Many people don’t realize that their health and effectiveness in the world is directly related to their mind. Typically it’s called the mind-body connection and we treat illness with mind-body health solutions like Mindfulness stress reduction and cognitive awareness to manage emotions.
I’ve been a healer for years and today I had a conversation with my sister who is very sick about stress causing her illness. She argued her emphysema was from smoking, liver disease was hereditary and her other problems were from an auto-immune problem.
In one sense this is true but on a deeper level, all illness comes from the body’s inability to fight off toxins and infections. Once the cells get tired, they can’t tell the difference from nutrients and free-radical toxins. The immune system breaks down and cancer cells found in every single body grow. My chilled out grandfather smoked a pack of Pall-Mall filterless and never lung disease.
The Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine’s at Mass General bases its work on the inseparable connection between the mind and the body – the complicated interactions that take place among thoughts, the body, and the outside world. More than 35 years of scientific research and favorable patient results have proven the positive impact on health and well-being of the relaxation response and mind/body medicine.
The Relaxation Response
Stressful thoughts stimulate the hypothalamus and a whole cascade of stress hormones cause the stress response of fight, flight or freeze. Activating other areas of the brain result in stress reduction. The opposite state of stress is the “relaxation response.”
We can activate the prefrontal cortex through Mindfulness Meditation similar to and Mindful Awareness Practices.
Mind-body treatments include:
• Activating the relaxation response through stress reduction using Mindfulness – paying attention with intention
• Positive coping strategies using cognitive awareness, awareness of our thoughts and changing our thoughts.
• Physical activity can help clear negative emotions, brain for and improve attention. ADHD expert John Ratey uses exercise to help treat kids successfully. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can clear the meridians of congested emotions.
• Nutrition – Food controls mood. There are many foods that inhibit or contribute to intelligence, functionality and memory.
• Social support – Research shows that social support can be the most effective method to reduce stress and actually increase longevity.
At the Institute, they offer a variety of mind body medical programs for infertility, cardiac wellness, cancer, and a range of illnesses that have a stress component, such as pain, IBS, depression and anxiety, asthma, and weight loss. People who are healthy but stressed can take advantage of programs for weight loss and calmer parenting as well as personal training and yoga classes.
For information on Health Counseling and how to use Mindfulness to improve your life call me at (718) 513-9845.
Mindfulness meditation is not just an excellent way to reduce stress, it can actually change your brain. It is not about religion or sitting in a contorted position. It is the simple act of practicing paying attention with intention but it has amazing benefits that have been scientifically proven. Extensive scientific research at UCLA with Tibetan monks show that practicing mindful awareness regularly will help you:
- Reduce Fear
- Get You Off Auto-Pilot and More in Control
- Help You Deal with Intense Emotions
- Improve Intuition
- Unleash Creativity
- Improve Immune Function
- Develop Empathy for Yourself and Others
For Mindfulness Coaching see Urban Mindfulness. I also offer private coaching.