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Sample essay topic, essay writing: The Mind-body Connection - 968 words
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The mind has an incredible power. We seeit as we go through our everyday activities,constantly displaying the wonders of logic,thought, memory and creativity. Yet, canthe mind be more powerful than we know?Is it possible to reduce or even eliminatepain, illness and disease by using thenatural powers it possesses? Can the mindheal?Many of our finest researchers andscientists have explored that question, andwhile the exact answer still eludes us, thefacts seem to bear out that the mind doeshave the power to assist in both healing,and conversely, bringing on 'disease' aswell. Two such examples of mind and bodyhealing are hypnotherapy and meditation.There are others such as ionization, whichfocuses on thinking positive instead ofnegative. But first, I will describe thereasoning behind the mind-bodyconnection.Psychoneuroimmunology is the name forthe study of the min-body connection, orPNI for short.
PNI has been around for thelast 20 years or so and has revolutionizedthe way we look at health and wellness.There was a point in human existence whenthe connection between the mind and thebody was taken for granted. A couple ofcenturies ago, science had grown tounderstand the 'mechanical universe'concept. The laws of Sir Newton and thescience of physics had begun to infiltrate thescience of medicine. If the universefollowed mechanical laws, so might thebody. To prove this theory, scientistsneeded to open a body up to observe how itworked
The Church was very adamantabout the body being the temple of the souland could never be desecrated. After muchhaggling and several smoke-filled backroom discussions, an agreement wasreached. The Church would maintain it'sjurisdiction over 'the mind' for that is werethe personality and soul 'truly' resides andscience could have the body, which is just a'machine for the mind' and upon death,would become simply an empty vessel.Furthering the rift, more recent science hasdiscovered that specific diseases can be'cured' through specific medicinal formulasor drugs. This 'magic bullet' mentalityspread throughout medicine and science.Truly the body was a mechanical thing thatresponded to specific stimulus and could becounted on to respond the same way everytime. Wonderful news, the body did notrespond as intended. Science has tried tobrush aside or explain away thisphenomenon y saying, 'Oh, it's just theplacebo effect' or 'It's spontaneousremission' as well as other innocuous termsseemingly to lessen it's importance.
It ishuman nature when something is notunderstood to either dismiss it, diminish itor ignore it all together. This search to seekout answers to this reoccurringphenomenon is the basis for PNI, the waythe mind-body connection is made and howwe can utilize it for greater health andwell-being.Over the past decade, we have come a longway in understanding the psycho-biology ofmind-body communication and themental/emotional processes involved. Tobegin with, most of us have a basicunderstanding of how psycho-biologycommunication occurs through the nervoussystem. Messages are transmitted throughelectrical impulses along a system of nervesthat connect the brain to every system,organ, gland, muscle, etc. When we wantto lift our arm, the specific signals racealong the nerves to the required muscles,ligaments, etc., in order to accomplish thetask.
There is, also, the 'autonomic'nervous system that sends the electricalimpulses automatically, without consciousthought, to such parts as the heart, lungs,digestive tract, etc. That way we don't haveto worry about things like forgetting to haveour heart beat.There is another facet to this seeminglyautomatic activity. The 'autonomic immunesystem'. The immune system cells, whichfree-float throughout our bodies, act all ontheir own, automatically. When you get aninfection, the immune system kicks in andtakes care of the problem.
How do theyknow when to go into action? New researchis pointing that there is another open line ofcommunication. A biochemical, molecularcode that is transmitted to each cell. Thiscode is in the form of hormones orneuroceptides. Each cell of the body hasreceptors for these neuroceptides. The codecontained in the peptide is thencommunicated to the cell. The cell then actsaccording to this communication, just like amuscle acts according to the signals itreceives.
The cell then sends biochemicalresponses back into the system. This allowsfor the two-way communication not onlybetween itself and the brain, but alsobetween itself and other cells. This showsitself openly the well coordinated immunecells attacking an invading bacteria.Communication is paramount to asuccessful immune system defense.This biochemical connection must also havea direct link to the mind. Researchers havefound that link. If you were to draw a linethrough your head starting just behind yourear going to just behind the other ear, at themiddle of that line you would find aclumping of glands and blood vessels calledthe Limbic-Hypothalamic System whichconsists of the limbic system, hypothalamusand the pituitary gland.
The connectionworks this way. A mental/emotional stateexits within the mind, the mind transmitsthe image of that state through the nervoussystem and to the Limbic-Hypothalamicsystem. Every system, organ, gland, fiberand cell of the body receives the message.Then they each act according to themessage. To illustrate a point, a universitystudy was done on the immune system ofpersons whose long-term partner hadrecently died. Having factored out all otheraffecting stimulus but grief, it wasdiscovered that the immune system in thestate of deep grief operated at 70% decreaseof activity.
In other words, the immunesystem was running at only 30%. That canexplain why the widowed spouse, who wasnever sick in their life, would die ofpneumonia or such related disease, 6months after their spouse's death.You know yourself, how emotions canboost your energy level or drain it to almostnothing. The images and experiences thatwe fill our mind with, get communicatedand then translated physically. This is howstress operates. The major stressors (like jobloss, death, divorce and etc.) while having asignificant effect, are not the major culprit ofstress related health problems. It seems thatthe little stressors (like being late for work,a car cutting you off on the expressway,etc.) have more effect on us physically.
Thetheory is that the little stressors are judgedto be of little or no importance, so we tendto ignore their effect. All those littlefrustrations, unconsciously remainf ...
Research paper and essay writing, free essay topics, sample works The Mind-body Connection
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