CREUS is based on the axiom that God created us and everything we need for optimum health. When we don’t have access to the things he created for us – positive relationships, activity, healthy food, fresh air, etc – our health declines. Based on similar observations made many years ago, a Harvard-educated doctor named William Thomas designed a program called Eden Alternative to improve health for the elderly . The premise of Dr. Thomas’ program is that the health of elders in assisted-living situations depends on positive social interaction, varied activity, and purpose-filled living. According to Dr. Thomas, the three things elders suffer from the most are loneliness, helplessness, and boredom. To combat these problems elders are given opportunities to care for and interact with plants and animals on a regular basis. They’re also frequently visited by children. The principles of the Eden Alternative have had wonderful results: In one care facility, the percentage of elders that received psychotropic drugs dropped from 47% to 2%!
In our increasingly technological, sedentary, and individualistic society many of us face the same barriers to good health as elders in retirement homes. According to a 2005 study, 10% of Americans take antidepressants. If 10% are taking prescribed medication, how many more are suffering from depression without any treatment? Something is wrong with this picture. While our society places many demands on us, it’s important to remember that taking care of ourselves is a divinely sanctioned priority. We were made in the image of God. If you’re a follower of Christ, you’re also a temple of the Holy Spirit. In order to bless and love others it’s essential that we have good mental and spiritual health. So, if you feel depressed and lethargic or if you know someone that suffers from depression, get outside together, eat healthier food, and encourage each other in your life purpose. Sharpen the axe first and the tree will fall more easily.
Originally posted 2011-08-30 04:35:00.