It’s been the inspiration of songs, movies, poems, paintings, creations and inventions…this thing called LOVE. But what about health? Can love inspire health?
While attending the Adrenal Summit last week I learnt from Functional Medicine Doctor, Daniel Kalish MD, that a common theme, amongst the not so common patients who were able to avoid adrenal burnout, was that they were all in a healthy, loving, caring, intimate marriage. Those patients that enjoyed a real spiritual and emotional connection with their partners were almost immune to adrenal burnout!
This is so fascinating! And this theme – the strong corelation between loving relationships and our physical, mental and emotional health – has popped up in all the health and nutrition summits that I’ve attended this year.
Most of my blog posts have been about food and the nourishment that food provides us. Food no doubt forms the foundation of our physical self and strength, but it is love that nourishes us on an even deeper level.
One of the things that I love about being an Integrative Health Coach is that I get to talk to my clients about all the other wonderful parts of life that nourish us –the relationships in our life, community, a fulfilling career, spirituality, living with meaning and purpose and engaging in enjoyable physical activity.
Dr Dean Ornish is probably most famous for the Dr Ornish Program, which was the first scientifically proven program for reversing heart disease without drugs and surgery. Although one of the four aspects of the program is love and support, Dr Ornish is more often referred to as an expert on food and nutrition, than on love. But, in his book ‘Love and Survival’ he notes ‘the most powerful intervention is the healing power of love and intimacy, and the emotional and spiritual transformation that often result from these.’ His book proves this point with detailed descriptions on the scientific evidence that prove this point.
Another inspirational physician who writes beautifully about how more love in your life promotes healing is Dr Bernie Siegal. In relation to health and romantic love he writes;
‘There is evidence from respected studies that show longer, healthier lives resulting from good marriages. The keyword, of course, is good. Does that mean perfect—no. People can only strive to be better communicators, able to engage in a loving, respectful give-and-take with a spouse, listening and most importantly, not putting conditions on your love for one another.’ (www.berniesiegel.com. )
I couldn’t have said it better myself! And so, my goal in writing today’s post was to remind us that health extends further than our food choices, that a life without love is hardly a life at all. I encourage you to nourish the love that you have in your life – whether it’s your spouse, your family, friends or community. Don’t wait until tomorrow to show your love. One day without love and laughter is one day too many!