Dale is the Executive Director of Faith and Health Connection Ministry where they teach biblical truths for health & wholeness. Connect with Dale at www.FaithandHealthConnection.org
Posted 8/4/11 at 11:47 AM | Dale Fletcher
An article in today's Wall Street Journal – Antidepressant Use Rises – reports that the use of antidepressants is significantly on the rise. The article cites a study published in the journal of Health Affairs, authored by Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University.
Antidepressants were the second most widely prescribed class of medicine in the United States in 2010, after cholesterol-lowering statins, according to IMS health. It appears that physicians may be prescribing antidepressants for more mild forms of mood and anxiety disorders, or for isolated psychiatric symptoms like sleep disturbance, nervousness or nonspecific pain, Doctor Olfson said.
"Over 10 percent of people over the age of 6 were receiving anti-depression medication. That strikes me as significant," says Dr. Olfson.
In a similar vein, an article on the Psychology Today website reports that antidepressants are oversubscribed. Christopher Lane, Ph.D, indicates that a reported study more than 70% of patients in the survey who were prescribed antidepressants presented no medical need for antidepressant treatment.
It sure seems that the trend is for people to turn to pills instead of God to relieve the results of stress that they are experiencing in their lives. On the one hand it sure seems like a simple and quick fix to go to your doctor's office or to your counselor and ask for and receive a prescription for an antidepressant drug. Just pop one in your mouth every day and you'll feel better. This is not God's way of handling stress.
Yes, there may be times when medication may be the right thing to turn to... for a short time... but I believe God wants us to especially turn to him above all. FULL POST
Posted 7/21/11 at 11:14 AM | Dale Fletcher
Today's 200.5 kilometer-long 18th stage of the Tour de France will end on the highest-ever mountaintop finish. The Col du Galibier sits at 2645 meters above sea level. The total distance of the last mountain climb is 23 kilometers and the last part of the climb is 8.5 km long at an average gradient of 6.9% (height gain: 585 m) with a maximum of 12.1% at the summit.
I can not imagine cycling up this mountain. I can not imagine the level of fitness and mental toughness that is required to endure the pain these riders must experience.
As you look at the profile of this stage – the up and down nature of the route – you can make the analogy that it's like the ups and downs that life brings. Sometimes we are on our mountaintops and sometimes we are in the valleys. The ease of the cyclist's valleys are like our mountaintops and the difficulty of their mountaintops are like the challenging aspects of the valleys of our lives. When we are on our mountaintops, things are grand. When we are in our valleys, life can be tough.
The key is how we handle our valleys. FULL POST
Posted 7/8/11 at 9:23 AM | Dale Fletcher
The number of obese people rose in 16 of the 50 states last year. The trend in our country for people becoming more fat continues.
Now there are 12 states where the obesity rate is above 30% and in 38 states the rate is above 25%. Since 1995, obesity rates have grown fastest in Oklahoma, Alabama, and Tennessee, and slowest in Washington, D.C., Colorado, and Connecticut.
Racial and ethnic minority adults, and those with less education or who make less money, continue to have the highest overall obesity rates: FULL POST
Posted 6/22/11 at 5:16 PM | Dale Fletcher
Do you know an obese teenage girl? Do you know a young adult female who smokes? Maybe you're one.
The Health Behavior News Service reports of research that indicates that obese adolescent girls are more than twice as likely to become addicted to smoking when they are young adults than those who are not obese. The study appears online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
The researchers indicate that some of the risk factors that could lead teens to engage in smoking include low self-esteem, depression and poor academic performance.
In a 2009 blog post on the Faith and Health Connection ministry website I wrote the following:
"I'll bet that if we researched this (obesity) issue, we'd find a great proportion of those who are obese are not really well in their relationships with God, themselves or others. The unhealthy and long-term thinking patterns and associated toxic emotions of feeling unacceptable, worthless, unloved, guilty and anxious will set off a regular dripping of harmful chemicals(cortisol, etc.) in their bodies through the inner workings of the endocrine and limbic systems. If left unchecked a host of complicated immune-related diseases, diabetes and obesity included, may develop." FULL POST
Posted 6/16/11 at 4:29 PM | Dale Fletcher
The new National Prevention Strategy was rolled out today, June 16th, by the Health and Human Services branch of the U.S. Government. The report is titled National Prevention Strategy - America's Plan for Better Health and Wellness.
