Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Departure - The Mind-Body Connection

This week, instead of writing about a case, I want to explore some thoughts on the connection between the mind and the body. As a chiropractor, I mainly treat joints of the body, and the muscles and nerves associated with those joints. But joints are not isolated occurences. A joint has a purpose: it is there to allow movement. Movement allows us to interact with our environment. Interaction with our environment is what we call living life. And that same environment also interacts with us.

During the interactions between our body and the environment surrounding it, stress occurs. It can be your boss yelling at you, breathing the cigarette smoke of the guy next to you, or typing reports for several hours in a row. These are all stressors and they ALL affect the body, usually resulting in joint dysfunction, fatigue, muscle tension and muscle group imbalances. Mental stress causes us to grow physically tense, muscles go into spasm and cause joint dysfunction. If this is serious enough or goes on long enough, it can inhibit nerve function. Environmental toxins likes cigarette smoke are stresors because our body has to put energy into processing these chemicals when it should be using its energy for more important things, like our immune system and brain function. The physical stress of working long hours is the most obvious example because it makes sense that an inherantly physical problem would have a physcial outcome.

Think about this for a moment: Every stressor we encounter MUST be processed by the body in a PHYSICAL way. Even mental and emotional stressors impact our physical body. With this in mind, how can we possibly stay well? We are constantly bombarded with stressors. Even if we saw a chiropractor every day, we couldn't combat the onslaught. Or could we?

What about our most powerful weapon? The MIND! As humans our minds are treasure troves of untapped resources. We have the power to impact our body in a physical way with our mental intention. Stay with me here... By now, thanks to Oprah, everyone with a pulse has heard about The Secret. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_(2006_film) This book/movement deals with the power of intention and the law of attraction. Simply stated, we get what we ask for. If we spend all our time worrying about how we are going to get yelled at by the boss, we WILL be yelled at by the boss. Conversely, if we put our intention toward, say, moving out of the apartment and into a house, we will attain that goal. The universe is a generous place and all you have to do is ask for what you want.

So what does this have to do with health? In order to truly have the power to manifest our intentions, we must be fully mentally present within our bodies. When we are fully present in our body, we begin to realize that the body sends us messages about what it needs. This is where I come in. Many times, on the road to a higher level of mental awareness, a patient realizes their body needs help to achieve its highest level of functioning. I help by adjusting joints and re-balancing muscle groups to provide a stable environment for the mind to work in. Once a person's body is functioning at its best, the mind can focus its intentions more acutely and accurately.

I guess my point is that as we try to better ourselves and our lives, often the first step is to start with our body. Once the body is sound, the mind is free to reach its fullest potential. This is why I truly believe everyone needs a chiropractor. If everyone on earth had regular chiropractic check-ups to help combat the constant stressors of living, then everyone would be freer to function on a higher mental plane. And I think we all know that a collective higher consciouness can only mean good things for us as a people and our planet.

I'll get off my soap box, now. Thanks for listening.

Other resources for those who are interested: The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, What The Bleep Do We Know? http://www.whatthebleep.com/

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