The Wonders of the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

Like many people, I’ve witnessed some amazing events or been given incredible anecdotes suggesting a mind-body-spirit connection. What exactly is going on here?

I have seen somebody carry a 250-pound man on his back while he walked bare foot over a pathway laden with shards of broken glass. His feet were totally unscathed after the event.

When I was at university, my tutor studied psychosomatic affects on asthmatics. One day, one of his subjects was told of her father’s unexpected sudden death. Five minutes after hearing the bad news, she died of a massive asthma attack.

Some of the most extraordinary phenomenon I’ve ever come across was that from studies conducted on multiple personality disorder (MPD) patients. These are individuals who had gone through traumatic and painful experiences (usually from child abuse). They had considered the experiences to be too painful to bear. So in order to cope with the situations, they somehow chose to switch off from being their normal selves and take on a different personality to deal with things: What makes this unique is that one personality may have no memory of the existence of the other personality.

As life goes by for an MPD, an increasing number of these amnesically compartmentalized personalities can develop. Each personality with its unique trait develops usually to deal with the different traumatic and painful situations.

-Some of the things that have happened with these individuals are extraordinary. It could be said that their minds can affect their behaviour to such an extent that it defies the very nature of reality.

For examples, from studies, one MPD patient has been known to produce all the symptoms of type-2 diabetes. Then, when switching to another personality, become normal in blood glucose regulation.

Another MPD was known to have one personality that was belligerent in character, always making trouble and alcoholically intoxicated. However, he could quickly switch to a mild-mannered personality and become totally sober, completely unaffected by the drink.

Some MPD patients have been known to change eye colour during their different personalities…

It could be said that the mind-body-spirit connection has been shown from studies using the placebo effect: One group of subjects, not knowing that there was no medicine involved, only a sugar pill they had each taken, were then told that they would be made well. The outcome produced a significant number of subjects who got well. This contrasted with the other group who were actually told that the pill was only a sugar tablet: This group did not produce any significant results.

Why did the first group produce a significant number of well individuals, when both groups with the same ailment took exactly the same thing, an ineffective sugar pill? The subjects that got well from the first group demonstrated the power of the faith they had in this situation Yet another example of the mind-body-spirit connection.

Indeed, the mind-body-spirit connection covers a wide range of subjects. Whether it’s related to the bio-psychological model which entails thoughts, emotions, behaviours and social factors that affect health, or the more far-reaching such as out-of-body or near-death experiences, it clearly shows that there is a whole lot more to the nature of reality than what we currently understand and we would do well to learn more from.

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How Can I Start Using the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection to Heal Myself?

The health damaging effects of stress have been well documented. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, gastro-intestinal problems, and auto-immune disease are only some of the diseases that are closely linked to increased stress. Our immune system is especially susceptible to negative emotions. Deepak Chopra says in his book, Quantum Healing, “Our immune system is continuously eaves-dropping on our thoughts and feelings. Studies have corroborated this notion: major depressive disorders are associated with increases in infectious disease risk as well as the incidence of inflammatory disorders. Declines of natural killer (NK) cell activity are reliably found in depression, whereas other studies report evidence of inflammation in depressed patients. Other studies showed that emotional stress correlated with impaired DNA repair mechanisms in cells that were subjected to radiation. Another trial suggested that anxiety, anger, and negative attitudes are a 30 times stronger risk factor for cancer thank smoking.

These and other studies show is that inner balance is one of the most important keys to healing. This means that you want to make sure that what you see, hear, smell, taste, feel, and think are supporting your healing. Start with choosing a team of doctors and health care practitioners that are in alignment with your intention to completely heal. It is still a mystery to me why most hospitals look so sterile and impersonal. Even Motel 6 is able to create a more inviting and friendly atmosphere. Although you may not be able to be too picky about the looks of the facility, you need to choose your healing team wisely.

