The mind body connection is fascinating. But it is also very simple. The mind body connection is simple because it is familiar to each one of us. When we are embarrassed, we blush. When we are frightened, our heart beats faster. When we are nervous, our stomach hurts. We have each experienced these physical reactions to these specific emotions. We also know that stress can cause many ailments including tension headaches, ulcers, or neck and shoulder pain.
Alternately, our physical bodies respond to joyful feelings. When we feel peaceful, our heart slows. The love that we feel when we gaze at our sleeping child sends a rush of energy through our body. And when we see sublime beauty, it “takes our breath away”. The mind/body connection is the link between the thoughts or feelings that we have and the physical reactions that occur because of those thoughts and feelings.
We are all painfully aware of the physical reactions that sudden negative emotions can produce – immediately and absolutely. The memory of these physical reactions usually result in beliefs about ourselves and our environment that are damaging and undeserved. For example, in the sixth-grade I was bullied by a classmate. I vividly remember the feeling of panic that I experienced each morning when I entered the school yard. My stomach hurt, and sometimes my limbs felt like they had pins and needles going through them the closer I got to the school. And the memory is painful enough, even several years later, to influence how I react when I feel threatened. The same sick stomach and heavy feeling in my arms and legs. Those physical reactions are so intense and consuming for the moment, that they in turn reinforce my feelings of being powerless, small. Yikes……
The science behind these physical reactions lies in the magic of neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are chemical messengers that use the body fluids to carry information from the mind to the body, and back again. Every cell in the body holds thousands of receptor cells, and each receptor cell has a specific pattern that locks into specific neuropeptides. The neuropeptides then transmit information through the receptor cell to the cell itself, influencing the behavior of that cell. In other words, all your thoughts, feelings and beliefs get translated into chemicals that fire off throughout your body, altering the chemical composition and behavior of your cells.
In our human experience, we repress painful feelings. The events that triggered the feelings are still stored in our memories, ready to charge to surface and influence our lives with unexplained and unpleasant reactions to current circumstances. However, just as there is a powerful tendency to repress emotions, there is an equally strong drive to bring them to consciousness. When these two impulses collide, they will manifest as physical symptoms of injury or illness.
Because Reiki is a technique of stress reduction and deep relaxation, it works on the emotional level of healing. Healing of the mind – thoughts, feelings and beliefs – will lead to healing of the body because it promotes conditions from which the body can begin to heal itself.
Love & Light to All –