Currently, I’m reading a book called Your Body Speaks Your Mind by Deb Shapiro. In it, she introduced a term (to me) called the Bodymind. Now, I teach mind-body exercise, and we discuss the link between the mind and the body and how important it is; but this was the first time I’ve personally heard of the Bodymind. At this point, I’m still learning what she’s referring to but at this point, the connection that I’ve understood is this: everything that transpires in your brain produces neuropeptides, which are then stored in various parts of your body, and neuropeptides are a part of your enteric parasympathetic system, which is connected to the belly and is considered the “second brain” of the body.
I will tell you more about the book–I might even do a review–once I’ve finished it, but so far it’s fascinating. What I can say about this topic thus far is that from what I understand according to Ayurveda and other eastern traditional medicines, all disease and illness starts in the brain. It may not be the sole thing responsible for disease and illness. Indeed, environmental and other such factors do play a role in them. However, from what I’ve observed from people who have held onto old feelings–they might not even know it too–the repression has attributed to their ailments.
Again, more on that at a later date.
In the meantime, it behooves us all to take a look at our own lives and notice where we are holding onto repressed pain, anger, helplessness, etc., and the potential effects these have on our health.
For example, a student of mine has been concerned about thyroid issues because they run in her family and she hasn’t been feeling well lately. I mentioned this book to her, and we were discussing the Bodymind, and it suddenly struck me that her father had died a year ago and that she might actually be feeling unwell because of the emotions she might not be recognizing. It gave her pause, and reading Shapiro’s work has given me pause too, for I’m the type to want to walk what I talk instead of just hand out some good advice. That is what every good teacher (in any subject) has done: lead by example.
I look forward to revisiting this topic at a future point in time!
On a personal note, I’m off to continue my yoga training, so this post is briefer than normal. I hope you have a wonderful week! Continue to reach toward your health and wellness goals, and remember that it takes more time and patience than we originally think to achieve them. Determination and persistence win the day.