Cancer·Mental health·Research·Stress

stress-disease and when the body says no

I have recently read a book on the impact of stress on the body, written from the perspective of Vancouver Dr Gabor Maté, an incredible doctor and healer who has toured internationally giving lectures on his extensive work on mind-body medicine and his work with overcoming addictions.

When the Body Says No is written in such a way that is easy to understand, broken down to easy-to-grasp concepts, while being filled with heart-felt examples. The book explores Dr Maté own experience with understanding his emotions and reactions of the body, while exploring deeper the connection between stress, hormones, immune system, and neurological system – which includes how we have learned to feel and behave, a concept he explores through the biology of belief..

These concepts are not so unusual, and in many ways, have been written before by many authors. However, the ease of reading in his writing opens to a greater understanding.

It is no wonder that most etiologies of illnesses or disease (perhaps not so from congenital) stems from an emotional reactivity, quite possible to a sensitivity, that further triggers a cognitive or behavioral reaction. Firmly held is the belief that stress, whether from external or internal sources, further enhances these processes. And so, when it comes to stress, what I have taken from the book is that we look at the external stresses that motivate us such as financial matters and societal pressures, and then internally how sensitive we are to relationships, responsibility and spiritual fulfillment and happiness, followed by the physiological stress of our body in relation to nutrition, air, water, and toxins. All of these can be changed, and stand a good chance to change if the steps towards healing take place.

Just one example of a possible emotional reaction includes why some people have an internal sense that something went wrong in their past, such as abuse, trauma, etc… without ever recollecting an event to have caused such a feeling or thought. He explores a concept referred to as the attunement theory and the biology of loss. Parents who express love and affection appropriately, but do not have the time or patience to actually give the child what they emotionally need, and not just what the parent thinks the child needs,  can often lead the child to feel like no one understands them, and the ongoing sense that they are alone in the world. And so, a big part to parenting comes from intuition and emotional connectivity to your child, with the balance of thoughtful behavior changes, encouragement, and discipline. Sounds like a daunting task!! And so, it is not necessarily to blame parenting for one’s emotional imbalance, but to have a good look at what could have been the triggers in the hopes of making positive change to your life and to break negative patterns.

He finished the book by giving the seven A’s to healing. Quite simply explained to start making small big changes.

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