Many times I have been told stories of doctors, who were bombarding their patients with discouraging and strongly limiting messages. “You will always have to live with the pain,” “there is nothing anyone can do,” etc. Being a physician myself, I know that there is a positive intention behind these rather negative and disempowering messages-whether it is the idea to “be realistic” or “not encourage false hope,” or simply to prepare the patient for the “inevitable”. However, doctors rarely consider the destructive and deflating effects on the patient’s psyche that outweigh any possible positive outcome. In our society, a physician is such an authority figure, that whatever he or she says has enormous impact on the patient.

As a physician, I often felt that patients gave up faith in their self-healing abilities, completely surrendering and trusting in the abilities and wisdom of the doctors. Many young physicians are not prepared for this and don’t know how to deal with the power that is handed to them by their patients. The movie, The Doctor, should be a requirement for medical students. William Hurt plays a doctor who realizes how little he knows about healthcare when he himself is diagnosed with throat cancer. As a doctor he was mighty and all knowing, but as a patient he has to endure being treated as a helpless kid, without regard for his feelings and his dignity.

Unfortunately this is not only a Hollywood story; I am sure that many of you have had or are having similar experiences. Doctors and health care providers aren’t the only culprits. Family and friends can also be the source of “gloom and doom” messages. A colleague of mine told me the story of a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer. During their first session, she was feeling more and more encouraged and determined to focus on her healing and get well again. As soon as she came home and told her family that she would heal, they warned her not get her hopes up, that she’d heard the diagnosis and should know that there was not much that could be done. A few weeks later she died.

Here are a few suggestions that will help you to establish more emotional balance that can in turn support your healing.

Take the messages from the medical field and others with a grain of salt-especially if they are limiting and disempowering. Avoid obsessive “Googling” on the Internet, which can often lead to more fear and discouragement.

Choose a medical support system and personal environment that are in alignment with your beliefs about your healing.

Focus on what you want, which is health and well-being! Rather than identifying yourself with a diagnosis, see yourself as a person who has the potential and the ability to heal and create well-being.

Find ways to regularly relax and bring your body into a parasympathetic state, which is the healing state. Meditating, listening to calming music, being in nature, and taking a bath are just some examples that can help you to achieve this state.

Learn more about the mind-body-spirit connection and how to use it to activate your self-healing abilities. Remember that you are ultimately in charge of your body and your health. Whatever your body has created can be uncreated. Use visualizations and self-hypnosis as ways to utilize and activate your mind-body-spirit connection. Books by Deepak Chopra and Dr. Bernie Siegel can be excellent starting points.

Identify and resolve the emotional root causes, inner conflicts, and significant emotional events that are connected to the illness. The work of Dr. Hammer, Dr. John Sarno, and Louise Hay can also provide you with more information on the deeper meanings and messages of illness.

Mind Body Spirit Health, Do You Know How to Keep All Three Healthy?

Here are some ways we can create our mind body spirit health and keep all three healthy. Making sure our three bodies are working at their top performance is essential for good health.

Our first part of mind body spirit health is our mind, subconscious or emotional body, this body works invisibly to help us achieve our goals in life. We have control over it to some degree and are able to reprogram it to help us achieve what we desire most.

Our emotional body

We need to keep our subconscious body healthy by keeping good relationships and fixing broken ones. If we keep hold of old broken relationships and don’t try to fix them, either by healing the relationship or by forgiving and then forgetting the relationship then our emotional body still feels hurt, and the hurt can cause other problems.

Another thing about our subconscious body is that it keeps thousands upon thousands of situations and thoughts inside itself. If any of these thoughts or situations are not fulfilled or completed then we are renting rent-free space in our brain for those hurtful or unfulfilled things. If we can complete those things or forgive and forget, we can open our emotional body to better and greater things to come.

One way to help our emotional body is by talking to ourselves in a mirror. This may sound funny at first but it is a very good way of helping our emotional body in its health. We can start out by asking ourselves

“How are you today?” and “It is good to see you again.” Then we can start by saying “I would like to complement you today on…” We then start to list all the things that we have accomplished today. They can be very little things like going for a walk, or chewing our food properly so that our digestion will work better, or that we made a step towards a better relationship with someone, or that we are doing more exercise, or we are completing one of our goals.

