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
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
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
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
There's a lot of conflicting advice.
n search of the active ingredient
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
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?
Why do science and medicine resist the
mind-body approach to health?
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.
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
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
I did not discover an easy formula for
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
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.
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
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
"Just spray on the mind-body approach and
symptoms disappear with no scrubbing!"
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
What's your next step for changing your mind
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
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
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 you think
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?
Using this awareness of your own thinking
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?
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.