Skip to content
Home » The Community as Healers

The Community as Healers

I attended the Unity Church on Sunday, January 24th and got to hear the great talent of Anthony Burbidge and his band as well as hear the always inspiring and authentic Dr. Badri Rickhi (Dr. Bud) speak.  His talk was called “The Community as Healers.”

Dr. Bud’s sense of humour combined with his wisdom and humbleness make him such a joy to hear.  His credentials are as long as my arm but if you want more details, please visit:  or

I captured some highlights that stood out for me from his talk:

He shared a study done in 2007 by the American Psychiatry Association which found the following:

  • 70% of people accepted stress as a fact of life
  • 1/3 of those studied reported extreme stress
  • 49% stated that it effected their well-being, 46% indicated it affected their physical health, 50% said it made them get angry and 51% stated that it caused fatigue

Another study that was done with caregivers clearly showed that stress slows wound healing.  It actually took caregivers who were healing 24% longer to recover than non-caregivers.  This so dovetails into the recent blog post I did on Dr. Gabor Mate from Vancouver and his findings on caregivers and stress: This point really hits home for me as I am helping to care for an aging parent.

For people:

  • who get angry, their risk of a MI (Myocardial Infarction aka Heart Attack), increases by 230%! Not 23 %….230%!
  • who suffer anxiety, their incidence of sudden cardiac death increases 5 fold.
  • 75% who have become depressed after having had an MI  die within 6 months.

It has been acknowledged that when we are stressed, 29% of our DNA “light’s up” and it goes to work on destroying our immune system.  Stress produces chemicals that make us more vulnerable to illness.  Highly stressed people were found to have arthritis, cancer, and were not exercising. Stress also was found to cause pneumonia, heart attacks and diabetes.  It is an inflammatory response.  Loneliness and isolation also increase our susceptibility to sickness.

My take: Stress is what is making us ill, yet instead of us focusing on this root cause, we are putting a “band aid” on the solution and prescribing medications to make us “better”.  If we started to treat our body the way we treated our cars, I think that we would be healthier!  When the warning light comes on in our car indicating that we are low in oil, do we put tape over it so that we can’t see the light anymore or do we fill up the oil reserve so that the car can keep running smoothly?  What are we doing to fill up our own reserves to keep us from running out of “oil”?

Our relationships with our parents have a huge impact on our health as this study from Harvard that was done over 35 years so clearly shows.

  • If your relationship with your mother was strained, you would have a 91% increase in health issues
  • If your relationship with your father was strained, you would have an 82% increase in health issues
  • If your relationship with BOTH parents was strained, you would have a 100% increase in the incidence of significant health issues

Connection and community is very important.  As identified in this study done in Roseto, PA they found that prior to 1970, they had significantly lower rates in heart attacks as compared to other areas.  They found that prior to 1970, this location had a:

  • Prevalence of 3 generation households
  • High degree of religious and traditional values

What is interesting to note, is that after the 1970’s, this location had an increase in the incidence of heart attacks and it was attributed to the break up of the multi generational family.

Spirituality in Medicine

  • 96% of family physicians believe that spiritual well being is a positive factor in health

So my questions are:

  • Why are we not gifting ourselves with the time to make spirituality and our health a number one priority?
  • Why are a majority of physicians not acknowledging the spirituality connection when over 96% agree that it has a positive impact?
  • Why do we not live in multi-generational communities that support one another?

I find it incredibly interesting that Dr. Bud has been ridiculed for his research on the impacts of stress as well as the power of meditation and breathing for decreasing our stress symptoms.  There is a saying that goes as follows, when something new is introduced:

  • First, it will be laughed at
  • Second, it will be vehemently opposed
  • And finally, it will be accepted as the obvious truth.

Here is to the final step and accepting this very obvious truth for how each of us can be healthy and happier.

For more information on CINIM (Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine, which Dr. Bud is a part of,  please visit :

Sending sunshine your way,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *