Doctor, Doctor: The Hope Factor

Happy GirlWe all hope for something.

At least I HOPE you hope for something. The loss of hope is dangerous – of course mentally, but also physically. Hope is an especially powerful force for good in our health.

Science has been able to demonstrate the very real biologic effects of hope. Believing and expecting that something good can happen, for example, can block physical pain. With even a little bit of hope the brain releases endorphins and enkephalins – substances that act like morphine in eliminating pain and providing a sense of well-being. The pain lessens a little, which increases hope that the pain may lessen even more. It creates a positive cycle leading to healing.

Hope can also change the function of the autonomic nervous system, which controls many physical functions that we don’t usually think about, such as heart rate, gastrointestinal function, and our level of tension or relaxation. It can alter the chemical function of portions of the brain.

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Where Does Healing Begin?

Where Does Healing Begin?

As a doctor I can give you pills. I can recommend changes in your lifestyle that can improve your health. I can do surgery at times. Once in a while I might even save someone’s life. But can I heal you?

As someone wanting to be healthy you might get all the exercise you need. You might follow careful healthy eating habits. You might get enough sleep and take plenty of vitamins. But will that heal you?

As a minister I can pray for you. I can teach you about having a relationship with God, and faith. I can introduce you to Him and help bring you into His presence. But can I heal you?

Of course the answer to each of these is NO. And that really brings up the question about what healing really is, and where it begins.

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What is Your Body Telling You?

New MessageOur physical body takes a hit when we experience stress. Even if that stress is not especially negative or traumatic, our body takes the wear.

And if the stress involves danger or trauma, or continues over a significant period of time, our body may just “shut down” in some way.

It has been estimated that 75% or more of the time a patient visits a primary care physician the true reason is stress, psychological difficulty, or something related. In other words, most of the time the problem did not BEGIN with a physical problem or body dysfunction.

That doesn’t mean the physical symptoms aren’t real. It means that our entire being is connected together, and what affects one part affects all the others as well.

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Grief, Tears, and Pain

Grief, Tears, and Pain

Man Alone in GriefAt one point every one of us will have to face grief – the loss of someone we love.

There’s no way to make grief easy. It just hurts! So many emotions may be involved: sadness, loneliness, guilt, regret, shock, hopelessness, and more. The loss of a loved one in death causes more psychological and physical stress than just about anything else.

The Dr Carol Show tomorrow, Saturday August 11, 1-2pm Central, will be a special broadcast dealing with grief. And we would love for you to be a part. Find a station near you, or listen to live streaming.

We’ll also have a special guest on the program, Sam Hodges from GriefShare.

Leave your comments on this post. Send a confidential message to Dr Carol here. Or call 888-537-2276 during our program 1-2pm Central on Saturday.

Who was the loved one you lost? What were they like? How did that loss affect you? Did other people say or do things that made it harder? That helped? I’d love to hear from you!

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“Sometimes I Cry”

Man in GriefI don’t like to cry. But sometimes that’s the only thing left to do.

Yes, sometimes I cry. And sometimes you do to. Tears can be very healing.

We shouldn’t be afraid of those deep feelings. And that goes for you men as well! Having a good cry may be the healthiest thing you’ve done in a long time.

What tears can mean is the central idea of our Totally Free Ministries newsletter this month. Read it here online, or download it to your device.

I hope you already get these regularly. If you haven’t signed up, you can do so here.

Sometimes you’d rather get this kind of material in your mailbox, with the shiny paper that you can read more than once. If so, just let us know your name and mailing address, and we’ll be glad to send it to you right away.

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