More and more scientists and doctors are talking about the power of the mind-body connection.
It’s not a new idea: Hundreds of years ago, medicine men were treating the minds and bodies of their patients. But as Western medicine evolved, it somehow zoomed in on the body and forgot all about the mind.
What is the “mind-body connection”, exactly?
Have you ever consciously thought about something that stresses you, or angers you, and you have felt your blood pressure suddenly go up?
Or maybe you feel depressed until you eat a favourite food when you suddenly feel content?
That – the ability of the mind to create changes in the body, and vice versa – is the mind-body connection.
And just as stressful or angry thoughts (or certain foods) can trigger a stress response in the body so happy or loving thoughts can trigger the release of the body’s happy hormones.
You can see why doctors are interested in the mind-body connection it widens the scope of medical treatment options.
So what is mind-body awareness?
Mind-body awareness is the self-awareness you have of your own mind-body connection.
It means you are aware of the effect your thoughts and behaviours have on your body’s state. And if you know what sort of thinking (or what sort of thoughts) trigger your body’s stress response, you can manage those patterns of thought proactively. Less stress and anxiety means less cortisol pumping through your veins, lower blood pressure and better sleep. And we know that all this is instrumental in keeping diseases at bay.
How can you develop your mind-body awareness?
There are lots of things you can do to hone your mind-body awareness. Experts recommend you take up dancing, yoga, tai-chi or meditation. These activities call for a strong link between mind, mood and physical movement.
Other mind-body therapies that experts that the National Institute of Health recommend are biofeedback, relaxation, hypnosis and visual imagery.
If you’re intrigued by the mind-body connection, and would love to make a career out of helping others improve theirs, check out the Mind Body Specialist Certification at Trifocus Fitness Academy.