- Keith Wommack - Nationally Syndicated Columnist on Health, Thought and Spirituality
Posted by Keith Wommack on Feb 3, 2014 | 2 Comments »
While Bob and I were waiting for an elevator at the VA Hospital in West Los Angeles, Bob began chatting with someone walking by. While the two of them were deep in conversation, a retired general stepped up and asked, “Are you with Bob?”
I said, “Yes, I’m his son-in-law.”
The general looked me in the eye, as possibly only generals can do, reached out, took hold of my shirtsleeve, and said, “That man makes life worth living.” He meant it.
A few minutes later, I helped Bob onto a bus for a ride over to another VA building. Once he was seated, the bus driver came over, started shaking his head, as possibly only bus drivers who have seen-it-all can do, and said, “He is the greatest. He always brightens my day.” He also meant it.
Robert Milne Yates, or Bob as most everyone knew him, was a walking dispensary of joy. Everywhere he went he touched lives. Perhaps, we could say that he was a healer, of sorts. Read More→
Posted by Keith Wommack on Jan 27, 2014 | 7 Comments »
If so, perhaps, you know what I mean when I say that at times, the twin thing can get ridiculous. For example: A woman once asked if my identical twin and I were brothers. We told her, “We’re twins.” Then she inquired, “How long have you been twins?”
As well, my brother’s senior-class picture was not included in our high school yearbook. The editor of the book assumed he was viewing two pictures of me and deleted one. Our mother was not pleased.
Despite the weirdness that surrounds twins at times, researchers believe that there are important answers to health questions being learned from the genetic study of twins.
What interests me about twin studies, besides being a twin myself, is that some encourage a deeper look into what allows you and me to control our own wellbeing.
Genetics portrays existence as shaped into preordained patterns and limits by the chromosomal linkups initiated at conception. But are dominant and recessive genes really the authority when it comes to determining health? Read More→
Posted by Keith Wommack on Jan 13, 2014 | Comments Off
Chuck Norris pummels his enemies and opponents. When it comes to martial arts and his acting roles in television and films (Walker, Texas Ranger/Delta Force), Norris knows how to take care of business.
You may have seen him act and, perhaps, talk about exercise (Total Gym), but did you know that Norris also speaks about spirituality walloping pain and disease?
In a recent syndicated column, Norris answered the question: “Last week, you cited a Stanford University Professor (Tanya Marie Luhrmann), who proposed that going to church was good for one’s health. You never mentioned why. So, why?”
Norris’ reply shows he’s convinced that spirituality packs a punch. Read More→
Posted by Keith Wommack on Dec 23, 2013 | Comments Off
Music is an integral part of our lives. It’s as if we yearn to be surrounded and inspired by rhythm and melody. One man who certainly knows how to help satisfy this yearning through his Afro-Latin-blues-rock fusion sound is Carlos Santana.
On Sunday, December 29, CBS aired the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors that were recorded in November. Santana is one of five honorees who received lifetime achievement accolades. The other accomplished recipients were: singer/songwriter Billy Joel, jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, actress Shirley MacLaine, and opera soprano Martina Arroyo.
The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame’s website, states, “[Hall member] Guitarist Carlos Santana is one of rock’s true virtuosos and guiding lights.” His band has sold over 100 million records and earned 10 Grammy Awards, but, as well, Santana, himself, is a humanitarian and, maybe, most importantly, a spiritual thinker. Read More→
Posted by Keith Wommack on Dec 16, 2013 | 4 Comments »
Recently, Kenneth Pargament, PhD, shared troubling facts about the lives of health care providers:
- 45.8 percent of physicians report at least one symptom of burnout; highest rate among those involved in frontline care (Shanafelt, 2012)
- Physicians have twice the risk of suicide of general population
- Each year, it would take the equivalent of 1 to 2 average size graduating classes of medical school to replace the number of physicians who kill themselves (Miller & McGowen, 2000)
Dr. Pargament, a professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University, was one of the conference speakers. His talk was titled Conversations with Eeyore: Spirituality and the Generation of Hope among Mental Health Providers.
Pargament explained that health care providers can be traumatized by what they see in their client’s lives. But, even though they may be traumatized, the sacred dimension (spirituality) of a client can lift them up. Attending to the spiritual aspects of clients can actually jumpstart both the lives of the client and the care provider. Pargament also stated that spirituality fosters the sense that something runs beneath what we see. Read More→
Posted by Keith Wommack on Nov 25, 2013 | 2 Comments »
Adult depression is a significant problem, a problem that is being widely acknowledged. Adolescent depression is also being studied closely, as more and more children appear to show signs of despair.