Our emotional body loves hearing all these praises and it will thank us afterwards by giving us a happy and satisfied feeling. After we are finished talking to our emotional body, we can tell ourselves in the mirror that we love ourselves.

Having a healthy respect for our self is a very important part of mind body spirit health. Telling our emotional body we love ourselves, helps a great deal in balancing our bodies, because many times we may feel that our life is missing love, or friendship, or we may be unsatisfied with our physical body and because of that unsatisfied feeling, our emotional body is affected.

However, when we tell ourselves that we care and we do love ourselves our emotional body becomes happier and is then more willing to listen to our needs.

Next on our list of mind body spirit health is our physical body. This is a very important part because our physical body has a big affect on our emotional body as well.

Our physical body.

We need to keep our physical body fit, strong, and healthy by doing daily exercises, by eating right and by doing our best to live a stress free lifestyle. If we can achieve these things, our physical body will be in top shape. We will feel full of life, energy, vigor, strength and confidence.

Our emotional body will thank us for our efforts because from having, a well toned and healthy body, we create good remarks and admiration from others. We also have good sex appeal. Our emotional body loves these things, so by keeping our physical body healthy we start to help our emotional body as well.

The last part of our mind body spirit health exercise is to help our spiritual body. Doing this will greatly help the other two bodies work together nicely.

Our spiritual body

We can keep our spiritual body happy by giving in charity to others in need, by being kind and humble to others, by praising God or the universe, by setting an example for others to follow.

Anything that we can do that will help others in living better, in feeling better and in learning more about God or the universe makes the soul happier. Our souls are happiest when they are in tune with God or the universe. So, by doing acts of kindness and charity to the less fortunate ones, we can further our progress towards the greater good.

If we can practice on a daily basis, be kind to everyone, be humble to others, and learn to forgive and forget, our souls will develop a great happiness, which will help us to become balanced in all three of our bodies.

Acharya D Hargreaves, is a published author of two health books, Digest Alive Lose Weight and build a great body Naturally, Digest Alive The Natural Cure to Heartburn and the owner of [http://www.natural-way-to-lose-weight-fast.com] a website dedicated to helping overweight and obese people with their weight problems.

“Obesity and Overweight issues are signs that our bodies are unbalanced, to naturally Lose weight quickly and keep it off, we need to make our bodies feel the need to balance themselves out, when this happens we will lose weight fast and keep it off.” He says.

The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection – The Pathway to Self Healing

What are the causes of illness?

Thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs trigger a range of emotions from happiness to sadness, joy to despair. Emotions affect the body, either positively (strengthening it) or adversely (weakening it).

Emotional stress is a big factor in causing physical distress–such as headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain. Hawaiian shaman, Serge Kahili King, is the author of several books on self-healing. He discusses the effects of stress in his book, Instant Healing Now. He emphasizes: “Chronic stress held in the body for long periods of time can lead to major pain and serious illness.”

Intense fears can cause breakdown of cellular tissue, or blockages in vital organs. Unresolved emotions from our past can be buried deeply within vital organs, muscles and bones. Ongoing stressful situations pile on emotions into weakened areas. Eventually, the immune system is compromised and cannot function normally. The body begins to break down and can become diseased.

Doubts and fears are based on negative beliefs. Negative “beliefs” can cause illnesses. Strong beliefs, such as going out with wet hair will cause a cold; or, thinking: “If someone sneezes/coughs on me I will catch their cold” — can create a cold.

The lost healing arts of the ancestors

In ancient cultures, the medicine man or shaman used a holistic, mind-body-spirit approach, which meant complete healing of the patient on all levels–physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But now, we rely solely on physicians to heal our bodies. We have lost the necessary co-treatment of mind and spirit.

Limitations of our culture’s healing practices

While physicians are dedicated to easing pain, suffering, and saving lives–traditional medical training is limited to the treatment of physical symptoms. The only choices a doctor usually has are surgery and medications. In many cases, surgery can be life-saving. Medications can help to stabilize the patient, as in insulin treatment and high-blood pressure medications.

