The Mind and Body

The mind and body are very closely connected- emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect our health.  The mind-body connection means that our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning. In other words, our minds can affect how healthy our bodies are!

On the other hand, what we do with our physical body (what we eat, how much we exercise, even our posture) can impact our mental state (positively or negatively). This results in a complex interrelationship between our minds and bodies.

Mind-body specialist Dr. James Gordon states that the mind and body are essentially inseparable: “the brain and peripheral nervous system, the endocrine and immune systems, and indeed, all the organs of our body and all the emotional responses we have, share a common chemical language and are constantly communicating with one another.”

So, while you’re working on improving your ability to cope with stress and anxiety, the positive effects may also be seen in more effective blood sugar management or strengthening your immune system or digestion.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) lists some techniques that are considered mind-body therapies or practices:

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Creative arts therapies (art, music, or dance)
  • Yoga
  • Biofeedback
  • Tai chi
  • Qigong
  • Relaxation
  • Hypnosis
  • Guided imagery

Some therapies like Taichi, Qigong and Yoga are called ‘body-mind” therapies.

Ultimately, mind-body and body-mind therapies are interrelated: the body affects the mind, which in turn impacts the body (and the mind.)

“In essence, mindfulness involves quieting and then focusing or directing the mind. This can create a mental space that has been described as “absence of a problem.” The practice of non-attachment or witnessing helps us to observe life without being overwhelmed by the challenge or situation at hand. Since most of us can only focus on one thing at a time, if we are meditating, we’re also less likely to be worrying. Shifting into a state of pure awareness can provide a personal retreat, a place of peace, and a refuge that allows inner reconciliation.”

Read more about practices like these in the Joy in Living the Alkaline Way and elevate your health status to a new level.