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According to the mind-body approach, a symptom is a signal, like the oil pressure warning light in your car. The symptom tells you there's a disruption of the natural flow of energy in your body. Such disruptions result from tension of some sort--a internal conflict related to how you’re dealing with something in your life. The way we usually deal with health, we don't recognize the symptom as a signal. We see the symptom as the problem. For example, we think our depression is caused by our brain chemistry. The truth of the matter is, our brain chemistry is caused by and can be altered by how we choose to respond to life.

Because we believe the symptom is the problem, we think the solution is to get rid of the symptom. For example, the "bad" brain chemistry. But this is like going to a mechanic and asking him to remove the oil pressure warning light or putting a piece of tape over it instead of repairing the problem that the warning light signals. The symptoms, say the brain chemistry that accompanies depression, or your pain, insomnia, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, are not the source of the problem.

Since symptoms are feedback generated by your body to draw your attention to whatever is causing you dis-ease, it is useful to not only treat the symptom, but address the symptom's underlying source. When you only treat the symptom and don't address the it's source, the result can be new symptoms that appear in other areas.

When you learn to notice how the ways you respond to life are affecting you and choose different responses, you solve health problems at their source and build skills that keep you in balance over the long term. Remember, the mind-body connection cannot be turned on and off. It is always active. That means it's only sensible to learn to deliberately direct the mind-body connection. Doing so puts you in charge of your health and gives you optimum results from any treatment you choose.

 

The mind body approach is the path to the genuine sense of wellbeing that defines health.


No matter what your motivation, no matter what your symptoms, no matter what challenges you’re grappling with, for optimum health and real healing, you need to understand how to deliberately, consciously apply the principles of the mind-body approach to health. But it's doubtful that you'll get this kind of information from your doctor. It’s not that they don’t believe the mind strongly affects health—remember, doctors are the ones who tell us that 60 to 90 percent of all doctor visits are for stress-related symptoms.

But until science comes up with answers that appeal to the scientific worldview, we’re mostly on our own when it comes to using our minds for health.

 

Where do you find support for using the mind body approach?

 

The ways things are now, if you want to use the mind-body approach to health, you’ll need to do your own research—and that means lots of reading and lots of experimenting. You’ll need to sort through all the information, misinformation, good advice, misguided advice, brilliant insights, distortions, and sheer nonsense you’ll find when you research the mind-body approach to health. You’ll need to figure out what works and what doesn’t by trial and error. That would be a lot to do even if you felt great and had plenty of leisure time.

If you’re like me, the last thing you're in the mood for when you’re in a health crisis or under a load of stress is sitting at the computer doing endless hours of Internet research, or combing through dozens of books, trying to make sense of hundreds of different points of view.

I've done lots of research.


Exploring the details of using consciousness for change has been my passion for more than 25 years. When I first started exploring mind-body health, I was exhilarated by the idea that I could change my body by thinking differently. I wanted to know exactly how to accomplish this magic.  So I read everything I could find about healing and the mind. But the more I read and studied, the more confused I became.

There's a lot of conflicting advice.


And there is plenty of information from respected authors that just doesn’t make sense. Because many of the authors writing about mind-body health are doctors, their strong allegiance to the scientific worldview keeps them from taking the ideas about the power of the mind far enough to allow them to understand how it works. And the more metaphysically-oriented authors often make up new rules for health that are as limiting as the conventional ones.

As I studied, I tried to apply the information I read, but I was rarely as successful as I thought I should be. I wondered what was I doing wrong. How could I tell which information was accurate and which was distorted? What was the common thread?

I
n search of the active ingredient


I gathered and organized every clue I could find about the affect of consciousness on the body. I read reams of scientific evidence that pointed toward the power of the mind in health, studies about how optimism affects health, research on the placebo response, documented cases of spontaneous remissions from cancer, and research on centenarians. I read the New Age "conscious creation" authors, New Thought authors, channelled information from metaphysical teachers, advice from medical intuitive's, and information from spiritual teachings throughout the ages.

I read books on quantum physics and string theory to try understand what science knows about the energy that makes up matter and the universe. I read metaphysical teachers to connect what they said with what physicists think about energy. I also read the sceptics, the scientists and medical authorities who denied or minimized the power of the mind to affect the body. All this exploration led to clarity about the role of the active ingredient of belief and perception in the mind-body connection. And it also revealed why we love the idea of the mind-body connection but reject practicing the mind-body approach to health.

Why do science and medicine resist the mind-body approach to health?


As I studied the history of science and medicine I saw how the scientific worldview and beliefs about health and how the body works have changed over the past couple of millennia. I learned that cultures and institutions always resist new ways of thinking, new theories, and new worldviews before they finally accept them. Negative reactions to new health theories in the past are identical to current reactions to the mind-body approach by today's health authorities. Despite the fact that science can't explain it, the evidence remains overwhelming that the mind-body approach is something real and useful. Becoming convinced of this only requires opening your mind a little and exploring the ideas for yourself. This is important, because it looks like being willing to be convinced that the mind-body approach can work is the first step in putting this tool to conscious use.

More evidence supporting the mind body approach.


I discovered many areas of scientific research reveal that mental energy—something we can’t see, can’t measure, and don’t seem to want to believe in—can affect the physical world. Psychology of health is a field devoted to examining the effects mental and emotional factors have on health. Studies of biofeedback and clinical hypnosis reveal that we have an almost miraculous ability to exercise conscious control over even what we call our "unconscious" physical functioning.

Research in the area of Psychoneuroimmunology is providing evidence that our thoughts and emotions chemically affect our bodies with an immediacy that can't be explained by the brain-body connection. And there are many studies somewhat off the beaten path of science that reveal that we inhabit a "living energy universe": the work of psychic researchers, studies showing bizarre similarities between identical twins raised separately, the fact that people with multiple personalities can have diabetes one moment and not have it as another personality takes over, and experiments that show that animals know when their owners are coming home.

