What on earth is Mind-Body Connection?
It is the underlying basis for your health and well-being!
What’s in it for me?
Your mind-body connection is simply the every moment phenomenon that sees your body physically responding to your thoughts, and your thoughts responding to your body.
“Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past”. Bessel Van der Kolk
Go with me on this…. sit quietly, deliberately breathe into your belly 4 or 5 times…. settle your body and your mind, be focused on your breathe. Now while in this calm mode, think of something mildly stressful…. what do you notice change in your body? Simply notice that.
Return back to focusing on your breath, in and out… a few times and allow the stress to dissipate. Now think of your favorite meal… notice where you are and who you are with…. what do you notice change in your body? Does your body feel any different as your thoughts changed?
THAT is your mind-body connection!
An experience that I had a few years ago that highlighted my own mind body connection was as startling as it was common place! On morning I woke up and my hair simply started falling out.. handfuls of it! I had very thick hair, and was used to a lot falling out, but in a short period of time I had lost so much hair that soon my ponytail was 1/2 its size. I took myself off to my GP, had multiple tests done, including bloods etc – nothing was wrong with me apparently. My GP, who I respect greatly, could find nothing to suggest why my hair was falling out…
So what does any self-respecting Kinesiologist do? I went to my own Kinesiologist and had a ‘balance’. It was in that session I realised that I had entered Fight/Flight over an incident out of my control and I hadn’t been able to release the stress and adrenaline. So, my body had reacted to a stressful event by allowing non-essential functioning to fall away – or ‘fall out’ out in this case. After that session with my Kinesiologist, simply, my hair stopped falling out on-mass! Once my stress had been identified, calmed and released my body-mind connection had become stable and in-tune again.
Our brains are adaptable to the environment, meaning that as the things around us change, so our brain can change with it…
Our body is constantly changing in response to the brains PERCEPTION of the environment.
“Most psychologists treat the mind as disembodied – a phenomenon with little or no connection to the physical body.
Conversely, physicians treat the body with no regard to the mind or the emotions.
But the body and mind are not separate, and we cannot treat one without the other.”
Dr Candace Pert, Neuroscientist.
Simply, thinking can cause your brain to fire off neurotransmitters, that in turn control ALL your body’s functioning – heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, hot/cold and hormones that control how you feel – happy/angry, sad/stressed….
Our perception of the world, of any given situation, greatly effects us physically as well as mentally and emotionally. For example, if you are heading into work and believe that your boss will be unkind to you, your body is already guarding you and preparing you for the fight/flight scenario that may or may not happen. You may stay with this thought/belief all day, and so your body stays in F/F all day as well… so your focus diminishes, your digestive system declines and your heart rate remains high… and if this is not rectified or calmed at some time in your day, and continues long term, you can imagine what that will do to your body long term…
It is now proven that trauma effects our gene expression – the structure, function and health of the body. Trauma can change our DNA… can ‘turn on’ the switch to disease and atomic level change. Inter-generational trauma and thus inter-generational DNA change is proven and possible.
Our nervous system and our subconscious work as the ‘dynamic duo’ within us – one helps the other to keep us safe no matter what. The issue with that is that our sub-conscious messaging runs 90% of our life!
Along with this, our experiences get locked into our memory, into our muscle memory… which create habit of thought, habit of bodily state and habit of mind-body connection. This new habit, that can be created sub-consciously becomes your new ‘normal’ and so, your ‘dynamic duo’ set about to keep it that way, to keep you safe and unchanging.
For example, recently I was having a ‘heated discussion’ with my teenager and at one point I over-reacted to what seemed like another night of my teenager not wanting to wash his teeth. It wasn’t until later in the evening when I reflected on the ‘discussion’ that I realised that he had given me the same ‘look’ that some-one in my past had (who had hurt me immensely). Unconsciously I thought I was back in that past space, and for less than a split second, it was enough time to send my mind and body spiraling into flight/fight… more fight than flight on this occasion. My heart rate went up, my face was flushed – that look sent me, sent my ‘dynamic duo’ into the past where I wasn’t safe. It’s natural response was to get me to safety, to get ready for physical and mental reaction to danger.
It is only through self-reflection and mind-body awareness that we can discover our triggers, discover what we think, when and how that effects us physicality.
How do we balance our mind, body and spirit so that we truly live in harmony, in the present and in the best health we can?
We create new pathways, new habits and new focus!
Yes, but how?
- Mindfulness is the key! A daily practice of mindfulness will help you immensely and quickly. There are many different kinds of mindfulness – moving, being still, group, alone, sitting, standing…
- Mindfulness is not an ’emptying’ of the mind, but allowing your awareness to be focused on one thing – breath, a sound, a colour, a movement… any one of these will aid to bring you into the moment, into what is happening within yourself and how you are responding to your environment.
- Movement is a big help in the mind-body connection puzzle – yoga, Qi Gong, walking, swimming, even boxing…. using deliberate, slow and focused movement with allow your mind to notice your body nad your body to notice your mind.
- The food you eat is a big influencer in your mind-body connection! We now know that the gut and the brain are connected in ways beyond imagining – the bacteria in our gut effects our emotional state, and our mental health – as well as our physical health.
- Gratitude practice is also another path to your mind-body connection becoming healthier. As we think about what we are grateful for, hormones and neurotransmitters move and shake arond our system, create an internal environment of joy and peace – creating new pathways, new habits and new opportunities for change.
I work in clinic every day with people to re-connect their mind, body and spirit... simply because, most of our symptoms are the result of our disconnect – mostly it’s our mind ignoring our heart or body.. we learn to ‘just get over it’ or to ‘fight through it’ or ‘soldier on’…. but symptoms are there for a reason, to tell us something and if we don’t listen when they’re whispering, the level increases until we cannot hear anything else.
If you would like to listen to your symptoms, if you would like to know what your ‘dis-connect’ is all about, contact me and we can begin your journey to connection and whole-being wellness. We will discover the beliefs, thoughts or fears underlying your symptoms. We will calm and release them from your mind, body and spirit, so that you will live your life more connected, more confident and in freedom.
In calm, flow, balance,