Sunday, August 26, 2012

Think Well

Think Well

How important is your mental health when considering your overall wellness?

According to James Chestnut B.Ed., MSc., DC, “It is now incontrovertible that it is more accurate to describe a human being as a body-mind-spirit than as a mind and a body. Quite simply, Descartes was wrong and the effects of the paradigm have been devastating! Descartes believed that the only interface between mind and body lay in the tiny pineal gland at the base of the brain. This mathematical model was the beginning of the dualistic way of thinking that ruled medicine for the next 300 years—and still does.”

Descartes believed that the mind and body literally have no relation to each other in terms of health. He actually believed you could remove the entire brain and have no effect on health! The belief that disease was the result of breakdowns in the body, or invasion by bugs, has shaped the medical model of symptom treatment. The essence of this paradigm still prevails in the medical model to this day.

The pharmaceutical model of selling a drug for a symptom started in 1910 with J.D. Rockefeller, who had financial interests in “biomedicine.” Our modern era of medicine was literally started by a businessman, not a healer. Emphasis at that time was placed on the discovery and quantification of disease and its associated drug for the eradication of the symptom(s) it created.

Is there any argument that we are dying by the millions from diseases that have been properly diagnosed and properly treated? Medicine is purely scientific; it has proven itself to be totally and completely unable to create or improve health. Like Dr. Chestnut says, “If drugs and surgeries were free and unlimited, we would still not be more well or more healthy as a society.”

Medicine defines success as whether or not a treatment can decrease a symptom, not by whether or not the individual returns to a state of health and homeostasis. It is tantamount to using the fire department to prevent fires! How will hoses, axes, fire trucks, water, and firemen stop fires from occurring? We spend trillions of dollars every year on putting out fires (disease), but unless we do the work necessary to stop fires from happening, we will always need a fireman (MD). And if a drug were to stop a fire (disease) in progress, and do a really good job of putting out the fire (disease), it still cannot EVER stop a fire (disease) from starting!

“For every thought supported by feeling, there is a muscle change. Primary muscle patterns being the biological heritage of man, man’s whole body records his emotional thinking” (Mabel Elsworth Todd, The Thinking Body).

The laboratory and clinical evidence of the connection between mind, body and belief systems is indisputable. If you do not take care of your mind, your body will suffer. It is also just as important to remember that the body influences the mind as much or more. This is an area of research called “somatoneurophysiology.”

“At Harvard University, Women in mind-body support groups for infertility conceive 44% of the time as opposed to an expected 8% rate.” (Domar, 2002).

“80% of men with hypertension in mind-body groups are able to decrease their medication while 16% are able to stop their medication entirely” (Friedman, 1992).

Friedman also studied heart attack, arthritis, AIDS, chronic pain, and insomnia—all showed significant benefits from mind-body groups and skill programs to improve their health.

There is a huge amount of research showing the power of positive lifestyle on heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer and all other chronic diseases. While, on the other hand, there is absolutely NO evidence that drug therapy prevents any chronic disease—how could it? Drugs can only be administered after the disease is present. We are not talking about a drug deficiency problem, we are talking about a lifestyle problem!

In a clinical study, researchers gave rats water with saccharin and then injected them with a nausea drug in an attempt to anchor saccharin to nausea. After repeating this several times, the researchers then just gave saccharin water to the rats and they all got nausea. The crazy thing is that the rats all started dying even though they were well taken care of. The researchers could not figure out the problem at first. What they discovered changes how we understand the mind-body connection forever: “The drug used to create nausea was also a powerful immune suppressant so the rats not only anchored the taste of saccharin to nausea, the immune systems of the rats had a weakened state anchored to saccharin,”(Behavioral Conditioning and the Immune System, Grune and Stratton, 1993).

Let me try to make this very clear—the rats were no longer being given the drug that weakened their immune system. This is like Pavlov’s dogs linking a weakened immune system to the bell—ring the bell; get sick. How powerful is your mind? Pavlov showed that the dogs would salivate when the bell rang—a conditioned response that is no longer questioned. What these researchers found with the rats is a much deeper response than what Pavlov discovered. We thought that this was an inviolate part of our internal functioning. We thought that our immune function and our mind were separable. They are not.

This is one of the most important validations for the wellness paradigm. Ignoring this information is equivalent to malpractice, but it is virtually absent from current patient education!

1 comment:

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