The Crucial Mind–Body Connection
The mind/body connection, in this writer's view, is probably the most important research ever conducted in the field of mental health, if not overall health. There are definable, measurable changes in the health of each that can be directly correlated with the status of the other. The condition of each goes hand in hand and cannot be separated. Two simple examples of this are clinical depression and Bi-Polar illness. When a person is diagnosed with depression, it generally can be traced back to roots somewhere in the mind of internal emotional or other type of conflict dealt with on a mind or "thinking" level. Depression causes the person to become very sluggish, with decreased ability to concentrate, remember, and sleep normally. When Bi-Polar illness is diagnosed, an unbalance of chemistry, or physical nature of the brain is said to be the cause. This throws the body completely off track, and energy levels ebb and flow to seriously high or low levels. The person becomes a victim of his physical state and mood swings, within the grip of this de-habilitating illness.
Because, traditionally, (Solso, 2001) we have used different techniques to find rules in the two worlds, it was commonly accepted by scholars and laymen alike, that these worlds are fundamentally different. This dichotomous conclusion is based on the assumption that one world is focused on the physical universe, or body, as it applies to people, while the other is centered on the mental universe, or mind. The separation of mind from body is intuitively logical. or self-evident, but the interaction between the worlds is equally self-evident. Your mental inability to concentrate on a school exam may be related to staying up too late the night before to watch Batman, the Movie.
When talking about the mind, we are talking about the things that are done by the brain, like thinking, remembering, perceiving, judging, falling in love, feeling pain, scheming, problem solving, and all the rest. The mind is the planner, and course maker, all the while comprising processes carried out by the brain. (Solso, 2001)
"The brain has physical properties that are in a constant state of flux. The brain never rests totally but is always teeming with electrochemical activity. However, the general architecture; the network of neurons; the location of major landmarks on the cortex; the areas of the brain that are related to functions such as sensory feelings, motor control, vision, and so on are generally stable and change little. What takes place in the brain -the brain processes- change more readily" (Solso, 2001, p.36)
We are in an age (Solso, 2001) which we are seeing the creation of a new science, a science of the mind. This science will add new ways of perceiving old problems, conditions, and illness's both physical and mental. This science will open the door to advances in treatment techniques and procedures.