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Mind/Body Medicine is the new frontier of Medicine (part one)

Posted Nov 23 2011 11:23am

The field of mind/body medicine is the new frontier of medicine. Research has validated the mind/body connection and how it can affect healing and create positive change in the individual. For many years, we have put our doctors on a pedestal and given them all the power to make us better. We need doctors and they are a vital part of health care but there also needs to be a shift back to the individual; a shift into self empowerment. What can you do in your own life to help yourself heal? How can you use your mind in a way that promotes healing and a return to optimal wellness?  How do you harness the inherent power of the mind and focus it like a laser in the direction of your current imbalance to correct your course? Mind/body medicine views illness as an opportunity for personal growth and transformation. When viewed this way, it takes the fear out of illness and substitutes a new word – challenge…

Certainly in my own life experience, I viewed my illness as an opportunity to connect with my awareness and it was a powerful life altering experience for the better. It really woke me up and transformed my sense of ‘being’. Seeing yourself as a victim of your current health challenge does not put you in a state of being that optimizes healing. It makes you shrink in the face of your predicament.  Start to see your health imbalance or illness as a challenge and a way to empower yourself. Look for all the reasons why this challenge may have shown up in your life? Is is challenging you to grow in a new direction, become more authentic in the way that you live your life, connect in a more heart centred way with those around you, or heal from old emotional hurts? Is it challenging you to change your diet and lifestyle and put more emphasis on self care or change your perspective on a whole lot of things that are showing up in your life?

There are so many reasons why an illness will show up; use is to catalyse your own self transformation. Mind/body medicine tools such as meditation, guided imagery and biofeedback are very powerful tools to have in your healing tool box. All of these tools can help shift the expression of the autonomic nervous system for starters. Many people in Western culture spend a good majority of their life in the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system- this is the fight or flight branch of the nervous system otherwise known as the stress response. This is the ‘be prepared for danger’ side of our psyche. This side prepares us for battle but does not help us heal. M/B tools shift the expression of the autonomic nervous system to the parasympathetic branch – this side fosters healing. The parasympathetic branch is all about rest and relaxation, digesting your food, feeling a sense of calm, a slower heart rate…being versus doing…

You have to utilize self discipline to maximize your healing and benefit from using mind/body medicine in your life. You need to learn one tool whether it be meditation, guided imagery or biofeedback and set aside time in your day and night and be consistent. I suggest 30 minutes twice daily. By making it part of your daily practice, you are bringing ‘healing’ into your mind/body/spirit axis and as a nice side benefit, you are more centred, more loving and more effective in the rest of your day. You are empowered and can see the results that come from your self discipline and focus – more healing in your physical body and a sense of trust that no matter what shows up in your life in terms of your health, you are well equipped to deal with it. For more information on these tools or to learn how to use them, please book an appointment at my office. Until then, remember how powerful you are and how you can influence your health in a positive way.

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