Incidence rates for illness in the U.S., especially stress-related illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, are skyrocketing. About a third of us will suffer from depression during our lifetimes and suicide rates are rising. Fifty-four percent of Americans are concerned about stress. The number one health nemesis of working adults, it causes half the things that chronically disable us. Complicating these trends: good health care is becoming more inaccessible because of rising costs, we are living longer, and we are working later in life to try and cope with the rising cost of living. A longer life span, coupled with more work later in life, means more stress, more illness, and lower access to good health care just when you need it the most.

The Solution: Mind-body medicine.

Using the mind to heal the body is not just a fascinating idea, it’s hard science. Your mind has the ability to help you heal from illness, injury or pain, and to prevent their occurrence in the first place. Everyone has this power. What almost everyone has lacked until recently are easy, effective, research-based methods that predictably work to unleash this power in a way that delivers substantial, measurable results.

If you’re concerned about your health, you should know that as much as 60 percent of your solution can come from the power of your mind. Conventional health care – surgery, pharmaceuticals and physical therapy – is absolutely critical. But don’t overlook just how much influence you can exert on your own health and well-being through the use of mind-body medicine. Good mind-body methods don’t just make you feel better, they actually change you physiologically. Though not a pill, they’re just as easy to swallow, with no negative side effects, and they can make the crucial difference between life and death, a full or partial recovery, joy and despair.

The research knowledge base is clear: mind-body medicine annihilates stress, lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, reduces inflammation, elevates immune system functioning, improves stamina and alleviates chronic pain. It is instrumental in the treatment of heart disease, respiratory disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, MS, auto-immune diseases like fibromyalgia, infertility, dysmenorrhea, obesity, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Good mind-body methods can be had for pennies, and when combined with conventional health care result in better health, better quality of life, lower utilization of conventional health care and lower costs.

If you want to explore the benefits of mind-body medicine, be sure to rely on the right methods. Not every practitioner and not every practice will deliver results. Many popular mind-body methods only tap the power of the conscious mind – the thoughts and feelings that we’re typically aware of. However, the conscious mind is the smallest part of the mind. If you want to heal, you must also be able to access the subconscious mind – a storehouse of memory, deep feeling and self-knowledge – and you need to tap the vastness of super-conscious mind – intuitive, spiritual aspects of mind capable of influencing the energies in your body.

Eighty percent of Americans believe you can’t have good physical health without good mental health, and they are right. Dis-ease in the mind helps cause disease in the body and complicates recovery, so it has to go. If you want to heal, you need to be able to identify the "Story Behind Your Story" – discover what your life has been trying to teach you, heal from trauma and loss, release old resentments, conquer depression and anxiety, discern your most deeply held aspirations and live them out. Good mind-body methods will allow you to achieve these goals – a must if you want to activate the full power of your mind to heal yourself.

Rick Levy, Ph.D. will share his simple, effective, research-based methods for unleashing the power of the mind to heal the body in an introductory talk and booksigning at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at the Intentional Life Foundation, 81 Lowry Ave NE, Minneapolis, and at 7 p.m. Monday, April 7, at the University of Minnesota Bookstore.

Rick Levy, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist with five board certifications in his field, and author of Miraculous Health: How to Heal Your Body by Unleashing the Hidden Power of Your Mind (Atria Books/Beyond Words, 2008). For more information, and to download free meditations, visit www.miraculoushealthbook.com. Copyright © 2008 Rick Levy, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.

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