Dr. Alex Jimenez, El Paso's Chiropractor
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Functional Endocrinology: The Mind-Body Connection and Stress Part 1

Do you feel:

  • Stressed out after a long day?
  • Irritable if meals are missed?
  • Shaky, jittery, or have tremors?
  • Agitated, easily upset, or nervous?
  • Hormone imbalance?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then your mind-body connection might be unbalanced.

Throughout history, there have been studies and theories that the mind and body are separate. This theory has been accepted by many; however, there is so much evidence showing the mind, and the body having a bidirectional relationship in the body like the gut system that sends signals to the brain and vise versa. Since each organ sends its signals to the brain, the endocrine system sends out signals to the brain in the form of hormones, which can alter the person’s perception of the world through their eyes.

With that in mind, neuroplasticity has shown people that when they are in their environment, it can be altered the physical make up of the environment. Many modern scientists have acquired very sophisticated tools that can monitor the body’s brainwaves, the microbes, and many other factors that can change the body’s mind. Since stress is a full-body response, it can be both a good thing and a bad thing for the body. Good stress in the body gives the “fight or flight” response while the bad stress can become chronic and can lead the body to be dysfunctional. So the idea of having the mind and the body being a separate function seems to be a bit outdated but also informational.

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By exploring the science and psychology of the mind-body disconnect, researchers can see how a person’s hormones can affect their perception of the world. By diving into the body, researchers can also see how stress can produce any visible changes in the brain as well.

How Experiences Alters the Mind

Many experiences can alter the mind. Whether it be good experiences that can be used in the work atmosphere or it can be bad experiences like being traumatized from horrible events. Studies show that trauma can alter the mind and depend on the situation. Even though the damage that is caused by trauma can be healed if it is minor. In some cases, it can scar a person even though the physical damage is healed. The mental damage is affected as a person can relive the traumatic experience that they encountered.

With good experience, they can be useful to a person if the damage has minored. If a person accidentally hurt themselves from any activities, they know not to do that again. Although if a person practices on specific activities and get better at it with time, it becomes a skill they can use. Sometimes a person can have a set of specific skills that are beneficial when they are working in the job they are in. So depending on the experiences that a person is dealing with, it can be either good or bad, but their brains will remember it.

The Difference Between Dualism and Monism

There has always been a philosophical debate on the mind and body. There are different ways to look at the mind-body connection, as many researchers have debated whether the mind is part of the body or that the body is part of the mind. Thus the difference between Dualism and Monism has different views on the mind-body connection.

Dualism is defined as being born out of the body as a physical object, and the mind or the consciousness is being constructed. The origins of dualism started with the Cartesian ways of thinking, where people started to argue that there was a two-way relationship between the mental and physical substances in the body. Surprisingly, the belief of the physical and mental systems are compartmentalized and not inter-related like what some people think.

French philosopher René Descartes stated that the mind interacts with the body through the pineal glands and that the mind controls the body. He also summed his thoughts with one of his famous statements: “I think therefore I am.” With this statement, it tells researchers that the mind is a nonphysical and non-spatial substance that is being identified with consciousness and self-awareness in the body.

With monism, it is defined as a material point of view and that all humans are just merely complex physiological organisms. There is another type of monism known as phenomenalism. It also goes by subject idealism, and the concept of this monism is that the mind and the body are two separate entities. With each type of monism, the concepts always seem to be the same, which shows that each type of monism seems to ignore either the mind or the body. It is always one or the other, never together at the same time.

How Stress Hormones Influences the Brain

When it comes to stress and hormones, there has been a lot of scientific advancements on how the stress hormone affects the brain in the body. Since hormones have been found to alter the hippocampal neurons with stress hormones, they can give the body the burst of energy that it needs. Although, if there is a long-term activation of the stress hormone can wear the brain down and kill the brain’s cells. If someone has any psychological disorders that cause prolonged stress, it can impair cognitive function, and the results can be enhanced emotionally.

Conclusion

With the mind-body connection, they can send signals to each other and make sure that the human body is functioning correctly. When there is prolonged stress in the body, it can disrupt the signals and cause the body to dysfunction. The next article will be discussing how stress can rewire the brain in the body. Some products can help the body by supporting the endocrine system as well as helping the body to relieve temporary stress.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

Perry, Bruce D., et al. “Childhood Trauma, the Neurobiology of Adaptation, and ‘Use‐Dependent’ Development of the Brain: How ‘States’ Become ‘Traits.’” Semantic Scholar, 1 Jan. 1995, http://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Childhood-trauma%2C-the-neurobiology-of-adaptation%2C-Perry-Pollard/1d6ef0f4601a9f437910deaabc09fd2ce2e2d31e.

Team, Biotics Education. “Stress – The Mind-Body Connection Part 1.” Biotics Research Blog, 9 Dec. 2019, blog.bioticsresearch.com/stress-the-mind-body-connection-part-1.

Woolley, C S, and P A Schwartzkroin. “Hormonal Effects on the Brain.” Epilepsia, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1998, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9915614.


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