The mind body connection is real. It is strong. And it should be taken very seriously.
So what have we learned, and how can it be applied to your life?
Stress and Your Health
A google search for the connection between stress and poor health reveals many articles highlighting the horror of the effects of high stress. According to EMBO Reports, an article called Mind Body Research Moves Toward The Mainstream, they found that employees who work low-level jobs, have high stress and very little autonomy, have more than twice the risk of developing metabolic syndrome than those with more high-level jobs. Metabolic syndrome is a precursor of heart disease and diabetes— (Chandola et al, 2006) Not only that, but they died prematurely compared to coworkers in more high-level positions.
We have understood that emotions affect physical health for years, and are now starting to understand the Gut and Brain Connection. Even with these acknowledgements, medicine in our day and age has continued to treat the body and the mind as two separate entities. In the past 30 years though, research into the link between our health and emotions, our social and economic status, behaviour, and individual personalities has moved both research and treatment from the fringes of science into mainstream society.
Stress Reduction and Therapeutic Intervention
In the 1980’s, a study found that women with metastatic breast cancer who had participated in a supportive-expressive group therapy were better able to control their symptoms, had a better quality of life, and amazingly not only was their quality of life better, and pain manageable, but they also live significantly longer. (Spiegel et al, 1989). The mind body connection was very real.
What did they find in terms of depression? One recent study, for example, found that CBT could help to reduce viral load in men that are HIV-positive, and treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy. The researchers attributed the improvement to changes in depressed mood (Antoni et al, 2006). Depression itself is under study for possible links to a range of inflammatory diseases; several studies show it to be an emerging risk factor for heart disease. (Sundquist et al, 2005; Nemeroff et al, 1998).
The Reaction To The Mind Body Connection
The research is in, and it supports the significance of the mind body connection. However, it is noted that much more research about the efficiency of the mind-body therapies needs to be done. The number of dedicated institutions is a growing list including: NCCAM, The Cousins Center For Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA, Harvards Osher Institute, and Stanford’s Psychosocial Treatment Laboratory. All of these are a testament to a growing body of evidence-based research and studies. A
Hopefully this will help mind–body medicine to escape its negative association with alternative medicine.
Our Experience With The Mind Body Connection
We believe that the mind-body connection is a really big deal. Not only does this topic apply to me personally, but I live it every single day. I have decided to focus on improving my mind body connection by consuming only the things needed to fuel my body for any given activity. Eating for a purpose, eating to live and not living to eat.
I know that everything I do will manifest within my body. You can read my personal story about my struggles HERE. Good or bad, I cannot fake that all is good in the world when my body is reflecting something else. All I can do about it is to bring my life into alignment. I need to either change what is causing my stress, or accept life for how it is. It is what it is.
What is your experience with the mind-body connection? We would love to hear from you. Either leave a comment or Contact Us!