The Circle Line

The mind-body
connection

The mind-body connection is a powerful thing.
Aligning the two helps release our health, energy and wellbeing.

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Dr David Hamilton, a former chemist at Astra Zeneca, spent a decade developing drugs for the global pharmaceutical industry, helping people be physically well. The one thing he kept noticing and they kept trying to eliminate was the placebo effect. In the end he came to the conclusion that the placebo affect was so powerful that he quit his job to help others support their health via the mind-body connection.

It's all in the mind

“It’s all in your head” is something often said to dismiss lots of important things — like intuition and imagination, psychosomatic illness, and the fascinating phenomenon that is the placebo effect.

And yes, so much is all in our mind. There lies the opportunity.

The a key point in understanding the mind-body connection is understanding our autonomic nervous system.

Mind over matter

The Science

The scientific evidence for the link between the mind and the body is compelling.

The Power of our Emotions

Emotion has a direct effect on our body – in fact emotion is a bodily sensation. Our hands shake when we’re scared, our stomach crunches and bubbles when we are nervous, say before we fly or do a public speech.

Evidence shows that in relationships where there is more kindness, love and affection, there is also less hardening of the arteries. Soft on the outside, soft on the inside – and vice versa.

The emotions are powerful beasts that can nurture or distress our bodies. We can harness that power — not by avoiding or blocking the negative emotions but by recognising and feeling them, letting them go, which leaves more space in our bodies to feel the positive ones.

The Power of the Mind

Unconscious brain activity happens when the brain is both alert and at rest. Brain scans show that when we daydream or switch off from our external environment, quiet parts of the brain come to life. This happens during REM sleep, meditation, creativity and when we’re not thinking but listening to our intuition.

Our autonomic nervous system is our survival system and it exists to respond quickly to threats to our safety – both physical and emotional. To the brain and body there is no difference between these types of pain.

Being based on memory, the threats we detect can be imagined/learnt or real/current – this experiment shows how the brain can’t tell the difference.

Unconscious reactions and beliefs were ingrained in our emotional brains (our limbic system) before we could talk. For example, if you experienced your father losing his temper and were scared this can get generalised unconsciously to “men are scary”.

When you see a man lose his temper as an adult this triggers your autonomic nervous system, which responds with fawn, fight, flight or freeze.

The power of our sensations

This is why it’s so important to notice and name our bodily sensations.

When the brain detects a threat it thinks is real, we flick onto auto-pilot. Our unconscious mind recalls a hidden memory, hijacks our reason, and triggers one of our historic survival strategies. What was seared into our emotional brain when we were children we react to, even now. Often not to our benefit.

In this way our unconscious limits us.

The power of our will

Most of the time we use conscious thought. We apply logic and reason every day and we know we’re doing it.

When we are aware of our emotions – our heart racing, our stomach lurching – and why we’re having them – we can pause, recognise our body’s response, and assess it rationally. Is it justified in the here and now or is this a learnt response, a memory?

And where there’s a will… there’s a way

Imagine what we can do if we harness all of ourselves – both the conscious and unconscious. Our limits start to fall away. And our true potential is revealed.

Through self help – reading, journalling, meditation – and through working with professionals – psychotherapy and workshops – we can let the unconscious feelings at work in our bodies gradually emerge.

This way we gain more control and start releasing the power of our entire self.

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Connect your mind and body and release more of your energy and potential by speaking with one of our therapists today.

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