PETALUMA, CA, June 16, 2014 – The idea sounds crazy. Implant a computer no bigger than a grain of rice in the back of someone’s neck and plug it into their body’s central nervous system. Then, if the body starts complaining with symptoms of, say, asthma, arthritis or diabetes, the computer fires off an electrical current that takes care of the problem in minutes.
Of course, for those who have actually given this a try and felt the effects, it doesn’t sound crazy at all, even if the procedure does buck conventional wisdom that says electricity has more to do with the nervous system (think brain-heart connections) than it does the immune system.
Companies like pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline and medical device manufacturer Medtronic are investing big in this new technology, broadly described as “electroceuticals.” At its core, however, the idea of harnessing unknown if not unseen connections in the body, electrical or otherwise, has been around for a very long time. As far back as the late 18th century, people like Franz Mesmer have attempted to manipulate what he described as the body’s “magnetic fluid” as a means of healing, a practice then known as “animal magnetism.”
Although Mesmer’s theories have since been roundly discredited and the jury is still out on the future of electroceuticals, there is another unseen yet largely untapped influence worth exploring – one that, although not confined in the body, can nevertheless benefit the body.
The Bible describes it simply as “a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them” – a sort of divine spark, if you will, that encourages a shift in thought that often lays the groundwork for recovery from any number of ailments. Characterized by 19th century religious reformerMary Baker Eddy, as the very presence of “Christ, or Truth,” it has the capacity to impact, in positive and measurable ways, every aspect of the human system.
Granted, this is not the kind of thing that lends itself to lab-based research or clinical trials. On the other hand, there is ample evidence to suggest that the more spiritually minded lead happier, healthier and even longer lives. Whether this is the result of religiously motivated lifestyle choices, a supportive social environment or the aforementioned “spirit” remains to be discovered – and interpreted – on an individual basis.
In the meantime, even those who don’t consider themselves the least bit spiritually minded might consider at least tinkering with those qualities of thought that tend to fire up the mental circuitry – qualities such as humility, compassion, forgiveness and gratitude; all of which are readily accessible and all of which have been proven to have a direct and health-inducing connection with our mental and physical well-being.
Eric Nelson’s columns on the link between consciousness and health appear regularly in a number of local and national online publications. He also serves as the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in Northern California. Follow him on Twitter @norcalcs.