Friday, March 27, 2015

Dr. Jim Roach's book about near-death experiences, God's House Calls, is being published tomorrow

By Kacie Kelly
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Dr. Jim Roach (Photo by Kacie Kelly)
On a typical Friday, Dr. Jim Roach is seeing patients at the Midway Center for Integrative Medicine. But today, he is in Southern California doing radio interviews to promote a book being published tomorrow about his patients’ near-death experiences.

God’s House Calls: Finding God Through My Patients stands at No. 2 on Amazon book pre-sales and is being pushed by Roach and his promotion team to become No. 1.

Roach said in an interview that he wants his book to spread the words of these occurrences and even change medicine: “I feel like this could be the tipping point towards that transformation to recognizing the reality of these spiritual experiences.”

The book reflects not only on patients’ experiences, but on Roach’s integrative approach to medicine. Integrative medicine is a practice not common among doctors. It uses natural methods of healing while utilizing modern medical technology and advances.

Roach became interested in integrative medicine when he was about 50 years old. “I wanted to see how well and long I could live,” he said. After attending conferences about integrative medicine and its benefits, he began incorporating spirituality into his practice.

“Spirituality is a big part of my practice now,” he observed. “We are finding that incorporating spirituality is impacting patient health.”

For the last 15 years Roach has been pulling patients off of prescription drugs and incorporating more natural medicine, such as botanicals. Roach says botanicals can combat pain, allergies, digestive problems and more without the negative consequences of modern pharmaceuticals.

Roach began being fascinated with near-death experiences when a patient told him a story of her “blissful” encounter with death: “She told me she didn’t fear death after that.” Roach replied, “What do you mean you don’t fear death? Everyone is scared of death.”

He said the episode posed a question for him: What about these experiences makes people no longer fear death? For two years, he collected the stories found in God’s House Calls.

Examining near-death experiences has become a part of Roach’s practice and he says they are, “the gateway to understanding it all.” Roach said that “If someone reads this book with an open mind … I think you can’t read this book and not be convinced of the reality of God.”

One story from the book asks, “Could death be pleasant?” and is about Roach's own near-death experience. He was swallowing supplements when he accidentally swallowed the plastic preservative. Roach choked for minutes and felt “a peaceful feeling settle in.” He laid down and gravity saved his life when it made the preservative pass through.

The stories don’t always involve the patient coming close to dying. Sometimes it is about someone being intuitive. One story is about a woman named Karen who had a daughter named Amanda, who was suffering from spousal abuse and committed suicide. Two weeks before the incident, Roach writes, “Karen heard God’s voice telling her, ‘Amanda isn’t going to be with you for long.’”

The book is filled with very different experiences with death or near-death experiences. Some patients have a first-hand encounter with it, and some sense “spiritual entities.”

Roach says in his introduction, “Their lives were substantially impacted by these events, always in a positive way.”

Roach and his wife, Dee Dee, said they continue to grow spiritually as they learn of patient experiences. “It has been eye opening,” she said.

Roach said, “When writing this book, there was temptation to whitewash its contents, to conform to a particular spiritual belief system. That would have made it more tidy and acceptable to a traditional audience. But I do not accept that as my calling.”

Roach said he likes to take a personal approach to his practice. “I realized how important relationships are in the healing process,” he said after he saw one patient’s health dramatically decline at the beginning of his career. The patient was seen by a nurse every day, and Roach watched the patient begin to heal. The nurse had some time off work and from then on the patient’s health decline dramatically.

Roach said he finds that building strong relationships with his patients improves his ability to treat them. In doing this he is able to find the best method and course of action to improve their overall health. “My greatest need is to serve the needs of others,” he said.

Roach said he has come to the conclusion that “The way we live our life matters.” He said, “Maybe if we are making the world a better place, we shouldn’t have to fear death and dying.” He said he lives by this motto and will donate all profits from the book to charities including Habitat for Humanity, the Academy for Integrative Health and Medicine, Midway Christian Church, and Midway College (soon to be Midway University). In churches where this book is sold, buyers will have $4 of their purchase donated back to the church.

Roach said he will continue to push and promote his book until his “face turns blue.” The books kick-off party will be held at the Holly Hill Inn Tuesday, March 31, from 5 to 7 p.m. Roach and his wife will be there along with people featured in the book. He said those who know him are invited.

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