I asked our Advisory Board member, Dr. Lise Janelle, to write an article for the Misner Plan which lets us know about her area of expertise, the mind-body connection and health:
When I first started my career as a chiropractor I came with all the scientific background: physiology, biomechanics, pathology, etc. Armed with my academic knowledge, I entered the real world and faced unexpected challenges with my patients: I could see 10 people with very similar conditions to whom I would apply similar treatments and out of the 10, eight would get better and two would just stay stuck. As you can imagine that was frustrating both for them and me. I began a quest to find solutions which led me to the discovery of different mind/body techniques that allowed me to help more people.
After over three decades of experience and thousands of one-on-one consultations, I am convinced that the natural state of a human being is to experience health. We find dis-ease when there are blocks to this natural state of wellness. In order to regain health, we just need to become sleuths and find the causes for the challenges.
Our bodies want to heal — if that were not true, all of us would not live very long since we are under constant assault from bacteria, viruses, fungus, and accidents, just to name a few of our challenges. If you cut yourself by accident, you first bleed, then it coagulates, then you get a scab and then a few days later you have new skin. If you think about it, it’s a miracle each time something as small as this happens. If your car gets hit, it certainly and unfortunately will not fix itself, because it has no life force.
There are three main possible blocks to our life force: structural, biochemical and emotional. Dis-eases occur most often with a combination of all three. The key to health is to allow our life force to do its work to regain vitality.
The structural aspect of health has to do with the physical body itself and it is influenced by many factors: our genetic material, exercise, lack of exercise, posture and body work like chiropractic and massage therapy and others.
Biochemically everything that we eat and drink has an impact on our body — even the products that we put on our skin. My friend, Dr Zoltan Rona, says, “don’t put on your skin what you would not put in your mouth.” Every year there seem to be new discoveries about food. What seems to stands the test of time is that when we eat food closest to its purest natural form, the body does better. The less refined the food is, the easier it is for the body to extract the perfect nutrients.
Eating organic food is more expensive in the short run, and is certainly an investment. And it pays for itself over a lifetime. Eating meat that comes from animals raised in caring ways, without hormones and antibiotics and fed their species-specific diet also provides better nutrients for those of you who eat animal protein. Eating a variety of food also exposes us to different vitamins and minerals that are extremely important. High quality supplements are also helpful in balancing our body chemistry.
The emotional aspect of health, the mind-body connection, is such an important factor. Science even realizes now that our emotions impact our genetic material. We all know that stress has an impact on our cardiovascular and immune systems. And there are Pavlovian or conditioned reflexes stored in our physiology that can decrease our health without our awareness.
There is a little experiment I like to do with people to prove to them the power of Pavlovian reflex. If you become really present with this exercise, you will also experience this power right now while you are reading this article. Imagine that I am with you and that I have a lemon. It’s a big juicy one, and I cut it in half. The juice squirts as I cut through the fruit, and you can smell it. Now I take that half and cut it in half again… more juice is squirting from the fruit. Now I take this quarter of a lemon and I ask you to bite in it . . . did you just salivate?
These kinds of conditioned reflexes are at play in many, many areas of our life and can have a profound impact on our health. I look forward to writing more blogs on how your emotions and inner peace can be a healing influence in a framework of the mind-body connection.
Dr Lise E. Janelle