Since the beginning of human consciousness, there has been a lingering knowledge of a link between the the human mind and the physical domain of the body.
Stemming from ancient civilizations, the notion of healing thoughts persisted in almost every culture on the planet in some shape or form. The rise of modern medicine seemed to reject this idea. But in recent decades, many research projects have once again began taking a closer look at this illuminating concept.
Combined with the collective experience of countless professionals, the idea of mind body healing began to emerge. By perceiving the mind and body as an intricate informational system, a new path of psychology and holistic health has been cracked open.
Today, the mind body connection continues to provide incredible results when it comes to health. The process is completely based on principles of science.
The Mind Body Connection Explained
To understand the mind body connection, it is necessary to understand the process of thought. According to neuroscience, a thought is actually the transmission of bioelectrical impulses that travel using a network of nerves.
These nerves are called neurons, and each neuron communicates with the other ones through their shared network of nerve cells in the brain.
This interaction takes place by sending and receiving packages of chemical compositions through what are called neurotransmitters.
Where the mind ends and the body begins can be understood through neuropeptides, the chemical messenger hormones. These hormones carry emotions, in the form of electricity, back and forth between the mind and body.
These processes originate in the brain. Here, every single individual neuron can be connected with up to 10,000 other ones, making the number of possible connections larger than the number of particles in the known universe.
But this network can also become obstructed, or simply put, different thought impulses can result in different health effects. For example, when we are stressed, the sympathetic nervous system — a part of the larger nervous system — secretes a special type of neurotransmitter called adrenaline.
This neurotransmitter elevates the heart rate and increases blood pressure while shutting down other functions that may not be neccessary at that instance.
This is why the effects of stress are so tangibly fealt throughout the body, even though it is only an emotional state. For the same reason, long periods of stress will affect the broader digestive system, even leading to the formation of ulcers.
However, stress still originates as a series of thoughts that take place in the brain. While thoughts might seem esoteric, they are actual physical interactions that produce physical effects in the same body that is having them.
Because thoughts originate from the perspective of an individual, stress is perceived subjectively and not universal to all people.
This is why all individuals have the ability to perceive any situation as something that is stressful or something that can easily be dealt with — either case would produce dramatically different results in the mind and ultimately the body.
While thoughs have the energy and the power to influence the way a body functions on a cellular level, the phenomenon can also be reversed. Alternate thoughts can be used with the intention to help the natural and healthy processes of the body. In this unique space where perception and thought formation intersects lies the power of the mind body regulatory (healing) process.
The Power of the Mind
The natural ability of the mind is unfathomable. With the right thoughts, even the most insurmountable obstacles can be overcome. By understanding that mind and body are actually a single physical system, there is plenty to be gained by utilizing the right thoughts to impact the state of physical and mental wellbeing that we can experience.
Mental imagery is one of the most powerful elements because visualization provides a widespread reaction in the brain, which is also translated through the body. Using images, mind body therapy gave root to a system called Guided Imagery.
Using Guided Imagery in Mind Body Healing
With the elements psychoneuroimmunology — the science that studies the effects of the mind on the body — the link between the mind and the body can be harnessed for the improvement of overall health.
The mind body recovery process, through the use of a simple technique called guided imagery, has proven to be effective in a range of imbalances and negative health affects associated with stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
This technique is essentially a guided mediation used to influence the subconscious mind to act as though the peaceful, relaxing and healing environment is real.
With guided imagery, you are put through a process of gradual relaxation, which is followed by the visualization of an image that would represent your pain or issue.
For example, this image can be a lump of black coal that burns, displaying different colours that best represent your physical pain or emotional turbulance.
Then, the same image is changed to a positive image of relaxation and health. Here, an image of burning coal could evolve into a spruce of a sprouting plant that slowly grows and turns into a beautiful flower, radiating naturally with energy.
The same technique is used on a consistent and daily basis and can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour.
With an intention to improving health and taking positive responsibility for persoanl wellbeing, people can start to experience improvements in basic levels of stress.
Even though this sounds incredible, intentional thinking really can produce amazing results. Some individuals become so skilled after a bit of practice that they can experience benefits from doing only 10 minutes a day.
The mind is the most powerful resource we have and we are only beginning to understand this potential. The mind body healing process is one of those things that unlock a small, but potent aspect of it.
As a practice, various forms of meditation such as guided imagery represent a way to support our body’s multiple informational systems and help our own healing processes by enforcing a flow of information that is positive and designed to support optimal health.