Yet, invasive techniques and pills aren’t the answer for everyone. Serious side-effects can and often do occur from standard medical options. Deepak Chopra, M.D., former Chief of Staff at New England Memorial Hospital, is a prolific author of books on the mind-body connection. In his tape series “Magical Mind, Magical Body” he mentions a report in an AMA Medical Journal, which stated that 30% of all illnesses are a direct result of prescribed medication. Others purport it to being higher, as high as 50%. Add to that the medication mistakes, and bacterial dangers of our hospitals, which do cause many unnecessary serious illnesses and deaths.

What we need to know modern medicine and the holistic healing approach

Dr. Chopra and a few other well-known physicians now embrace the holistic approach to healing as a way to expand the impact and effectiveness of conventional medicine. They have discovered that when emotional cause of an illness is also dealt with in some way, a patient is more apt to be completely healed, with no recurrence of the problem.

Dr. Chopra believes that correctly channeled, the mind has enormous power. It can make us depressed or joyful, sluggish or dynamic. He tells about a researcher who visited a ward of heart attack patients to discover if emotional distress might be a factor in heart disease. When interviewed, each patient told a story about a life situation that had “broken their heart.”

Dr. Chopra teaches that every cell in the body has consciousness. He says that you do not think with your brain alone. “Cells in the body pick up the slightest shift of mood and they respond accordingly. Think confidently and your body becomes strong for you. Think negatively and your body goes weak.” Dr. Chopra also says that cells have a limited shelf life. Before dying, each cell must program its consciousness into the new cell that takes its place. If the dying cell has taken on a program of disease or damage, this message gets imprinted or passed on into the freshly birthed cell. He stresses that cellular memory can be changed. Reprogramming can be done to imprint replacement cells with health and vigor instead of disease or injury.

Patients who feel hopeless might have more difficulty in healing because they already feel like victims. However, when it is discovered that a past emotional problem set-up an illness, a person then has power over it. The mind can be used to heal the body!

Dr. Bernie Siegel, a cancer specialist, is one of many physicians who have begun to look into mind-body connections to pain and illness. He was frustrated by the methods taught in medical school. He felt like a mechanic working on machines, instead of a true healer.

Dr. Siegel researched alternative healing methods. In his book, Love, Medicine and Miracles, he says that our state of consciousness and disease are inseparable. He tells many stories about his patients and how their minds influenced illness and healing, dying or living. He emphasizes that he has seen time and time again, how we sensitize the target organs of our bodies in a form of negative biofeedback. Dr. Siegel now includes visualizations, affirmations, art therapy, and understanding the messages of dreams in his healing work.

Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Healing, is another physician/author teaching about the mind-body-spirit connection. Dr. Weil says that spontaneous healing is not a miracle or lucky exception. It is the result of the natural healing system that is our birthright. He believes that stress and negative influences are the cause of many illnesses. He studied botany and uses of healing herbs because he had a problem with prescribing traditional medicine–about which he states:

• “Patients are exposed to risk because medicine is toxic and can create serious side effects.”

• “Prescribed medications strengthened disease processes instead of resolving them.”

Dr Bruce Lipton, a world-famous cell biologist, author of The Biology of Beliefs, states that we do not have to believe that we are victims of our genetics. His pioneering work with stem cells proved to him that it is the individual’s environment that causes 95% of distress, pain and illness. He stresses that one can reverse illness through changing ones beliefs; and that one can heal by transforming past memories from negative to positive. His colleague, Gregg Braden, author of The Spontaneous Healing of Beliefs, agrees wholeheartedly.

Carolyn Myss, PhD., a medical intuitive, “looks” into a patient’s body and “sees” illness and its cause. In her book, Why People Don’t Heal And How They Can, she states that forgiveness is necessary for healing. Letting go of the past releases patterns locked in the body.

Louise Hay recovered from cancer after her teacher helped her to let go of anger and resentment about a childhood rape. In her book: Heal Your Body, Louise teaches that the body tries to alert you to internalized stress through the metaphorical language of illness and pain.

