The Body-Mind Connection: Part Two

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Heal the mind, heal the body. Heal the body, heal the mind.

The first step toward healing your body and your mind is literally at your fingertips: your fork and spoon. These are the most powerful tools you have to change your physical and mental health. Food is more than just fuel for your body – it is full of information, constantly communicating with your genes and influencing their function on every level. However, just as drugs have side effects, so does food.

Although we tend to focus more on the physical side effects of food such as nausea, cramps, bloating, gas, etc., more insidious are the side effects of food on the brain. Gluten sensitivity or intolerance, for example, is directly related to neurological disturbances such as depression, migraines, learning disorders, difficulty concentrating, memory loss and nervous system malfunctions. Creating a healthy environment in the body can result in a decrease in symptoms from many disorders, subsequently reducing or eliminating the need for drugs that, while perhaps temporarily providing relief, have only been masking the core issues.

The body has an amazing, inherent ability to heal itself; cell regeneration is constantly occurring. Healing and renewal will quickly become evident if we simply discover what’s not benefitting our system, eliminate it, and then supply our bodies with the missing elements it needs to thrive and flourish. Bringing awareness to what we’re putting into our bodies and how it affects our brain can lead to making simple, yet significant changes that will improve blood flow and stimulate regeneration of brain cells.

Food is the fastest-acting and most powerful medicine you can take to change your life. Michael Pollan, the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, summed up all nutritional research in three simple principles: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Healing the Body and Mind

Our bodies and brains have clearly been compromised by many factors: the stress in our lives, toxins, genetically modified food grown in nutrient-depleted soil, excess use of antibiotics, etc., all of which can lead to allergic reactions and imbalances. Your brain can heal and you can transform your health by temporarily adjusting your lifestyle, diet and environment to discover what works to your advantage and what doesn’t.

The first step is to eliminate things that create an imbalance in your body and mind, including:

  • processed, nutrient-deficient foods
  • sugar in any form
  • caffeine
  • trans or hydrogenated fats, processed oils
  • physical or psychological stress
  • yeast, bacteria, parasites, etc.
  • substances that cause allergic, inflammatory and toxic reactions such as:
  • foods (food allergens that most clearly affect the body and the brain are gluten and dairy; yeast, eggs, corn, soy and nuts may also cause symptoms.
  • chemicals
  • the environment (pollen, mold, dust, etc.)

The next step is to include things that create balance in your mind and body, including:

  • clean, whole, real, unprocessed, high-quality foods (fresh organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, omega-3 eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meat and poultry free of antibiotics, hormones and pesticides, mercury-free wild fish, extra-virgin olive oil, green tea and 70% dark chocolate)
  • clean, filtered water
  • vitamins and supplements, including a high-quality multi-vitamin, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3, fish oil, B-complex and a probiotic
  • exercise; outdoors if possible to maximize light exposure
  • quiet the mind for a few minutes each day (mediate, read, relax)
  • breathe deeply
  • ‘fun’ things to do to stimulate your body and mind
  • warm baths with Epsom salt to draw out toxins

The body and brain are intertwined; they are one system. By simply providing the proper nourishment on all levels, the body’s natural intelligence and healing system will take care of the rest. Virtually all diseases and disorders can be healed through nurturing your body and brain.

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease”. — Thomas Edison

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