In the search for evidence supporting the power of the mind-body connection, I sifted through information about every healing practice and theory I could find: Western medicine, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, Ayurveda, healing touch, homeopathy, radionics, Christian Science, shamanism, voodoo, Huna, megavitamin therapy, color therapy, aromatherapy, macrobiotics, chiropractic, naturopathy—the list goes on and on.

I did not discover an easy formula for guaranteed health.


You probably don't want to hear that. Anyone who wants to sell you something—whether it’s their point of view or a product or service—is supposed to get you to believe you’re buying a no-effort, simple to understand, easy to apply formula for guaranteed success. You know how this goes:

  • "Lose 30 pounds a month eating foods you love with this guaranteed weight loss program!"

  • "Use antioxidants and stay cancer-free."

  • "Just spray on and dirt rinses off. No scrubbing needed!"

Despite the fact that these claims are never true, we seem to have an endless appetite for assurances that life can be this easy. So this is what I would tell you if I was apart of the advertising promotion team for the power of the mind:

  • "Use the amazing power of your mind to banish illness forever!"

  • "Three easy-to-apply secrets to curing any disease!"

  • "Just spray on the mind-body approach and symptoms disappear with no scrubbing!"

  • "Guaranteed!"

But integrity always guides me to share the truth and therefore the current new age thinking of the perfect formula for health just by thinking we are unfortunately doesn't quite work that way for most of us.

 

Each of us has our own particular problems that will most likely require our individual creativity, flexibility, persistence, time, energy, and attention to change. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll read about healing and the mind, experience a flash of enlightenment, and have everything in your life change with no effort on your part. Instead, I say to you, the formula for good health is a journey of self discovery and higher learnings about your self, your environment and your deep spiritual connection that all of us have.

 

And yes you can have the power to be in total control of the mind / body connection, but it requires you to travel towards it rather than leap into it. While saying that, it's not impossible to leap into it instantly though most of us have a few life times to go before we walk in the Buddha's shoes. As I've pointed out, the fundamentals of the mind-body approach to health are simple, but their unfamiliarity can make them challenging to understand and apply.

What's the good news?


Through years of researching and using this information and helping others use it, I understand where you’re likely to have problems understanding and applying this new way of health and what you can do to transform the inevitable roadblocks into bridges. And I can guarantee you this: once you start using this approach to health, you'll find your health--and your life--improving in ways you might have hardly believed possible before.

What's your next step for changing your mind for health?

Remember, there is no once-and-for-all trick to deliberately directing the mind-body connection. Changing your mind so that you feel good  takes ongoing practice and ongoing commitment to making choices that feel better than the ones you're accustomed to. It takes effort to make new habits of perception familiar. It takes practice to notice how you feel and use that information to make choices that feel better. It takes effort to choose to relax instead of automatically responding with tension.

The effort may seem daunting, but it's not impossible. Persist. Keep practicing. Keep noticing how you feel and practice shifting to better feelings. You are changing habits of a lifetime. It is simple, but rarely easy. And remember,  you can't turn off the mind-body connection. This means you can learn to use it with awareness, because the mind-body connection is always involved in everything that goes on in both mind and body.

Remember, all illness can be treated more effectively by consciously using the mind-body approach to health, no matter what other kinds of treatment you choose. Your well being in all areas always benefits when you learn to deliberately direct the power of your mind in order to positively influence your responses to life. The benefits of using the mind-body approach to health are not hypothetical. The evidence is clear: scientific research shows your mind is your most powerful tool for health.

This means no matter what kind of health care you choose, adding the deliberate use of the mind-body approach is your most reliable key to better health--from solving minor problems to achieving seemingly miraculous cures, If you're really concerned about your health, it's time to start changing your mind. Get to know your mind-body through meditation and self awareness.

 

Allow yourself to let go of slogans like 'mind over matter'. Your mind and body interact - there is a continuous flow of information between them causing them to affect one-another. Your every thought has a physical affect and every physical state you get into affects your thinking. You've no doubt recognized that when you feel physically tired or less-than-well this affects your mood. For example it's very hard to be cheerful and humorous when you're exhausted. Similarly your thinking affects your physical state. If you spend a while going around telling yourself you can't cope or that you're a failure this will tense you up and drain your energy.

How do we apply this principle? Not by repeating mindless affirmations. Unless you really believe in them and repeat them with lots of emotion they have little effect. However you can make a difference with a little daily observation. Begin by becoming aware of your thoughts on an on-going basis. Pay attention to your self-talk and your mental images. Notice what you think about and how you think and notice the pictures sounds and feelings that come to mind when you have these thoughts..

For example, what topics  do you tend to dwell upon? Which ones do you not dwell upon? Which ones do you try to avoid thinking about? Are the topics mainly the future or mainly the past? What's going on around you or what's going on inside you. How much of your thinking is 'positive' and uplifting? How much of it is 'negative' and undermining?

How you think


Everyone is different and we each have our own ways of thinking. Is your thinking mainly in mental images? Or mainly in self-talk? Or a mixture of both? Are your mental images bright and colorful? Are they dull and monochrome? Do you have s steady stream of images on a wide range of subjects or do you tend to dwell on one or two topics. Your self-talk is the constant chatter that goes on inside your head. Is your self-talk 'loud' or quiet? Is it fast of slow? Is it critical or supportive? Is it angry or calm?

Using this awareness of your own thinking


It's a good idea to spend a few weeks familiarizing yourself with your own particular ways of thinking. Once you have become aware of your thinking patterns you can begin to change your thoughts so that the feelings they produce are more to your liking.

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