The diagnosis of cancer is frightening. But one does not need to die of this disease. In a serious cancer study, researchers interviewed thousands of people who had cancer. They found that many of these people had suffered a great loss, then had buried this unresolved loss deep within. This can be a loss of a loved one, money, or career, or even loss of one’s identity. (Examples: A woman who dedicates herself to husband and family, but has given no credence to her own needs or personal identity. A person who has lost a beloved home to foreclosure. The man who lost most of his money in a stock market recession.)

Self-healing, holistic alternatives

Those who have a serious physical condition should first seek a medical diagnosis and have diagnostic tests done. Then, take yourself out of the role of the victim of circumstances. You can empower yourself and take control of your life and body. Be intuitively open to discovering a possible emotional cause/connection to your physical problems. To get the process started: meditate daily. Program your dreams. Every night, ask your dreams for information and guidance about your condition. Do this for at least thirty nights in a row. You don’t have to remember your dreams to get help from them. Simply be aware of intuitions that lead you to the right alternative healer, the perfect book, and so on.

Read holistic books on self-healing. Seek out alternative healing approaches. Ask your doctor for referrals to alternative health care professionals. A reputable holistic, or alternative healer can work hand-in-hand with a doctors and the medical diagnosis to aid the patient in his or her own healing.

Be knowledgeable about your choices. There are so-called “healers” who claim to be professionally trained and certified–but are not. Always request and carefully check the practitioners’ credentials. Be sure to ask how many years of experience they have had and the results achieved. Ask for references from their clients. Check out their websites. Do a Google Search on them.

Holistic healing is available for all levels of the self — mind, body and spirit.

Some of the following list is broken down into separate categories pertaining to one level of self, yet many of the methods address and affect all levels. The wise person will seek out one or more from each category.

Spirit:

• Prayer

• Meditation

• Healing Visualizations

• Affirmations

• Guided Imagery

• Healing Dreams

Body:

There is a vast range of techniques and methods for body health.

• Nutrition counseling

• Herbal therapies

• Homeopathy

• Naturopathy

• Aromatherapy

There is also the field of bodywork, which encompasses hands-on healing methods such as:

• Acupuncture

• Therapeutic massage

• Therapeutic Touch

• Cranial-sacral work

• Reflexology.

• Reiki

• Myofascial release

Mind:

Traditional psychotherapy and psychiatry are not the only choices one has for transforming emotional states, or for healing past memories.

There are many excellent alternative therapies which utilize one’s own unconscious mind to resolve mental, emotional, or physical distress:

• Hypnotherapy,

• Biofeedback

• Psych-K

• NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)

• EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) also called Meridian Tapping

• Shamanistic Practices – Soul Retrieval; Journeying Within

• Dreamwork

NLP is a good option for all aspects of working with the mind-body connection. NLP Master Practitioners help a client eliminate blocks to success, heal imprints, change limiting beliefs, help the client discover the hidden causes of anxiety and depression. NLP practitioners have expertise in healing one’s inner child/younger selves of traumatic memories.

EFT / Meridian Tapping, is a wonderful technique for releasing stuck emotions in minutes. This method also works to ease or eliminate pain, change beliefs, heal the past and more! It involves a specific proceedure of tapping on accupressure points. Once learned from a teacher or website, it is quite simple to do on your own.

Shamanistic Practices — Countless holistic practitioners, worldwide, have studied with professional shamans, and now offer mind-body-spirit healing techniques such as shamanic journeys into one’s psyche, soul retrieval, and healing through metaphor and symbolism.

Dreamwork – This is a magical way to do self-healing. One can undertake a Therapeutic Dreaming Quest. For thirty nights, ask for the same thing every night. Ask to be healed. Ask for help from Spirit. Along the way you may receive dreams that provide information about the cause(s) of your illness or pain. These dreams may come in the form of nightmares. Do not be alarmed by these. They are bringing awareness from deep in the subconscious to your conscious mind. The “Dream Decipher Process”TM is a great method for interpreting your dreams.

