Many years ago my wife was in a car accident. Later a minister showed us that her legs were different lengths. When he started praying I kept my eyes on Lynette - and to my amazement the shorter leg became longer than the other, then settled down. It seems the accident had twisted her pelvis slightly, and after this the pressure it added was relieved. I expect secular readers to come up with alternatives - but for us the simplest explanation fits.

Healing has become a more than interesting area with issues face by my wife and I, as well as friends. We know some people believe it's purely a physical thing. Others say it's also mental, and still others say it's also spiritual.

I don't think the physical aspect is too much of a problem - although there are people who say homoeopathy for example works despite the lack of evidence for it. There are also old wives and other cultural tales about many supposed "cures" - some with some truth in and some without. Even leeches have made a come back.

One conclusion I've come is that medical specialists are in fact often more focussed (blinkered?) than generalists. They're very good at what they do (and I'm deeply appreciative of their skills) - but their frame of reference can miss the bigger picture. I'm still to confirm this, but it seems that my blood pressure, high enough to play a major part in my stroke, is now causing problems the other way. It seems the specialist and the GP, knowing I had high blood pressure problems, are not factoring in that my wife (kidney donor) has often had low blood pressure and therefore that her kidney may be causing issues in me.

Mental health is similar - but has an added problem. We can't see much of the body but that's because it's hidden - we at least know about it though x-rays, scans, etc. The mind is a different issue. We all have different ways of thinking anyway, so how we know we have mental and social health issues can be tricky for an individual. Fortunately we have learned a lot in recent year's and I'm sure we will learn more in the future.

As with physical health, there are things that are good for our minds, and things not so good. We've learned some things on alzheimers and other forms of dementia and it seems regular exercise of the mind is just as important as regular physical exercise.

Then there's spiritual health. Again there's much confusion about the word spiritual - but as a Christian the spirit is the third (some would say the first) part of a human. It lives outside the physical world - yet is affected by the mind and body and can affect them. Sadly most of us pay little real attention to the spirit.

Some years ago a Canadian doctor addressed us for two days - on depression. It was very enlightening and encouraging. He said healing depression often involves three people. As a doctor, his job is to find which drugs full the gaps in our chemistry. Of course in NZ it's more difficult because Pharmac only funds a few of them. Then there are counsellors. Often people suffering depression find life too much to handle and easily lose perspective and become involved in less than helpful activities. And the third group is deliverance ministers. Sadly some people suffering depression are more easily led astray by the forces of darkness, and need help to free themselves. While that relates to depression, the three fold approach is more comprehensive in restoring wholeness.

I for one didn't see a doctor for years. Since my stroke we've become good friends. (For those who don't know me, that's my warped sense of humour at work again - I see a lot more of medical people than in the past.) But doctor's can't solve everything.

Learn to know your body - there's an incredible amount going on - and you're in the driver's seat.