The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4107.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Board 6

Abstract #58931

Defining spiritual health as foundational theory in promoting healthy lifestyles

Janet M. Kanter, PhD, MPH, Humanistic Center for Health Promotion and Positive Psychology, 1801 Churchside Lane, Virginia Beach, VA 23454, 757-496-2055,

The context of this discussion and proposed definition of 'spiritual health' lies in sociologic evidence of the deconstruction of our Western medical model and the ethical implication of promoting alternative practices without an established umbrella model under which both holistic modalities and reductionistic methods will be understood. The reductionistic model used in Western medicine has its foundations in the mind body separation theories of Descartes and was furthered by proliferation of empirical validation. In this presentation I will address the common themes found among alternative modalities that suggests a different theoretical framework than that which applies to allopathic medical interventions. I will also offer a definition of 'spiritual health' that is practically applicable to existing models in Public Health and lifestyle modification. This definition of 'spiritual health' is built upon Abraham Maslow's Self-Actualization Theory and Hierarchy of Needs Theory. I have also surveyed the six major world religions for common trends in spiritual instruction as supporting evidence of the universal nature of human needs. In short, I am defining 'spiritual health' as a need driven phenomena that characterizes health as a state of higher need fulfillment than that of poorer states of spiritual health. I am citing seven 'spiritual needs' of community, honor, love, joy, life lessons, life work, and faith that when fulfilled promote higher states of health. I am suggesting that the ideal of 'spiritual health' lies in the fulfillment of human needs as a 'lifestyle management tool'.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Wellness,

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Introduction to and Considerations in Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CAM)

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA