15 Sep Mind Body Connection
Yoga and Meditation help us explore the mind – body connection.
It is becoming more and more apparent just how important our thinking is in creating body tension, and also how we perceive aches and pains.
There is much research to confirm that breath work, meditation, nutrition, and gentle exercise all work together to make lasting changes to your health and well-being. You can change your physical body with this holistic approach to your health. They are a great addition to your physio treatment and here at Physio Body and Sole we use some of these tools to help heal your physical aches.
How does the mind effect our physical body?
There are two nervous systems in our body, the one we are all familiar with that moves our body and that we sense pain with (skeletal), and another system (autonomic) that determines blood supply to the muscles and the organs among other things; the sympathetic nervous system (flight, fright, fight response) and the parasympathetic system (rest and digest response). We have an endocrine system which controls the release of hormones which is also influenced by these systems. Our autonomic nervous system is influenced by our thinking, for example adrenaline is a hormone released in times of stress which stimulates our “flight, fright, fight response”.
The autonomic nervous system is influenced by the quality of our thinking (stressed, calm, happy, positive, fear etc), by nutrition and by the speed with which we move through our lives. Life is more stressful these days, in a different way. We are not trying to escape a sabre tooth tiger, yet our body reacts the same way physically as though we are! Yoga and meditation help reduce the stress response and restore us to balance.
Our thinking: The brain is a sensory organ, much like the skin. When we fear pain it is accentuated. That part of our brain is stimulated. When we experience pain in the body, that pain is interpreted by the brain. This is where it gets interesting. How we perceive pain influences how bad that pain feels.
We can feel tense with emotion and this tension can add to the physical injury and pain. Relaxation will help your body heal. Meditation and Yoga (specific types) have been proven to assist with pain management by learning to focus the mind and steady our emotions. It stimulates the rest and digest nervous system and allows our body to heal.
The benefits of nutrition are also widely known to affect our hormones, and inflammation in the tissues, and resultant stress response in the body. There is the old saying “we are what we eat”. Food is the fuel that we put into our body and it is the quality of that fuel that determines how we perform. Sugar, alcohol and coffee (more than a couple a day) place stress on the body.
Yoga balances the mind and body by actively training our minds to be with our body in what we are doing in any given moment. In our yoga classes we focus on feeling and the body whilst we stretch and do postures to lengthen, decompress, relax and strengthen. It is a tool for quieting the mind. Yoga balances body systems, not just the physical body. It is the element of gentle focus and concentration that makes yoga different from other forms of exercise making it a deeply healing tool for your body.
At Physio Body and Sole in North Sydney, we offer individual private Yoga Therapy teaching you yoga, small group Yoga Therapy classes, Yoga & Meditation classes . For bookings contact us on (02) 9099 8087 or email firstname.lastname@example.org