Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
What about the vintage ads from the 40’s and 50’s, with medical doctors promoting smoking... see for yourself, one of several videos on "What cigarette do you smoke doctor?"

Though we’re influenced by things like adverts, and by the people we admire and love, and people in official positions of authority, do we take the time to really think about our beliefs? We can laugh at vintage ads like these, but such products were mostly quite acceptable at the time. Indeed, if the doctor said it was okay, it was okay! And it was quite common to hear that medical doctors smoked too.

We’ve sought weird and wonderful ways to treat our health issues for ages, and there are many paths and footsteps in the search. Actually, this one caught my fancy (not really!)… In Bhutan people are foraging for an elusive miracle grub, a bizarre mummified-grub-turned-mushroom, who “claim that it’s a super-duper antioxidant, a powerful natural antibiotic, an energy booster, heart-helper, lung improver and sex sustainer.” – from Eric Campbell’s news report on ABC.  Well! What more could you want?

I reckon that one day we’ll laugh, and even be shocked at a lot of what we believe in today. Nonetheless, my heartfelt gratitude goes to all the hard working pros searching for answers.

Never mind the ads, now there are thousands of consumer health apps to help us out. There is genuine concern in scientific circles that some apps could cause more problems than help. According to Rochelle Sharpe’s article on The Health Care Blog, “Are Health Apps the Cure for Anything That Ails You?”, there are apps that claim to cure acne with coloured lights emitted from cell phones. You guessed it – this is opening a new chapter for law makers – said app makers are being taken to court by the Federal Trade Commission.

Regarding quitting smoking apps, Sharpe reports, “Lorien Abroms, a public health professor, concluded that the apps had “serious weaknesses” because they did not link to quit lines or clinics or suggest ways for smokers to get social support from family and friends.”

In my experience, smoking was about confidence. I would have loved a text message every time I got the urge, saying something like, “nothing can control you unless it’s good”, or “saying no gives you spiritual strength to handle all kinds of temptations”. Anyhow, through gentle encouragement, and prayerful support of close friends, I realised that the act of smoking didn’t actually make me who I am. That was many years ago, and I gained something much more than a healthier body… the confidence to be who I am.

So, we can blame the ads and the apps, and other people, but at the end of the day we should take responsibility for our health too. Millions of people are turning to alternative methods of healthcare, including prayer.

Is it conceivable that there’s a whole new science that isn’t being fully tapped into yet? The fact that scientists’ quests are not quenched may be telling. It’s worth contemplating that the path may be a spiritual one, with unique answers for everyone. In the meantime, we can watch what we’re thinking and believing!

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Christian Science Committees on Publication for Australia/New Zealand

Working with the media and legislatures. Joining the global conversation on spirituality in health care. Christian Science has helped thousands of people for over 140 years, and has so much to contribute to the discussion.
Carey Arber
P: 0423 483663


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