Body, Mind & Soul An Integrative Approach
So I thought today I would talk a bit about why I believe in an integrative approach of body, mind, and soul. And why I follow a plant-based diet as well as other lifestyle choices.
Since science can’t really articulate the separation of the physical brain and emotions/thoughts, this will be a little bit philosophical. We all have our different views that come from a combination of things we’ve read from science or the Bible or even social media posts. And while I could document the sources where I get my ideas from, the reality is, I cannot prove it and my goal is not to convince you of my believe but rather to understand a little bit more about why I do what I do. So, I hope you will read all the way through this article with that in mind.
You may have heard me say body mind health, or body mind and soul, or integrative approach, or various combinations of these. Certainly it's in the name of my blog, website and facebook pages. LOL. Obviously, when I say 'body,' I’m referring to your physical body. Mind refers your thoughts and feelings and soul is the essence of who you are or your personality.
You might be with me so far, or not, but I’m not sure you’ll be on board with my next belief which is that not only our minds, but our souls are also intricately linked to our physical brain. One of the evidence is for this is Phineas Gauge who had an abrupt personality change when a tamping bar went through his frontal lobe. There’s actually many more stories of people who had brain injuries or disease, and had personality changes, emotional problems, or even the way they think changed. Unlike alzheimer's, some dementia patient's family members will tell you this is NOT the person they remember. So we know that physical disease and injury to the brain do you change thoughts and emotions in a person, and even their personality. As a Christian I believe the breath of life comes from God, as mentioned in Genesis and in the New Testament, and goes back to God when we die. I just don’t believe that the soul and the breath of life are the same thing. I don’t think that your soul lives on without a body. I actually have a Bible study on this if you like and you can get that here. Don't get me wrong, I do believe in heaven and life after death, just not life immediately after death, I believe in the resurrection John 5:28.
You might have different definitions for these words, or beliefs, and that’s absolutely fine. I do know many things that affect one affects the other. Having a doctrinal difference won’t affect how we work together, it only explains why the body, and specifically the brain, is so important to protect. Because whether you believe the soul is a separate entity from your body or not, we can agree the mind is affected by physical health, and that one can no longer make good decisions if they get a stroke from a poor lifestyle. Our brain's can't function properly without our whole bodies working in good order. We need proper nutrition for the chemical messengers in our brains, we need exercise for circulation and delivery of these, and so much more. We’ve seen this in science many times. We know that extreme lack of sleep can cause emotional problems such as irritability and poor cognitive function. Likewise we know certain thoughts can actually reduce physical pain, reducing emotional stress can lower your risk of cancer and heart disease, and many other interconnections.
A plant based diet is one of the best ways to get on the road to optimal health. The blue zones are centuries of proof that eating lots of plant foods and limited sugar, added fat, and animal products, is the most healthy way to eat. There are hundreds of studies and books in modern research to back this up. And even some of those following a keto or low card diet believe this so much they endeavor to be vegan or close to it, which is not easy to do, but is possible.
I think in general people forget how important their overall health is to their emotional happiness. Of course I totally believe in any state of health you can have peace and even happiness. And I do believe that we can’t always determine how healthy will be by our choices. I realize there are other factors that influence our health such as DNA, environmental factors, and other unknowns out of our control. Let’s do what we can, when we can, is my philosophy. This is why I choose to walk with you on your journey, rather than dragging you along on mine.