You have more control than you think…
When it comes to your health, there are 3 forces that will ultimately determine how healthy you happy you are. In the past I have put the focus of my writing only one of these pillars of health, your body. The other two are however senior to the body but are not often spoken of in a medical or healthcare setting. I believe this is on of the main reasons people are so stressed, unhealthy and unhappy today.
Will you experience health or disease?
Soul, Mind and Body. Yes, we are talking about pillars of health and I put body as the last pillar. The pillars work in a descending order but each will influences the others. You can put them in order you would like to, but I will just give you my take on how these 3 are related and how they will determine health and longevity. I consider this to be functional medicine to the extreme limits since we have now gone past the body and brain and move into the mind and the soul.
Functional medicine…root causes
One of the most important principals of functional medicine is to get to the “root cause” of the health problem. If we only considered the root cause to be in the body itself, we are cutting ourselves off from possibly arriving at the root cause of the root cause. We can’t ignore other sources of a root cause.
A psychosomatic illness occurs when the person is making themselves sick by their thoughts/their mind. You can literally make yourself sick by the thoughts you are thinking and entertaining.
Psycho-somatic… (mind + body) …”pertaining to the relation between mind and body; relating to both soul and body,” from Greek psykhē “mind” + sōma “body”.
- What if the root cause of your health issues is not located in your body? (Body)
- What if you are literally making yourself sick by the thoughts you are thinking? If you can make yourself sick with thought, can you also heal yourself with thought? (Mind)
- Who is thinking those thoughts? Who is seeing or viewing those images? (Soul)
At this point in my life, education, and experience, I believe the soul (You), has a Mind which can be used to form thoughts, good or bad. The brain creates an environment in body consistent with what it receives from the mind. My view on this will evolve with time and experience, but this is how I see and understand it today.
You will need to change your mind and your thoughts if you want your life to be different than it is today. Your thoughts and actions of yesterday(s) are what you experience today. If you want your tomorrows to be different than today, you will need to change your thoughts and actions. This a basic law of Causes and Effects.
I see this every day in my office…
I see this all the time in our clinic. You have the person who nobody has been able to help or every time they start to recover and heal, they relapse again and again. Or the person feels terrible every day and as soon as they enter a new environment or take a vacation they feel dramatically better. What is causing this to happen?
Many people with autoimmune diseases will experience a flare-up of their condition when they visit family, have an argument at home, lose their job; etc. Something they consider to be stressful. Stress does have a negative impact on the body, but what is stress and where does it come from?
What is stress?
Your body can’t experience the negative effects of stress without the brain making chemicals and sending out signals consistent with “being stressed.” So why would the brain do this?
Would it make sense that it is because you are creating with your mind, thoughts,images, scenarios and feelings that are stressful?
Something is “stressful” would be something we are tying to avoid or resist in some way. We don’t want (fill in the blank).
Who is running your mind? Can you choose to think thoughts about cats, houses, money, work, family, illness, health, old age, death, and birth?
Let’s say that I (soul) want to create a happy thought and then experience it. Ok, I like the ocean, beach, and sun. I use my mind to create an image or scene of me being in a location like that. I add details…I see the sun and feel it on my skin. I see the waves and hear them and can smell the salty air and I will add a few seagulls and dolphin just offshore just for fun.
I could just as easily “place myself” in the mountains, floating down a river or eating at a café in Paris.
I (soul) chose a topic and I filled it in with images, sensations, and feelings (mind). Now as I “experience” this with my mind, it has an impact on my brain. My brain begins to produce chemicals and signals other nerves that are in harmony or agreement with what I’m seeing and experiencing with the mind. I notice I “feel” good, and my muscles and entire body relax. My heartrate and blood pressure lower…etc.
This is an example of me being aware of what I am doing with my mind and the effect is has on my body.
What do you think could happened if I were under a lot of stress, didn’t like my job, had problems with my children, under financial stress, was stuck in an unhealthy relationship…you get the idea? What sort of thoughts do you think I might have on a daily basis? Would they be the kind of thoughts that promoted easy, harmony, resonance, balance, and health in my body or dis-ease, dysfunction and illness?
If we use the beach example above, I originated the idea of having a thought of something I enjoy. I could have just as easily created a stressful, unpleasant thought experience.
What are you thinking about?
When people are not well they tend to focus on and think about how unwell they are and how unpleasant it is to be ill. They tend to imagine what will life be like if it gets worse or if they can’t find a doctor to help them? If that is what they think about most of the time, what do you think is happening to their body? The mind is creating images and feelings of illness and the brain then takes these orders literally and so creates a state in the body consistent with the messages it is getting from the mind.
It has been well established in countless studies how we can change the physiology and chemicals of the body with thought. We have even seen genes change how they express themselves…creating proteins of health or proteins of disease, based on thoughts alone.
Now I’m not saying it’s easy to control our minds. I’m saying it is possible. I’m also saying our mind can make our body ill. For many people, I believe it is essential if they ever hope to experience greater health and a quality of life.
Again, as a functional medicine doctor, I see this on a daily basis. I listen to people tell their story, the story they have been living…the story they believe, which is the same story their mind is creating, and their body is creating every day. I’m not saying you need to address the soul and mind to create change in the body, but for some individuals it is essential.
How do your thoughts cause disease?
How would you explain it?
Now you might want to add some other pieces or use different names for these pillars and that is fine. You could tie in the brain and you can choose if your subconscious is part of the brain or part of the mind…or maybe you think of them as being the same.
Maybe you don’t think you are or have a soul or a mind. You are only a body with a brain. I can also put this another way that is very materialistic…your attitude toward yourself, others and life with influence the kind of thoughts you have, and this will impact the choices you make in life.
Our actions are consistent with what we believe. All of which, will influence your life and your health. Assuming you believe in causes and effects.
I consider thoughts to be an action…it is after all something you are doing…something you are doing with your mind. Many people think thoughts “don’t count” and only physical actions and deeds have effects and consequences. I believe thoughts and physical world acts are causes that lead to effects that we then experience in our lives.
You might want to add God or Source or Nature or Source or whatever you like. If we go this route, then belief and faith might be involved. Would that not involve what we think and feel and reflect our attitudes about ourselves, others, and life as a whole?
It does not really matter how you piece this together, as long as it is an arrangement of pieces you can agree with and believe in. Nobody has all the answers on this…so pick a description you can agree with. I prefer the Soul, Mind (not the brain) and Body (which includes the brain) model. I’m sure my model and understanding will evolve and change with time and experience.
I am not here to convince you of any of this. What you believe to be true is true for you, and that is all that matters.
I hope you got something useful from this article. Hopefully, it will inspire you to consider other possible causes of illness and roads to wellness. I believe that our mindset and beliefs play a significant role in our health and lives.
The purpose of functional medicine is:
Understanding how the body works, knowing how and where to investigate health issues, knowing what to look for, understanding the significance of what is found and creating a plan of action to reverse and correct the root cause the health problems.
My wish for you…health, happiness and a better quality of life!
If you would like more information about functional medicine and integrative medicine or Dr. Sexton go to www.napervilleintegratedwellness.com
Do your own research, inform yourself and ask lots of questions. When collecting information, you MUST consider the source. There is no shortage of false, misleading, outdated, profit-driven and utterly biased information in healthcare today; even from the most respected sources and organizations.
This approach to healthcare is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease. This article is for information purposes and is not a substitute professional healthcare services. Contact our office for more information.