If natural disasters like hurricanes Harvey and Irma are sadly inevitable, is it possible to alleviate the human suffering that results? Uday Jani, MD, says the answer is a resounding yes, but it largely depends on an individual's spiritual strength. A proponent of holistic care, Jani has long encouraged patients to embrace a spiritual lifestyle that corresponds to their individual beliefs to provide a strong foundation even in the most dire circumstances.
"Crisis and pain occur in everyone's lives, but how you deal with it makes all the difference between thriving and merely surviving, and between wellness and illness," said Jani. "People who consciously set out to build their spiritual strength are able to dig deep within their souls and realize that while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional."
Jani will give free lectures about how to begin a spiritual journey, and its impact on health and joy of living from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Milton Public Library and from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 20, at Lewes Public Library.
The tenets of integrative and functional medicine - encompassing emotional, social and spiritual issues - are pivotal when equipping patients to deal with crises, whether natural or man-made, he said.
Spirituality can be a powerful source of strength when dealing with chronic illness, suffering and loss. "Many families find their religious beliefs and practices can help them fight feelings of helplessness, restore meaning and order to life situations, and promote regaining a sense of control," said Jani.
Unfortunately, spirituality, which used to play a crucial role in healthcare, has been neglected in favor of a more technological focus, according to Jani. "While this has led to phenomenal, life-prolonging advances, it's also elevated the measurable and physical aspects of a person over those harder to measure, such as mind and soul, the part of ourselves that is transcendent,” said Jani.
"Human spirituality is not necessarily religious, but can be found both in organized traditions and on a uniquely personal basis. The essential component is connection, whether it's to a higher power or to others in your community. Spirituality can improve the ability to cope with life's challenges and provide a sense of meaning. The benefits to immune, hormonal, cardiovascular and nervous systems are significant."
It takes some work and literal soul searching to begin an individual spiritual journey, because achieving spiritual growth is not a passive exercise. "It requires an active posture, and a willingness to accept that your journey must be your own ... what works for you may not work for your partner or your best friend, and vice versa," said Jani.
Jani, a board-certified internist specializing in functional and integrative medicine, provides a blend of alternative and traditional care at his private practice, Shore View Personal Care. He completed training at The Institute for Functional Medicine in Minneapolis, Minn., and earned an Integrative Medicine fellowship at the University of Arizona, recognized as the leading integrative medical education program in the world. Jani's personalized care/concierge medicine practice is at 28312 Lewes-Georgetown Highway in Milton. For more information, call 302-684-0990 or go to www.udayjanimd.com.