Whatever happened to spiritual health?

I begin by worshipping the gods, and try to conduct myself in such a way that in answer to my prayers I may have health and physical strength, esteem in the city, the affection of my friends, safety with honour in war, and wealth increased by honest means – Ischomachus, in the Oikonomikos, 11.8

In the modern western world, when we are faced with health problems that we can’t explain, we simply say it is undiagnosed. If it relates to emotions, or we cannot observe any physical symptoms, we call it mental illness.

However, in the ancient and medieval world, there was a spiritual dimension to health. In many parts of the world, there still is. Yoga, for instance, is not just about stretching, but for many has a spiritual goal.  And the word hygiene comes from Hygieia, who, according to the Open University, was health personified, worshipped in the 4th century BC. Continue reading “Whatever happened to spiritual health?”

New hope in fight against a deadly brain cancer

Former Presidential candidate John McCain was recently diagnosed with a glioblastoma.

Glioblastoma is a brain cancer with a very low survival rate.  According to the American brain tumor association, of ten people who have glioblastomas, only one is likely to survive five years.

Through manipulation of enzymes, Glioblastoma cancer cells stop the immune system from responding. But this manipulation helps them stand out from normal cells, and may provide the key to targeting cancer cells.

Researchers from Alabama and China teamed up to research this phenomena after the failure of a previous study.  This time, tests on mice and cultures suggest that a drug called CMP3a could target cancer cells without affecting normal brain cells.  They hope to perform clinical trials in “a year or two.”

While Glioblastoma is relatively rare, the same technique could be used to fight more common cancers that carry similar enzymes.

Is healthcare Britain’s biggest worry?

If you follow the media, you’ll see that health care has become a political issue.  In the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and elsewhere, candidates lay down their plans for medicine.

As much as ten percent of political speeches are devoted to health funding, and to health infrastructure, whether it be “Obamacare” or the NHS.  But does the electorate care? Continue reading “Is healthcare Britain’s biggest worry?”