Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter

Juan Esterhuizen Transformation Psychologist & Life Coach

Mind Over Matter

Science has long been debating over whether the mind is the brain or whether it is a separate entity which has the power to influence the brain and its architecture. The position you take on this will impact your health and well-being.       

The Materialist Perspective

The materialistic view of the interaction between mind and brain is one where it is believed that the brain is the centre where mental experiences are generated. Those who hold this view believe that the neurons and chemicals in the brain create the mind. People that take this view, therefore, ignore the power of the mind on our actions and functioning. From this perspective, the brain creates our thoughts and actions. According to this viewpoint, the mind is thus what the brain does. The implications of such a mechanistic point of view have significant consequences. Let us for example take how depression is treated from this perspective. In this reductionist approach, depression is viewed as a chemical imbalance which is to be addressed by adding the missing chemicals. This view is scientifically incorrect because it is based upon a viewpoint from which the symptoms are treated artificially by adding the missing chemicals. The focus is thus on the symptoms of the malady instead of what is causing it.  

The Integrative Perspective

Integrative medicine uses an evidence-based approach where the whole person - the mind, body and soul is taken into consideration. Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs are all involved in the well-being of a person. The integrative model, therefore, uses a combination of therapies to address all these aspects of the person. It “integrates” conventional approaches and complementary therapies to achieve optimal health and healing.

From an integrative standpoint, the brain is believed to be affected and influenced by the mind.

Humans have the power of thought…we are thinking beings. We have free will and therefore the power of choice and it is through our choices that we cause chemical expression to take place in the brain.

Neuroscientific studies done by Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel and others have revealed that our thoughts and imaginations influence not only the neuronal structure in the brain but also our DNA. Our thinking thus changes the structure and function of our brain and our DNA.

Countless studies by various leading neuroscientists have shown that our thoughts have the power to change our brains on a moment-to-moment basis. Through our thinking, we have the power to restructure our brains. Our mind, by way of our thinking, therefore, controls the vitality of the body and the brain and not the other way round as advocated in the reductionist model.

Although we cannot control the events and circumstances that impact our lives, we can control our reactions to them. Remember that your mind is more powerful and effective than any medication. If you do not believe this, I urge you to have a look at the accounts of those that have overcome impossible odds. The stories of how they survived diseases viewed as impossible to cure by the medical fraternity, speak for themselves.

Where Attention Goes, Energy Flows

Your thoughts are pure energy. Where you place your attention affects how the chemicals, proteins and neuronal wiring of your brain change and function.  

Scientific studies conducted by Bruce Lipton, Joe Dispenza and others have revealed that thoughts and beliefs have a huge impact on how the brain functions.

It has been shown that up to 98% of mental, physical and behavioural dis-ease are due to a person’s way of thinking. The rest can be attributed to the environment and genetic makeup.

Technology has enabled scientists to discover the pathways in the brain in which changes in human consciousness lead to changes in the brain and body. We may have a fixed set of genes in our chromosomes, but how active they are has a great deal to do with how we think and how we process our experiences.

We are constantly reacting to life circumstances and events and how we react shapes our brain either positively or negatively. Positive thoughts and actions produce qualitative brain architecture resulting in good health. If we however react by thinking negatively and making negative choices, the quality of our brain architecture is negatively influenced which in turn leads to dis-ease and/or discomfort.    

The main point of this article is to show that the mind controls matter. If we get his right, we have enormous potential to reach peak health. If not, we will be our own worst enemy.

Mind Over Matter

Juan Esterhuizen

Juan Esterhuizen Transformation Psychologist & Life Coach is a published psychologist, integrative life coach and stress and trauma release therapist with a practice in Caledon. Offering a range of exclusive in-person and online psychological counselling services, Juan is also available to travel to...

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