REFLECTIONS ON THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION FROM SEBI FISHTA

Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network Systems (2020)


There are many sides to the debate on the mind-body connection that involve ideas from complex research to speculative philosophy.
The debate has roots that go all the way back to Rene Descarte in the 17th century and even Plato. Within the debate, meditation research has shown the profound impact relaxation has on the central nervous system, specifically that of the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). The role of the executive functions in planning and decision-making is another fascinating area that impacts perceptions of reality including physiology. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that the mind and body share information because the connecting mechanisms can be observed and measured.


The Mind/Body Connection: Phenomenalism has the intriguing view that everything is reducible to mind/mental constructs. What makes this view attractive is when you take a very close look at the physical reality, from a physics viewpoint, you see that atoms reduce down into a quantum field. The paradox is that “material” objects act very mind-like at a fundamental deep level. The body can be seen as a form of dense imagination along with the entire “external” reality we perceive.
Combining these ideas with our physiology has constructivist perceptual processes. The mind/body question becomes a very interesting one at the cutting edge of many disciplines.


Physical Health: Tremendous physical health issues can be seen in research on the role of meditation in countering the negative effects of stress and anxiety. Meditation has been shown to have extreme calming effects on the body.
This effect also highlights the impact of the mind on the seemingly separate body connection. Given our hyperarousal oriented, 24 hours “on” 21st century lifestyle, it is easy to become stressed on a multitude of levels. When left unchecked, the “fight or flight” mechanism can start to work overtime and turn on even for small events. This mechanism is responsible for releasing a flood of hormones and neurochemicals that can cause profound problems in the body that includes headaches, high blood pressure, depression and contribute to degenerative heart disease.
Countering these negative expressions is the relaxation response that is produced with the simple act of relaxing into a deep meditation on a regular basis. Electroencephalography (EEG) research that measures subtle electrical current in brain neurons reveals interesting data detailing the internal changes. It shows how quickly our physiology changes as we redirect our attention inward. As soon as our eyes close immediate changes are seen in the recordings of EEG measurements.

BY: SEBI FISHTA

Sebi Fishta, PhD

Dr. Fishta is a Licensed & Board Certified Professional Counselor. Sebi graduated with a master’s degree in counseling and a doctoral degree in psychology with a specialization in Health Psychology. 

Sebi specializes in psychological assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with a wide variety of symptoms, conditions, and disorders. Sebi’s clinical and research interests include emotional and behavioral disorders, substance use/abuse Disorders, eating disorders, and other severe and persistent mental health disorders.

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