The Mind-Body Connection
Here’s a quick experiment to show how closely your mind and body are linked.
First, get a pencil. Sit down, close your eyes, and take a deep breath, noting your emotional state. Now, put your teeth together, and hold the end of the pencil between your lips, making your mouth turn down into a frown. After about 30 seconds in that position, close your eyes again, take another deep breath, and note your emotional state. You might feel a little more ‘down’ this time. But don’t worry, we’re not done.
Now, hold the end of the pencil between your teeth, forcing your mouth into a smile. Stay in that position another 30 seconds, then close your eyes, take that deep breath, and check in with your emotions. Bet you feel a bit happier now, right?
You can put the pencil down.
What just happened was your body assumed the traditional muscle patterns for ‘sadness’ and ‘happiness,’ and sent a message to your brain. Immediately, you probably began to feel even a slight inclination towards the emotion your body was suggesting. Recent scientific research is proving that the body and mind are essentially intertwined on a molecular level, and treating one will have a profound impact on the other. That means the same way that your body just influenced your emotions, how you’re feeling emotionally will be reflected in your physical self. When you’re anxious or stressed, your body could translate those feelings into a headache, queasy stomach, or even chronic illness.
Back in the 19th century, Charles Darwin was one of the first scientists to suggest a possible link between our body and our emotions.
It took another century and several decades before the concept was medically proven by visionary neuroimmunologist Candace Pert. Her research showed a biochemical link between the body and the mind, with our emotions serving as a link between the two. She discovered that our mental state will be reflected in our bodies, and the body and the mind should actually be viewed as a single “mind-body” unit.
These groundbreaking findings spurred the creation of a new branch of science called “Psycho-Neuro-Immunology,” or PNI. PNI connects neuroscience, immunology and endocrinology into a single interdependent communication network. Facilitating communication among the three facets are molecules called (neuro) peptides.
In Dr. Pert’s pioneering book, Molecules of Emotion, The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine, she states, “The chemicals that are running our body and our brain are the same chemicals that are involved in emotion. And that says to me that we’d better pay more attention to emotions with respect to health.”
“In the end I find I can’t separate brain from body. Consciousness isn’t just in the head. Nor is it a question of the power of the mind over the body…because they’re flip sides of the same thing. Mind doesn’t dominate body, it becomes body.”
You can find Dr. Pert’s book in the Optimum Health Store at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas.
Learn more about bringing your mind-body into a healthy balance when you cleanse your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit at OHI. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.