It is extremely important to understand the connection between disease and the mind-body connection. First, let’s look at the word disease. For a clearer picture of what the word disease (dis-ease) means, consider the following (meanings taken from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: 10th edition):
Disbar – expel from the legal profession
Discomfort – lack of comfort, not comfortable, distress, grief, mental and/or physical, uneasiness
Discord – lack of agreement or lack of harmony
Discredit – loss of credit or loss of reputation
Disinterested – not interested
Disloyal – lacking in loyalty
Disorder – lack of order
Disease – sickness, malady, trouble, a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning (causing something to go wrong)
Ease – state of being comfortable, freedom from pain or discomfort.
Take a circus balloon shaped like a hot dog. If you grab one end and squeeze, the other end gets larger. No matter which end you grab and squeeze, the other end will get larger. They are connected to the same space. The mind and the body are like that balloon. When you affect one, you affect the other.
It is not uncommon for a person to become saddened or emotionally hurt by someone one day, then become sick with a cold or a virus within the next few days. This happens because when we become emotionally hurt it decreases our immune system—the ability to fight off diseases. We are always fighting off viruses, diseases, etc. Medical researchers tell us that we all even have some type of cancer cells in our bodies. It is our immune system that keeps the bad (or abnormal) cells from growing and maturing, from taking over our normal cells. The longer our immune system is affected by negative feelings/thoughts, the worse we feel and the longer it takes to get better. Dr. Steve G. Jones (known throughout the world) has a step-by-step approach with transcript or audio training module techniques (selection of methods and prices) that you can start using today called “8 Habits To Enhance Your Mind Power.”
Besides taking medications, one very important thing to do at this time is to think about what it is that caused us to become upset in the first place. Just to not think about it, putting it out of your conscious mind, swallowing it, will not make it go away. It is still there, deep in your sub-conscious mind. It still bothers you, creeping into your conscious mind from time to time—reliving the moment(s) that caused you to become upset. It’s like keeping those past moments in the present. At times like this, to change your body’s reaction to what you feel, you need to reframe the incident(s). (Reframing— future article.) For now, we’ll just look at simpler methods.
Let me give you an example. I once knew a woman who complained to me that she was tired of going in and out of the hospital. For several weeks she was sick with one thing after another. I asked her to think about the time before she became ill. Without telling me what, I asked her if something happen to upset her? She thought for a moment, then said, “yes.” I asked her to think about what happened and look at things in a different way—a way that she could accept. A week later I ran into her in the mall, happily shopping and feeling perfectly fine.
Keeping negative, hurtful thoughts in your mind (your thoughts or those of someone else) continues to have a negative effect on your immune system. You want to get those thoughts, those feelings, out of your head. Some people write. Sometimes this works for me. For example: One day I had a phone conversation that left me absolutely furious! I couldn’t do anything but pace around the room, muttering to myself. I knew my blood pressure was dangerously high. I couldn’t go to sleep. I didn’t want to talk to anyone and take my anger and frustration out on them. So I decided to write. The following poem, which I often refer to, is the result of that day.
The Devil Is A Relative
Rage strong enough to kill
Is a nurtured and cultivated skill
Produced by cunning and pressure
Needled and twisted by someone’s pleasure.
This person is surely not a stranger
Not one you’d associate with danger
Nor a friend who wishes you well
More than likely someone from hell.
Beware the two faces of kin
Smiling while plunging the knife in
Someone we’re taught to tolerate
Can with years of abuse
Transform love into hate.
After writing that poem, I felt such a release of stress! It enabled me to get the emotions out onto paper instead of locked inside my head.
If it is a person who upset you, let you down, another way to get those feelings out is by writing that person a letter. You don’t have to mail the letter, just get your feelings out onto paper—outside of you! If there is someone you trust to keep your feelings to themselves, read the letter to that person. I watched a woman in a Women’s Shelter read a letter she wrote to her husband. He would come home from working as a policeman keeping her community safe, only to find any excuse to beat her before going to bed. Her heartfelt letter explained how she felt, her disappointment, her pain, and her anger. I sat next to her as she read her letter. It was like watching a flower bloom, as while she read, her back straightened, her shoulders went back, and she smiled after sincerely yours. Just being able to express how she felt enabled her to release so much stress. Of course, it is also even more helpful when your feelings are validated by others, and you are given the support you want and need.
There is always aggressive sports, aerobics, swimming multiple laps, or even going on a cleaning binge of your car or home. The idea is not to sit and brood, continuously bringing the past into the present, reliving those painful memories. Dr. Deepak Chopra’s book, Perfect Health–The Complete Mind Body Guide, is one of the first books I read to help me understand the mind-body link. Thomas DeLauer’s Organic Health Program concentrates on the physical side of this connection with an “Organic 7-day Total Body Reset.” He offers a limited money-back guarantee. It’s easier to think of more positive things when you feel good physically!
The incidents don’t cause the pain inside you. It is your reactions to the incidents that cause the pain. If a total stranger called you a bad name, you’d look at the stranger and consider that person crazy. If someone you know and care about calls you that same bad name, your feelings are hurt. It is your reaction that causes you to feel the pain. Remember, although it’s not easy, you have the power to determine what you will allow to hurt you. You always have that power!
2 Comments on “Disease”
Many people living with chronic disease turn to their faith for solace and comfort. Most of the posts on Anna’s blog are reflections on living with Parkinson’s and how her faith applies directly to every symptom, struggle, or issue at hand. She uses the Bible to find answers for the challenges both she and other people in her life face, finding inspiration and solace.
I’ve also heard that people who suffer with Parkinson’s respond favorably to harp music.
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