We’ve all heard the phrase “mind over matter,” but it turns out that there may be some truth to this old adage. In recent years, medical research has been uncovering more and more evidence of a link between our mental state and physical health. This connection between our mind and body is known as the mind-body connection.
We had a client, let’s call her Julie, whose story is a great example of this phenomenon. She was experiencing severe stress and anxiety, which manifested in physical symptoms like headaches and chest pain. After seeking help from a therapist, engaging in daily relaxation techniques, as well as regular massage sessions, she was able to reduce her stress levels. The headaches and chest pains went from a disabling pain on a daily basis to normal occasional headaches once in a while.
This is just one example of how our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can affect our physical health. The idea of a mind-body connection isn’t new. For centuries, healers and therapists have been exploring the relationship between mental and physical health. But only recently have scientists begun to understand how our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and attitudes can affect our bodies in tangible ways.
The mind-body connection works by a feedback loop between your body and your mind. The way that you feel influences the way that you think and vice versa. This means that if we are feeling stressed or anxious, it can lead to physical problems like headaches or chest pain. Likewise, if we experience chronic pain or other physical ailments, it can lead to emotional distress such as depression or anxiety.
The way stress affects our immune system is another example of this. Studies have shown that when we experience stress or anxiety, our white blood cell response to viruses is diminished. This means that we are less able to fight off illnesses when we are feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
Another area where research has uncovered a strong link between mental states and physical health is substance use disorder (SUD). Studies have found that people with SUD often have underlying psychological issues such as depression or anxiety which can contribute to their addiction. By understanding how these emotional issues are connected to SUDs, doctors can better treat patients with SUDs by addressing both their mental and physical needs.
Fortunately, there are ways to help buffer this effect so that we can maintain both our mental and physical health. Many report that meditation and mindfulness practices have life-changing effects on their mental and physical health. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises or guided imagery are also beneficial.
Research has also revealed how positive thinking can improve overall health outcomes. People who practice positive thinking often report feeling happier and healthier than those who don’t focus on the positive aspects of life. Positive thinking has even been linked with improved cardiovascular health!
Another effective method for calming your overburdened nervous system is massage therapy. Massage helps reduce stress levels through direct manual interaction with your muscles and nerves in an environment of soothing sights sounds and smells. Massage therapy also helps improve circulation throughout the body which helps reduce muscle tension and pain levels. In addition to these physical benefits, massage therapy also provides psychological benefits such as improved moods and increased feelings of well-being due to its ability to release endorphins in the brain which act as natural painkillers. Best of all, receiving a great massage does not require practice or dedication to achieve the highest levels of benefit.
If you have ongoing, long-term stress or multiple sources of stress in you life, regular massage can prevent serious ailments later. Belle Therapy has been a top rated massage studio in Houston for many years. All of their massage therapists have over 10 years experience and are able to address specific injuries or general relaxation with skill and caring. You can see their reviews on Google, Yelp, Massagebook, Fresha, and Facebook.
Book a massage online or text us at (281) 501-8458 for an appointment.