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Mind-body medicine

Mind-Body Connection Part I: Our Thoughts can Affect our Health

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 by: Alexander R. Lees
Tags: mind-body medicine, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Have you ever wondered if there is any scientific evidence supporting the notion of spontaneous remission, faith healing and other described miracles? Until recently there hasn`t been much scientific information to support these claims, but this is not to say that they don`t occur, because they do. There also hasn`t been much information about what we can do to assist in our own healing, until now.

The latest information emerging from the science labs is that we now have the opportunity to play a part in our own healing. According to leading scientists our thoughts can affect our health, both physically and emotionally, and there is data to prove it.

All things follow patterns, or at the very least, contain some. One of the consistent commonalities (patterns) is how much the thinking process of an individual contributes to whatever problem s/he may be experiencing

Dr. Deepak Chopra tells us we process some 60,000 thoughts daily. On one level, this is a good thing. By repeating many of the same thoughts daily, the world remains somewhat predictable, and most of the time is reasonably safe, and therefore knowable.

At the same time, some of those thoughts are about problems:

- How much pain we are in.
- That idiot co-worker.
- That spouse that drinks too much, or controls too much.
- There isn`t enough money.
- A long term desire to lose weight but, "I have it on good authority I inherited the dreaded fat gene, so it really isn`t my fault."

What Dr. Chopra and many others propose is that we shift our awareness a bit, and begin to pay attention to our thoughts. If we were to follow a thought on its journey, that journey would take us first through the brain and then into the body, and then all the way down to the genes themselves. Along the way we would begin to realize that yes, thoughts do in fact influence health, and that is only one effect among many. For example:

- It has long been taught that the immune system is autonomous, therefore unaffected by attitude, emotional state, and consciousness. We now know this is incorrect.
- It has also been a common belief that the genes we inherit are written in stone, so if we happen to be born from a defective gene pool, then that`s just too bad. We will just have to accept that we are stuck with them just the way they are. Also not true.

As some of you know, the concept of mind over matter is not new. History is filled with stories of spontaneous healing, or that someone, somehow, overcame some great physical limitation, and did so in spite of some dire prognosis. It is only in the last few years that science has advanced to the point where we can now chart the pathways of a thought all the way down to the genes within each cell. One of the values to be extracted and utilized from this new knowledge is to add credibility to the concept of mind over matter.

Let`s begin with a thought, and to do so, the question can be posed: Are thoughts real?

To answer this question, we need to age regress all the way back to grade seven or eight, for it was here we were taught all things can be classified as abstract or concrete. The litmus test for deciding was - does the subject of our discussion:

- Occupy space?
- Have weight, or mass?
- Does it have molecular movement?

If whatever we are discussing conforms to all three tenets, then the subject is classified as concrete. If, however, one of these tenets is violated, then the subject of discussion is said to be abstract, that is not physical at all.

A thought breaks all three tenets, so it is definitely an abstract or non physical.

Now, how can nothingness have such diverse effects on the brain, the body, attitude and behaviors, and the world at large? This is exactly what this series of reports is designed to do. They will start by introducing us to how nothingness (that is a thought) acts upon somethingness.

For those trained in the sciences, you will be aware of the backlash of putting forth information, such as an opinion or belief that is not backed up by research. The worlds of medicine, biology, neurophysiology, etc., use microscopes and a vast variety of other forms of tests to prove things. A favorite "written in stone" rule is: "If you can`t see it or measure it, `then it doesn`t exist.`" This of course presents a problem. Namely, how can a thought be measured, and how does non physical thought (nothingness) come to be processed by the brain?

Dr. Candace Pert, a neurophysicist, along with countless colleagues, has been mapping the brain and pathways of something called neuropeptides through the body. After 15 years of research, she and her colleagues could only form one conclusion. The thoughts themselves, although abstract or non material, instantaneously invoke chemical reactions in the brain, called neuropeptides. The neuropeptides then flow to different parts of the body, influencing it on a physical level. Since the brain is an equal opportunity employer, it does not discriminate as to whether the thought is useful or not. It will process a beneficial thought just as easily as one that is not.

One interviewer asked: "What is the interface or junction, where thoughts somehow affect us physically?" Dr. Pert replied, "The emotions. The emotions are the currency of exchange between mind and body."

The interviewer then asked if she believed this to be a fact. "The facts are in the laboratory research. All we do is report them," was the answer. So finally, we are discovering the concrete proof that Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Bernie Siegel and countless others around the world have been trying to tell us for years: Our state of mind influences our state of health. Therefore, doesn`t it make sense in view of these findings to look after our mental well being, as well as the physical?

Some may ask, "How? Does that mean everyone needs a therapist?" The answer is that therapy can take many different forms. For some, leaving a job they despise is enough. For others, getting out of an abusive relationship will do them good. The list is endless. We decide what will work best for us. And we know better than anyone, if we just give our self a chance and listen to our inner wisdom.

To sum up, we now know the body listens in on the thoughts and is influenced by them. The consensus seems to be that if we feel good, then our thinking is fine. If we feel less than good, or we are still procrastinating instead of realizing our goals, then we may want to consider checking in and listening to our thoughts.

In the next report in the series on the Mind-Body Connection, we will follow a thought from the world of nothingness into the world of somethingness. We will also take a look at how they affect us, and then explore some techniques, or ways, of influencing our thoughts and our emotions themselves.

Remember... everything begins with a thought. And, there are many ways to change your mind, and enjoy the benefits of doing so.

References:

Deepak Chopra, MD - The Chopra Center - http://www.chopra.com
Candace Pert, PhD - Molecules of Emotion - http://candacepert.com
Bernie Siegel, MD - Love, Medicine and Miracles - http://berniesiegelmd.com


About the author

Alexander R. Lees, DCH, RCC has been in private practice for 22 years, as a counsellor and therapist. He is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, with a Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. As well, Dr. Lees is a Certified International Trainer of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and an expert in meridian tapping techniques (including EFT). Dr. Lees presents international seminars and workshops on a variety of topics related to the mind/body connection, EFT and NLP. Also, he is the author of Pathways Through Your Mindfield, EFT - What is it and how does it work? and co-author of Freedom At Your Fingertips. Please visit http://www.DrAlexLees.com where you will find information about NLP, EFT, the mind/body connection, as well as MP3s (including a free download) and lots of other good stuff. To read his personal story, which also lead him to becoming a psychotherapist, please have a look at http://www.dralexlees.com/about01.html Dr. Lees lives in beautiful White Rock, BC, Canada, with his wife Berit and their dog Ty.

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