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Use your mind to heal your body

Stephanie Taylor Christensen writes about personal finance, small business, and consumer issues. She is the founder of Om for Mom Prenatal Yoga and Toning in Columbus, OH and Wellness On Less, a site dedicated to prioritized living and c...

Relieve the body with the power of your thoughts

You’ve heard of the mind-body connection. But how do you go about achieving it to heal your body? Here are simple ways to introduce it into your daily reality.

1. Tap it out

Dr. Roberta Temes, Ph.D, and author of The Tapping Cure swears by the power of tapping on particular acupressure spots. The next time you experience a strong emotion caused by a specific negative thought, tap on a pressure point, like your collarbone. According to Temes, there are currently many theories and clinical trials underway around the power of this inexplicable method, and her patients swear by it.

 

2. Think steamy thoughts

Can thining about sex really ease your pain? According to Dr. Michael Nuccitelli, a NYS licensed psychologist,  sexual thinking is a powerful weapon. By nature, sexual thought patterns initiate beta-endorphins to release throughout the body. Coincidentally, these are also the body's natural pain killers.

 

3. Meditate for eight

Once viewed as a practice reserved for new-age believers and Buddhists, the science community is taking note of the true power of meditation. Britta Hölzel, a psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School recently conducted a study on meditation. Brain scans of subjects before and after the eight week study indicated that those who meditated for about 30 minutes a day had a reduction of gray-matter in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. A control group, who did not take part in any meditation, had no changes to the brain matter in their post-study scans.

 

It only takes eight minutes a day to start incorporating meditation into your routine, according to Doug Hanvey, who teaches mindfulness at Indiana University and wrote The Mindfulness Diet. To begin meditating, sit upright in a chair, avoiding leaning against its back. As you inhale and exhale, focus on the bodily sensations of your breathing, which produces an "anchor" for your thoughts and attention. When your mind wanders, bring your thoughts back to your breath and its sensations. While it can be more challenging, try meditating in silence to achieve a deeper mediative state more quickly. Hanvey also advises those new to meditation to enjoy it for what it is, and simply enjoy the peace of "being" in the moment.

 

4. Create happy moments

Adam Gentry, owner of Enerji Fitness in Orange County, recommends taking time to create and appreciate any moment of happiness, no matter how small. Gentry says "the link between depression and disease is undeniable, and the antithesis of depression is joy." This is one cure that's easy to obtain, and can start immediately. Watch a funny movie, enjoy some wine or food with friends, or call a long-last pal you haven't found time to catch up with. By reintroducing the little things into your life that bring you joy, you'll be more apt to focus on what's good, and less on what's not so great.

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