America's Plan for Better Health and Wellness - Strategic Direction and Priorities
The strategy's seven priorities are designed to improve health and wellness for the entire population of the United States:
This new plan has four Strategic Directions:
These Priorities and Strategic Directions are to be the foundation for all prevention efforts and will form the basis for a prevention-oriented society. According to the plan, these directions will form a web needed to fully support Americans in leading longer and healthier lives. FULL POST
Posted 6/6/11 at 2:49 PM | Dale Fletcher
I've recently read a few columns on Christian Post about Yoga, the most recent being Holy Yoga or Demonism?
Ariel Rey, in the above mentioned column, indicates that "Yoga, according to Pastor Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, is a form of demonism. He said in a sermon last year, "It's absolute paganism. Yoga and meditation and easternism is all opening to demonism.""
Diriscoll aparently puts all 'yoga' into this camp - and I don't agree with him.
If you do a seach for Christian Yoga, you'll likely come across each of the following organizations: Outstretched, Praise Moves, Yahweh Yoga, Scripture Yoga, WholyFit and Be Strong Ministries. I'd submit that participation in any of these programs would be good for your health - both your physical and spiritual health. I have communicted with at least three of the owners of these organizations. They consider their initiatives as much a ministry as a business. There intent is to help others care for their body, mind and spirit. Scripture is the basis for their short "Bible Studies" conducted at the end of the exercises sessions. Christ is at the center of what they do. Their intent is to glorify God with their programs. FULL POST
Posted 5/11/11 at 11:30 PM | Dale Fletcher
May has been recognized as Mental Health Month by many organizations for several years - and this year is no exception. Mental Health America is recognized by the US government as the lead agency for this national observance.
Live Your Life Well is a campaign that Mental Health America is conducting to raise awareness and educate people about mental health issues. They've put together 10 Tools to Live Your Life Well and they suggest that these tools are based on extensive scientific evidence, and that they can help you relax, grow and flourish. Here's a listing of their tools. FULL POST
Posted 5/5/11 at 11:52 AM | Dale Fletcher
The first Thursday in May has annually been designated the National Day of Prayer for quite some time and today is the 60th year of the designation. The scripture for this year's event is Psalm 91:2 - I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
Pray With God is one of 42 Principles for Experiencing an Abundant Life that I have identified. Praying with God helps keep us connected with Him and it's our ongoing connection with God that enables us to experience the kind of life that Jesus died for us to have.
"Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. " Jesus in John 15:4-5
I find it interesting that the shortest verse in the Bible tells us how frequently we are to pray – 'Pray continually.' 1 Thessalonians 5:17. The more we are intentional in staying connected with God through prayer, the more it demonstrates that we are dependent upon him to meet our deep needs and to live life. As we continually acknowledge our need for him, we are likely to remain humble, and being humble sets the stage for God to give us more grace. James 4:6 FULL POST
Posted 3/29/11 at 11:00 AM | Dale Fletcher
Written by Dr. Scott Morris, founder of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Health Care You Can Live With puts a human face on the hot topic of health care. Making the argument that healing—both physical and spiritual—is a key aspect of the Christian faith, Dr. Morris provides a biblical framework for wellness and encourages us through real-life stories of those who found a better life within the overarching love of God.It's an excellent read! I began reading the book last night and almost completed it in one sitting. I now plan to read it over a second time.
I plan to share in brief, individual posts the things that 'jump out at me' and reinforce what I believe and have come to understand over the years about the connection between health and the Christian faith. Typically, I'll include short excerpts from the book and occasionally add my own comments. Below are my first two excerpts. FULL POST
Posted 1/25/11 at 2:30 PM | Dale Fletcher
This morning's Charlotte Observer has an article titled "The Ability to Forgive May Help You Heal." The subtitle for the article is 'Holding onto a Grudge is Bad for the Immune System, Author Says'. The writer of the article, Jane Glenn Haas, interviewed Reverend Michael Berry, Director of Pastoral Care at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia. Barry is the author of a book soon to be published titled "The Forgiveness Project: The Startling Discovery of How to Overcome Cancer, Find Health and Achieve Peace." I had the good fortune of meeting Rev. Berry two years ago at the annual meeting of the Society for Spirituality Theology and Health at Duke University. We had lunch together and shared about our common passion on the topic of faith and health. FULL POST