State-of-Your-Mind Address

*Photo credit: HERE

~By Sheila Garcia

The verdict is in: A more positive state of mind dramatically improves healing outcomes for a wide variety of conditions.

Your body is a self-healing organism. By bypassing its natural self-repair process and handing all your power over to a doctor, you might be ignoring the very thing you need to heal. This is not a revolutionary idea. Even doctors know that the body can heal itself. Our physiology texts teach us that it is brilliantly equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that kill the cancer cells we produce every day, fight infectious agents, repair broken proteins, keep our coronary arteries open and naturally fight the aging process.

Other studies have shown that practices such as Qi Gong, which teaches awareness and control of the body’s own stress responses, or self-awareness therapy (a more Western practice with similar goals) can reduce the pain or discomfort of fibromyalgia and also cure or reduce symptoms of health conditions as varied as heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

Our autonomic nervous system has two major operating systems — the sympathetic nervous system, which produces the body’s stress response, also known as “fight-or-flight”; and the parasympathetic nervous system, which produces the body’s relaxation response, also known as “rest-and-digest.” This is our homeostatic state, when the body is in equilibrium.  Here’s something they don’t even teach in medical school: The body’s natural self-repair mechanisms only fully function when the nervous system is in relaxation response.

This means stress can defeat healing!  How?  Our stress response is there for a reason: If you’re getting chased by a tiger, that burst of cortisol and epinephrine it produces will refocus all of your body’s restorative powers to pump up your blood pressure and heart rate, activate your large muscle groups and save your life. Stress responses were meant to be limited only to life-or limb-threatening dangers, but many modern-day humans are in fight-or-flight all the time.

We all know stress is bad for us, but did you realize that every stressful thought, feeling or belief — we average more than 50 such responses every day — disables the body’s ability to repair itself?

We have an unhealthy relationship with the very notion of stress. We often think it means that we’re too busy (and therefore that we’re worthy and important). But it’s much more than demands on your time and energy. Sure, stress can be running around like a headless chicken, trying to check off your to-do list. But as far as your nervous system is concerned, stress is also social isolation and loneliness. It’s selling your soul for a paycheck. Stress is a pessimistic world-view. It’s toxic relationships. Stress is money worries. It’s knowing you have a song within you that has yet to be sung, or feeling out of touch with your life’s purpose. Stress is negative beliefs about your health. It’s feeling like nobody really gets the real you. It’s pretending to be something that you’re not.

Maybe to finally get well, you need to quit your soul-sucking job or escape a toxic relationship. Maybe you need to pray or meditate more, or move to the country. Maybe you need to find your calling and do your part to save the world. Maybe you need to paint.  Maybe you need to join Legacy Fitness not only to have an exercise routine, but to have a sense of community.Your body is your business because nobody but you knows what triggers your stress responses or, equally important, how you might activate more of your relaxation responses. That power lies in your hands.

So I ask you the question a poet once posed: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

When you start living the answer, your legacy grows and your body’s natural self-repair mechanisms will flip on and you will have started down the path of natural healing!

Some sources for this article:
Natural Sciences Degree Program
Holistic Coaching Program