Please welcome Abigail Steidley, owner of The Healthy Life, LLC Life Coaching Services and blogger of The Vagina Dialogues as guest blogger for yet another week!
In last week’s post I presented my new Mind Body Health Program dedicated to helping you learn effective tools for creating mind and body teamwork. Though this is certainly not a new topic in alternative health modalities, it definitely deserves a post of its own. The connection between the mind and the body is something that other cultures incorporate into every aspect of living. In our Western society, however, we absolutely need to be reminded that the body and the mind are inseparable. Somehow the mind has taken on the role of leader in our culture, and many medical and psychological approaches to healing separate the mind from the body as though the two do not coexist. Seeing the mind and body as separate actually takes a powerful healing tool out of the health equation: The Mind. Whenever the body is physically unwell, the mind is involved, too. This isn’t to say that you’re crazy, imagining your symptoms, or being melodramatic. The mind simply can’t help but be involved in whatever the body is experiencing – it lives at the same address.
Both the conscious and unconscious mind can be an incredibly powerful tool in returning to good health. Using mental tools to reduce pain, reduce anxiety, allow healing, and improve your emotional state can only help the healing process. Even better, these mental tools work perfectly alongside physical medical treatments to improve their efficacy and speed healing. Using the healing power of the mind is a side-effect-free treatment that can be added to any medical plan.
To understand the deeper aspects of mind body healing, you have to understand that thoughts and emotions do not reside only in your brain. They live everywhere in your body and affect every cell of your being. For example, think of the muscle tension you feel when you are stressed or afraid. You can imagine emotion as a vibration within your physical body- almost as if you are a musical instrument and each emotion is a vibrating string. Different frequencies of emotion feel different inside your body – when you’re happy, you might notice yourself feeling energetic and light. When you’re depressed, you might notice a lack of energy and a sense of heaviness in your body. Recognizing this connection between emotion and the physical body can help you see the power of working through negative emotion to release it from both your mental and physical self. Not only will you feel better mentally, you will also remove something that affects your body negatively.
Thoughts and emotions are so closely intertwined that you might have trouble recognizing their connection. Sometimes they happen almost simultaneously, so it’s difficult to separate them and take a good look at what you are thinking. When you do take this step, you discover the ultimate power of the mind. When you step back from your thinking, you diffuse its power. From this place, you can change your own thoughts, change your own emotions, and create a healing environment within your physical body. Many of us are trying to heal but have poisonous thoughts and emotions traversing our bodies. I remember thinking primarily negative thoughts that simply fed my despair and hopelessness as I suffered through physical pain. When I finally realized how much impact my emotional state had on my health, I set to work figuring out ways to improve my emotional state. I learned deep breathing techniques, sought therapy, tried hypnosis, wrote in my journal, meditated, listened to healing music, sought acupuncture, and finally, worked through my own negative thinking using Martha Beck’s tools.
Using all of the concepts I learned from these alternative healing modalities, I created a system that worked for me. I researched the mind body connection out of sheer passion and fascination. The more I learned, the more I loved the whole approach to healing. Now, I am privileged to have found a career that includes studying the mind body connection – it just doesn’t get any better than that. Having stumbled through my own healing process, using myself as a guinea pig, I can share with you a positive, enjoyable, powerful, life-changing combination of tools for allowing the mind and body to work together in harmony. My hope is that you will find hope and possibility as you read each week’s post, and that you will discover the incredible power of your own mind as you take your journey to fabulous health.
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