Are Your Mind and Body Working in Harmony? By Robin Trimingham
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to attend a lecture given by Deepak Chopra who is currently the 17th most influential person alive today, and the most influential person in the medical field [Huffington Post].
The topic of the presentation which was sponsored by Colonial Insurance Group was “The Nature of Reality” but interestingly Mr. Chopra devoted the majority of his presentation to talking about the implications of a mind-body approach to medicine; and particularly the suffering that humans experience when the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are out of balance.
Commencing with the moment of conception when cells divide to create new life, Chopra floated the idea that the body itself is simply a process of evolution, and not a “thing” as we have been led to believe because our bodies and indeed every simple thing around us is constantly changing and transforming.
According to Chopra, if this physical, mental and spiritual transformation is perfectly balanced, then a human is “perfectly healthy”. If, however, your ability to self-regulate these processes is impaired to the point that your transformation becomes “un-balanced” then illness occurs.
That being the case, then only 5% of all illness is due to genetic mutation – the rest are what Chopra claims are simply “genetic mistakes” that increase the likelihood of disease, and many of these “mistakes” can be repaired or eradicated.
Much of what Deepak Chopra has to say about human evolution and wellness challenges our long-held beliefs regarding health but his arguments are thought provoking and compelling because he is medical doctor whose ideas are supported by science.
Regardless of whether you accept all the aspects of his mind-body approach to medicine, he has identified Seven Pillars of Well Being which anyone can benefit from:
- The most efficient way to keep your body healthy is to experience the renewing effects of deep sleep on a daily basis.
- It is essential to be mindfully aware of the present moment, whatever is happening.
- Movement is essential to well being because it stimulates different branches of the Vegas nerve in the brain and has a healing effect on the body.
- The body heals whenever it experiences positive emotions and anger and resentment have a very unhealthy effect on the body.
- Any form of processed food is very unhealthy because the petroleum products and processed sugars that they contain cause inflammation inside the body.
- When you walk barefoot on the beach or the grass you are connecting directly with the rhythms of the earth which has a healing effect on the body.
- When you focus too much on the external world (which Chopra says is an illusion) you experience “existential human suffering” which is rooted in not knowing who you really are. The most powerful questions you can ask yourself are:
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- What is my purpose?
- What am I grateful for?
For Chopra, achieving optimal wellness is a lifelong process but anyone can take the first step to better health simply by focusing more on the connection between their mind and body as they go about their daily life.
By Robin Trimingham