Vancouver to hold a public forum in November that looks at the connection between spirituality and health
PHOTO: © Glowimages

Does spirituality have a part to play in our health? That is the subject of a recent conference in Vancouver.  Dr. Lyren Chiu knows from experience that it does. As President of the Canadian Research Institute of Spirituality and Healing (CRISH), she is inviting members of the public to join with health care professionals, spiritual care givers and the Institute, for a day of workshops and discussion that aims to provide a diverse, interdisciplinary, multi-faith forum for sharing views and experiences on this topic.

The purpose of this event, which is being held at Langara College on Monday, November 3, is to translate the day’s discussion into a plan and platform for an international conference in Vancouver in 2015.

CRISH is a non-profit, professional charity organization devoted to promoting multidisciplinary research and education in spirituality, culture, healing, and health care. CRISH is dedicated to creating a new vision of care that is integrative and compassionate.

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Dr.Lyren Chiu

Dr. Chiu comes with considerable experience in the matters of spirituality and health. She is involved in many community services that bridge Western and Chinese Medicines. She is previous president and founding director of the Federation of Traditional Chinese Medicine Colleges of Canada.

“Spirituality is part of our essence,” notes Dr. Chiu. “It can comfort and heal us. It is everywhere. Medical science focuses solely on empirical knowledge; but in reality there is another knowing. We can appreciate a different knowing that helps us to understand ourselves better. This world is oppressed – so we suffer, just get medicine. We forget there is another way. Spirituality can heal. When we address this issue, it means we can find our balance again and get our own power back.”

Researchers and physicians working with the spiritual aspects of health come from a wide variety of eastern and western theological backgrounds.

In the Christian tradition, spirituality as practiced and taught by Jesus, certainly did – and still does – both comfort and heal. In my own healing practice, I have seen how individuals have found a way to health through prayer.

Throughout the event on November 3, the speakers will share interdisciplinary and interfaith expertise from a broad pool of health and spiritual care providers (e.g., medicine, nursing, social work, spiritual health, psychology and health educators). In a series of breakout sessions, participants will be encouraged to share their ideas and experience.

Two key topics that will be explored are:

  • How the current health system addresses spiritual health;
  • The ethical, research and practical challenges facing integration of spirituality into our healthcare system.

The speakers will include an impressive group from diverse backgrounds. Dr. William Tiller will be the keynote speaker. Other speakers include Dr. Soma Ganesan of UBC; Dr. Steven Aung from the University of Alberta in Edmonton; Dr. Anne Bruce of the University of Victoria; Dr. Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham from Trinity Western University; Dr. Philip Crowell from the Children’s and Women’s Health Centre in Vancouver; Doug Longstaffe from Vancouver General Hospital; and Philip Weaver from Providence Health Care.

They hope that the audience, will be many of you, who will come and add your voices to the discussion.

You can find more information HERE

This article was published in the Vancouver Sun HERE