The majority of cultures throughout history have appreciated the mind’s influence over the body and the way it functions. In modern history, the power of the mind has taken a back to seat to the astonishing advancements in modern medicine.
However, now we are beginning to realise the power of the mind more than ever.
The Connection: Mind Your Body, is an incredible documentary that sheds light on the evidence surrounding the connection between mind and body. Sharon Harvey, the journalist behind the film, has travelled the world to interview sufferers of chronic health conditions, from heart disease, to cancer, to infertility. Just as Harvey did with her own autoimmune disease, the interviewees speak of how they have treated, and in some cases cured their conditions by complementing their medical interventions with regular, and focused mindfulness techniques.
The premise behind the film is that our chronic stress is causing harm, and is manifesting itself throughout the population in the form of chronic disease. The body’s flight and flight response is extremely powerful and can send a cascade of chemical and hormonal responses through the body. Without coping strategies to balance these hormones, chronic stress and illness can ensue.
The experts in the film explain however, that just as the body has a powerful stress response, it has a powerful relaxation response that can be used to prevent and treat illness. The physiological responses to meditation have been the focus of many studies, and the benefits are measurable. Meditation has even been shown to have an affect on our genes and the way they can be expressed.
With over 10 000 peer reviewed studies looking at the mind body connection, the medical doctors interviewed in this film believe in, and support the power of the mind. Many of the doctors already incorporate meditation and yoga into their practices with astonishing patient outcomes. Improvements have been noted in survival rates of women with breast cancer, success of fertility treatments, as well as the effectiveness of skin condition therapies. We are reminded, however, of the importance of conventional drugs and surgeries when dealing with these serious conditions, and to take a holistic approach.