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From the Editors

Real health-care breakthroughs

From the May 14, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

We hear about health-care breakthroughs all the time. Just recently several studies suggested an aspirin a day could prevent cancer (see Yet reports caution that the studies are inconclusive and that previous studies have had different results. And taking too few or too many aspirin could nullify the positive effects or cause other health problems.

This kind of reporting is not uncommon when it comes to health-care studies. The media tends to hype the good news because people want to know that their health care is improving. And, of course, medical breakthroughs mean profits for pharmaceutical companies and other providers. The idea of selling a disease by introducing the cure for it is widely known in the health-care industry. There’s even a term for it: disease branding. It has been described as presenting the cure to an obscure or previously untreatable disease, which makes the disease more palatable to potential patients.

This is the big business of health care, and it’s not always about providing better health.

It should be noted that many health-care researchers and practitioners are working hard to ease suffering and eliminate disease. We applaud their efforts. But with all the confusing and misleading information, maybe we could use a different method to determine what constitutes a real health-care breakthrough. 

One insight comes from a woman 2000 years ago. She had been hemorrhaging for many years. The health-care system of her day was quite different from today’s, but some of the challenges she faced haven’t changed much. She spent all her money seeking help from physicians, and yet the hemorrhaging grew worse.

Then one day she heard Christ Jesus speak. She tried to reach him, but the crowd was so large she just managed to touch his clothing. Jesus knew someone was reaching out to him. She was healed on the spot. No waiting in a clinic. No forms to fill out. No tests to conduct. It was a simple, immediate healing.

Word of this healing and others like it traveled quickly. This was a health-care breakthrough substantiated by what people experienced and saw with their own two eyes. They didn’t need a double-blind clinical study to tell them how significant this healing was.

While conventional medical treatment and most alternatives deal with bodily changes alone, this healing focused entirely on the mentality between healer and patient. The woman was receptive, humble, and searching diligently for God’s help. Christ Jesus detected this shift of thought and responded to it with love and healing. This proves that our understanding of God and our relationship to Him determines our health. Now there’s a radical shift in health care!

This healing process has not been lost. Christian Science healing—the same healing process Jesus used—is alive and in operation today. The healings reported in this magazine (as well as its sister publication The Christian Science Journal) occurred from a desire to understand God better. Christian Science is available to everyone, but each healing represents a kind of individual breakthrough of its own. And this is because the spiritual understanding gained by each person is so unique to their situation.

More than a clinical study, the personal confirmation of tens of thousands of healings for well over a century is the best verification of this system’s value to society. The discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, set the standard. She wrote: “Late in the nineteenth century I demonstrated the divine rules of Christian Science. They were submitted to the broadest practical test, and everywhere, when honestly applied under circumstances where demonstration was humanly possible, this Science showed that Truth had lost none of its divine and healing efficacy, even though centuries had passed away since Jesus practised these rules on the hills of Judaea and in the valleys of Galilee” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 147). 

The word health comes from the old English term wholth that means “to be whole.” What could be a greater breakthrough in health care, than to know that being whole spiritually also means being whole physically?

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