The 5,000-year-old philosophy of the natural healing arts, like those practiced at the Advanced Wellness Center, teaches that there is no area of the body that is not affected by the mind and, conversely, no area of the mind unaffected by the body. This recognition of “oneness” is the underlying foundation of natural medicine.
It rarely occurs to us how often our emotions affect our physical health. In reacting to the experiences of life, the human mind initiates physical reactions, like when our blood pressure rises or stomach acids increase in response to stressful or anxious thoughts and feelings. If not attended to, these reactions can result in poor health, illness, disease and even a shortened life span.
There is a ceaseless exchange between mental/emotional energies and the coarser physical form referred to as our body. Treating only a symptom, especially that from the mental/emotional realm commonly manifests itself as physical illness or pain. If only the symptoms are treated, the root causes are not addressed.
Research continues to uncover the myriad of ways that our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, emotions and the function of our physical body are interconnected. In 2006, Science Daily published “Mind-Body Connection: How Central Nervous System Regulates Arthritis.” This research, led by Gary S. Firestein, MD, professor of Medicine, chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, and director of UCSD’s Clinical Investigation Institute, revealed that in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation in the joints can be sensed and modulated by the central nervous system (CNS). The research suggests that the CNS can profoundly influence immune responses.
In April 2008, Clinical Cancer Research published the article, “The Importance of ‘Mind-Body’ Connection for Surviving Cancer,” written by cancer researchers at UCI, with the research funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings revealed that counseling intervention not only improved the quality of life for cervical cancer survivors but also altered associated stress-related effects on the patient’s immune systems. “Along with reporting psychological and social benefits, the women in the study were found to have improved anti-tumor immune responses. The findings point to the importance of a ‘mind-body’ connection for surviving cancer with a higher quality of life.”
Both of these studies and others indicate just how emotional reactions can compromise the immune system, making us more susceptible to catching colds or other infections, slowing wound healing, perhaps even causing a higher likelihood for injuries during emotionally difficult times.
If you find yourself struggling to cope with life’s changes, or are experiencing physical pain or discomfort, it is advisable to consult with your doctor or practitioner at the Advanced Wellness Center. If you are a potential new patient to the Center please contact Mary Frank, office manager at (562) 795-6680 who will assist you in making an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many of our new patients have difficulty understanding the connectivity of the mind and body and its effect on their health. We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to help you better understand this connection.
What are some of the physical symptoms of poor emotional reactions?
- Back pain
- Stiff neck
- General aches and pains
- Changes in appetite/weight
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Chest pain
- Increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
- Dry mouth
- High blood pressure
- Sexual difficulties
How is it that my shoulder pain could be linked to my gallbladder attacks?
The body is constantly communicating to us in the form of feelings, symptoms and emotions. Learning what they mean and how they can be treated is what we do at the Advanced Wellness Center. In the case of the shoulder pain above, shoulder pain is accepted (in all forms of medicine) as a common sign of a gallbladder disturbance.
Can a chiropractic adjustment help something like my depression?
Anything that changes your physiology will, by definition, have an effect on your psychological experience. Throughout the last 100 years of chiropractic history, many patients have reported a great change in their psychological state as a result of chiropractic care. If behavior is a product of our brain chemistry, then interference in the neurological system can produce an altered effect in one’s behavior.
What about acupuncture and the mind? Do needles help?
Yes! The mind and emotions are the non-physical (energetic) aspects of the human being. Acupuncture successfully treats many symptoms that are deemed ‘psychological’ by Western medicine. Depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, hyperactivity, etc., are merely labels of Western medicine. Although labeled differently in Chinese medicine, our Acupuncture Department continues to successfully treat psychological conditions. Children also benefit greatly from this gentle and proven technique.
Some of the mind/body services offered at the Advanced Wellness Center:
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Our Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Department treats many common autoimmune disorders, such as: rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is also treated in this department. But, the affects of the mind/body connection do not stop there. Depression can cause low-grade back pain; chronic anxiety may lead to on-going mid-back pain and constant stress can manifest itself in the neck and shoulders. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine are safe, effective and covered by many insurance carriers.
Stress Management Training
Stress affects people physically, mentally and emotionally. According to the American Institute of Stress, up to 90 percent of all health problems can be related to stress. At the very least, stress management skills can help prevent the exacerbation of symptoms.
HeartMath® Stress Relief System
An interactive program designed to help improve focus and creativity, elevate emotional clarity, lower stress and anxiety levels, strengthen the immune system, promote the body’s optimal performance, and slow the aging process.
Neurotransmitter Testing for Depression and Anxiety
Many children and adults who experience depression and/or anxiety may suffer from a neurotransmitter imbalance. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that relay signals between nerve cells and are required for proper brain function. Addressing this imbalance can be the key to getting depression under control, whether the underlying cause is dietary, stress, genetics or other factors. Left untreated, every system in your body is affected and can result in a negative impact to your overall health. Prescription drugs designed to treat depression may provide temporary relief by manipulating existing neurotransmitter imbalances or forcing a further depletion of already strained levels. But, without a sufficient supply to begin with, the drugs may not be effective or their effect sustainable. Further, medications often focus on a single neurotransmitter, such as serotonin, but ADD and learning disorders may involve more than one chemical. Such conditions require more complex formulations that will address the involvement of multiple transmitter deficiencies. A newer approach uses a urinary test to measure your current neurotransmitter levels and helps to determine which natural supplements are needed to replenish them. The supplements include combinations of specific amino acids, vitamins and minerals that naturally increase the body’s production and supply of neurotransmitters. Replenishing the right balance of brain chemicals can set the stage for restoring optimal health, function and happiness. To find out if this approach will work for you, contact Dr. Mark deDubovay for a consultation.