Would you like to demystify science and take back control of your own health?
Lets take a look at how the dualism of body and mind first came about, explore the effect of emotions on our physical health and discover simple ways to bring our mind, body and spirit back into alignment so that we can move through life with more ease, joy and well-being!
When did the body and mind become separated?
In the 1600’s Rene Descartes – philosopher and founding father of modern medicine, made an agreement with the then Pope to separate the soul, mind and emotions from the physical body. This deal between science and the church made over 400 years ago has set the tone and direction for the unbalanced views of western science, health, wellbeing and spirituality, that we still have today.
A major paradigm shift is required in how we see health and disease. We need a more holistic approach and technology is now helping us understand how the ‘molecules of emotion’ are inseparable from our physiology and that there is an undeniable link between mind and body.
Conscious interventions, like meditation, massage and other alternative therapies, introduce a new element to the equation and can play an active and valuable role in the healing process. There are many ways that we can enter into the body’s internal conversations, consciously intervening in its biochemical reactions.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure”
Lets talk a little about the biology…
Peptides are tiny proteins (the materials of life) that distribute information throughout the body. They weave the body’s organs and systems into a single web that reacts to both internal and external stimuli. Blood flow is closely regulated by emotional peptides and this is easily demonstrated by noticing how people can turn ‘white as a sheet’ when shocked and ‘beet red’ when angry or embarrassed. If emotions are blocked the blood flow can become chronically constricted throughout the body, depriving the frontal cortex, as well as other organs, of vital nourishment. This effects the way we think and behave, making it more likely for us to feel foggy, confused, fatigued, stuck in old patterns, outdated responses and unhealthy behaviours. Blood flow is an important aspect of prioritising and distributing the finite resources within the body.
One of the simplest ways to remember how it all works is this “the cell is the engine, the receptor is the button on the control panel and the peptide is the finger that pushes that button to get things started”. It is speculated that healers can heal because they are able to influence this flow of energy, triggering receptors and assisting in this conversation between the body and mind. Alternative and complimentary therapies work by shifting our natural balance of internal chemicals around so that we can feel as good as possible.
Hypnosis, breath work, art therapy, chiropractic treatments, massage and other forms of therapeutic touch are all examples of techniques that can help effect change at a level beneath consciousness. Complementary therapies enrich our lives, so we can live them more fully and joyfully!
In order for the brain to not become overwhelmed by the sheer deluge of sensory input that we experience every day, we must have a filtering system that enables the bodymind to pay attention to what it deems most important. Our emotions play a huge part in deciding what is worth paying attention to! The health of our emotions also determines the quality and quantity of receptors at nodal points throughout the body. This quality can be affected by many things, from the experiences you had yesterday, or as a child, or even what you ate for breakfast this morning. What we perceive as real is filtered and this is usually happening on a subconscious level.
Emotions are widespread across the human and animal kingdoms; they are important from an evolutionary point of view and invaluable to our ongoing survival as a species. They are a perception and also a bodily response, felt as sensations causing organic changes in the body, both muscular and visceral. Every change of the mind, or our emotional state, is also accompanied by an appropriate change in the body and vice versa. Emotional expression is always tied to a specific flow of peptides within the body. Therefore the chronic suppression of emotions results in a massive disturbance of the psychosomatic network.
It is important that we realise that all emotions are healthy because they are what unite the body and mind and help us make decisions that support our evolution. Repressing them confuses our body’s systems, affecting their ability to operate as a unified whole. This creates stress and blockages, impeding sufficient flow of peptide signals, which in turn affect optimal cellular functions.
The body is the gateway to the mind and there are now a whole lot of studies that show the benefits of touch. Because the body represents the unconscious mind, repressed trauma caused by overwhelming emotions can be stored in a body part, affecting our ability to feel it, or even move it.
Would you like to know more? Part 2 is here….