by David Sandstrom 

June 14, 2020

This episode explains the meaning behind the new tagline: "Were it's all about maximizing your health potential in body, mind, and spirit, so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively."

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Show Notes


Today's Guest...

  • I'm flying solo in this episode

What You'll Learn...

  • What the new tagline is all about
  • The most common mistake most healthcare practitioners make
  • The missing ingredient to most people's health-building regimen
  • What The Bible has to say about our the relationship between spiritual condition and our physical vitality
  • How our mental/emotional health impacts our physical vitality
  • The role the autonomic nervous system plays in our health and well-being
  • How a lack of relational connectedness is worse than smoking a pack of cigarettes per day


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David Sandstrom 0:00


Welcome to the holistic health matters Podcast, where it's all about maximizing your health potential in body, mind and spirit, so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, naturopathic doctor and biblical health coach, and this is episode number two. Today we're going to be talking about health principle that often gets ignored in many health and wellness circles. And if it is addressed, it's generally not addressed adequately. This issue is often the reason why people fail to experience the health breakthroughs they're looking for. If you're ready to take greater responsibility for your own health, then this episode is for you. Especially if you're dealing with some kind of a health issue. And you've seen several practitioners and you still haven't resolved. What's ailing you. Stick around, that you may be very, very interested in what I'm about to share with you today. Imagine if you were suffering with terrible allergies for years. And your allergies required anti-histamines, to control your symptoms so that you could have some kind of semblance of a normal life. Then, someone told you, you were allergic to an ingredient in the shampoo you were using. And you switched shampoos, and boom, allergies went away. No more medication. Well, that's what this information has the potential to do for you. It could be the answer you've been looking for. This episode is going to be a masterclass on the spirit, mind body connection. I literally wrote the book on holistic health. My dad used to say he was fond of saying, it ain't bragging if you can do it. And I did write a comprehensive book on Holistic Health from a biblical Christian perspective. Now, I used to be a practitioner with an office and I called myself a natural and holistic practitioner. But the truth of the matter is I didn't really understand what holistic practitioner what that term really meant. It wasn't until I was suffering with my own health issues, which was chronic Lyme disease for a number of years, that I discovered what real true Holistic Health actually is. So, if a practitioner has trouble understanding it, how does a lay person stand a chance? That's what I want to share with you in this episode. The most effective approach to building health is to become more whole as a person. So in that respect, what we're going to be talking about today is more than just health and wellness. It crosses over into the into the realm of personal development, and it has wide implications for how we live our lives. So, if you're sitting down, you might want to take notes. But if you're anything like me, you listen to your podcasts on the go either in your car at the gym, you can't take notes, so got you covered. If you go to my website, David Sandstrom calm and search for episode number two, you can download a PDF summary of this episode and quickly have access to all the notes that you would need to take. So if you have a big suitcase, it helps to have a handle so that you can lift that thing into your car. In the same fashion, I want to give you a handle on this rather nebulous, intangible aspect of our being, how our mental, emotional and our spiritual condition affects our physical vitality. The critical issue is because most healthcare practitioners don't understand g You in holistic health, they focus on what they do know, which is the physical. This is what their training is taught them to do. Most of them focus almost exclusively on the body. The body is more straightforward, it makes sense. We can measure things like vitamin D levels, cholesterol, or fibroid hormone. We and we have supplements and or drugs that can treat those things. They're measurable. So that's what we focus on. This is not all bad. If your immune system is compromised, because your vitamin D levels are low, bringing your vitamin D up can help a great deal. But oftentimes, our physical symptoms are not rooted in the physical. They're rooted in the mental emotional part of our being or the spiritual part of our being, and they cross over into the physical. Human beings are more than just a body. We are spirit. We have a mind and we live in a body

