MentalFitness &Physical Health Jennifer Kitchen HW420-01 October 23, 2011
Connection of Mental Fitness in Physical Health Research Mind/Body Approaches to• Dr. Richard Davidson Mental Fitness – Job Strain and Emotions • Tai Chi• Dr. Candice Pert • Qigong – Neuropeptides • Yoga• Dr. Peter Schnall – Map of the Brain
Research on Mind/Body Connection• Davidson – Mapped out areas of brain activation according to • negative (right prefrontal cortex) and positive emotions (left prefrontal cortex). – Olympians have higher levels of activation for the left prefrontal cortex – Mental and physical life capacity is flexible, dynamic, and expansive. – Robust health can result from systematic training of the mind through planned, systematic inner development. – The far reaches of human flourishing can be explored by training our mind• (Dacher,P20-22)• Pert – Discovered message-carrying neuropeptides – Thoughts, feelings, and visual images produce specific neuropeptides – Neuropeptides alter our physiology to reflect a specific mental state.• (Dacher, P17)• Schnall – Identified managers who suffered from “job strain” and those who didn’t. – In the circumstance of high demand and low control, managers who felt overwhelmed by their role developed disturbing emotions that led to chronic hypertension and enlarged heart. – The unrelenting stress of negative emotions • Causes permanent change in physiology of the body.• (Dacher, P19)
Benefits of Mental FitnessMental training reduces hyperactivity of the body helping tocontrol;• Blood pressure• Pulse• Muscular tension• Capillary blood flow• Bowel and bladder motilityMental Fitness• Helps prevent mental distress and physical illness• Enhances recovery from disease• (Dacher, p83 & 86)
Mind/Body Connection in Exercise– All physical activity can be beneficial to both mind and body.– Many people are already aware of the benefits they get mentally when they exercise. • Exercise helps relieve stress and clear the mind.– There are many exercises which are specifically beneficial for both mind and body.
Mind/Body Exercise• Tai Chi • Ancient Chinese • Movements that originate in martial arts practice. • Practiced for its health and relaxation benefits. • Creates well being . • Combats stress. • Popular low-intensity workout around the world.• Qigong • Translated from the Chinese to mean "energy cultivation" or "working with the life energy." • Ancient Chinese system of postures, exercises, breathing techniques, and meditations. • Techniques are designed to improve and enhance the bodys qi.• Bhakti Yoga • One of six major branches of yoga. • Represents the path of self-transcending love or complete devotion to the divine. • Developed in Hindu culture. • Focuses the believers mind and heart on the divine. • Focus is on worship, devotion, and service to the divine.
Conclusion• Research has shown that there is a mind/body connection.• Mental training helps to control physiological affects.• Tai chi, Qigong, and Bhakti Yoga all work on the mind and body.
References• Dacher, E.S., (2006). Integral Health: the path to human flourishing. California: Basic Health.