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"Here then is a definitive statement of the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido coming directly from one of its most knowledgeable practitioners. I know that it will be an essential resource not only for students of NGA but also for martial artists of any style anywhere in the world."
"Living an integral life means “getting it together” and being “together” rather than being and feeling fragmented. It means thinking, feeling and acting always out of the certainty of your wholeness and never acting out of a sense of disconnection or lack."
Mind/Body (Integral) Medicine
vs. Conventional "Allopathic" Medicine
In a recent dharma talk I asserted the following:
"It's (Emotional Freedom Technique) excellent on emotional problems and it's also excellent on physical problems that have at least a partial base in emotional repression and negative emotions, past traumas etc. And that is the basis for probably 90% of diseases. Most diseases that we are experiencing today are psychosomatic."
What is my evidence that most diseases are psychosomatic? What does research show on the psychosomatic basis for illnesses? What is the psychosomatic component of gallstones, hepatitis, non-stress related cardiac events, herpes, warts, kidney stones, all the bacterial infections, all the viral infections, gout, osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, malaria, diabetes, and cancer?
I am convinced that all diseases have a psychological component. That there is no ailment of the body in a body that doesn't also have a mind; that somehow that mind is out of balance in a way that is a reflection of the symptoms that are manifesting in the body; and that this mental/emotional imbalance precedes the appearance of the physical symptoms and the initial diagnosis of the condition in question.
This mind/body connection is the focus of the relatively new medical field of “psychoneuroimmunology”, defined in Wikipedia as “the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body. PNI takes an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating psychology, neuroscience, immunology, physiology, pharmacology, molecular biology, psychiatry, behavioral medicine, infectious diseases, endocrinology, and rheumatology.
The body is not disconnected from the mind. And its journey, whether to good or bad places, can only parallel the journey that the mind is taking. That's the whole point of following an "integral" practice. Failing to develop ALL four dimensions of our human existence-body, mind, emotion, and spirit-is like doing exercises only with your right hand and arm and leaving out the other 3 limbs. I base this view in the study I have done in psychology, psychophysiology and medical psychology and 35 years of working in the healthcare field treating people not with just psychological diseases (since I am a psychotherapist) but with some serious physical ailments as well. As an EEG Neurotherapist, what I was doing is called scientifically "applied psychophysiology". That means..."applied"-practical, real-life application; "psycho"-mental and emotional functioning; "physiology"-life-sustaining physical/ metabolic processes (chemical, biochemical and bioelectrical).
I also base my position in the empirical clinical observations of my patients, their symptoms, and their lives in general. I am convinced that most, if not all of those maladies are affected at least in part by psycho-emotional-spiritual factors, including the infectious diseases (which are probably the least affected by psychological factors, but still are to a significant degree affected)
Why do I say “even infectious diseases” along with the others? Because not everybody who is exposed to a particular pathogen, bacterial or viral, gets sick. Why is that? Chance? No. Unless in the case of exposure to a massive amount of the pathogen or having it introduced directly into the bloodstream (as in the case of AIDS), a normally functioning human immune system will fight off those pathogens and prevent the body from becoming infected and progressing to an acute manifestation of the disease. What is the immune system a component of? The human nervous system. The same nervous system that contains the sympathetic and parasympathetic (autonomic) nervous systems....the stress response and the relaxation response.
Chronic stress releases stress-related hormones and neurotransmitters, which are designed to address an acutely stressful situation and then stop once that situation has resolved itself. But people who allow themselves to remain under chronic stress, or haven’t learned how to release or convert stress never shut off these "toxic" neurochemicals. Ultimately this chronic flood of toxic neurochemicals burns out their immune systems and then their bodies cannot resist the pathogens any longer. Nor can the weakened immune system resist destroying itself by attacking otherwise normal body cells and biochemicals. This is the source of the "autoimmune" disorders, such as arthritis, diabetes, endometriosis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and too many more to mention. By the way, “conventional” medicine treats autoimmune disorders with immunosuppressive drugs, which even further weakens the immune system and makes the body more susceptible to opportunistic infections and disease processes. How insane is that??
