What is mind-body medicine?
Mind-Body Medicine is a powerful way to tap into our “inner-knowing”, to get in touch with who we are, and to see the connections between our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and physical bodies. Mind-Body Medicine classes teach us to notice and control our thoughts, emotions and behaviors. When we become aware of these connections we begin to see how it all affects our health and wellbeing.
So what are superpowers? Well, duh, they are things like being able to fly, having super strength, extreme flexibility, invisibility, and more. But, who has these powers anyway? Certainly not anyone I’ve ever met. Many believe superpowers are characteristics and or skills that leaders incorporate. For example, some people can command a room with their presence. Is it the way they carry themselves, their demeanor, the way they dress, or just their air of confidence? It’s probably a combination of these things, but does that make them super powerful or just seem that way? In the past several months I have come to understand superpowers differently.
In my opinion, having superpowers is having the ability to understand, and thus control, oneself. This control gives people the ability to create their most desirable life. It seems obvious that one can control themself, but look around, and into yourself. Who actually is achieving this? Who do you know that really, truly, controls themselves, their environment, their life, and is truly happy? I only know a few people who have pretty much everything they desire. However, I cannot say if they are deliberate creators. Now, having superpowers doesn’t mean we’ll never have a bad day. It means we have the ability, and the “know-how” to recognize our thoughts and emotions and let them guide us to be more aligned with our authentic selves. It also means we have the capability to change our thoughts. Which, if done positively, can benefit us emotionally and physically.
So, how does that work? Emotions are energy; thoughts that entered the body, got labeled as good or bad and then ran amuck in the body creating mental and physical reactions.
How thoughts can affect our physical bodies
You are on your way to work, you’re in a hurry because your child was dragging his feet this morning. Being in a hurry (and not wanting to go to work in the first place) is causing you to already feel tense even though you slept pretty well last night. You have a nagging sciatica that isn’t bothering you today. Then, some driver cuts you off and you react. You slam on breaks, spill your coffee, emit some explicit words, and suddenly your leg starts to hurt. Your body is awash in cortisol, epinephrine and norepinepherine, in other words, the stress response is now running on overdrive (pun intended). This is a great example of how emotions create pain.
Now, you are coming home from your hectic day and as you walk in the door, tired from your day, you find the house is neat, warm and feels cozy. There is an aroma of fresh baked bread, the table is set and dinner is cooking. Your spouse says you’re getting a massage after dinner paired with a hot bath. Suddenly, you feel such deep gratitude that a few tears run down your face. The emotions of love and gratitude flood your body and your shoulders melt down your back as the tension of the day falls away. You feel appreciated, respected and heard. The leg pain just disappears. Sitting at dinner isn’t painful at all. You avoid talking about your no good, very bad day because even thinking about it brings tension back into your body. So, you embrace the evening. This is an example of how emotions soften and can even eliminate pain.
These two examples are about how our surroundings and experiences stimulate emotions which cause physical reactions. The morning example shows how when we are stressed, things get worse. Our minds are powerful and our thoughts create. Mind-Body medicine helps put us in touch with our thoughts by teaching us how to slow down our minds. Once we slow our minds and notice our thoughts, we have the choice to focus on them or let them move along. We can even deliberately bring in thoughts that calm us or make us happy. Mind-Body medicine also helps us identify our emotions, notice what those emotions are doing to us and for us…physically, mentally and gives your some skills to move through the emotions. Your emotions are your superpowers!
When we have the ability to control our emotions, to choose the ones we want to keep in our life and know how to process the ones that don’t make us feel good we are engaging our superpower!
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I aspire to fully integrate the best of conventional, nutritional & functional medicine with cutting edge coaching and body-mind skills so you can achieve optimal wellbeing.
BS in Nursing | MS in Nursing | Functional Medicine Certified Health and Wellness Coach