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As a psychiatrist and practicing intuitive, my passion has been to bring spirituality and intuition into mainstream medicine. Then we can choose from the best of both worlds. A palpable connection with a compassionate higher power (whether or not connected with traditional religious beliefs) can help us heal. Intuition is the spiritual language that links us with our hearts, and thus to wellness. My book, Dr. Judith Orloff’s Guide to Intuitive Healing, (Times Books), provides concrete tools for everyone to access their inner voice and truest sense of the spiritual. There is a conscious strategy we can take to be joyous and well. It is essential that we develop positive beliefs about healing in addition to a love for the body, an appreciation of the body’s subtle energy system (Chinese medical practitioners call it “chi”), and also learn to access inner guidance and listen to dreams. With these tools, we can maintain optimal health or better face any health challenges that arise.
Science and spirituality mix. Over two hundred scientific studies have shown that spirituality is good for your health. In 1995 the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center found that a major predictor of survival for heart surgery patients was religious faith. A National Institute on Aging study found that geriatric patients were physically healthier and less depressed when they attended regular spiritual services. Research underscores the necessity of not waiting until illness or pain comes to draw on spirituality as a resource for health and healing.
Is there a center in our brain for spiritual experience? Scientists currently associate our spiritual center with a part of the brain called the limbic system. When this area is electrically stimulated, some patients report visions of angels or devils. And brain tumors, which overexcite the limbic system, can trigger enhanced spiritual awareness. What scientists are willing to conclude is that the brain and spirituality are interrelated; if you develop a belief in something greater than yourself, you’ll have a better chance of staying healthy longer and healing faster if you become ill.
As a physician, I have a continual sense of awe for the relationship between body and spirit. As your heat opens, so does your intuition. Your intuition will teach you how to see and how to love. It will instill in you a renewed faith to face anything.
Adapted from “Guide to Intuitive Healing: Five Steps to Physical, Emotional and Sexual Wellness” by Judith Orloff MD
Judith Orloff, MD is the author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive Healing. More information at www.drjudithorloff.com.