People often ask me "Scott, what do you think is the essential component of physical healing?" Now, usually, this question is coming from a person who feels stuck. They have had a physical health challenge for a while, months or years and the challenges range from diabetes, weight gain, digestive issues, high cholesterol, arthritis, chronic joint pain or inflammation or a high susceptibility to injury and slow recovery. My answer often surprises people because its the place they haven't thought to look yet. State of mind!
People can often see the clear connection between state of mind and mental and emotional wellbeing. But when it comes to the relationship between our state of mind and physical health challenges, that's when things get a little less clear. I hope to clear that up here.
When we are talking about state of mind, we are referring to the consciousness behind our physical experience. An easy way to see this is when we feel stress. When someone feels fearful, worried, anxious, overwhelmed, they feel it in their physical body in some way. For some its tension in their muscles, or headaches, for others, it may be an upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation, high blood pressure, back pain. We could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture. The physical experience/symptom we are having is NOT the problem. It's merely pointing to the source. But, because the physical experience is annoying or getting in the way of productivity and living life, we look for something to get rid of the symptom without addressing the cause. In essence, we shoot the messenger without a thorough understanding of the message that's being delivered.
Because the human body wants to thrive and protect you, it sends another messenger/symptom and sometimes with a stronger message. Unfortunately, we get annoyed and look for a better/stronger messenger killer. This cycle goes on and on, and when we arrive at a health practitioner, we say "I've tried EVERYTHING."
So how does state of mind save the day? Consciousness is not just in our brain. Consciousness resides in every single cell of your body (about 60 trillion cells), and in addition to that, every individual bacteria in your body (bacteria outnumber our cells 10:1) reacts to the state of the body/mind. Stressed mind equals stressed cells and bacteria. Stressed cells and bacteria create inflammation. Inflammation leads to pain, diabetes, weight gain, elevated cholesterol, joint pain, arthritis, and chronic injuries not to mention the mental health side. That's for another day.
Going upstream to explore the role of state of mind in our moment to moment experience is our greatest leverage point in health and healing. When our mind can see with clarity, our body begins to relax into a healing response. Through understanding how our mind works, we naturally move into a calmer quieter state where we have more mental flexibility, agility, and clarity. That flexibility, agility, and clarity is mirrored in our body where health and healing can do their work by design.
In over 25 years as a health practitioner and coach, I have found that health and healing are waiting for us. Symptoms are the body's way of getting our attention and that state of mind holds the cards when it comes to building and engaging in an optimal health, healing and performance program. From a clearer mind and calmer body, nutrition, movement, physical therapy, sleep and rest have a more significant positive healing impact.