MIND BLOWING Perspective on Illness

A silhouette of a woman at sunset.

“The body achieves what the mind believes” 

I have recently been compelled to dive deeper into the Mind-Body connection in search of answers for myself as well as many in my current environment. I was drawn to an incredible book by John E. Sarno called the Divided Mind. This enlightening book too me even deeper into what at my Academy we refer to as “Holistic Gut Health.” While Sarno isn’t discussing Gut Health, he focuses on the scientific reasoning behind Psychosomatic Illness. The Mind’s power over the body.

Psychosomatic Illness refers to a condition caused or exacerbated by internal conflict or stress. Throughout the book, the Dr. dissects multiple illnesses, ailments and disease and theorizes that we cannot tie them back to merely the physical piece of the condition. He diverges from the physical component almost entirely to say that the actual root cause of most of the suffering that he references is actually do to unresolved emotional or psychological pain. 

Could that be the case? 

While I don’t advocate abandoning your clean diet and activities any time soon, I had an interesting experience with this topic. 

I had started this book while healing from a divorce. My body was reacting BIG TIME to the process that I was going through and I now believe was purging many years of pain, all at once. Shortly after the worst of my divorce storm, I received a call from a loved one, letting me know that a family friend was dying of cancer. The battle had begun  a while back but this was quickly becoming the end stages. 

I felt for my friend on the phone as well as the friend that they were preparing to lose. Through further conversation I was enlightened about some rather ugly details that this person had been living with in their personal life prior to the cancer. My heart caught in my throat as I had personally know all to well what that environment felt like. I felt so sad that night as I questioned if this was how the story would have gone if she’d been in a healthier place, with healthy relationships and real love? 

Until this point, myself, being Gut Health focused had looked at all the physical symptoms throughout her life that I believed were warning signs for this event, but now I wondered. Were these ailments and signs signaling something deeper rooted? Does an unhealthy diet and lifestyle merely plant the seeds? If that’s the case, than those seeds are watered by pain and stress. Maybe its the other way around! Honestly, it didn’t matter to me which came first, the chicken or the egg but it became clear that we MUST look out for our soul as much as our physical body. We must dive into old wounds and current ones, not to marinate but to heal and move forward. To truly prevent.

The Divided Mind stated the importance of this knowledge to me by articulating that when the mind perceives a threat to the body, it will work to distract it out of protection. So in these cases referenced, the body was holding on to unresolved trauma and the subconscious mind was simply redirecting in to something else to distract it from the root. 

Regardless, in a world of ramped disease, it will become more important that ever to find awareness. We must dig deep to find the answers to our own healing.