Spirituality could be good for your health

Spirituality is good for your health, according to the Spiritual Companions Trust, which is launching a new, nationwide spiritual health programme at the Findhorn Foundation this week.

The new Your Spiritual Health Programme is said to offer a simple, accessible way for anyone to enjoy spiritual health and will officially launch with a free taster session at the Findhorn Foundation near Forres on Wednesday, 3 April at 7.30pm.

The launch event will be led by Judith Bone, a spiritual health coach accredited by the Spiritual Companions Trust, and is one of more than 60 free taster sessions taking place across the UK in the lead up to World Health Day on Sunday, 7 April.

“At this launch event, I’ll be giving participants a free copy of the programme and supporting them to discover their best way to connect to what I call ‘the wonder and energy of life’,” says Judith, who also works as a learning facilitator at the Findhorn Foundation.

“The many ways to connect in today’s world can include anything from meditation, yoga and prayer to music, dancing and walking – whatever works best for the individual.

“I will then lead participants through a simple meditation exercise to help them deepen this connection on a daily basis and explain the science behind the health benefits.”

Dr William Bloom

Dr William Bloom, director of the Spiritual Companions Trust, who teaches theDiploma in Practical Spirituality & Wellness course at Findhorn College (the UK’s first fully-accredited qualification on the Ofqual Register), says: “A wealth of scientific evidence demonstrates that spirituality improves your physical, emotional and psychological health.

“This is because spirituality can reduce stress and anxiety, and can bring your body and mind into a state of healthy balance. There is a wealth of rigorous academic evidence that spirituality can help people sustain their wellbeing and recover more easily from illness.

“Recognising the jewels at the heart of all the world’s faiths and welcoming diversity, Your Spiritual Health Programme is the first accessible programme to make explicit how spiritual health works and how to achieve it.

“And unlike many self-help approaches, which can be overly self-focused and narcissistic, we also place a strong emphasis on care and service to others.”

Until more recently, the benefits of spirituality have remained hard to quantify, but the new Your Spiritual Health Programmepoints to a rigorous evidence base of over 3000 peer-reviewed scholarly research papers from around the world detailing the positive benefits for physical and mental health.

Many of these can be found under the research umbrella of the Duke University Centre for Spirituality, Theology and Health in the United States. There is also growing evidence for the health benefits of kindness, as well as mindfulness and meditation.

Your Spiritual Health Programme reports that spirituality improves health in a number of ways. Good for the endocrine system, the gut and the heart, spiritual practice can also calm the brain, soothe the nervous system, boost the immune system and reduce the risk of illness. Spirituality also brings psychological benefits, such as increased confidence and happiness and a greater sense of connection to others and your wider community. 

Professor David Peters MD, Clinical Director at the Centre for Resilience, Westminster University, has expressed his support for Your Spiritual Health Programme: “Grounded in reliable physiology and psychology, the new programme is relevant to all those involved in health care.”

The Findhorn free taster event for Your Spiritual Health Programme is open to the general public and will take place on Wednesday, 3 April, 7.30pm-8.30pm, at The Community Centre (upper room), The Park, Findhorn Foundation, near Forres, Scotland, IV36 3TZ.

To find out more, contact John Abdey on 01309 678020 or email john.abdey@findhorn.org

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Lynda Hamilton Parker is a Scottish PR expert and independent publisher

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