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The Christian Spirituality and Healthcare (Research Paper Sample)




Christian Spirituality and Healthcare
Christian Spirituality and Healthcare
The impact of Christian spirituality on healthcare has been a heated topic in the recent past and has attracted many scholars' and researchers' attention to examining how the two relate. Spirituality is one of the humans' natural capacities that has positively impacted people's health and well-being. The past and current experiences show that there exists a commonality between healthcare and Christian spirituality. In most instances, it has been heard of sick people requesting to be prayed for. Although spirituality and healthcare have unique and different methodologies, any extent of separating the two could be injurious to humans' well-being. 
Spirituality has been acknowledged as an important aspect of holistic care for patients and a subjective and complex concept that may be applied in disease control and healthcare promotion. Spirituality is central to human beings, thus conceptualized as a higher transcendence or experience to oneself. Most of the reviewed studies indicated a positive effect of spirituality on human health and that spirituality plays a key role in providing healthcare. Spirituality enables sick people to accept their condition and cope with any prevailing health issues. The world health organization recommended the addition of the spiritual dimension of the human being to health definition.
Currently, spirituality is considered a key component for a quality life. Recognizing the need to care for the whole person is on the rise, and all health caregivers should focus their attention on the spiritual dimension of health care. Spirituality has been proved to have a significant impact on humans' physical health, which is a potential factor in protecting and preventing disease, resulting in a healthy population. This study intends to review the impact and the role of spirituality on human health; to examine the relationship between Christian spirituality and healthcare. 
This research paper examines the relationship between healthcare and Christian spirituality. It is difficult to conceive that healthcare, which is medical related and considered pure science, has anything to do with spirituality, especially in a Christian context. Christian spirituality is perceived from the angle of theology and, to some extent, religion. However, the two fields, healthcare, and spirituality are different in almost all aspects that could be thought of. For instance, health care under the medicine field deals with objective and empirical analysis and becomes a mechanistic model. On the other hand, spirituality is a private enterprise that is subjective and highly intuitive. Although making a connection out of the two is problematic because of such differences, research has revealed a relationship between spirituality and healthcare. 
Historical evolution and literature show that there is a significant relationship between the two dimensions of human life. Just as the healthcare givers' main goals are to treat the patient and cure any disease, the spiritual dimension is applied to patients. The desire of any patient is to be healed from their illness, and the question of whether they are healed through spiritual practices or medical practices is not their concern. Patients would do anything that would possibly bring healing. It is argued that medicine is limited to what it knows and can achieve; this implies that medicine and spirituality can be incorporated together to achieve a common goal.
           Most of the time, depending on the severity of the illness, the patient has other forms of discomfort besides physical challenges, including psychological and social challenges that need to be dealt with. The healthcare giver is expected to be sensitive enough to meet all the patient's needs to achieve positive health outcomes. This kind of sensitivity should consider the spiritual needs of the patient. Treating the physical symptoms only denies the patient the healing of other aspects other than their lives; thus, the healing is never complete. In Christian spirituality, the heart is the central place where the soul, body, and spirit connect (Nouwen 2011, 95).
Spirituality emphasizes human principles and indicates that an individual's feelings about the goals and the meaning of life are beyond any material value. It entails several meanings that underlie compatibility, aspiration beliefs, and vision. Spirituality is an important factor and an element of human life that enables human beings to overcome challenges. Spirituality gives health a different definition with respect to human identity. Traditionally, health refers to human biologic identity founded in its principle definition and medical science. In the 20th century, the physical and mental interaction indirect impact on health was discovered. Currently, it is being considered that there is a relationship between healthcare and spirituality. Spirituality is regarded as beneficial to the maintenance of psychological and physical health. All region besides Christianity plays a key role in helping sick people cope with the illness.
Many studies on the relationship between spirituality and healthcare are in progress. A Gallup poll conducted in 1998 in America showed that 60% of people regarded spirituality and religion to be of great importance in their lives while 82% acknowledged their need for spiritual improvement, which confirms their considerable value for spirituality (Gallup & Jones, 2000). According to (Waaijman 2002, 132), explains the body to be a place where the soul chooses to be flesh or spirit. A human being should be, therefore, seen as the embodiment of the soul. The soul, therefore, represents the wholeness of human beings (Louw, 2012,2). Spirituality is the point of attraction between the human spirit and God's spirit; therefore, spirituality is the point of significance and direction in life in a broader sense. Spirituality may therefore be considered as the way of life. All the religious eschatological emphasis demonstrates that it is important for patients to think about what will happen after the end of life.
Definition of terms 
Spirituality is regarded as a factor that contributes to the well-being of human beings. The aspect of spirituality can be traced to all cultures. Christian spirituality is expressed through the people's search for purpose and meaning of life through belief in God. Factors around spirituality influence how patients and health care providers perceive health and illness and how they interact with each other. Spirituality is distinguished from any other thing due to its connection to that which is transcendent and sacred. It is connected to the supernatural and extends beyond organized religion. 
Healthcare refers to the provision of healthcare to the people. Healthcare serves human needs by trying to reduce the suffering caused by illness. The basic purpose of healthcare is to improve the quality of life by enhancing better health. Healthcare promotes good for human beings. 
The link between spirituality and healthcare
           Research shows a relationship between Christian spirituality and healthcare practices because they are concerned with human beings' wholeness. The role of spiritual symbols in healing cannot be overestimated because they point to the power of the reality it represents. For instance, from the biblical context from the story given in numbers 21:6-9, the power of symbols in healing is depicted. The passage describes how the Israelites annoyed God with their murmuring, and as a result, they were punished with serpents that would bite them. When Moses pleaded with God for mercy upon the people, God directed him to make a brass serpent and hang it on a post. The rule was; whoever bitten by other serpents and looked up to the brass serpent with faith was healed and survived. Amazingly, it was only those who looked up to the brass serpent by faith that was healed. It is assumed that the hospital symbol was derived from this story, which demonstrates a deep connection between spirituality and healthcare.
Richardson Corey states that the relationship between healing and faith dates back to early civilizations' healing art. Additionally, history shows that medicine was developed in the context of religion. Literature shows that almost every known culture has practiced some spiritual healing. For example, in early Egyptian and Greek civilization, there is evidence that hands were laid on sick people and were healed, which later became a popular practice among Christians as the Bible directs. During the early Christian era, the clergy members were the physicians, and the church was the first to offer medical care (Richardson, 2015).
World Health Organization has realized the spiritual health as the fourth aspect of spirituality. World Health Organization intends to integrate spirituality into healthcare in the development of core value system. Empirical evidence indicate a direct relationship between Christian spirituality and improved health outcomes. Positive attitudes, beliefs, values and strength acquired through spiritual practices leads to happiness and better health. Spirituality has a positive correlation with low blood pressure, less depression and anxiety, minimal severe medical illness, survival and better quality of life. Researchers have stated that spiritual practices enhance the level of assertiveness and self-confidence which...

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