Monday, March 16, 2009

Mind Body Connection

What we think about directly affects our bodies.

A bold and new idea such as this would have earned you the label of "quack" thirty or forty years ago; yet today we accept this notion as common knowledge, or at least I thought so.

A dear friend of mine is about to return (after a long medical leave) to a job that she abhors. Every cell in her body screams to not go back; yet logic, the economy, and her husband encourage her to ignore the body's pleas and to return to a situation that goes against everything that feels right in her heart. Not surprisingly she has dealt with countless major health issues, including cancer, and metal issues. In interest of her privacy, I won't include the long list, but let's suffice it to say that the issues are not minor and I am concerned for her well-being and at times for her very life.

This woman is talented, intelligent, funny, kind, educated, generous, and a hard worker. She has much to offer the world including her true passion of spiritual growth and awareness. However re-entering into this particular job is draining her of the few reserves she has left; how could a husband demand she go back? If he loves her, then why would he risk her well-being?

Simple: He doesn't believe that the stress and unhappiness have anything to do with all of the diseases she has experienced in the last couple of years.

Let's see what Mayo Clinic has to say:
"Mind-body techniques strengthen the communication between your mind and your body. Complementary and alternative medicine practitioners say these two systems must be in harmony for you to stay healthy. Examples of mind-body connection techniques include:
Meditation, Yoga , Biofeedback, Prayer, Hypnosis, and Relaxation and art therapies, such as poetry, music and dance."

Neurobiologist, David Felten, at the University of Rochester comments:
"[Science has] provided irrefutable data showing [that our minds and bodies are connected.]"

Rita Effros, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and a member of the Jonsson Cancer Center, Molecular Biology Institute and UCLA AIDS Institute, describes the relationship between stress and the immune system:
"When the body is under stress, it boosts production of cortisol to support a 'fight or flight' response. If the hormone remains elevated in the bloodstream for long periods of time, though, it wears down the immune system."

So the question is can we feel good, or at least okay, with our lives? Do you enjoy your job, or at least not feel repulsed by it? Are you're relationships overall loving and nurturing? How do you view life--as welcoming and wonderful or frightening and tragic?

Is there a connection with how you view the world and live your life with your health? It takes raw honesty to admit that we might be our cause of illness, but evidence is strong enough to at least consider that maybe--just maybe--we all have the power to shift our attitude, thoughts, and/or surroundings to live a healthier and more meaningful life.

Additional sources of information may be found at:
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/ART02741
http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2008/03.13/03-harrington.html
http://psychcentral.com/news/2008/07/02/genetic-study-supports-mindbody-connection/2540.html

Love Much,

Kris
www.TotalHealthYoga.com

Today is the first day of the rest of your life!

3 comments:

Darcy said...

Kris - this is SUCH a great post. Are you psychic or something, knowing just what I need to read every week?!! :-D I miss you and will email you soon with dates for possible private sessions. Hope you're doing well!! :)

Joi said...

I hope this lady finds the strength to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, I'm not risking my quality (or length) of life one day longer. She should begin looking for another job immediately - one that she would look forward to going to each day.

It could be that her husband truly doesn't understand. He may actually think it's something she'll "get over" or "work through."

Your friend is definitely putting herself at risk. My heart goes out to her - and to you, for that matter, because you must feel pretty helpless.

Great post - I'm certain you've helped plenty of people with this post, and perhaps even saved a life.

yaninayoga said...

I realy enjoyed this article about the mind body connection.
It has been an intricate part of my everyday lifestyle for over 20 years - to watch the signs in my body and the thought patterns linked to them. Often I have found that its the unconscious thoughts that impact most on body symptoms. Yet, with the 'right tools' it is possible to access these thought patterns, release the energy/emotions attached to them, and replace them with Positive Thought Processes to bring about healing.