The Body & The Brain
Spiritual guides, mindfulness texts, and hippies have all made mention of the centuries-old phrase, “the mind and body work together.”
This phrase anchors itself among some of the oldest religious groups, in medicine fields (especially the ancient field of Ayurvedic medicine) and in general spiritual teachings.
If you’ll take this phrase to heart, you’ll understand the implications behind it. Something destructive to the mind will, in turn, attempt or become a catalyst to damaging or even destroying the body. For example – a mind plagued by violent, chemically imbalanced destruction can lead to suicide.
The opposite is also true. An unhealthy body will damage the mind. Improper maintenance of the body likely indicates improper maintenance of the mind – it needs to be kept in good condition as well. The body needs exercise, and so does the mind – though not always in the same way.
Is There Any Evidence Of This?
There’s not just a lot of evidence to support this – though mind-body research has become infinitely more popular recently. More significantly, a branch of medicinal services known as psychosomatic medicine works on illnesses that develop as a result of a non-physical triggers.
These can include environmental triggers, such as a stressful family life or workplace. Psychological factors, like anxiety and paranoia, can also hinder the body’s function.
An Everyday Psychosomatic Illness
Take a look at something as common as social anxiety. Social anxiety is extremely common, but many don’t realize the importance of it as proof of the mind-body connection.
Say you’re sent up to do your first speech in high school. The mind worries needlessly about possible failures or humiliations. Your heart rate rises. You might begin to sweat.
What do these feelings have to do with standing in front of a crowd? Nothing. The body can’t discern between the causes of your anxiety – all it knows is that you’re anxious. Anxiety and fear activate the body’s fight-or-flight response, and these are changes caused by the subsequent release of adrenaline.
Other Common Psychosomatic Illnesses
Anxiety is probably the most prevalent psychosomatic illness, but it’s certainly not the only one.
High blood pressure can be attributed to high levels of stress. Stress itself is a mental state, but the resulting muscle tension and blood pressure spikes certainly aren’t. Furthermore, stress can cause ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract.
The terrible symptoms of withdrawal from addictive substances can be amplified by worry. In fact, symptoms for any disease can be aggravated by hypochondria – a syndrome characterized by excessive worry about developing disease symptoms. Hypochondria has its own list of physical symptoms.
Mind-body Connections Can Heal You
Hypnosis is a form of psychosomatic manipulation that allows a person to create extreme physical reactions through the use of only their mind.
Hypnosis was initially introduced to the medical field for its use in helping people recover from psychosomatic illness. Nearly a century of psychological research eventually led to psychiatrists and doctors attempting to dismantle psychosomatic illnesses by communicating with the subconscious mind.
Science Supports The Mind-body Connection
In recent years, quantum physics has made incredible breakthroughs. It has gone from being an obscure branch of science to a word uttered often between the lips of the curious and hopeful.
Of particular interest, one thing that quantum physics suggests is that consciousness is the fundament of the universe. This has incredible implications on the relationship between the mind and the body.
Of course, this idea blows Newtonian physics out of the water and drops it on its head. However, things continue to point in this direction. This would mean that the mind is not built up of bits of matter, as we’ve believed for so long. This would mean that consciousness creates the bits of matter which build up our universe.
The Role of The Observer
This was first proven in the famous double-slit experiment in which photons were fired through an optical system. The study was to evaluate the wave-function collapse – the current theory, which shows that unobserved ‘matter’ exists as ‘probability functions’ when not under direct observation.
This means that anything – including our bodies and brains – that isn’t being observed simultaneously exists in every possible waveform and also, paradoxically, in none.
The double-slit experiment revealed that the particles being fired remained indeterminate until they were observed. The researchers were creating reality at will.
The Mind & Body – Entangled on a Quantum Level?
This would mean not only that our mind and body are connected, but that they’re absolutely inseparable. Our mind is our body, and our body is our mind – and this is no longer spiritual hoo-hah.
For the first time in history, spiritual gurus and scientists have reached a mutual conclusion. All sorts of studies are beginning to prove relations between our thoughts, our intentions, our emotions, and the way that we shape the world around us by simply existing.
From here on, I think we would fare well to make sure that our bodies and minds get along with each other to the best of our ability, don’t you?