Mind-Body-Spirit Wellness And The Search For Powerful New Health

The mind-body-spirit debate has developed into a well known researched fact over the past decade. While there has always been some amount of contribution given to the mindset of any patient, only recently has the concept of caring for the “entire self” become a common practice in today’s modern medicine and prevention programs. Mind-body-spirit wellness has reached new levels of inclusive factors for today’s health conscious individuals. Holistic health has finally reached acceptance in many offices of doctors and practitioners of medicine.

The power of caring for one’s entire body is really quite impressively powerful. Individuals who have opted for total mind-body-spirit wellness have been able to determine great levels of health and energy within their own framework by allowing their entire being into account. Studies on the power of the mind have shown some shocking results, the effects have been proven to be of course, mind-blowing.

Holistic health is essential in providing high quality total care for your self, your family, and your overall well being. Studies have proven that holistic health practices have dramatically reduced the number and frequency of illnesses related to common every day exposure. School children living in mind-body-spirit wellness focused homes miss less than half of the school days due to illness than that of their classmates still living in traditional Western medicine focused homes.

Accounts of real world individuals being able to provide testimony to the effects of holistic health practices on their daily lives are continuously increasing. Many individuals offer that the mind-body-spirit wellness approach to life has given them not only their physical health back, but their emotional health as well. For those who place more emphasis on the testimony of physicians and health care practitioners, there are an increasing number of offices that practice mind-body-spirit wellness as part of their routine care.

Holistic health and the mind-body-spirit wellness approach to life has also opened up a while new industry for the entrepreneurial spirit. Many manufacturers feel that it has been nothing short of a blessing to fully endorse their product without doubting the word of their advertisers. There is a vast and endless ocean of new and improved products which adhere to holistic health practices and principles which have emerged onto the market as of late, and for the most part, these products actually do what they say they are going to do. Of course, we wouldn’t be an enterprising society if a few unscrupulous manufacturers didn’t sneak in there for their piece of this multi billion dollar industry. Our culture responded appropriately by deeming specific authorities on the topic to be the final word in quality and effectiveness.

By developing institutes that focus completely on mind-body-spirit wellness and awareness, there has been a successful and remarkable overhaul in the basic integrity of holistic health materials and products. While of course there are still some scam factories out there, the vast majority of holistic health companies want to be part of this ever growing, popular, and health enhancing trend that is changing the lives and souls of everyone involved.

Holistic health products that are able to make claims of providing “miracle” results are generally not considered to be authentic products endorsed or even recognized by any authority of holistic health practices. Rather, while there have been case reports regarding “miraculous results” on an individual basis, the mind-body-spirit wellness community does not promote grand promises but instruction, focus, and of course, directives that help individuals enhance their mind-body-spirit connection. Very few products on the holistic health market today receive genuine endorsements or “approval” from these authorities. Those that do have not only been proven to deliver what they promise, but also meet a strict standard of what constitutes and actual holistic health product.

As the mind-body-spirit wellness and awareness movement grows and matures over the next few years, there is bound to be growth in numerous areas of product development. What has reached the market now can be considered to be some remarkable enhancements in the holistic health practice. In fact, there have been a few products which not only earn the endorsement of leading authorities, but actually are not expected to be able to be produced better than they are right now. This is a pretty bold statement considering that technology and education will never be static yet those few products out there that are being praised and sung by the leading authorities have literally taken the holistic health product market by storm.

Our society will most likely continue the never ending search for powerful new health remedies and holistic health products which enhance the mind-body-spirit wellness experience with great enthusiasm and vigor over the next ten years. After all, what is considered a relatively new phenomenon in this country has been considered to be tradition in other societies for centuries. There is a wealth of knowledge waiting for us to uncover as time goes by.

The mind-body-spirit wellness movement and the holistic health practices that are now finally being viewed as medical advancements will continue to offer our society a new way of looking at health, not to mention a vast assortment of new health treatments. This can only be considered to be good news for those who suffer from chronic conditions, serious health problems and illnesses, or the healthy who wish to remain that way.