Viewing Health from a Wellness Default by guest bloggist M.J.Johnston

Have you bought a new smart phone recently?  Did you notice how user-friendly these devices are?  I daresay most people can purchase a new device off the shelf (or on-line), take it out of the box and have it up and running in minutes.  This isn’t magic.   It’s a result of excellent programming.

Programmers have put a lot of thought into making the start-up process easy, especially for those of us who don’t consider ourselves technically adept.   For this to seem easy, manufacturers and programmers pay close attention to, “setting the right defaults”.  The default settings provide a fail-safe starting point and intuitive steps with a goal to minimize human intervention while reducing errors.  Proper default settings can enable novice smart-phone users to feel , well, ‘smart’, which explains why already one-third of the (55) and over crowd are current smart-phone users.

I also see default settings being recalibrated in the health care arena.  Rite Aid offers a “wellness plus” card in lieu of a “prescription” card.   Health care providers encourage “wellness” checks, rather than a “physical”.   At my son’s college, the “WellnessCenter” serves the purpose of the formerly called “infirmary”.  In these cases, the ‘default’, or natural state, is “well” and “healthy”.  It’s a trend among those working in health care right now – shifting from a sickness-based to a health-based view.

I believe it reflects a shift from a view that individuals are helpless victims of whatever sickness or disease seems to befall them to an awareness that how we view ourselves, including our spiritual well-being, is key to ensuring good health .   For myself, I look to my spiritual understanding and relationship with God for health and healing.  It’s a common approach for Christian Scientists, but certainly not unique to any one denomination.  As early as 2007, over 100 medical schools had courses on spirituality and health the majority of which were required.   Continuing in 2012, Harvard Medical School’s course titled, “Spirituality and Healing in Medicine” underscores the importance that physicians, patients and metaphysicians place on the effectiveness of spirituality and prayer in patient’s health and healing.

A recent statement in an article I was reading put it this way: “Being content and full of Love is the natural, or default, state of man.”   What a wonderful concept!  Being content, being full of Love isn’t something we just desire or hope for – it IS our God-programmed, fail-safe, default state.  Genesis 1:31 states, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”

We all have a choice in what defaults we see in ourselves.  What would the world be like if we all accepted that we are all hard-wired for good and there’s no reprogramming option?  The shift from a sickness view to a health view would be complete not only in medicine but throughout society!

Mary Jane (“M.J.”) Johnston is a former executive with a Fortune 10 company and is now in the full-time study and practice of Christian Science. She and her husband live with their (2) sons and “Grandma J.” in Lutherville, MD.  M.J. enjoys outdoor activities and plays the bagpipes with a local band.