ignoring two thirds of our makeup When we're trying to build wealth is folly. When I was in my early 20s, I was living in Fort Lauderdale and I was a Miami dolphin fan. I used to enjoy going to the games and I followed the team. At the time, Dan Marino was quarterback and Don Shula was the head coach. After a game, they had a show on a program on television called the Shula show. And in the show, Don Shula would talk about the win or the loss and what they did, right what they did wrong. It was it was cool show on one of those programs. I heard Don Shula say this. When I first saw Dan Marino play, I said to myself, this guy's got the best arm I've ever seen. I'm gonna build my team based around his arm. And that's exactly what they did. Dan Marino head, the quick release, he had the accuracy. He had the wherewithal to be aware of what's going on around him. And it was it was a beautiful thing to watch and Don Shula made sure that they had a couple good wide receiver Seniors they call them the mark brothers Mark Clayton and Mark duper. And that trio scored a lot of points and it was a magnificent thing to watch. But here's the problem. Even though they had a great passing game, they did not have a decent running game, and they did not have a decent defense. And without a well rounded team, you're not going to win a championship is good as Dan Marino was arguably one of the best four or five quarterbacks that ever played the game. He doesn't have a Super Bowl ring. He never won a championship because he couldn't do it alone. The Miami Dolphins couldn't win a championship. Based on Dan Marino's throwing ability. They needed a defense and they needed a running game. In the same way, if we want to create a championship, health building machine in our bodies, we've got to pay attention to the whole person. We've got to nurture not only our bodies Put our minds and spirits as well. Now if you've been listening to the show, you may have noticed I had a new tagline at the beginning here. I said, welcome to the Health Matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential in body, mind and spirit, so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively. That's a mouthful. That's my message distill down. I would like to unpack those words a little bit for you today. we maximize our health potential and set ourselves up to experience vibrant health, when we align our lifestyles more closely with God's design for body, mind and spirit. And this new level of health we enjoy empowers us to pursue all of life. Anything we choose to apply ourselves to, we become more effective at it. That's abundant living. So let's set the stage a little bit. When it comes to health and wellness. There is an awful lot of conflicting information out there. We have nutrition experts telling us that a ketogenic diet is the healthiest way to go or paleo or Atkins. And then on the other side, we have people saying no, it's it's the Mediterranean diet is the thing or vegetarianism or raw food, veganism. Some say eat smaller, more frequent meals. Others say no, intermittent fasting is the way to go. Larger, less frequent meals is healthier. It was just a few years ago, we were told that eggs are the devil. Eggs are way too high and cholesterol terrible for us. Now today, eggs are health food. It wasn't too long ago that saturated fat we were told, causes hardening of the arteries and leads to heart disease and stroke. Today, many circles were told that saturated fat is a health food. So who do we believe? Who do we trust? Well, if we buy a new TV, we want to learn how to use the thing. We pull out the manufacturers manual And we'll read up on the instructions because the manufacturer is in the best position to tell us how to use it. The same is true with cars. If we want to know how to use our cars electronics, we've pulled out the owner's manual, and we've read up on it. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I'm a certified biblical health coach. And I believe that the Bible is God's written revelation to the human race. And as such, it's our blueprint for living. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. We also find in Ephesians 2:10: “For a we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” which God prepared beforehand. So that We would walk in them. see God has a plan and a purpose for our lives. And his desire is that we discover and embrace those plans and purposes. Here's the trouble. compromised health gets in the way. If we are dealing with a chronic health issue, where we just want to get over our back pain or our migraines or whatever the case may be, and it's difficult to focus on the more important spiritual aspects of our lives. So this is why God's desire is that we enjoy vibrant health. Third, john one two says, beloved, I pray that in all respects, you may prosper and be in good health. This is the reason why Jesus spent so much time in the Gospel account in his early ministry, healing people. Jesus knew that if people were preoccupied with their physical concerns, they wouldn't be ready to receive the more important spiritual message. He For them, their eternal destiny in the salvation of their souls. So he healed them. And he fed them. He took care of their physical concerns. When I was learning to fly, I was 18 years old. And they came to a point my training where I had to do a solo cross country. Back in those days, this was 1980. We didn't have handheld GPS units that really made navigation a lot easier. What we had was a map, it was called a sectional chart. And it had visual checkpoints that we could look at, we could find a lake or a river or railroad tracks or powerplant and we identify those landmarks and we would literally fly from one point to the next. We called it dead reckoning. And it was a good way to learn the basics of flying. But without that map without that sectional chart, we will lost in the same way God knows Without a map to guide us through life, we're lost. But in life, we're not flying solo. It's like we're on a safari. And God is our seasoned guide. That's why the Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. He wants us to stay close to our guide. If if we're on safari and we wander off, we could get into trouble. There are hazards on safari. There could be poisonous snakes, steep cliffs, hungry lions, so we avoid danger by sticking close to our seasoned guide. In life, our guide God has cleared the path and he's given us a map. It's called the Bible. God made us and we do well to consult his manufacturer's manual, the Bible. The Bible tells us that human beings are far more than a random collection of atoms. And molecules. Ephesians 2:10 says we are His workmanship. Some translations use the word masterpiece. A few months ago, as a family, we took a trip to Paris, and we visited the Louvre. And you may know that inside the loop, there's a lot of masterpiece paintings. One of them is the Mona Lisa. And as we're going through, we saw this huge line, I saw what this line is all about. People were standing in line to get a close up look at the Mona Lisa. So they knew there was something special about that painting, they knew it had some kind of intrinsic value and they wanted to get a glimpse of it on their own. We are like God's works of art put on display to museum and we have intrinsic value. The more important part of who and what we are, is the intangible side of us. 2 Corinthians 4:17 and 18 says this, therefore we do not lose heart. But though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are unseen, are eternal. We are spiritual beings with a mind. And we've been given free will. We're not animals acting out of our this whatever the strongest urge is at the moment. We are sentient beings, capable of making right and wrong choices. This concept has huge implications for our health and well being. Our lifestyle choices either help or hinder our healthy pursuits. Now, it's important to recognize that we do not have total control over our health outcomes. People will get sick and suffer and some of them will die.

