Benefits of Mental Fitness Reversal of Coronary Heart Disease Blood pressure and pulse are reduced Increased blood flow to the heart Natural healing resources Muscles relax and increased body awareness Pain associated with headaches and muscle pain is reduced Less need for stronger medications Interconnection of mind and body
Research related to mind-body-spirit focus reveals that when treating the physical, mental and the spiritual that there can be total wholeness of the body.
1988 Intercessory prayer studyby Randolph Byrd The Byrd prayer study was a double blind study of patients who were in the coronary care unit and would receive prayer outside the hospital as they saw fit. The patients who received pray were anonymous to physician, patients and nurses. The patients who received prayer did significantly better. Deaths decreased, patients required less endotracheal intubation and ventilator support, diuretics, antibiotics and stronger drugs. This is considered a landmark study because intercessory prayer in humans is difficult to illustrate and it helped to break a taboo against prayer as a subject of medical research.
1970 Research by Candace Pert Candace Pert discovered a series of natural body proteins called Neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are responsible for carrying messages back and forth throughout the human body. Pert’s study showed how the brain communicates to the immune system, the heart communicates to the kidneys and the glands to each of our cells. If we can control, dissipate or even transform the negative emotions that sometimes take over the mind we could reverse the negative effects on the body. Candace Pert proved the condition of our body reflects the condition of our mind.
1980 Study from Dean Ornish Ornish thought bypass surgery and repeat bypass surgery care was an incomplete approach. He also thought that treating the heart as a mechanical device was not enough. He thought that by opening up the emotional heart, psychosocial heart and spiritual heart measurements can be made easier. Using diet, stress management and lifestyle changes he measured results using stress thallium which shows improvement in blood flow to the heart. 48 heart patients were studies including a randomized control group for comparison. 3 and a half weeks later the patients compliant on the lifestyle program improved versus the usual-care control group who actually got worse.
Ornish Reversing Heart Disease 1990 – 1 year results There was 91 percent reduction in chest pain, improved blood flow to the heart, reversal of coronary artery blockage. Patients had improved blood flow to their hearts measured by cardiac PET scans. Reversal of build-up of coronary artery blockages measured by coronary angiograms. In Contrast Control group who followed conventional lifestyle including 30 % fat diet showed increase in chest pain of 165 % Decrease in blood flow to the heart and worsening coronary artery blockage.
Exercises that Can Improve Mental Fitness Include….
Guided Imagery Exercise With the in-breath, breathe the mind into the body and experience it fully penetrating your cells, tissues and organs. When breathing out, breath the body into the mind, while allowing the body to fully penetrate your mind. Repeat five breathing cycles. Imagine information traveling between your brain and your body, between your kidneys and your heart, your foot and your arm, from your glands to your skin. Imagine a dynamic and interconnected movement of emotions, sensations, biochemistry and physiology all moving together. Imagine that each aspect of your mind/body contains all the information and knowledge contained in all the other parts. This exercise creates a holographic mind/body; an interconnection of mind and body.
Subtle Mind Practice Use the rising of falling of your chest or the breathing in and out of your nose as a focal point. Start with 10 deep breaths in and deep breaths out as you relax into a natural eased mind and body breathing comfortably. Pay attention to your focal point. As thoughts, feelings, sensations, or images distract your attention, notice them then return attention to your breath. Each time your mind gets away resume focusing on your breath. Mental activity should calm down as the mind starts to respond. Notice that you are spending more time witnessing the mental activity and less time engaged in it. Pause and practice this focused concentration.
References Dacher, E.S. (2006). Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing: Laguna Schiltz, M., Amorok, T., Micozzi, M.S. (2005). Consciousness & Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind-Body Medicine. The Benefits of Yoga. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/balance/the-health-benefits-of-yoga