Monthly Wellness Corner - May

May 4, 2022

The Mind Body Connection

When we consider how little we know about how the mind works and specifically how our subconscious regulates everything from heartbeat, temperature, breathing, and the vast array of bio chemicals and hormones that it takes to just stay alive, it is surprising that we do not incorporate more attention to the mind body connection.

There are many stories of miracle healing, from everything from cancer to COVID for which medical science has no explanation and we are just starting to embrace the idea that the way we think, both positively and negatively, significantly impacts the health of our bodies.  I believe western medicine is a positive part of our healing process, alleviating suffering and saving lives but it is just starting to accept that embracing mind body connection can only enhance the healing process.  We know that long term stress breaks down the body’s ability to deal with disease, and a positive attitude enhances the responses to medical treatments, but can we take it a step farther?

Ken Backman

Even the word dis-ease defines a lack of ‘ease’ in the body that creates physical dysfunction, so what if in addition to medicine and surgery, we found ways to create ‘ease’ within our bodies.  What if we found that ways of thinking that could impact the severity or even the existence of many illnesses?  

I believe our subconscious would like to communicate with our conscious minds but often we are so busy we do not take the time to listen and often our subconscious minds attempt to ‘get our attention’ by creating pain.  What is pain other than an electrical stimulus from a damaged part of our body telling your subconscious that there is something to be dealt with.  If you sprain your ankle a signal is sent to your subconscious telling you not to walk on it, without the pain you would do more damage.  If there are emotional issues the need to be dealt with there is a different kind of pain but ‘walking’ on that damaged emotion can create more destruction than walking on a sprained ankle.

Most of us do not know how to establish a free flow of communication between our conscious and subconscious.  One of the biggest obstacles is our self-talk or internal dialogue, something that goes on nonstop.  If your subconscious believed EVERYTHING that you said, what would your life be like?  If every thought and every statement you made about yourself automatically became true, would your life be better or worse?  I believe you can speak life or death to your subconscious and that part is in your (and your client’s) control if you make a conscious effort.

A second tool is simply taking the time to listen to your subconscious.  Whenever I feel pain, discomfort, anxiety, or distress, the first thing I try to do is find a place to get quiet, tell my subconscious I am listening, and wait quietly.  I cannot tell you how many times in that quietness, reasons for dis-ease, solutions to problem, answer to questions, or the need for new directions, just seem to pop into my head out of nowhere.  I believe in many instances if I do not take the time to listen my subconscious, it will do what is necessary to get my attention.

In his book Healing Back Pain by Dr. John E. Sarno, MD (available on Amazon) he describes his journey into the Mind Body connection.  He was a famous back surgeon and people would come to him from all over the world for back surgery but when he decided to follow up with his former patients, he found that in most instances his patient’s pain would go away for 15 to 18 months then come back with a vengeance.  He stopped doing surgeries and, in his research, he found that in most cases of long term back pain, the subconscious would restrict the blood flow to a portion of their backs, creating pain but almost no damage.  He found that almost all these patients had emotional issues that were not being dealt with and sometimes with as little as 2 weeks of group therapy, and in many instances just reading his book, years of back pain would disappear permanently.  He went on to find that back pain was only one of the ways the subconscious would try to get one’s attention, as pain and discomfort through other dis-eases, were also a means of communicating that something needed to be dealt with.

So, what do we do with this?  

1. DO NOT abandon medical science or neglect what your doctors tell you to do.  DO monitor and if necessary, change your internal dialog into positive statements that acknowledge the greatness and the ability to overcome anything, something we all have.  When you feel yourself sliding down the tunnel of negativity, consciously STOP IT, and replace it with something that will enhance your greatness.

2. Take the time to LISTEN to your subconscious and when you HEAR or sense that there is something that needs to change in your life IMMEDIATELY create an action plan for that change.

Obviously, there are more skills to develop and more things to learn, but just these two steps can change your lives more than you could ever imagine.  Don’t delay, take control of your emotional state, and change your life!!!

-Ken Backman, Penny Lane Centers