HOW DOES THE BODY AFFECT THE MIND?

 

Much has been written about psychosomatic disease and the power of the mind in controlling physical turmoil in the body.

Some people have gone overboard and are obsessed with the idea of ‘mind over matter’. You can cure anything, including cancer, using your mind – so they say. This, I feel, is a Utopian idea, a tall order.

However, physical factors such as the supply of blood to the brain can have an effect on the functioning of the mind.

The body too affects the mind. For example if you are chronically tired, have aches and pain in the body, suffer from low thyroid functions, have low blood pressure / chronic anaemia, a serious health condition etc you are likely to be depressed. Similarly, if you have high thyroid functions, eat a lot of sugar or salt or drink a lot of coffee, take recreational substances like ecstasy, cocaine, have uncontrolled blood pressure, drink in excess, you are likely to be excited or agitated.

The blood flow to the subconscious brain via the vertebral arteries located inside the cervical column in the neck can alter your moods. That’s because the inner brain has the emotional centres and the vital centres. Decreased blood flow will make you feel sluggish, depressed, function under par while increased blood flow will make you feel fit and positive.

Recently the mapping of the brain has shown that lack of oxygen and glucose to different parts of the brain can cause various diseases. So the brain has to be looked after physically.

The body is the temple in which the mind thrives. You can’t have a healthy mind without a healthy body.