PETALUMA, CA, June 8, 2014 – At first blush Apple’s new ‘Health’ app looks pretty slick, a real game changer. Developed with help from the Mayo Clinic, it’s the first app of its kind to seamlessly integrate personal information from any number of other health-related apps into a single location. But for all its slickness, it seems to have left what many consider to be the most important barometer of our health on the coding table.
It can’t keep track of what we’re thinking.
When was the last time you took your medication? Apple has you covered. How many miles did you run last week? No problem. How many calories are in a slice of wheat bread? How much sleep did you get last night? What’s your current heart rate? Check, check and check. But if you’re wondering just how grateful or compassionate or forgiving you’re feeling at any given moment – key factors in limiting the onset and impact of a whole host of health problems – you’d be hard-pressed to find any app that can provide an accurate read.
This is not to say that you should. After all, relying on an iPhone or Droid to register how you feel about your spouse, your boss or a cross-country move would be like asking your fork to tell you if what you’re eating is sweet or savory.
There is another tool, however, that we can utilize, something that has proven to be immensely reliable for people around the world, regardless of age, weight or technical savvy: Our own thought.
A good 2000 years before the folks at Apple had even conceived their first app, a health advocate of sorts living in the Middle East would often stress the importance of regulating our thinking and, by association, our bodies: “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you,” he said, “you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”
Over the years this idea of keeping tabs on our thoughts and not just what we eat or how much exercise we’re getting has been refined. “The body improves under the same regimen which spiritualizes the thought,” wrote 19th century health reformer, Mary Baker Eddy, “and if health is not made manifest under this regimen, this proves that fear is governing the body. This is the law of cause and effect, or like producing like.”
The good news is that by using Apple’s companion HealthKit program, developers will continue to make improvements to this new app, perhaps even adding a function or two that will inspire users, for instance, to be more forgiving and less resentful. Even if we can’t rely on our smartphone to tell us how we’re doing in this regard, having the occasional reminder can’t hurt.
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.