Scott Brady and Spirituality
Dr. Scott Brady is the founder and Director of the Brady Institute for Health at Florida Hospital in Celebration, Florida. He has practiced Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care Medicine throughout Central Florida for over fifteen years and is board certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Brady is the Administrator and Senior Medical Director of Florida Hospital's sixteen Central Care urgent care clinics. His book, Pain Free for Life, offers a 6-week recovery program and includes information on the connection between chronic illnesses and spirituality.
“Spiritual health refers to a connectedness and trust in God that involves confession, forgiveness, and belief-and results in hope, peace, comfort, meaning, and a release from guilt, fear, and pressure.”
- Dr. Scott Brady
Spirituality is a major part of a lot of peoples lives. Research has shown that spirituality can have a positive affect on a person's overall health. A Duke University study found that people who attended a religious ceremony once a week consistently had lower blood pressure than those who attended religious ceremonies less often. Dr. Brady suggests that by developing a deep spirituality one can overcome stressful situations more easily, and lower TMS related pain. A spiritually healthy person develops a buffer between stressful situations and their emotions that can be a great asset in achieving a pain-free life. Dr. Brady also found examples of mindfulness practiced throughout the Bible, which helped people overcome pain. An example of this is found in Psalm 38 (NRSV) by King Solomon which states:
My iniquities have gone over my head; they weigh like a burden too heavy for me...my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin...O my God, do not be far from me; make haste to help me.Dr. Brady uses this as an example to show how biblical figures practiced a Spritually healthy lifestyle, and used mindfulness. In the example King Solomon states that he is in pain, but also describes his emotions. He felt pain and sought to discern what his emotional state was at the time. This is a major part of almost all TMS treatment plans. Brady shows how prayer and meditation, along with a healthy spirituality, can help in the treatment of TMS.
Dr. Brady investigated the connection between spirituality and chronic illness. He divided spirituality into to two main categories.
- Intrinsic Spirituality: According to Dr. Brady people who are intrinsically spiritual are more likely to have their spiritual convictions influence their daily decision making, attitudes, and actions. This form of spirituality is extremely personal and is usually accompanied by deep meditation, prayer, and results in a person "understanding the meaning of life in terms of his or her relationship to God." It acts a a buffer for life's stresses and circumstances that keep people from producing strong negative emotions and pain. People in this group have hope, love not condemnation, inner peace, comfort, a connection with God, and find meaning in life.
- Extrinsic Spirituality: These people tend to focus on the outward behavior of belief, including affiliation with a religious organization, strictly adhering rituals or attendance. Dr. Brady suggests that extrinsic spirituality does not influence the daily actions or decisions of people and it does not alter their worldview. Dr. Brady has also found that this kind of spirituality often leads to spiritual distress and stressful pressures. It is characterized by guilt instead of forgiveness and pretending instead of honesty. Individuals in this group have a difficult time finding meaning, hope, love, peace, comfort, strength, or connection in every day life.
The following example will provide insight in the differences between these two categories. Person A and B both get laid off from their job. They are worried about what to do next. The following is how each would respond to the situation.
- Person A (Spiritually Distressed). This person would tell themselves "the pressure is on me. I must do something to fix this situation. Everything good in my life is that way because I have worked for it. I must have the perfect life." This person has the emotional response of anger, shock and fear. The person is angry and fearful because they are not longer in control and their is uncertainty in their future. Negative emotions increase in this person and the likely hood they will experience pain also increases.
- Person B (Spiritually Healthy). This person would tell themselves "God is in control of my life and I am not alone. Things may not go exactly as I have planned, but God is helps me through everything. He really loves and cares for me." While this person may still have some fear and anger it is not as intense as the Spiritually Distressed person. This person is comforted and gains strength through their spirituality. They find peace and diminish anxiety through prayer and mediation. Their negative emotions decrease and the likely hood they will experience pain also decreases.
Many people are interested in discerning what their Spiritual Health Inventory is. A format was created by Drs. Anandarajah and Hight in 2001 for an article in American Family Physician that has created the HOPE format as a way to investigate a person's spiritual health. The four category approach is as follows:
- H: Ask about sources of Hope, strength, comfort, meaning, peace, love, and connection
- O: Ask about the role of Organized religion for the patient.
- P: Ask about the effects of a patient's spirituality and practices
- E: Ask about the effects of a patient's spirituality and beliefs on medial care and end-of-life issues.
Dr. Brady has expanded upon this four category approach and developed a comprehensive inventory that a person can use that provides insights into a person's spirituality. Due to copyright infringement the wiki is not allowed to post the inventory, however if you are interested in taking it or learning more about Dr. Brady's approach look into his book, Pain Free for Life.