Mind and Wellness: the importance of listening to your body
“Detox” techniques have become a widespread trend in the wellness industry. Over the past years, purification programmes and treatments have been focusing on nutrition, beauty, toxin accumulation and much more.
Yet the most important aspect for our body’s health is the wellbeing of our mind.
Recurrent thoughts, stress and anxiety produce residues in our body that may affect our lives and the way we relate to others.
Unlike traditional medicine, more comprehensive and integrated medical approaches focus on both the physical and metaphysical components of discomfort: in other words, harmony and balance of both mind and body play a key role in our overall state of health.
How much can an intoxicated mind influence our state of health? This is what we asked physician, psychotherapist and researcher Jader Tolja, who is a member of the Lefay SPA Method Scientific Committee.
According to broader visions, the mind and body are connected. Can we say that bringing back clarity to our emotions can help us overcome difficult times?
Actually, the mind and body aren’t connected: they’re the expression of the same process on different planes. We use all our body when we think. For example, if we’re cold, we don’t just stiffen physically, but mentally too. If we’re depressed, we slouch physically. Just as a body practice, like tai-qi, can bring us back to the present, similarly, unravelling the knots in our mind also frees our body’s processes.
Research increasingly reveals that a mental attitude can make a difference in overcoming a disorder. Do you agree?
Yes. Although it’s misleading to believe that the solution lies in thinking positively. ‘Positive thinking’ can lead to a self-detachment as deep as that caused by depression. What can really make a difference is being authentic and coming into contact with ourselves. Recent studies have shown that people who feel authentic sadness are able to increase the effectiveness of their immune system just like people who feel deep joy. The difference isn’t between joy and sadness, but between feeling and not feeling our body and its emotions.
What are the consequences of not listening to our body’s signals?
Every symptom of our body is saying something important about us and our life. When we solve it with a pill, are we suppressing just our physical discomfort or rather everything that it can reveal about ourselves? The price we’re paying is the amount of potential information that gets lost because we ignore what that symptom can reveal about our life. We need to change the perception we have of ourselves: not as «sick» people, but endless «creators» of solutions designed to solve the conflict between our needs and life’s difficulties.
Dr. Tolja has been a member of the Lefay SPA Method Scientific Committee since 2016. His publications (e.g. “Pensare col corpo” (Body thinking)), his most well-known and translated book) focus on the relationship between mind, body and culture. As a result of his experience, he has contributed to the introduction of the “Consulto Psicosomatico Generale” (General Psychosomatic Consultation) in the 2018 wellness proposals. The interview allows us to look at illnesses from our body’s perspective, to bring back clarity and to make us find a logical reason for what we are going through.