The mind body connection goes very deep, and something that affects one of these aspect will inevitably impact the other as well. This is why author and trailblazer Ilchi Lee commonly recommends that individuals engage in practices, like meditation, that support both areas of health.
A new study published in the journal Gastroenterology showed that this link between the mental and the physical may be responsible for a number of health conditions. In particular, the researchers reported that neurotic individuals – those who tend to dwell on negative thoughts and emotions – experience a greater amount of pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
The condition is characterized by a collection of painful and uncomfortable disturbances in the digestive tract. Its cause is largely unknown, but some experts have suggested that it may be mostly a result of psychological factors.
In the present study, researchers form the Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology observed that individuals who showed traits of neuroticism were more likely to have higher levels of activity in areas of their brain responsible for pain processes during anticipation of an uncomfortable event. This may be why these individuals are more likely to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
"Previous research has shown that there is a connection between a patient's emotions and their perceived levels of pain, especially in gastrointestinal disorders," said lead researcher Steven Coen. "Our study shows a patient's state of mind should be noted by their physician and taken into account when determining treatment regimens – both behavioral and pharmacologic."
The study also shows that a patient’s mind body connection may be stronger than previously acknowledged. Recognizing this fact and treating both aspects of an individual may be the key to helping those with mysterious health conditions write their own motivational stories for success.