You may have heard of the Mind Body Connection, this unique turn of phrase used to describe some mystical or fad wellness existence that has us scratching our heads and wondering what, how, when and who? We have asked Andrea Lane, an accredited Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapy practitioner and author who specialises in transforming lives for emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. Who better than give us the run down on what on earth this jargon is and does it really help?
So what is it and is there science behind it? How can it benefit you on a daily basis and how on EARTH do we obtain it?
The Mind and how it impacts the body
Our thoughts and feelings play an important part in influencing our physical health. Thoughts impacting health is not just a theory thought up over turmeric lattes and mandala classes. It is science. How so? Well, when we have a particular thought or feeling it affects our nervous system by using neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are a naturally occurring group of compounds in our body which act as neurotransmitters or messengers as a simpler term. They carry messages back and forth between the mind and the body. They are involved in a wide range of brain functions, including analgesia, reward, food intake, metabolism, reproduction, social behaviors, learning and memory. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuropeptide)
Neuropeptides are constantly changing their configuration that reflect the changes in our emotional state. (Anastasia Christidou) Therefore when our emotional and mental state is out of balance, these neuropeptides may create physical symptoms that appear in the body.
The interesting thing is that when each thought is associated with a particular emotion, and if that emotion builds prevalence it will build up more of these neuropeptides. Imagine it gets stronger each time it is triggered. A meta-analysis of about a hundred smaller studies confirms that when this emotion build up is experienced long term there arises the risk of a whole range of diseases. Some of these can include heart disease, headaches, asthma, arthritis, skin disorders, etc. When that emotion is triggered, a peptide is released within the physical body.
Our physical body can be changed by the emotions we experience as our organs, tissues, skin, muscle and endocrine glands all have peptide receptors on them and can access and store emotional information. An amazing point of reference is Human Givens by Joe Griffin, Ivan Tyrell where unexpressed emotions are examined and with evidence to show that they are literally lodged in the body.
Therapies that encompass the Mind Body Connection
Therapies such as Visual Emotional Repatterning – The Bilateral 5 Eye Movement Process, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Tapping, EMDR, Brainspotting access the part of the brain and body where the emotions are created and stored that assists in discharging and the releasing of them.
Negatives if we ignore the Link:
In recent times our perception of the body has changed from what appears to be a vehicle for the mind to live in, to a process that is in constant flow of neuro information and energy. The fifty trillion cells in the body are constantly communicating with each other as they carry out countless of functions to keep you alive. Studies have also shown that nothing holds more power over the body than the mind. Expanding our self-awareness is to harness the unlimited power of the mind. When our self-awareness is narrowed such as when one is feeling stuck in trauma, anxiety, or depression it creates a stress state, the information flow throughout the mind and body is impacted.
Being stuck in toxic emotions can create a negative feedback cycle between the mind and body. As a result to cope we often take on non- nurturing habits such as over eating, poor food choices, denying ourselves exercise, drinking, nail biting, gambling, drug use, to help us cope which in turns creates more internalized pressure and stress.
Becoming aware, the path to happiness and wellness
As Deepak Chopra states if we expand our awareness of ourselves and the world with more compassion and understanding our energy is free to flow which creates more energy, vitality, being open to new possibilities and a new reality. I believe this translates locally within our own body, then those around us, then so on, expanding to the greater community. Being conscious of our mind and our body helps to establish a firm and evolving connection- and ultimately wellness and happiness. Meditation, yoga and mindfulness practices are well-known tools that allows for the expansion of this conscious awareness.
Ultimately if you deal with the emotion or feeling and the thoughts will change naturally.
If you would like to find out more about your Body Mind Connection you can contact Andrea here.
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