This is a fact of life. The point I'm making is perfection is not attainable. No one  executes perfectly. The good thing is, is that perfection is not necessary. And there are plenty of things that are within our control. There are adjustments we can make to our lifestyles that will stack the deck in our favor, or set us up for success. We should be doing everything we can. Everything that is within our ability to influence to maximize our health potential. In other words, I don't want to let my poor choices, compromise my health. Now, mind body spirit means different things to different people. And as a rule on this podcast, I won't be reading lengthly quotes, generally speaking, that would be painful to listen to. But before we dive in, I'd like to quote from my book because these are my words, and I really can't say it any better than this. So here we go. Quote. Something else to consider is how we understand body mind and spirit. At first it may seem basic, but a thorough understanding of our trichotomy this three part nature has eluded philosophers and theologians for centuries during my pursuit of whole person health, the existence of these three parts to our makeup, and the relationship between them emerged as self evident. Let me explain. The Spirit is the highest and most noble part of our being. Our spirits are eternal. It's where we connect with God and experience relationship with him. It's the home of our conscience, and where we discern right from wrong. Our spirits are where we hold our convictions and deepest beliefs. Our sense of identity and self worth are found in our spirits. Our spirits are to yield or submit to God. Our spirits animate and bring our minds to life. As such, it's a spirits that motivate and direct our thoughts if our spirits are wholly submitted to God They will animate our minds in healthy ways. The mind includes our intellect, thoughts, emotions, and will. It's the voice inside our heads or our thought lives. Our minds are connected to both our spirits and our bodies, and act as a bridge between them. Our minds are intangible and submissive to our spirits. Our minds animate our bodies through our brains, our brains, our physical organs, and direct our bodily functions. Therefore, when our minds are healthier, so is our physical vitality. The body is what we can see touch and feel. It is how we contact the material world through our five senses. Our bodies include our cells, tissues, organs and systems. Our bodies are temporary vessels that houses our minds and spirits. bodies are submissive to and you To our minds, this takes place at both conscious and subconscious levels. Sometimes we're aware of the connection. Sometimes we're not. God has programmed our bodies with a built in intelligence and health is our default setting. interdependence. The relationship between body mind and spirit is a complex, interdependent one. In other words, for good or bad, what affects one part of our being, will by necessity alter the others. In addition, there is a hierarchy to each part of our being. Our spirits are to submit to God, and then animate and direct our minds. Our minds receive instructions from our spirits, and through our brains, animate and direct our bodies. Our bodies receive instructions from both our minds and our God given built in intelligence. When this process functions as designed, vibrant health care Follow. However, frequently this process gets tripped up along the way and we experience negative health consequences. We're going to go over some of the many ways this can happen, and what we can do to prevent it. This book is about cooperating with God's design for body, mind and spirit, and aligning our lives more completely with this ideal. swimming upstream or against the current is difficult. Swimming with the current, we make far more progress with less effort. When we cooperate as opposed to resisting our design. We bring more peace to all aspects of our makeup, more peace, brings more health and quote. Now, I know that was a mouthful. So let me summarize quickly the hierarchy.

