better health.

 

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness.