Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Part 3: Can My Thoughts Really Affect My Health?

I’m life coach Peter Winslow. Throughout my years in practice I’ve worked with many people who believe that what they think about has little if anything to do with their physical health. If you agree, buckle your seat belt because you’re about to discover a whole new reality.

Consider this: thoughts in the mind create changes in the body, many of which we can easily observe. For instance, if you see or hear something that you find embarrassing, you might "blush" and your face turn red. That's a good example of a chemical change that happens in the body in response to your thoughts.

Our thoughts produce physical reactions, many with predictable results. Sexual thoughts can create responses in the anatomy that are easy to observe; creepy thoughts will make your skin crawl and your hair stand on end. Scary and stressful thoughts cause us to secrete catecholamines, the stress hormones including cortisol and adrenalin that must be burned off regularly to prevent ongoing tissue damage.

Conditions like hypertension, stroke, ulcerative colitis, heart disease and many other health challenges are clearly impacted by mental stress, establishing the fact that there's a link between our thoughts and the internal chemical reactions that affect how we feel and how we heal. This is called the "mind-body connection."

Every day we feel our bodies respond to our thoughts and subconscious beliefs. Unfortunately, attitudes like anger, jealousy, resentment and guilt are stressors that can create grave consequences for our health and well-being. These emotions deplete a lot of the energy we need to maintain healthy immune function.

Emotional stress is a problem which worsens the pain and symptoms of chronic illness. Now researchers are discovering that we can reverse chronic illnesses through changing our beliefs and behaviors, which are the central factor in our own health outcomes. The good news is that your body is designed to heal itself naturally and keep you healthy. Your job is to get your mind on board to help it succeed.

-Peter Winslow, Life Coach, Counselor and Trainer

Friday, March 17, 2017

Part Two: Can My Thoughts Really Affect My Health?

I’m life coach Peter Winslow. When I look back to my days with Ankylosing Spondylitis, I realize that deep and heavy emotional stress was constantly with me, which weakened my immune system and made my body more susceptible to chronic illness.

By releasing the deep-seated toxic emotions and buried stress I carried, I helped my body do what it is originally designed to do—repair itself.

Only now, years after recovering from the symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis, do I truly understand the role that toxic, stressful emotions play in creating and sustaining chronic conditions.
You might think the daily challenges of your life are stressful, but how you respond to those challenges is what counts. What we refer to as “distress” is the type of stress universally recognized as a primary cause of illness.

Distress is often an emotional response that affects the body. As the body becomes so stressed that it begins to break down, the immune system can no longer repair the damage.
This is because under stress, the cells in your body don't take in proper amounts of oxygen, water or nutrients. They don't release wastes and toxins, and they don't communicate to other cells with messages intended to help keep your body healthy.

However, stop fomenting the distress and you assist your cells to move out of their defensive mode and into normal growth mode. Your immune system then works to rid you of illnesses and protect your from creating new ones.

Your body is designed as a perfect healing machine, but only when it is not forced into the defensive position brought on by mental and emotional stress. How to stop that defensiveness is something you really should know about.

–Peter Winslow

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Absolutely Remarkable Mind-Body Scientific Studies

I’m Peter Winslow, a life coach based in Scottsdale AZ. Whether you believe it or not, no matter what condition you are in, it turns out that every individual has the ability to improve their health by tapping into the body’s built-in healing resources.

I’d like to share some recent scientific studies that corroborate this statement. Here are just a few:

1. Through the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, eighty-two high school students in Kosovo participated in a randomized-controlled study which concluded that “…all students had experienced post-traumatic stress, flashbacks, nightmares, and symptoms of withdrawal and numbing in the war-torn area of Kosovo where 90% of the homes were burned and bombed and 20% of the children lost one or both parents.”

The small group settings used healing techniques including meditation, guided imagery, breathing exercises and biofeedback as well as self-expression through words, drawings, and movement. Following the program, the number of students having symptoms indicating post-traumatic stress disorder was significantly reduced from 18% to 100%.

2. Johns Hopkins Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (“CAM”) reported in a survey the following statistics relating to the use of complementary and alternative therapies (referred to as “CAM”):

• 40% of Americans use some form of complimentary or alternative therapy for chronic conditions

• CAM was most frequently used for pain control, and nearly 50% reported using CAM because their prescribed medications were ineffective

• More than half of these patients used dietary supplements or herbal therapies, and almost two-thirds of the patients found CAM to be helpful

• 30% to 70% of cancer patients who are inadequately treated by their physicians turn to CAM in the hope of curing or alleviating their pain

3. The Johns Hopkins Medicine and Digestive Center reports the following excerpts from a summary of integrative psychotherapy:

“We know that our minds can quickly jump to worst-case scenarios, worry, and self-defeating behaviors. We can feel overwhelmed… these thought patterns can lead to illness … as patients come to understand what triggers their pain, anxiousness… old patterns lose their hold… enabling changes… to move beyond prior limitations of thought and attitude.”

Also supporting the use of complementary and alternative therapies is a study of 23,000 adults by the National Institute of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

4. A study on Aging by Harvard Psychologist Ellen Langer concluded that thoughts about how old you are affect how old or young you feel and how your body responds, as reported in Newsweek. Subjects were put into an environment to simulate living 20 years ago; the participants actually felt as if their age had been turned back two decades. Outside observers noted that the subjects appeared to be younger and healthier than they were before the experiment.

I trust you find these conclusions to have relevance in your own life, and give you confidence that no matter what your condition, you really can improve the situation. 

–Peter Winslow, life coach