A panel of speakers discussed different approaches to optimal health during a program sponsored by the Interfaith Coalition of Washington County at Hagerstown Church of the Brethren on East Washington Street on Wednesday night.
One of the three speakers was Chris Holland, pastor at the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Robinwood Drive, who spoke about the benefits of plant-based diets.
Holland said people who follow vegetarian diets are less likely to suffer from health complications such as heart disease and stroke. Holland related about how Genesis in the Bible talks about nuts, seeds and fruit being provided to man and that “science is just now catching up” to the diets that are recommended in the Bible.
Holland also talked about the benefits of faith and said there has been numerous studies that prove faith makes a difference in the level of health and healing in people.
In opening the 7 p.m. discussion, the Rev. David Baker, director of spiritual care at Meritus Medical Center, said people who follow traditions of the Seventh-day Adventist faith live about 10 years longer than some other people.
“We want to hear about that,” Baker said to about 25 people.
Holland said Seventh-day Adventists believe good health is important to one’s physical and spiritual well-being. That’s why the church sponsors cooking schools, Holland said.
Shamsa Kara Houck, who runs Sufi Acupuncture and Healing at 28 S. Potomac St., agreed that diet plays an important part in good health.
Houck said the Quran states that the stomach should be made up of one-third food, one-third water and one-third air.
That’s often flies in the face of lifestyles in this country, Houck said.
“We’re just about consumption,” said Houck, adding that restaurants help fuel the problem by offering deals on cheap meals with larger portions.
Also speaking was Simone Heurich, who practices yoga and teaches part time at Hagerstown Community College. Heurich practices Ayurveda and Ayurvedic healing, which includes herbs, nutrition and yoga, according to the Ayurvedic Institute website.