Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mind and Body

The body and mind are interconnected and emotions play a big part in determining one's health status. Stress and its negative effect on the immune system remains the major challenge to good health. The immune system with its holistic nature is significantly affected by its close associations with psychology, neurology, endocrinology, nutrition and the environment. Recent studies show 70-80% of all physician visits are stress related; 80% health problems are stress related; 100 million people "out" everyday due to stress; and 40% employee turnover due to stress. Chronic stress depletes the body's resources and ability to adapt. Over a long period coping functions are compromised and illness results.

A comprehensive approach to maintaining good health includes increasing self-responsibility for wellness, healthy lifestyle choices, health-promoting diet and a positive mental attitude. The concept of "Don't Worry. Be Happy," is not new. By the end of the 1970's several studies had shown that negative emotions suppress immune function. The 1979 book, Anatomy of An Illness, by Norman Cousins was a personal account of his experience using positive emotional states (humor and laughter) with guided imagery and meditative states to enhance immune system function in the face of serious, life-threatening disease.


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