Ever wonder what the connection between mental and physical health is? Have you ever been sick and suddenly felt better after going for a walk or doing some other form of physical activity? Then you have a direct experience of the mind-body connection, and it’s a tremendously important one at that.
The Mind-Body Connection and You
Just about everybody has Netflix these days, but instead of binge-watching your favorite show to numb out your emotions, why not try watching the documentary ‘Heal’ instead? It gives you an excellent depiction of just how closely our minds and bodies are interconnected. One of the basic principles of the mind-body connection is that your mental health can affect your physical health, and vice-versa. For example, if I’m worried about something like my finances, that can lead to physical ailments, such as headaches or muscle tension. This is a simple example, but it emphasizes an important point that what you think and feel can directly affect how you’re feeling physically. One of the patients that is interviewed in the movie is a woman who was diagnosed with a severe form of cancer, and was all but written off by her doctors as far as being able to get rid of the cancer, at least by any treatment other than aggressive chemotherapy.
Alternative Health and Mental Health
One of the things this woman mentioned she was struggling with before being diagnosed with cancer was a tremendous number of stressors, including the death of a parent. This, by the way, is one of the most stressful events anyone can ever face. One of the points made in the movie is that stress in all its myriad forms does lead to illnesses, including physical illness. It’s easier to accept that stress can negatively impact mental health, but it can also have a negative impact on physical health. If you are under a great deal of stress, there’s a good chance you’ll age faster that those who aren’t. This shows up in how much stress the individual cells of you body are as well. In any case, the woman in the movie sought out alternative health practitioners she believed in, and this helped in getting rid of the cancer.
What To Do for Your Own Healing
If you’re new to the concept of alternative health practices, they range from acupuncture to reiki, which is a form of energy healing that can be done over long distances. I’m not the expert on any of these, but particularly if you have a long-term chronic mental health condition, it could be helpful to look at the role some of these alternative health practices could play in your recovery process. This is what is showcased in the movie, and for all the high-dollar billing our pharmaceutical industry gets on mainstream media, the results don’t negate the potential benefit of getting acupuncture, chiropractic, or massage therapy from someone who is skilled and reputable for their work. It can either be a good add-on to traditional medicine or a substitute for it, in some cases.
Your Mental Health and Therapy
I have helped many, many people who struggle with chronic mental health conditions in my therapy practice, and I can assure you that watching this movie will give you a better appreciation for all the forms of treatment that can positively impact your psychological health and well-being. Belief is a strong predictor of eventual recovery, and one of the things I try to instill in all my clients is the belief they can get better. This belief is rooted not only in sound neuroscience, but in cellular biology as well. The very fact that someone is seeking help is one of the best predictors of their eventual healing and recovery. If you want to find out if I can help you in your own recovery process, feel free to call me at 512-374-0100, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the form below. I offer free 15-minute consultations to help give you a better idea of how I can help you, and I do encourage everyone who has an interest in alternative health practices. I encourage you to not limit yourself in utilizing all the tools available to you in your efforts to get better, because you are worth it!
About the author: Scott Kampschaefer, LCSW is a private practice therapist in Austin, Texas. He has an extensive background in working with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder at a clinic for older adults with these disorders in Austin. He now works with adults and adolescents 14 and up in private practice. His new e-book is entitled Life’s Lessons from the Young and the Old and is available for purchase on Amazon.
Click here to learn more about how Scott can help you with depression.