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Mind and Matter

Scientists and philosophers have pursued the notion of mind for thousands of years. [Of course, being able to think about the mind's origins and place in the universe presumes having a mind, but that's a separate piece of this puzzle.] Regardless of mind's origin, we are well aware that the human mind interacts intimately with the human body and vice versa.1

For example, the notion of stress cuts both ways. Psychological stress, stemming from troubles in the workplace or family difficulties, often results in physical pain. A person's headaches, lower back pain, or even annoying numbness and tingling in the fingers may originate in their personal daily stresses. From the opposite perspective, chronic headaches, persistent lower back pain, or ongoing sciatica can cause a person to become anxious or even depressed. Physical and mental states are deeply connected.

For many persons it's almost impossible to determine the first cause, to determine whether their problems started in the mind or in the body. Ultimately, such a distinction may not be necessary. A person might begin to regain their mental balance by learning how to meditate or learning a new activity or skill.2,3 Learning how to draw, studying Italian, or taking photography or astronomy classes may be all that's needed to alleviate certain stressful mental states. As the person learns the skill of focusing on the task at hand, repetitive stressful thoughts begin to dissipate and mental ease and clarity begin to return. As a result, physical pains begin to diminish.

Approaching a person's problems from the physical side first may achieve the same benefits. For example, engaging, demanding physical activity may be the key missing ingredient in a person's life. Regular physical activity makes the heart and lungs stronger, providing more healing nutrition to all of the body's cells, tissues, and organs. Regular physical activity helps eliminate toxic metabolic waste that would accumulate otherwise. And regular physical activity causes the brain to produce endorphins, an opiate-like neurotransmitter that induces the experience of ease, well-being, and euphoria. The body learns to relax as it engages in these healthful activities. Overall physical tension and pain begin to resolve, leading to overall reductions in mental stress, anxiety, and depression.

Mind and matter are not separate and distinct. For a person to be really healthy these two components of human nature need to be much more fully engaged, on a much more regular basis than is the case for most of us. As we become more awake and aware, improved health and well-being will follow naturally.

1Kradin RL: Psychosomatic disorders: the canalization of mind into matter. J Anal Psychol 56(1):37-55, 2011
2Young LA: Mindfulness meditation: a primer for rheumatologists. Rheum Dis Clin North Am 37(1):63-75, 2011
3Stevens P: Embedment in the environment: a new paradigm for well-being? Perspect Public Health 130(6):265-269, 2010

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  • "I have been going to Dr. Wearsch since 1993. During this period of time I have had issues with my lower back and sciatic nerve pain. Every visit brings relief and I am not taking pain medicine or having surgery. I am a believer in Chiropractic Medicine and will continue with this care all my life."
    Alan D.
  • "Dr. Wearsch helped me recover full range of motion in my neck after I was in a bad car accident that totaled my truck. I am grateful. Also, with the physical work I do, my back goes out sometimes, but Dr. Wearsch gets me back to work quickly. Thanks!"
    Mark M.
  • "I would not be living the life I am without chiropractic care and Dr. Greg Wearsch. I have a fusion in my neck area that I was born with. This causes headaches and life altering pain. Traditional medicine's remedy was to use pain medications and muscle relaxers. I could not live the life I wanted following their prescribed treatment. I accidentally found Dr. Greg Wearsch 15 years ago and thank The Lord I did. He has helped me live my life as pain free as possible. When my neck is misaligned he will adjust it and that will relieve my muscle spasms and relieve the headache. With chiropractic care I can manage my problem and not cover it up with medications. And I cannot leave Maureen out! She is always ready to fit me in to see Dr. Wearsch and has the friendliest way about her."
    Stacy S.