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    The Importance of Spiritual Care in the 21st Century

    The Importance of Spiritual Care in the 21st Century

    The Importance of Spiritual Care in the 21st Century

    Learn more about SCL Health's Spiritual Care Services

    If you were given a choice between sitting on a two-legged stool or one with three legs, which would you choose? For the young and the “young-at-heart'', the novelty of balancing on a stool with only two legs might hold some appeal - until our balance, stamina or muscle strength gave out, leaving us vulnerable to falling. Most of us would choose a three-legged option for its safety, support and comfort.

    Optimal health and wellness are like a three-legged stool. Most of us don’t pay attention to our health or wellbeing until something happens and we feel “off-balance”, or “not quite right” or “uh, oh, something’s wrong”. At SCL Health, we believe that every person is a beautiful integration of body, mind and spirit. That perfect blend is what makes us uniquely human. Our holistic care approach embraces the physical (body), psychological (mind) and spiritual (spirit) dimensions of your health and wellness. But being “healthy” means paying attention to all three aspects of our human nature. Working together they form your unique identity, they support your whole health and wellbeing, and they contribute to who you are meant to be!.  

    Although inherent to our nature, defining what we mean by spirit or spirituality is never easy because it is unique to every person. In simple terms, our spirit is the innermost part of our being. It is the source of our identity. Spirituality is a belief or worldview that recognizes that there is more to life than what we can experience through our senses, there is more to the universe than mechanics and theory, there is more to our consciousness than electrical impulses in the brain, and more to our existence than our body and its basic needs.

    The most important thing to know is that spirituality and religious activity have been a source of healing, comfort and relief for multitudes of people for thousands of years.  While spirituality is expressed in many different ways, medical research links the integration and practice of spirituality with:

    • Better health outcomes
    • Decreased postoperative pain and improved chronic pain management
    • Improved postoperative outcomes and shortened recovery times
    • Preventative and improved health for patients with hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer
    • Enhanced feelings of positivity, hopefulness and improved psychological well being
    • Resiliency and superior ability to handle stress or cope with life challenges and difficulties

    Although it might feel awkward talking to your physician or your healthcare professional about your spiritual health, don’t be embarrassed or nervous to share your beliefs and preferences with your care partner. Your spiritual health is as important to how you feel and how well you heal as your physical and mental health. It is not unusual for patients, family members and caregivers to feel physical pain or discomfort that comes from spiritual dis-ease or dis-connection. With good information, your physician or healthcare professional will be better able to care for you, support you and create a holistic and integrative health care plan that includes your spirituality and beliefs.

    For more specialized spiritual care needs, SCL Health offers the services of professional, culturally competent and inclusive spiritual health practitioners or “chaplains” who provide comprehensive and personalized spiritual care support, in-person and on-call. Our spiritual health practitioners and board certified spiritual care “chaplains” have completed specialized clinical education and training to support the diverse spiritual health and wellness needs of patients, family members and caregivers.

    Take control of all aspects of your health - including physical, mental and spiritual health to ensure a more comprehensive and YOU-centered plan for care. Don’t find yourself struggling to balance on a two-legged stool when it comes to your health and wellbeing. Remember, your spiritual health is health!