Our spirits are designed to be connected to and animated by God. Our minds are connected to and animated by our spirits and they act as a bridge between the spirit and the body that we have control over our minds. Our brains are connected to an animated by our minds. Our brains control our bodies at both conscious and non conscious levels. So the relationship between the three parts to our being are interconnected and interdependent, what affects one for good or bad? Well, by necessity all to the others. I want you to know that I didn't just dream these concepts up one day, high on pot, taking a break in between video games in my parents basement. These concepts are based on real life experience, and they are solidly grounded in the Word of God. Let me share a couple of verses with you. Genesis 1:26 says “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” Who's God talking to at that point if he hadn't made man yet? Well, he's talking to the other members of the Trinity. We know that God exists in three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and as his creatures created in his image, we also have three components to our being. We are spirit, we have a mind. We live in a body. Genesis 2:7 says “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. So that word soul in Hebrew is the word nephesh. According to Hebrew, English, lexicon nephesh is defined as a living being, soul, or mind, the seat of appetites, emotions, passions will character. So the first man had a body that was animated by his mind, and his spirit was aligned with God's Spirit because sin had not entered the equation yet. So on a spiritual level, Adam was aligned with God. This is the way we're designed to function. God wants us to enjoy health at all levels of our being. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says this “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely. And may Your spirit soul and body be preserved complete without blame” (3 John 1:2). May you be in good health is often quoted as the biblical basis for health. But what most people miss is that this verse is talking about whole person health, not just health and body. Here's what it actually says “Beloved, I pray that in all respects, you may prosper and be in good health (health and body) just as your soul prospers, (health in mind) for I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth. That is how you are walking in truth (righteousness or health and spirit). So we see body mind and spirit working in concert together in order to bring us real health. When we're functioning according to our design, it brings peace at all levels of our being. Romans 14:7 says “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22 and 23: “but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Love, joy and peace are health enhancing, they produce better health outcomes. here's the here's the important point. When we either out of ignorance or deliberately live our lives contrary to our design, we impede or inhibit our health building efforts. Let me say that again. One way, either out of ignorance or delay deliberately live our lives contrary to our design, we impede or inhibit our health building efforts. On a physical level, no one would argue that we don't need sleep every night. Who would make the case that we don't need food or water or air? These things are obvious. But there's another not so obvious concept. And that is, our bodies respond to what's going on in our minds and our spirits. Because of the mind body connection, our mental, emotional and spiritual condition affect our physical outcomes. On a mental emotional level, we've all heard of the placebo effect. Someone takes a sugar pill and they actually experience the physical outcome that the pill or the drug is purported to elicit.

