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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Mind-Body Connection Gaining Scientific Credibility: Erin Patterson shares the results of recent studies on physical health and the human spirit.

Nov 01, 2015 04:13PM ● By Erin Patterson

We now know more than ever about the intricate connection between the mind, body and spirit. In her book, Goddesses Never Age, Christiane Northrup, M.D., stresses the importance of addressing the mind-body-spirt connection in healing. She states, “Most ailments aren’t simply caused by a virus or single physical agent. They always have mental, emotional and spiritual or energetic aspects to them. The best approach to health conditions is to acknowledge and address them through a holistic mind-body-spirit approach to wellness, not just a physical intervention.”

Cellular biologist Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., in his book The Biology of Belief, shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology. Instead, DNA is controlled by signals outside the cell, including energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts. Thus it is important to focus the mind on the positive. Because we have approximately 70,000 thoughts per day, this may seem like a daunting task. However, there are many tools such as affirmations, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and meditation that can help focus the mind and change our thought patterns, even though 90 percent of the mind is subconscious.

The health of the body has a profound impact on our thoughts and our emotions. The late neuroscientist Candace Pert, Ph.D., was a major contributor to the area of mind-body medicine, researching how emotions can act like drugs. In her book Molecules of Emotion, Pert states, “Why we feel the way we feel is the result and harmony of our own molecules of emotion that affect every aspect of our physiology, producing good health or miserable disease.” It is crucial to heal the causes of our negative emotions because they will affect our physical and mental health.

The human spirit is strong, elegant and resilient, enabling humans to transcend our limitations and achieve the impossible; from surviving the holocaust to swimming the English Channel. We do not have to be religious or spiritual to believe in the human spirit or relate to a time when we had to connect with something greater than ourselves to survive a challenge or transcend the ordinary. Some find this connection through music, art, nature, meditation or dance, which can also lead to hope, faith, courage, strength, love and inner peace.

In the field of psychoneuroimmunology, Dr. H. Steven Greer conducted studies that suggest attitude is linked to duration and survival of cancer. Such research has led the traditional medical community to acknowledge the importance of the human spirit in health and healing and to use a more holistic approach.

A holistic approach to the mind-body-spirit connection is not only important in addressing disease; it is paramount in preventing disease and maintaining health. Most people understand the importance of diet and exercise in maintaining physical health, so when we incorporate the quality of our thoughts, emotions and spirit into daily self-care practices, we improve our overall health, happiness and sense of well-being.

Erin PattersonErin Patterson is a coach, mentor, speaker and writer whose practice is located in the B~Well Center of Scottsdale. Connect at