The Mind/Body Connection: How Your Emotional Well-Being Impacts Your Physical Health

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The Mind/Body Connection: How Your Emotional Well-Being Impacts Your Physical Health

It’s completely natural to compartmentalize, especially when it comes to your health. Even doctors do it, sending a patient to a specialist for one symptom and to someone entirely different for another. But humans are complex, so staying healthy means paying attention to all aspects of the person, including mental, emotional, and physical health. 

At The Doctor’s House in Edina, Minnesota, Dr. Adepero Okulaja understands that total wellness involves the whole person, from diet and physical health to mood, stress levels, and spirituality. That’s why she takes all of these components into consideration and creates a total wellness plan that sets the people in her care on the journey toward optimal health.

Here are a few ways your emotional well-being impacts your physical health and how Dr. Okulaja can help.

Understanding the mind/body connection

It’s easy to focus entirely on physical factors regarding health. This often leads to narrowing in on a specific symptom and concentrating on diet and getting enough exercise. Yes, these things play a part in health and wellness, but mental state plays a significant role as well.

The mind/body connection acknowledges that your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes can impact your biological functions.

This approach isn’t new. In fact, almost every system of medicine throughout the world used to approach health in this way until approximately 300 years ago. During the 17th century, Western societies started thinking of the mind and body as two distinct entities instead of two intimately connected components.

While this change created a foundation that advanced methods of care like trauma care, pharmaceuticals, and surgery, it also lost sight of a person’s innate ability to heal. However, 20th-century research started drawing more attention back to these earlier concepts, confirming the medical and mental benefits of mind-body practices.

The mind/body connection in action

You can experience mental states without being aware of them, whether positive or negative. Similarly, your mental state can trigger biological reactions. For example, if you feel anxious, your body produces stress hormones.

Mind/body therapies help people become more consciously aware of mental state. That awareness means you can guide your mental state in a more positive direction, improving your overall health at the same time.

Common forms of mind/body therapies include:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga and tai chi
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Guided imagery
  • Support groups
  • Creative arts therapies, like music, dance, or art
  • Prayer

Each of these activities can create a positive circle of wellness because a healthy mind impacts the body, and a healthy body impacts the mind. 

What to expect from mind/body therapy

Trying to reach total wellness can feel overwhelming. Dr. Okulaja can act as your guide every step of the way.

During your first visit, Dr. Okulaja talks closely with you about your health — from current symptoms or medications you take to past and present medical issues. She also discusses your lifestyle and emotional and spiritual health. 

By getting a sense of your whole-body health, Dr. Okulaja can get to the root cause of your health issues and outline a personalized mind/body strategy to help improve your overall wellness. These approaches could include:

  • Physical health coaching, such as diet and nutrition programs
  • Behavioral changes, like smoking or drug cessation and drinking reduction
  • Mental health coaching to address stress, anxiety, or depression
  • IV infusions or vitamin mineral supplementation to improve your nutritional well-being

With Dr. Okulaja’s help and understanding of the mind/body connection, you can learn strategies to improve your emotional health to keep your body in peak condition or better manage chronic conditions.

Are you ready to learn more about the mind/body connection? Contact The Doctor’s House to schedule an appointment with Dr. Okulaja by calling or booking online today.