Voters head to the polls Tuesday to elect our next president in what is being described as one of the most critical races in our nation’s history. And in Framingham, there's no school, which means more parents will be home and hopefully increased voter turnout.
The pre-election numbers show it to be an extremely close race, but one thing is for sure: when the results are in, only one candidate wins and then the challenge is the nation rallying together in unified support for progress.
For many, this election is about the health of our nation’s economy (the number one issue Americans are concerned about) as well as the fate of the current federal legislation on health care.
With such high-stakes issues, a new study out by Psych Central reports that voting day can lead to a rise in the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn can “influence decision-making.” On the flip side, another report claimed that “performing a civic duty like voting is an act of community involvement shown to promote psychological health.” As one voter from a Boston suburb put it: “Voting is a Walt Whitman moment. You hear America singing.”
Again, one of the pivotal issues in this election has been health care. And when it comes to health care, we each have more of a voice – and a choice – than we might realize. It comes down to how we think and exercising our right to make informed and empowered decisions.
More and more health care consumers are beginning to realize this, simply based on the number of people who are seeking alternative and complementary forms of medicine (CAM), as well as the number of patients and physicians who are beginning to challenge a health care system focused on over-diagnosing and over-testing.
Earlier this year, the NBC.com article, “Doctors question 45 common medical tests” reported that “American health care is undergoing far-reaching changes . . . many doctors are questioning how the United States spends far more on medical care than any other economically advanced country and still produces mediocre results overall.”
Statistics like these show how Americans are looking for alternative approaches to their health care beyond traditional bio-medical answers – and they’re willing to pay for it:
- 83 million adults spent $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on CAM
- CAM costs are 11.2% of total out-of-pocket expenditures on health care
There’s a way to address physical reactions, such as stress, so they don’t take a toll. At a time when emotions may run high over the end results of Tuesday’s polls, we can choose to vote “no” on stress, anger, negativity, depression, hopelessness. For many, the method of treatment is a spiritual approach, utilizing prayer to counter stressful events. When we side with health-promoting responses like giving to others, expressing joy, or remaining calm we’re putting our well-being back into our own hands.
Instead of getting embroiled in the politics of power I, too, choose to pray about it. My prayer is focused on seeing good as the only power and the deciding factor in the health of our government bodies, as well as our own bodies.
There’s practical assurance in Bible verses such as this one: “God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect” (2 Samuel 22: 33).
Framingham resident Ingrid Peschke is a Christian Science practitioner who frequently writes about the relationship between spirituality, consciousness and health. You can read more on her website at www.masshealthblog.com.