Although parents may not be able to determine whether a child is merely going through a short-term behavioral phase or whether the child is experiencing depression, there is a consensus that children should be helped, and quickly.
The National Institute of Mental Health is educating the public. The Institute’s website explains, “The depressed child may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that the parent may die. Older children may sulk, get into trouble at school, be negative, grouchy, and feel misunderstood.”
Beneficial studies show that, perhaps, a surprising correlation exists that can be helpful to those suffering.
Recently, The Spirituality of Hope and Healing: Seeking the Sacred in the Midst of Despair was the theme for the 22nd Annual Psychotherapy and Faith Conference hosted by the Institute of Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center in Houston.
One of the speakers, Lisa Miller, PhD, presented her talk Spirituality Protects Against Recurrence of Depression: Science at Multiple Levels of Analysis.
Dr. Miller is Professor and Director of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College, where she founded and directs the Spirituality Mind Body Institute. She is also the Associate Editor of Psychology of Religion and Spirituality and Co-Founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the new journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice.
During her presentation, Miller shared that a ten-year study on religiosity and major depression revealed that despair was often correlated with spiritual awakening. She mentioned that those on spiritual quests sound very similar to those suffering with depression. Read More→
Posted by Keith Wommack on Nov 13, 2013 | 2 Comments »
The capture was made while I was, of all things, playing a board game at a friend’s house.
I was ten years old, and my friend was taking too long to make his next chess move. As I stared out the window, I saw my twin brother and another friend running between two houses towards the street.
The second they reached asphalt, police cars surrounded them. Both of them looked frightened as officers jumped out of their vehicles. My brother and his friend were handcuffed, placed in the cars, and driven away.
Stunned, I ran home, flung open the door, and yelled, “Kevin’s been arrested!”
Later, I learned that vandals had caused damage to a vacant house. Kevin and several other boys, foolishly, wandered into the house through a broken sliding glass door to examine the mess. Seeing activity at the house, a neighbor called the police, believing that the offenders were back.
The neighbor’s call was perfectly understandable. He wanted the vandalism stopped. However, because of the call, my brother was mistakenly identified, temporarily, as a juvenile delinquent.
How does my brother’s experience relate to your health? Read More→
Posted by Keith Wommack on Sep 17, 2013 | 1 Comment »
Why not consider utilizing spiritual practices the next time you face frightening challenges. Researchers are finding this exercise can yield beneficial rewards.
Mark Hyman, MD, in Calm Your Mind, Heal Your Body, writes “What is this critical factor that determines so much about how healthy or how sick you are? It is your attitude, your social life, your community, and your spiritual beliefs.”
Hyman also states, “…the most powerful pharmacy in the world … is right between your ears!”
Healthier lifestyles might be found, not only in what’s between your ears, but, most importantly, in what’s between you and your God. Read More→
Posted by Keith Wommack on Aug 19, 2013 | 3 Comments »
Michael Kirsch, MD, in Can prayer heal the sick? wrote about a woman who, after going through a surgery in 1985, was informed that she most likely had only 1 to 2 years to live. “The patient and her husband were devastated.” The husband “related the tragic news to his 3 children, ages 3, 5 and 8.”
While recovering from surgery, the woman’s 3-year-old daughter told her mother she wasn’t going to die because God had told her that her mother would live. “The patient related that she felt an unusual sensation that began at the top of her head and rippled slowly down her body until it reached the soles of her feet.”
The woman received no further treatments. And she is well today.
Dr. Kirsch then shared, “There are many medical cases that carve a course that I would not have predicted and do not understand. What forces may be at play there? I can’t say for sure, but I know many believe that prayer may be more powerful than our most potent prescriptions.” Read More→
Posted by Keith Wommack on Aug 6, 2013 | Comments Off
Today, there are health-practitioners as well as theologians who are actively seeking, discovering, and applying life principles that meet mankind’s yearning. Let me introduce Michele Longo O’Donnell. She is both.
In 1965 Michele became a registered nurse and devoted several years to pediatric intensive care, emergency room, and coronary care units. Currently, she is a healthcare provider, minister, and spiritual counselor.
I have known Michele for over twenty years, as we have shared ideas about spiritual healing. Recently, I asked her to answer some questions for this column. Read More→