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How Prayer, Knitting and Jogging Impact Your Mind-Body Connection

Friday, January 13, 2012


There is an inseparable connection between the mind and the body. There are complicated interactions that take place between the mind, body, and the outside world. Studies have shown that between 60% and 90% of all physician visits are for stress-related complaints. The mind/body approach to health has helped millions of men and women reduce the stress that can cause or exacerbate conditions such as: chronic pain, headaches, and hypertension.

Exactly how personal beliefs, psychological and social factors, and stress affect the health of your body is not fully understood. It is known, however, that the mind and body are in a state of constant communication. What the mind thinks, perceives, and experiences is sent from the brain to the rest of the body. And vice versa: our bodies are sending messages to the brain.

I’ve followed the research of Dr. Herbert Benson with interest for years. He’s a cardiologist who has worked in establishing the mind/body connection. His research has uncovered what is called the relaxation response which can be elicited by a variety of meditative techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing, repetitive prayer, tai chi, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, jogging, and even knitting. You can learn more about eliciting the relaxation response at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine’s website.

I urge you to learn how to use your own healing power to maintain or regain health and reduce stress and other negative behaviors and thoughts. If you need help in developing a healthier connection between mind and body find a therapist who works in this area or contact my office in Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington.


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