The body-mind connection
It’s not a compliment when someone says, “It’s all in your head.” Or, “You’re making too much of this.”
Yet those statements point directly to how our thoughts and feelings blend with our bodily experiences of the world. In fact, there’s no separating these things.
For example, I am sensitive to some scented and chemical products. When I encounter them, I notice not only wheezing and itchy throat and eyes, but feelings of frustration and angry thoughts. I didn’t decide to think and feel that way, and it probably does me no good. Or does it? Do those unpleasant feelings motivate me to remove myself from the offending scent more quickly?
Consider this body-mind reaction to receiving a mortgage payment notice:
… I never failed to identify the bank’s distinct cream-colored envelope, even before I saw the return address offset against the smooth paper. This positive identification was accompanied by an acute sense of physical and emotional discontent. What I felt was not quite nausea, and not quite depression, but something subtler. A distinct unease if you will, which lasted for as long as it took me to become distracted by more pressing concerns.
(Ben Hewitt, Saved: How I Quit Worrying About Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World, p. 77)
To what extent do you notice the bodily sensations that accompany your daily experiences? How aware are you of your thoughts and feelings that go along with all that your body senses? How does this relate to your overall health and well-being? What does all this have to do with massage and manual therapy?
We’ll come back to that. We’ll explore pleasanter body-mind experiences, too.