The Mind-Body Connection in illness and Wellness | Swami Mukundananda MD Anderson Cancer Center Talk

The Mind-Body Connection in illness and Wellness | Swami Mukundananda MD Anderson Cancer Center Talk


let’s take a look at this mind-body
connection you all know of Pavlov’s experiments where he conditioned the dog
whereby the mere ringing of a bell caused the dog to salivate the ringing
of the Bell caused the mind to change its state in the dog and the change of
state caused the dog to salivate so right here you have the mind and the
body connection we also see that people’s appearances change based on
their state of mind and that is why you look at somebody and say why are you
looking so down today the person’s thought processes have impacted the
appearance are you saying oh you seem so jolly today so again the thought has a
connection with the mind if that is the case why should there not be a similar
strong and deep connection between the mind and the bodily organs doctors know
of the placebo effect there was a study conducted in 1950 by dr. Stuart wave he
used ipecac ipecac is a drug that causes vomiting he conducted this study on
ladies who were pregnant now naturally in the first few months of pregnancy
there is the tendency to vomit and to measure this tendency he made them
swallow little balloons so that the contraction which causes the vomiting
could be actually measured now when patients came to him complaining of
symptoms of vomiting dr. Stewart gave them a peacock and sure enough the
vomiting increased then he said now I have got a wonder
drug that has just come out it has just been tested it has a miraculous control
over Rama ting and I’m going to give this to you and when he will do it to
them their symptoms of vomiting would vanish for the night next morning again
they would reappear so when I read this since I am not trained in the medical
profession I said let me research this what causes vomiting and according to
the notes it is primarily caused by the brain the brain receives varieties of
signals but it is the vomit center in the brain that causes vomiting and hence
very naturally there is the strong connection between the state of the mind
and the tendency to vomit so the placebo effect the same ipecac when administered
with this message that it’s a Wong at controlling drug caused the symptoms to
vanish if any of you has studied management like I did you may have heard
of the Hawthorne effect do you know what is the Hawthorne effect you know in
production management about a century ago when they were endeavoring to
increase the production volume in factory lines so they would make an
adjustment supposing we do this for the workers what will happen and they found
when they mean to change the productivity increased when they made
the reverse change the productivity still increased and again they made a
third reverse change the productivity still increased then they wondered why
is this happening and they discovered what is happening is that the workers
are experiencing care somebody is thinking about them somebody is caring
for them it is that feeling that is making them produce more so similarly
what is God the placebo effect sometimes works as
remembered wellness placebo effect is sometimes demeaning if you say you know
you got cured by the placebo effect that person says you mean it was all in the
mind but this can be renamed as remembered wellness what is remembered
wellness we all remember the state of wellness and sometimes consciously or
subconsciously we replicate that state that is why some of you doctors may have
come across this phenomenon a patient is experiencing acute symptoms of viral
throat infection and then he or she goes to the doctor and the doctor says show
me and the symptoms have disappeared now the mere fact that the person is going
to meet the doctor tells the person subconscious that now I will be getting
all right and the remembered wellness takes place so this connection of the
state of mind with the body has a big consequence for the medical profession
how much do you reassure your patient I came across a study where before the
operation the anesthetist behaved badly with the patient saying I don’t know if
you’ll get all right or not and I’ll do my best but I don’t not so sure and none
of the other staff were aware that an experiment was being conducted
everything else was going on perfectly and the second group of patients the
anesthetist behaved very nicely and very reassuringly with that later on it was
discovered that with whom the anesthetist had behaved
well recovered in 2.7 days earlier than the first group so again it is
displaying the connection between the mind and the body
so there’s remembered wellness and the other side of it is remembered illness
you remember a sickly state and you can fall sick one study that was conducted
in 1981 in Kiribati which was previously called Gilbert Island here
the spinal tap was researched now spinal tap is you put an injection in the spine
and extract a bit of the spinal fluid so sometimes it leads to headaches now they
discovered that one out of eleven people experience headaches after the spinal
tap and this particular sample Griff it was ingrained in their look we are doing
this procedure on you and there’s a very high chance that you could get a
headache now they found that seven out of fifteen people got headaches so this
was the reverse of remembered wellness it is remembered illness a very common
phenomenon is the white collar hypertension the patient has perfect
blood pressure at home but when she visits the doctor she finds the blood
pressure has increased so again this is remembered illness mind making the body
sick an extreme example of this is given by dr. Herbert Benson who was one of the
pioneers in mind body research and his book the relaxation response so he talks
about Aboriginal tribes in Australia some of them have this custom of the
doctor of the dry morning people so the tribals believe that if the witch doctor
cans certain spells and burns me I have no hope there is no way I can live so he
says look what happens when the witch doctor gets annoyed and takes the bone
and starts waving it around at someone lifting the other hand skyward and
chanting something that person’s expression changes completely that
person thinks now I am done with there is absolutely no hope the expression
changes in a few minutes that person is suffocating holding the
neck and a few more minutes the person has fallen to the ground and has
unfortunate and grotesque as it may seem in a few hours the person has passed
away the intellect has decided and there is no hope you just cannot live that
this is the mind and the body connection