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How I Relate to the Interconnectedness of Mind, Body & Soul

Clare Love (Diploma in Holistic Life Coaching Skills)

 

The term ‘interconnected’ means; ‘to be meaningfully or complexly related or joined’ (Collins English Dictionary) When applied to human health, this term can be used to provide us with a ‘holistic’ view of a person that is; ‘of or relating to the medical consideration of the complete person, physically and psychologically, in the treatment of a disease’ and their health. (Collins English Dictionary)

 

In other words each human being has a mind, a body and a soul which make up the entirety of their being. In the view of holistic and interconnected world of medicine these areas cannot and should not be separated when examining the health of an individual and indeed the disease manifestation process.

 

In Western medicine or ‘Allopathic’ as it is also referred, there is a tendency to separate physical health (body) from emotional and psychological (mind) and spiritual (soul). In fact Western medicine rarely includes the emotional and spiritual as being of significant importance in their health modal.

 

Healthcare in mainstream medicine is generally divided into physical (body) and psychological (mind). These are then further compartmentalised. For example if you have a problem with your immune system you will go and see an Immunologist, if you have a problem with your Digestive system you will go and see a Gastroenterologist, if you are suffering with depression you may go and see a Psychiatrist or Psychotherapist, hence the area in which the symptom has arisen is that which is treated, rather than the whole person walking into the clinic.

 

This is problematic for a number of reasons;

  1. We as humans are complete organisms containing many different working parts each of which, it might be argued, should not be separated because one impacts upon the other. For example 80 % of the immune system is based in the gut so it is impossible to separate the gut from the immune system
  2. The part of the body where the symptom is shown may not be the origin of the problem. For example hip pain may be caused by bad posture and a replacement hip may provide immediate relief but until the posture is addressed, the issue may not be fully resolved or it may transfer to another part of the body
  3. The lifestyle factors influencing the disease process are not taken into account
  4. The focus is on treatment rather than prevention and information giving. This places the power for transformation and healing on the health system not the individual
  5. Stress which originates in the mind is recognised globally as the single biggest cause of disease (both in mind and body) so if the physical manifestation of stress is treated as the cause of disease rather than examining the origins of the stress, we are perpetuating the issue not healing it
  6. Recognition that stress is the biggest cause of disease is in itself recognising that there is a connection between the mind and the body

 

There are many studies and fields of research which align themselves to the importance of an interconnected approach to health. Dr John Sarno spent many years researching the connection between psychosomatic (mind/body) disease and TMS (tension myositis syndrome). He believed (and indeed proved through the many clients he helped heal) that many physical disorders begin in the unconscious mind. It is in here, he argued that painful emotions and experiences are repressed to protect the individual and instead become manifested as physical symptoms which are, in the view of ego, easier to deal with.

 

Sarno believed that knowledge and awareness were the most transformative form of medicine an individual could receive. In his film documentary ‘All The Rage’ (2017) Sarno states; ‘knowledge is the only prescription I give to clients’. It is incredibly empowering and in my opinion fundamental to a person’s healing journey to enable them to discover that they possess most of the answers they need within themselves.

 

The ‘placebo effect’ has been widely recognised and documented since Henry K Beecher’s (1955) findings which began during WW2 when he ran out of morphine to operate on wounded soldiers and used a saline injection in its place. Patients were found to respond in the same way as if they’d received the anaesthetic.

 

His studies went on to demonstrate that placebo is a legitimate phenomenon which can and does effect the outcomes of clinical trials. It is a good example of how the mind can influence the body and clinical trials now incorporate it to ensure a ‘true result’.

 

‘Neuroplasticity’ is a term used to describe changes such as new neural pathways that occur in the brain as a result of changed thoughts or experience. Such changes have been measured in the brains of meditating monks (Davidson and Lutz 2008) and more recently by using technology to ‘map’ the changes in the brain as a result of changed belief (Dr Joe Dispenza 2014), thus demonstrating the interconnection of  the body and mind.

 

In her book ‘Dying To Be Me’ (2012) Anita Moorjani recounts her experience of dying from life threatening illness lymphoma. Her death was certified by Medics. She describes going through a process where her spirit met with her deceased Father and the subsequent decision to come back into her body and continue with life. In a very short space of time she was completely healed from the illness and now experiences a full and healthy life educating others on the importance of living from love as opposed to fear (which she believed caused the illness in the first place).

 

As a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist (someone who coaches a person holistically about their diet and lifestyle and empowers them to improve their health and wellbeing) I have found that approximately 80% of every consultation is spent in the areas of mind and soul. By that I mean that when given the floor space, people speak predominantly about the stress they are experiencing in their lives; past trauma, childhood, relationship problems, work issues, environmental factors, time constraints etc. It is these factors that influence the person’s ability (or inability) to chose a diet and lifestyle that is more nourishing and health inducing.   In other words people’s eating habits (which could be assigned to the body field) are intrinsically connected to and influenced by the areas of mind and soul. In my experience until these areas are addressed, there seems to be little progression towards a healthy diet and lifestyle. Thereby ascertaining the importance of an Interconnected approach to human health and wellbeing.

 

It is for this reason that I decided to become a Holistic Life Coach.

 

REFERENCES

Books

Web-Based References

Films

  • ‘All The Rage – Saved By Sarno’, 2017, Directed by Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley, David Belinson
  • ‘Heal’ 2017 (Documentary) Dr Deepak Chopra, Dr Joe Dispenza, Anita Moorjani, Director Kelly Noonan Gores

 

View Course: Diploma in Holistic Life Coaching Skills

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