Arthritis, diabetes, gout, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s – all of these conditions have a "psychosomatic" component, which is why I have in my past practice as a neurotherapist treated many of these conditions with EEG biofeedback (and most of which, by the way, responded positively to EEG Neurotherapy). EEG treatment balances the nervous system so that the immune system could recover and help the body to regain equilibrium itself as a whole again and stop destroying itself. Cancer is the same. Heart disease is the same. High cholesterol as a causative factor in heart disease is nonsense! EVERYONE'S body has cholesterol in it. Why do some people (but not all) with high cholesterol develop atherosclerosis? It's not because of high cholesterol. Cholesterol passing through healthy arteries will not stick to the sides and plaque. But a person who chronically has high stress is releasing higher amounts of cortisol into his bloodstream than normal. That cortisol molecule has a "sharp edge" which "etches" lesions on the inside wall of the arteries, to which the cholesterol attaches like a scab; it does this to help it to HEAL!!!! But in that healing process, which in any other area of the body would be a good thing, the “scab” becomes a major problem, occluding an enclosed area that is the only source of oxygenation for cardiac tissue
“Chronic stress” is insidious and cumulative, and it takes its toll on the immune system gradually but inexorably, until the body finally cannot fight off infection or self cannibalization anymore and falls prey to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders…the list goes on and on.
Dualism is nonsense. What happens in the body is also happening in the mind, and vice versa. There is no such thing as a strictly "physical" illness, no matter how much "conventional science" tries to convince people that there is a dualism between mind and body and that “mind cannot affect matter”. Most medical research is done by the drug companies. They have a vested interest in the outcome. Any physician who does not recognize the psychological and spiritual component in ALL of the maladies I have listed is wearing blinders and is just getting rich off of cutting or drugging or both.
Conventional medicine is so benighted that they are still considering the placebo effect as an anomaly when they should be marveling that the human mind alone can overcome a seemingly intractable disease, and that if one person can do it, why can't everyone. Conventional medicine today is too busy whoring themselves to the drug companies. That's all they know. Got a disease? Drug and cut, drug and cut. It's insane!!! They're treating symptoms, not causes, with trauma and poisons, and they're treating chronic, end-phase conditions that could have been averted years before if they had taken a look at predispositional psychosomatic factors. This is why the healthcare industry is in a state of acute crisis today and people are clamoring for universal healthcare. I cannot support a healthcare system that refuses to recognize the true cause of disease, refuses to acknowledge the power of prevention, and offers cures that are worse than the disease they are purporting to cure.
I have very little, if any, faith in what is called "modern allopathic medicine" except in cases of severe trauma and acute conditions like cardiac arrest or stroke (for example, administering “clot-buster” drugs in those cases). Allopathic medicine is based upon the premise that the symptom is the problem, and its fundamental strategy is to suppress or remove the symptom via drugs or surgery. But all of the ancient healing traditions and enlightened physicians and healthcare workers today recognize that symptoms are the body’s expression of it attempting to cure itself by releasing the toxic substances or pathogenic entities that are threatening its integrity and equilibrium. Suppressing symptoms not only does not address the cause, but it interferes with the body’s own naturally perfect mechanisms to effect a cure. If you are shot with an arrow, it’s going to hurt as much, if not more coming out than it did going in. Symptoms are the process of the body pulling the arrow out of itself. They may be uncomfortable, yes, but to attempt to suppress them only insures that the body never succeeds in truly curing itself.
Can anyone continue to believe that heart disease not "psychosomatic"?? What about the case of someone who doesn't take care of himself emotionally and spiritually but wants his doctor to take care of him and keep him “healthy” while he lives a suicidal lifestyle of poor nutrition, poor attitude, poor relationships, poor activity, and poor healthcare practices?
“Scientism”, which is my term for the fundamentalist “religion” that much of modern science has devolved into, is firmly rooted in materialism, and does not take into account the whole person. When you've worked in the health care field for as long as I have, and worked with people who have had all of the conditions mentioned, and more, and observed them and studied them and their histories and lifestyles and emotional workings with as keen an eye as an expert computer technician would when working with and solving computer problems, my conclusions will become clear: the body and mind are one, and every human being must be treated with dignity and must be treated holistically.
I am not speaking as some starry-eyed new-ager. I am not saying that all disease can be cured by “mind power” alone, but I am saying that all, and I mean ALL disease processes are affected to a significant degree by a patient’s mental and emotional state. I am definitely NOT implying that people should not seek conventional medical treatment for any serious medical condition. But even when people who have medical conditions that are not what would be considered “psychosomatic” seek treatment, it would still behoove them to look at their lives and try to find out what mental, emotional, and spiritual factors may be contributing the those conditions. Explore how these factors may have contributed to the overt manifestation of their condition, cumulatively over the years that it took for their condition to develop. Then concurrent with their medical treatment, they can also adopt mental, emotional and spiritual practices that will address and release these factors so as to optimize the effects of the purely physical medical interventions.
The thoughts you think directly affect your body chemistry, biochemistry and bioelectrical system for good or ill in every moment. You can choose foolishly, or you can choose wisely, and your health will be the direct result of your choice. From a practitioner’s point of view I can say unequivocally that the human person should be treated with dignity and holistically, that is: mind, body, spirit, and emotions.
©2010 Jim Giorgi