Neuroscience: The Mind-Body Connection

I recently read the book “Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself”. The book emphasizes the importance of the mind-body connection. It is said that the mind is a powerful thing, it can play tricks on us, but it can also help us heal ourselves in an essentially natural and more sustainable way.

Thoughts can most definitely affect the body and the book highlights how thoughts can manifest into a reality. The neuroscience explanation for this would be that thoughts have a direct impact on the neurotransmitters in the brain. For example, a state of chronic stress usually leads to negative thoughts. Those thoughts and the state of chronic stress reduces serotonin and increases the hormonal levels of cortisol in the body. Naturally, neurotransmitter depletion and hormonal imbalances have a negative influence on the body. Stress can also deplete the natural killer cells in the body, leading to a decrease in immune system function, which can contribute to chronic illnesses. This sounds overwhelming, but there are ways to conquer the mind and prevent the negative effects it can have on the body.

Conventional medicine often diminishes the fact that the mind-body connection is very powerful. Little things are overlooked and missed. Not enough time is spent with patients to realize that other natural approaches can be integrated along with medication. This approach would ensure that the body does not get dependent solely on the medication and that the ease in symptoms is more long-term. As mentioned in the “Neuroscience: The Mind-Gut Connection” post, the gut will always tell the mind when something is wrong or imbalanced in the body. I do believe that allopathic medicine is a wonderful thing, but I also think it can cause serious side effects or other problems if it is not necessary.

The body is a miraculous thing that often has the ability to heal itself naturally with a little bit of help. Practices like concentration meditation, heart-centered meditation, mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, Tai Chi, yoga, visualization, positive thinking, acupuncture, reflexology, and massage therapy can help restore the body. These practices can also help the body respond better to allopathic treatments. In essence, taking care of the mind will help with taking care of the body and vice versa.