Attitude, Intent and Emotions in Health

Information and resources from “A growing body of research suggests patient and practitioner attitude, intent and emotions can influence clinical outcomes.” distributed to the Association of Reorganizational Healing Practitioners. Original article by Christopher Kent, DC, Esq. (He explained it so well that I've kept my comments in green, although the full article does not appear here. Enjoy his ideas!)
The amount of juice smoothies that enter your body, the hours you spend at the gym working out your muscles and cardio stamina, and the crazy positions you distort yourself into for your mediatation or yoga class-Is this where you think your health comes from?
While this WILL affect your level of health, research is also seeing that your attitude, intent and emotions are also playing a huge role in what level of health you achieve. The biopyschosocial model emphasizes that one should consider"the patient's unique biologic, psychological, social, and economic milieu."1
Scientists are studying the relationship between emotions, brain connectivity, and pain. A study reported that where pain persisted, brain gray matter density decreased. Brain changes are causally involved in the transition from acute to chronic pain."4 And as reported in the U.K.'s The Telegraph, "The more emotionally the brain reacted to the initial injury, the more likely it was that pain [would] persist after the injury [had] healed."5
We all know that attitude matters. Laughter and humor have benefical health effects-how do we know? (the following is directly from Kent's article:)
CBS News6 reported on a paper in Aging7 that examined personality traits in people 95 years of age and older. The researchers reported that most had positive personality traits; the majority were outgoing, optimistic and easygoing. As noted by CBS News, "They considered laughter an important part of life and had a large social network. They expressed emotions openly rather than bottling them up." Other investigators have found that dispositional optimism protects older adults from strokes.8-9
Berk, et al.,10 investigated how humor-associated, mirthful laughter modulated certain neuroimmune parameters. Fifty-two healthy men participated in the study. Blood samples were taken 10 minutes before viewing an hour-long humor video. Additional blood samples were taken 30 minutes into the video, 30 minutes after the viewing was completed and 12 hours after the viewing. Increases were found in natural killer cell activity (immunoglobins G and M), with several immunoglobin effects lasting 12 hours after viewing the humor video.
The authors concluded, "Modulation of neuroimmune parameters during and following the humor-associated eustress [pleasant or curative stress] of laughter may provide beneficial health effects for wellness."
Finally, in a study by Kimata,11 allergy patients who watched a Charlie Chaplin comedy had their skin welts shrink, an effect not found in control subjects who watched weather reports.
A stronger immune system, shrinking skin welts, and happy 95 year olds. Doesn't it make sense that we look for the silver lining and down that green smoothie knowing how it will nourish each and every cell as we “om” to better health?
Focus on your intent to allow the body to express its potential. It may significantly affect clinical outcomes.
Weiner BK. Spine update: the biopsychosocial model and spine care. Spine, 2008;15;33(2):219.
"The Power of Suggestion - A Wild Card Across Spine Care." The Back Letter, 2012;27(8);96.
Michael RB, Garry M. Suggestion, cognition, and behavior. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2012;21(3):151.
Balioki MN, Petre B, Torbey S, et al. Corticostriatal functional connectivity predicts transition to chronic back pain. Nature Neuroscience, 2012;15:1117.
"Chronic Pain Is Determined by Emotions, Scientists Believe." The Telegraph (UK), July 1, 2012.
Castillo M. "Researchers Discover Optimism May Lead to Longevity." CBS News, May 30, 2012.
Kato K, Zweig R, Barzilai, Atzmon G. Positive attitude towards life and emotional expression as personality phenotypes for centenarians. Aging, 2012;4(5):359.
"Smile a Lot; It Just Might Save Your Life." USA Today, Dec. 27, 2011.
Kim ES, Park N, Peterson C. Dispositional optimism protects older adults from stroke. AHA Stroke; published online before print July 21, 2011.
Berk LS, Felten DL, Tan SA, et al. Modulation of neuroimmune parameters during the eustress of humor-associated mirthful laughter. Alternative Therapies, 2001;7(2):62.
Kimata H. "Effect of Humor on Allergen-Induced Wheal Reactions." (letter) Journal of the American Medical Association, 2001;285(6):738.
DiBlasi Z, Harkness E, Ernst E, et al. Influence of context effects on health outcomes: a systematic review. The Lancet, 2001;357(9258):757.


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