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 3/20/12 at 10:33 AM | Dale Fletcher
The warm temperature and additional sunlight in early Spring brings life to our earth. Tulips, hyacinths, clematis and daffodils begin to appear. Robins show up. Songbirds begin to gather material to build their nests. These are all signs that Winter is transitioning to Spring. And the vibrancy of Spring is synonymous with life.
I was sitting outside earlier this morning for my quiet time with God as I like to do this on nice days, especially in Spring, so I can experience nature and fresh air. The last scripture I read for my devotional prompted me to write this short post. FULL POST
Posted 3/6/12 at 9:08 PM | Dale Fletcher
Another wellness-related newspaper entry has caught my attention. In today's Wall Street Journal, Laura Landro briefly reviews a new book written by Richard Davidson and Sharon Begley titled The Emotional Life of Your Brain. In her review, Landro writes the following:
"Contrary to the old dogma that the brain is genetically fixed in form and function, he (Davidson) says, the new understanding of "neuroplasticity" means the brain has the ability to change in significant ways throughout life, not only as a result of experiences but also by our own mental activity."
Posted 3/3/12 at 4:33 PM | Dale Fletcher
About a week ago a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended that a new weight loss prescription drug be approved. The name of the drug is Qnexa. It has been over 12 years since such a weight loss pill came out on the market but it seems like we'll have another one not too far down the road.
In the Review section of this weekend's Wall Street Journal dated March 3–4, Jonah Lehrer writes an he interesting article titled "A Chill Pill for Food's Thrill?" In his column, titled Head Case, Lehrer talks about recent research in the arena of obesity and eating. He cites a study conducted at the Oregon Research Institute where the researchers documented that obese people receive less pleasure from food than normal weight people. According to the researchers, this is one explanation why obese people find it so difficult in losing weight. Lehrer finishes his column with the following paragraphs:
Posted 2/2/12 at 1:25 PM | Dale Fletcher
A physician's body mass index (BMI) may have an impact on how he or she cares for overweight and obese patients, according to a nationwide survey.
Physicians with normal BMI were more likely to engage their patients in weight-loss conversations compared with those who were overweight or obese acording to a study out of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Pastors and churches have as much responsibility to address the health of their members as doctors do for their patients. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and our health status affects our ability to serve the Kingdom with our talents. FULL POST
Posted 1/5/12 at 2:05 PM | Dale Fletcher
In my last post I wrote about studies that have shown that religious activity, specifically church attendance, has been shown to be related to higher levels of obesity. According to several studies, people who regularly attend church are more likely to be obese than those who do not regularly attend. I find this disturbing.
It's not the simple fact that these people are obese in and of itself that is the issue. But the research clearly shows that obesity is linked to higher rates of mortality and other related diseases. Obesity in the United States is also a $179 billion burden on our economy. When obese people have to conend with many of the associated health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain cancers these conditions require treatment and the treatment costs money. Imagine if even a fraction of this money could be directed towards missions and the needy. Wouldn't that be a better use of the money? FULL POST
Posted 12/19/11 at 10:53 AM | Dale Fletcher
Religious activity is generally associated with good physical and mental health. But it also is associated with higher rates of obesity. On the surface, this just does not make sense.
A half dozen studies of mortality risks in the last ten years have found that frequent worship attenders were anywhere from 18% to 35% less likely than non-attenders to have died during the time period studied. But there have also been other studies that have shown a strong relationship between church attendance and levels of obesity.
Researcher George Fitchett of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago presented his findings on religion and obesity at a recent joint meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Religious Research Association in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He found that people who attended church services or otherwise participated in organized religion weekly were 62% more like to be obese than those who never participated, according to data that he studied from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis of adults ages 45 to 84 sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. FULL POST
Posted 10/31/11 at 5:12 PM | Dale Fletcher
In a recent article in the NY Times, researchers reported on the impact that forclosures are having on the mental and physical health of people.
Foreclosure is linked to a number of intense stressors, Julia Lynch, an associate professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania says. "An awful lot of people in this country right now are subject to a huge amount of stress. Foreclosure is wrapped together for many people with a horrible, messy combination of job loss, ill health, uninsurance or underinsurance, and debt. When you put those things together, people are subject to really intense stress, which is likely to lead to depression and other health problems."
In their study, they also found that for every 100 foreclosures, there was a 12 percent increase in anxiety-related emergency-room visits and hospitalizations by adults under 50. FULL POST
Posted 9/20/11 at 11:00 AM | Dale Fletcher
Our reactions to the trials and stressors of our life are a key determinant of our emotional and physical health. It's not the events or the relationship issues that have a detrimental impact on our health, it's our interpretation and perception of them.In most days of our lives, we find ourselves in situations that can impact us in either a negative or a positive way. First, the event or circumstance occurs. This is generally quickly followed by the emotions that we experience. Then, typically, we react with our behavior and what we say. Our reactions are most often automatic because we do this out of habit. Our reactions will have either a positive or a negative impact on our body based, based on the accompanying emotions we experience. FULL POST
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