Painkillers and healing
A Christian Science perspective: On the trail of relief from sinusitis.
When might a painkiller no longer be called a painkiller?
Perhaps when it causes pain.
According to guidance from Britainâ€™s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), that happens when a cycle of taking too many tablets results in medication-overuse headaches, which are â€ścompletely preventable.â€ť
Thereâ€™s still the more straightforward type of aching head, of course, with simpler names and diagnoses, such as the recurring headaches I suffered in my late teens and early 20s, diagnosed as sinusitis.
Certainly my doctor did his best to help me. However, the antibiotics I was given didnâ€™t address my symptoms, and left a legacy of side effects, which outlasted the painful problem being prescribed for. According to more recent research into that ailment, thatâ€™s not so surprising. Talking of antibiotics prescribed for sinusitis, it concluded that â€śin most cases the medication does not provide symptom relief for the condition.â€ť
Those similarly trapped in what can seem like an exitless maze of pain, prescription, and a problem persisting, might feel, as I did; there has to be a better way.
The NICE guidance suggests being open to possible alternatives to pills for what it calls â€śheadache management.â€ť It goes as far as recommending acupuncture as a proven preventative approach to dealing with some types of this complaint. An article on the findings of headache-producing painkillers pointed to several â€śpreventative tacticsâ€ť recommended by medical experts. And a recent study found that â€ślying lessâ€ť is linked with better mental and physical well-being, including less frequent headaches.
For those of us with less than a 100 percent track record of integrity, that might be an avenue worth pursuing!
Something else worked for me. I learned I could set aside the medicine and set about trying to understand the divine healing Principle, God, underlying the words and healings of Jesus.
Nothing changed at first.
However, after Iâ€™d spent some weeks of pondering spiritual ideas and praying, something clicked. I suddenly felt the presence of that divine Love which Jesusâ€™ life indicates he knew so intimately. I felt it loving me and loving everyone else in the very diverse London neighborhood I was in at the time. It had no favorites. And it excluded no one. In the presence of such boundless compassion, I felt myself impelled â€“ and empowered â€“ to fear and hate less and to â€ślove my neighborâ€ť more.
The pain didnâ€™t instantly vanish. But it drained away a handful of days later, in a moment of acting on that spirit of love though I initially felt disinclined to do so.
Three decades later, not only have those severe headaches never returned, I have barely had a mild headache since. I had gleaned the therapeutic possibilities of what author-physician Dr. Larry Dossey described in his book â€śReinventing Medicineâ€ť as the â€śnonlocal mind,â€ť which is â€śsuffused with spiritual meaning.â€ť
Since that time, my first choice of medication has been to strive to be more aware of, and express, that unbounded spiritual consciousness â€“ that divine Mind â€“ which spirituality and health pioneer Mary Baker Eddy described as the infinite intelligence behind Jesusâ€™ healing work.
Such an approach to health is no guarantee of a problem-free life. But it comes with spiritual â€śhealth benefits,â€ť with no adverse side effects. Each pain prevented by discerning life more spiritually is not only a physical freedom gained but a tender pointer to the awesome divine heritage we all have.