So on average, research shows that the placebo effect is effective about a third of the time, on average about 30% of the time. The placebo effect works, even though someone did not take the actual drug. They just took a sugar pill or something like it. So you might be saying, Yeah, Dave, I've heard it the placebo effect. But isn't that just all in the mind? Don't people just think they feel better when they actually don’t; there’s no real physical change. Well, that's not true. That is a false statement. Dr. Lissa Rankin in her book mind over medicine documents that real, measurable physical changes do take place because of placebo. She says in her book, bald men grow hair, blood pressure drops, warts disappear, ulcers, heals, stomach acid levels decrease, colon inflammation decreases, brain dopamine levels increase. And she's got documented sources for all of this. There was a very interesting study done by Dr. Bruce Mosley, and it was published in the New England Journal of Medicine a very prestigious medical journal. In July of 2002. Dr. Moseley was an orthopedic surgeon and he was known for his arthroscopic knee surgery. And he enjoyed his patients enjoyed positive outcomes about 30% of the time. And he said, Well, you know, that's interesting, because that is pretty close to what we would expect from placebo. So he devised a very clever Sham knee surgery, placebo effect study. So we had patients come in, they all knew they were going to study, they might get the real knee surgery and they might not the people that were in the control group that did not get the surgery, got an incision in their knee, and the doctor went down there and swish some water around with a lavas making it sound like there was a real surgery going on. All the while the patient was watching a video of someone else's knee surgery while they were doing this. After two years of follow up, the patients that got the Sham knee surgery had better outcomes than the patients who got the actual knee surgery. It's Pretty amazing study and a some powerful evidence of the power of the mind. On the spiritual level, in the creation account in Genesis, Adam seem to have it all. He had a paradise for living conditions it didn't have to worry about his food or everything was provided for him he had a one on one face to face relationship with God. He seemed to have it all. But the Bible says it was not good for the man to be alone. Modern science is catching up with this biblical declaration. A study published in the journal perspectives on psychological science in March 2015. Researchers found that social isolation increased the likelihood of all cause mortality by 29%. Loneliness increased the risk of death by 26% and living alone by 32%. So there's something about relationship ships that are very health enhancing. Another study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in August of 2011. by David Roelphs, they found that lifetime single men die up to 17 years younger than married men. Women didn't fare much better. They found that they died 15 years younger under the worst case scenario. And this looked at all marriages, not just good ones. So you might be saying, you know, this sounds a little ridiculous, Dave, you know, haven't you ever heard that figures lie and liars figure? Well, this study was a meta analysis, which is a study of studies, and it covered a span of 60 years, and over 500 million people. That is no small analysis. There's a similar study I found in Harvard women's health watch, published in December of 2010. This study included 309,000 people, not as big as 500 million, but still a large study nonetheless. And they found that a lack of strong relationships increase the risk of all cause mortality by 50%. five-zero percent. That's rather shocking. And to put that in perspective, that's equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and greater than obesity and sedentary lifestyle. Oh yeah. It is not good for the man to be alone.

Again, we're going to consult the owner's manual. The first chapter, the first book of The Bible says God created man in his own image. We're chips off the old block. We are God's creation and as his creatures, we've inherited his nature. Therefore, our lifestyle choices should reflect the nature and character of God. Our thoughts, speech and actions should reflect that our true nature, which is the nature and character of God Himself. Now, we all know and I know you're thinking, Dave, this is not Eden. I know… we live in a sinful fallen state. But we all have free-will and we can exercise our free will and make choices. We can either act contrary to or consistent with our nature. Now we know that all we have to do is watch the nightly news one time and we can see people acting contrary to their true nature. Here's an important point. When we behave in ways that are contrary to the nature and character of God, we go against our own natural nature as well. And this can compromise our health and well being. In the last episode we discussed naturopathy or the natural approach to health. Naturopathy seeks to cooperate with God's God given and innate wisdom of the body. I'm suggesting that if we really want to maximize our health potential, we need to cooperate with a natural design for our minds and spirits as well.

So this brings up another question. What are right choices? what is right and wrong? Where does right and wrong actually come from? Well, right and wrong choices are not based on what we as individuals feel is right or wrong at any particular moment. We don't get to define right and wrong. We discover truth and allow ourselves to be molded or shaped by it. The essence of right and wrong is based on natural law. What makes a particular choice right or wrong is whether or not it's consistent with or contrary to the nature and character of God. Lying is wrong because God is truthful and just. Adultery is wrong because God is faithful. Hatred is wrong because God is love. Giving to charitable organizations is good, because God is generous and kind. Observing the golden rule and treating others as we want to be treated, is right because God is humble and selfless. So do you see the point? our obedience to God's instructions or law should never be out of a sense of duty or obligation or guilt, or obedience should be a natural response to the one who loves us more than we can fathom. This is the way we were created to respond to God's great love, out of our own free-will, knowing that God has our best interests at heart. Here's one of the things I found when I was researching for the book. When I was going through the Bible looking for what it says about health, I concluded that God loves us more than we can think or imagine. And he is our Heavenly Father. And as any good father would do, he wants what's best for us. So when he tells us to do something, it's in our best interest. For instance, a parent would say things like: stay away from the stove; don’t run into the street; don't play with matches. All of those instructions are designed with the child’s well being in mind. The same is true of God. When he gives us a prohibition when he tells us to stay away from something, it's for our protection. So God's admonitions and prohibitions are designed with our well-being in mind. When we approach the scriptures in this way, the Bible becomes a plethora of valuable advice for health and wellness.

