Every human being is a complex system. All the parts of this system are profoundly interconnected and cannot function individually at an optimal rate.
I believe in holistic approaches and therefore all the transformational programs that I am developing have basis in the mind-body connection. The link is bidirectional, the mind influencing our body and vice-versa.
Up to the 17th century, medicine considered the mind and body a whole and approached them accordingly. Afterwards, in the west, this approach was modified in the direction of two different entities. The body had become a “machine” with replaceable parts.
The development of allopathic medicine nowadays maybe would not have been possible without this “schism”. On the other hand, the lack of emotional and spiritual development has decreased the native capacity of humans to heal themselves.
Starting with the 20th century, researchers have demonstrated, using complex studies, the connection between the mind and the body. What humankind had known for centuries was reconfirmed, once again, through science.
The mind is not just the brain. The mind represents in my opinion spirit, vibrations, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, emotions and images.
All the mental states can be conscious or non-conscious. Every mental state corresponds to a physiological state, with positive or negative impacts on the body. For example, anxiety induces the release of cortisol, the stress hormone.
And speaking of stress, it leads to many unwanted medical situations that affect our body: cardiac issues, autoimmune diseases, obesity, digestive disorders, decrease of bone mineral density, increase of cholesterol levels, decrease of libido, immune system and many others. Moreover, it affects the mind causing depression, memory loss, panic attacks and so on.
Some specialists say that stress is the trigger to most diseases. According to a study from 2012, stress was found responsible for 80-90% of the diseases.
Even minor stress factors interpreted in a negative way can lead to psychosomatic symptoms: colds, back pain and allergies.
Prolonged stress has devastating effects. A study performed in the United States on 95000 children, has revealed that half of them suffered several trauma, physical and emotional abuse, negligence, violence. The children that have had such episodes were twice more prone to develop chronic diseases, strengthening the theory that the mind and body are connected.
Moreover, all the mental states that we are experiencing have, a correspondent in body language and in our appearance. Let’s think about what posture and facial expression we have when we have a great success versus a moment of failure, when something is bothering us versus when we are calm, when we are joyful versus when we are sad or when we are confident versus when we are feeling insecure.
What can we do: the MIND perspective
Yoga, meditation/mindfulness. It’s well known that by practicing these, we become more aware and we increase our focus and our capacity to divert or reframe negative thoughts.
1.Decrease of stress. A study performed on 3500 adults reveals decrease of cortisol level, the hormone of stress.
2.Aids in the control of anxiety associated diseases: phobia, OCD, paranoia, panic attacks.
3.Improves self image and brings a positive view of life.
4.Increases attention span. Surprisingly, even after 4 days visible results can be seen.
5.Improves memory capacity.
6.Aids in fighting against addiction of any kind.
7.Improves sleep quality.
8.Could help in lowering blood pressure.
Therefore, all our mental states have a major impact on our body, fact scientifically confirmed. We can help our mind through meditation sessions that bring substantial benefits.
What can we do from the perspective of the body to influence our well being and our health?
There are two major aspects: nutrition, physical exercise. ( an active life )
Our brain is like a racing car: it needs premium fuel in order to optimally function.
A balanced nutrition plan, rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals in order to avoid oxidative stress is essential.
If we use low quality fuel ( processed food ) we affect in unwanted ways our cognition processes. Diets rich in refined carbohydrates and sugars are very bad for us in so many ways. These affect the brain by slowly destroying neuronal branches. Do you know how the neurons of patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s look like? Without branches. Furthermore, it causes worsening of depression and anxiety.
And it’s normal, without quality nutrients, our brain is the victim of oxidative stress.
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, responsible for regulating mood, appetite and sleep and blocking pain is produced in over 90% in the gastrointestinal tract. Given the fact that this tract has millions of neurotransmitters, it’s absolutely normal that it would influence our emotions too.
The production of serotonin is influenced by millions of healthy bacteria that form the intestinal microbiome. These bacteria are essential protecting us from the toxins, preventing inflammation, improving the way we absorb nutrients. In addition, it activates neuronal pathways between the intestine and the brain.
Studies show that people who ingest probiotics (foods obtained through fermentation) have lower levels of anxiety, don’t perceive as “abrupt” stress and have a more positive perspective over life compared to those who don’t.
AN ACTIVE LIFE
We are made for being active, it has been our legacy for millions of years. Our ancestors, millions of years ago, used to walk 50 kilometers by foot daily searching for food.
We are not adapted to current lifestyle and it is crucial for us to be active, no matter how we choose to do that. Otherwise, we get “damaged” like a car that sits in the parking lot for a long time.
Sports and physical exercise equally influence our mind and body.
According to studies, these are the main benefits:
1.They considerably improve wellbeing, fight depression and anxiety through the release of specific hormones: endorphin, serotonin.
2.They increase energy level to healthy population as well as people suffering from chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, cancer.
3.They improve cognition and memory. By increasing heart rate, rich oxygen blood flow to the brain is stimulated. Also, they protect the brain from developing diseases like schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s.
4.They aid in the capacity to concentrate. Constant physical activity maintains the sharpness of abilities like logical thinking, criticism and good judgement.
5.They boost self confidence. Practicing sports regularly has been proved to improve confidence and self image. We look better and we feel better. The energy, vigor and discipline will help us in other aspects of our lives too.
6.They develop leaderships skills. Team sports, according to studies performed in high schools demonstrate the relationship between practicing team sports and leadership skills.
7.They improve relaxation moods, calmness and they also improve sleep quality.
8.Together with a balanced nutrition they are an ally against obesity.
9.They improve bone and muscle health.
10.They decrease the risk of chronic disease. The lack of physical activity is the main cause for these diseases.
11.They improve skin quality. The oxidative stress shows up when the system of protection against oxidation cannot fix the damages caused by free radicals. Sports aid in the production of antioxidants.
12.They reduce pain. Contrary to the old paradigm, studies show that practicing sports helps in reducing chronic pain.
13.They improve sex life. The cardiovascular system is stimulated as well as the blood flow, increasing sexual performances and the frequency of these. For men, lifting helps stimulation of the secretion of testosterone.
14.They help in controlling addiction. The body eliminates dopamine as an answer to any form of pleasure( sex, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, food). Physical exercises help keeping addictions in control. For example, for alcoholics in abstinence insomnia is a problem. Sports help regulating the circadian rhythm.
15.You inspire others. You will feel better doing good, inspiring others through your example.
The benefits of practicing sports and of an active life are obvious. Practice from an early age offers benefits to the adult, contributes to wellbeing, to developing confidence in self capacities, in self image and leader skills amongst others.
The EPIC transformations, the growth and personal development have at their core a principle that has been tested for millennia. A principle that has proved its efficacy: the bidirectional link between mind and body. This is the essence of (an) EPICSHIFT.
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