Give Your Spiritual Self a Workout

By Jill Cueni-Cohen

It sometimes seems like we’re just running the human race, going from place to place in order to fulfill our daily requirements of taking care of our families and making a living.  When we’re sick, we take medicine and soldier on; and when we’re tired, we don’t sleep; there’s just too much to get done.

But are we really living?  Are we activating that amazing spirit that dwells within the center of each one of us and makes us so uniquely human?  If we’re constantly putting others’ needs before our own, then maybe it’s time to get fit, spiritually speaking.

According to Pittsburgh psychologist Nancy Mramor, Ph.D., putting your spirituality first in your life and letting it drive you, mind, body and spirit, will help you reconnect to that part of you where your abundant health comes from.  “You might, for example, get a great deal of health benefits from running, but if you also added quiet prayer, meditation, or yoga, you might experience something quite different,” says Dr. Mramor.

Holistic practitioners such as doctors, chiropractors, psychologists and herbalists believe that when negative emotions are stored in the body, they block the body’s energy system from flowing freely and can actually cause illness.  When this happens the energy of your spirit gets blocked, an, and the body does not get the energy it needs to stay well.  “If you open up the spiritual energy system in your body, you’re connected to your source; and you’re not living from a materialistic point of view, you’re living from a spiritual point of view.”

Getting in tune with your spiritual side doesn’t mean eschewing medical advice, says Dr. Mramor, who once suffered from a form of leukemia.  “I have every respect for traditional medicine, but when you listen to your inner guidance and your mind, and you’re able to heal yourself on an emotional level, the body will follow suit.  When you and your doctor are partners in the healing process, you’ll have the most complete health care.”

Educated at Duquesne University and Saybrook Institute in San Francisco, she believes that the combination of medical treatments and her own “spiritual fitness” allowed her to beat the disease and make a full recovery.  The Pittsburgh based speaker and psychologist wrote a book on the subject entitled, “Spiritual Fitness” and practices Spiritual Fitness Coaching along with holistic therapy.

Dr. Mramor says that it’s crucial to pay attention to your body and pick up on subtle clues that can snowball into bigger problems.  Breathing techniques and redirecting your thoughts towards the positive can help the body avoid the stressors that cause illness.

“Holistic health, a combination of natural and traditional medicine, has always been a part of medical treatment in nearly every other culture in the world,” she points out.  “When you combine the two, it’s not about healing from the outside in, it’s healing from the in side out.”

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