A couple more verses, Deuteronomy 6 verses 2 and 3 says “Fear the LORD your God, keep all his statutes and his commandments all the days of your life, that your days may be prolonged. Oh, Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it. That it may be well with you." Whenever God gives us an admonission he has our well being in mind. Proverbs 4:20 says this “My son, give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight. Keep them in the midst of your heart, for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their body.” So here we have a clear, biblical connection between righteous behavior, righteous living, and physical vitality. How can this be? I've never heard anybody preach on that before. Well, Francis Bacon, a 16th century Christian philosopher said, “A little knowledge of science makes a man an atheist, but an in depth study of science makes him a believer in God.” So we're going to get into a little science here.

Our bodies have an autonomic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system is the part of our nervous system that seemingly operates on automatic. And it has two divisions, the sympathetic or the fight or flight side, and the parasympathetic or the rest and digest side. And they operate in a seesaw type relationship when one is up, the other is down. So when we're in sympathetic dominance, the body is preparing for a danger or a confrontation with the wild animal for instance, we're pumping out stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine and norepinephrine collectively known as adrenaline. In this state, our heart rate will increase; our blood pressure increases; our pupils dilate; our alertness gets heightened, and blood flow is routed away from non essential tasks such as digestion to large muscle groups such as the legs preparing us for fight or flight. Now this is a very good thing if we're being chased by a lion or we're running a marathon. But being chronically in this state is not a good thing at all, and very, very detrimental to our health.

The other side of the autonomic nervous system is the parasympathetic or the rest and digest side. It's basically the opposite of fight or flight. Our stress hormones returned to normal. Our bodies will produce a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which calms the body down and produces a state of relaxation or peaceful state. And we'll release more oxytocin which is known as the love hormone. Now, here's the critical point. When we're in a parasympathetic or rest and digest state, our bodies are much more efficient at repairing themselves. We experience a process called autophagy where old worn out cells are either eliminated or recycled. Our bodies also prefer to do other housekeeping tasks such as detoxification when we're in rest and digest. When we chronically engage our fight or flight reflex we experienced what we call sympathetic dominance. Our bodies don't heal and repair and detoxify the way they should. Chronic activation of our fight or flight reflex produces health challenges. Proverbs 28:1 says “The wicked flee when no one is pursuing.” I believe this verse is describing someone who's jacked up in fight or flight. This state is not health producing. Now on the other side of that Jesus taught in the book of John chapter 14, verse 27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you? Do not let your heart be troubled, nor Let it be afraid.” When we cooperate with our God given design, it brings more peace in all three areas of our being. So remember, I started off by saying we set ourselves up to experience vibrant health when we align our lifestyles more closely with God's design for body, mind and spirit. This is what I'm talking about when I say we maximize our health potential, by aligning our lives more fully with God's ideal design for body, mind and spirit.

