Debra Chew: Who Or What Is The “Authority” For Health Today?

Monday, July 14, 2014 - by Debra Chew

“Oh, my aching body” was the prevailing theme at the table of a recent event I attended.  The chatter included details of operations, diseases, and drugs; and almost everyone professed to have a bionic body due to knee or hip replacement surgeries. Along with discussing the ins and outs of the ailments themselves, my friends referenced various sources – physicians, medical journals, online medical information sites – as authorities they turn to for help.

This got me thinking about who or what is an authority when it comes to our health? And, what am I responsible for?

What if, instead of all these authoritative health resources, there was just one consistent and proven place my friends could turn to?  Would that be helpful to them?  After all I heard that day, I have to say: “yes!”  My friends seemed to have it all figured out, though it was also clear that they often ran into conflicting advice about their health.  And, that was my experience as well for many years of my youth and young adulthood.  So, when I found myself feeling unsure about what to do about my health and unclear about conflicting recommendations, I decided I needed to do something differently. Since I had long turned to God to direct many aspects of my life, it seemed natural at this point to do so with my health.

In-depth study of the Bible and a textbook on healing through prayer by 19th century spirituality and health pioneer Mary Baker Eddy, led me to clarify in my own thinking that God was the only authority on my health. That made sense because he created us in his image - and did you ever hear of God having a health problem?  The healing ideas I came to understand from these two books helped me overcome a number of health problems over the last 22 years. For example, I had migraine headaches as a teen and young adult. They were healed shortly after I changed who and what I saw as authority over my health even though my physician back then told me this would follow me the rest of my life.

You might be thinking that turning to God as my health authority seems like a radical thought for today, right?  Not necessarily…. 

More and more research shows people are experiencing improved health outcomes when they tend to their spirituality.  To some, this tending means just taking a more natural approach.  To others, it means adopting a practice of meditation. And, to many like me, it means gaining a better understanding of God and of ourselves as his loved children.  For years now I’ve seen that the more spiritually healthy I am, the more physically healthy I am.

Isn’t it time to take responsibility for your own health?  Maybe it’s time to try God as your own natural health authority...for when you connect with the Divine, you may find that health isn’t as complex as you have read or been told….it’s natural. 


Debra Chew is a self-syndicated columnist and writes about the connection between thought, spirituality and health.  She has been published in the, Memphis Commercial Appeal, The Jackson Sun, and in the UK.  She is a Christian Science Practitioner and also the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science for TN.  You can contact her at

Tennessee Supreme Court Rules All Claims For Providing Health Care Services Fall Under Health Care Liability Act

The Tennessee Supreme Court has determined that the Tennessee Health Care Liability Act (the Act) applies to all claims relating to the delivery of health care services by covered health care providers. As a result, the Supreme Court dismissed the claims of Nashville-area parents against a licensed clinical social worker because the couple failed to give pre-suit notice or provide ... (click for more)

CHI Memorial Executive Receives Diversity Champion Award

Howard Roddy, vice president, advocacy and health community, CHI Memorial, was presented the Diversity Champion Award by the Tennessee Hospital Association. The Diversity Champion Award recognizes people whose contributions include workplace diversity and inclusion, and who demonstrate a commitment to a diverse workforce.  Mr. Roddy was honored for more than 30 years of ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed To Death On Hooker Road; Man Injured

A young woman was stabbed to death on Hooker Road early Friday morning and a man was injured. At approximately 1:54 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a stabbing at the 4000 block of Hooker Road. There police located an unidentified black female, believed to be in her twenties, deceased. A second person, an unidentified black male, was transported to a local hospital ... (click for more)

World Class Guitar Collection To Go On Display At The Choo Choo

A world class guitar collection is set to go on display permanently at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. "Songbirds," which is built around the collection of Lookout Mountain businessman Thorpe McKenzie, was introduced to the public on Thursday night. Invited guests at the Choo Choo heard Nashville guitar star Doyle Dykes perform in the Choo Choo's new Revelry Room. He played some ... (click for more)

Regulations As A Whole On Signal Mountain

A few years ago I was flying over Chattanooga on my way to Atlanta.  The sun had just come up and I enjoyed picking out Signal Mountain’s location, on Walden’s Ridge, in the morning light.  What was amazing was that I could not tell that a town existed under the tree canopy.  I hope that the same can be said 10, 20, or even 50 years from now.  During last ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffel bag full of automatic-attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)