One of the advantages of our functional approach to wellness is that the options you’ll find at Genesis4Wellness take full advantage of the mind-body connection. As we’ve said, any division between mind and body is more concept than reality. Both are engaged in a constant dialogue, influencing each other profoundly.
One opportunity that this presents is that growing our awareness – and exercising our influence on our own thoughts – can greatly enhance our physical wellness in many ways, and vice versa. This positive influence can be subtle and ongoing. At their best, the mind and body become natural allies. There are other instances where this influence is more pointed, and the alliance more urgent. Our response to stress is certainly one of these.
Our Choice in the Stress Response
Most of us have heard of “fight or flight,” the shorthand description of the body’s response to certain kinds of stimulation. Notice we didn’t say “response to stress.” The reason for this is that stress can be largely in the perception and awareness of the person experiencing it. Our attitude makes a difference. When we begin to realize this principle, we begin to get some choice over how we react.
The physical manifestations of the “stress response” are well known. Hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol squirt to the rescue, quickening heartbeat, brightening the senses, flooding muscles with fuel, starving other systems in the process, and even causing the blood to coagulate more readily. This genetic coding got us through the human experience when we were surrounded by animal predators. But it can be less than helpful in the modern workplace, for example. And the stress response can become habitual, even chronic. Ask any old-time ad exec or any present-day stock trader.
The good news is that we can re-train this response to a great extent, even if we can’t completely overcome our cave-person DNA.
Making our Mind our Friend
Often, even in modern times, we grow up to believe that our own vigilance and energetic action – even control – are essential to our survival. Increasingly, the medical evidence points instead to a balance. Yes, we are responsible for an active role in our lives, but no, control is often an illusion. The healthiest mind-body connections seem to be built on a blend of acceptance and action. Certainly, that is a hard balance to strike without practice. But the practice is worth it.
Deep breathing alone can make a difference. It’s not as far as people think from that form of relaxation to a state called mindfulness, or even meditation. These calming experiences have proven for centuries and across many cultures to produce an experience of the world that is less stressful, and yet no less realistic. Massage, good skeletal alignment, and good nutrition can help pave the way to this more productive state of mind.
We offer expert resources to support you in building this attitude and alliance for your well-being. Genesis4Wellness can provide massage therapy, chiropractic adjustment, Prolozone therapy, and nutrition enhancement to help you cultivate a positive dialog between mind and body. With a function medicine physician on our team, we can holistically align all of these healthcare elements for you. Let’s get together and talk over the path that works best for you.