You see, God has a preference as to how we treat our bodies. The first thing to consider is that God in dwells the New Testament believer, 1 Corinthians 6:19 says “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Therefore glorify God in your body?” God's presence makes something holy. Remember the biblical account where Moses encounters God in the form of a burning bush in the desert. Exodus 3:5 says “Then he said, Do not come near here. Remove your sandals from your feet for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” The ground was made holy because of God's presence. Our bodies are the dwelling place of God, therefore they are holy and sacred. That's why we don't desecrate a dead body. Instead, we properly care for it and and give the body a respectful, dignified burial. God’s desire is that we nourish and care for our bodies. Ephesians 5:29 says “No one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it.” This is God's preference. It doesn't make sense not to take care of our bodies. The natural thing to do is to nurture and take care of them. We are going against the created order of things when we bombard our or assault our holy temples with unhealthy things such as genetically modified, processed, frozen, microwaved, junk food. You know in Christian circles we often hear someone pray or say grace before a meal. And they'll say something like this God, may you bless this food to our bodies. Well, often what’s sitting on the plate is a doughnut or, you know, something extraordinarily unhealthy. I would suggest that rather than asking God to perform a miracle and take this toxic junk food and turn it into something nutritious and good for us, maybe we should start off with healthier food to begin with. We also go against our design when we do things such as working night shifts, or smoking cigarettes or running an ultra marathon. You get the picture.

God has a preference as to what we allow into our minds as well. Proverbs 23:7  says “As a man within himself, so is he.” Here we see that there is a connection between the intangible realm of the mind and the tangible realm of the physical. Romans 12:2 says “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” And then of course, there's Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is anything excellent and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." When it comes to our minds and our thoughts, God doesn't want us to remain where we are. He's always growing us up and maturing us into the men and women he wants us to become. Another example is Jesus teaching on adultery. He said, If a man looks at a woman lustfully he's already committed adultery with her in his heart. So Jesus internalize things and he said, take care of the thought lives. Correct the unhealthy thinking, and the physical act will go away on its own. The same is true with our bodies. What's going on in our minds will eventually manifest itself in our physical bodies. We already talked about the placebo effect. Well, there's also a no nocebo effect. When someone is told that this could be a possible side effect from a medication and they get a sugar pill. They actually experience that negative side effect. It's called the no nocebo effect, and that works just as effectively as the placebo. So there is a very, very strong mind body connection and we we have evidence of that in biblical teaching.

So God has a preference for our spiritual condition as well. John 14:6 says “Jesus said unto him, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” How do we come to Jesus? We find our union with him at the spiritual level. John 14:24 says “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” We've all heard of the greatest commandment, to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. And the second is like to love others as we love ourselves.

Why is loving and worshiping God the first and greatest commandment? It's because God is relational and we’re created in his image. When we try to ignore this admonition we create relational discord and to not value relationships is detrimental to our health because it goes against our God-given design. Proverbs 3:7 and 8 says “Fear the Lord depart from evil it will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones.” I'd say there's a strong spiritual component to our physical vitality.

So, do you see how this message is more than a simple message about health and wellness. It enters the realm of personal development because when we become more whole, it's more health producing failure to address our holistic nature is often the reason we don't experience the health breakthroughs we've been looking for. We’ve got to stop focusing on the physical symptoms and get to the root cause of what's ailing us because often it's a spiritual or mental emotional issue are actually what’s producing those symptoms. Because our bodies know how to thrive because health is our default setting, when we identify and correct our spiritual and/or mental/emotional deficiencies the physical symptoms disappear on their own. This is how we maximize our health potential by aligning our lives more fully with God’s design for body mind and spirit. When we improve our health and well-being we are empowered to pursue any endeavor, to pursue real life, the abundant life more effectively. I hope this episode has opened up a whole new arena for your approach to health and wellness. This is my message and this is what the Holistic Health Matters podcast is all about. In the future episodes will be talking about health in spirit, how we can increase our connectedness with God, how we can improve our relational connectedness, how we can detox our thought lives and process emotions more effectively, and of course how to take care of our bodies through nutrition exercise encouraging detoxification etc. So there's a lot to talk about. But I hope this episode has helped to build a foundation to shift your thinking a little bit. If your head is spinning and you don't have time to listen to this episode again go to my website and search for episode two. There’s a full transcript available there in the show notes and if you're pressed for time you can download a PDF summary of today's show. Thanks for listening; I'll talk with you next week; take care and be blessed.

About the author 

David Sandstrom

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a Naturopathic Doctor, and a Biblical Health Coach. I am also an Airline Captain for a major airline based out of Atlanta, Ga. I've been helping people maximize their health potential by nurturing their body, mind, and spirit since 2005.

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