Are the Mind and Body Separate or Connected?
Way back in the 17th Century, philosopher Rene Descartes blocked the idea of a mind-body connection by positing instead that the mind and the body are separate and distinct from each other… and the legacy of his work has been haunting us ever since.
The legacy of this mind-body dualism has shaped how Western medicine treats people for different issues- if you have a physical health issue you see one type of doctor and for mental health issues you see another (a psychiatrist). Often times if someone is seeing both types of doctors, the don’t even communicate with each other, although this has been changing in more modern times.
But are the mind and body distinct? Can we draw a dividing line at the neck and say from there up we are dealing with the mind and from there down we are dealing with the body?
My answer would be an emphatic no!
Have you ever been really worried about something and you worried so much that you got a stomach ache or upset stomach? Or have you ever stressed out so much that you gave yourself a headache? I certainly have and I know that I am not alone. These are just 2 simple example of how the mind and the body are interconnected.
In my work with clients, I often see that the body expresses for the person what is going on mentally and emotionally. Often times we get mad at our body for aches, pains, and other physical symptoms when they are simply the way that the body is able to try and communicate with us and get our attention.
When physical issues and symptoms arise, rather than getting frustrated or irritated, It can be helpful to take a few slow, deep breaths and simply ask your body what it is trying to communicate with you. You might be surprised what happens in both your awareness/understanding AND with resolving the physical symptom by this simple process.
If you are curious about the Mind-Body Connection and want to dive deeper into the topic, join me on Monday, March 21st for a FREE webinar!