The mind-body connection happens on both a physical and chemical level. The brain is the hardware that allows you to experience mental states that are labeled the “mind.” This concept of the “mind” encompasses mental states including thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions. Different mental states can positively or negatively affect biological functioning. This occurs since the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems share a common chemical language, which allows constant communication between the mind and body through messengers like hormones and neurotransmitters.
For example, neurological pathways connect parts of the brain that process emotions with the spinal cord, muscles, cardiovascular system, and digestive tract. This allows major life events, stressors, or emotions to trigger physical symptoms. You may have experienced this aspect of the mind-body connection when you feel butterflies in your stomach when you feel nervous, or when you heart feels like it is pounding out of your chest when you are under intense stress.
These intersecting systems help to establish the mind-body connection that influences the maintenance of health or the development of disease. For example, emotions like anxiety can trigger increased stress hormones, which may suppress the immune system and set the stage for the development of infections or cancer.
Within the discipline of Chiropractic, we have done years of research in assisting us in the understanding of how the chiropractic adjustment can have a positive impact not only on the physical body, but on the brain as well. Chiropractic care is essential in helping reduce the effects of our mental/emotional stress. The chiropractic adjustment allows for the brain and body to communicate more effectively and improves our neurophysiological health. The adjustment assists our brains in creating new neuropathways which allows for cellular healing.