Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Vitamins for your mind

Published:Tuesday | September 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM

WHAT IS the mind? The mind is not so much a thing or an object, but rather an activity or capacity. It involves our ability as human beings to think. Furthermore, it does not just reside in our brain, although we use the brain as an instrument for thinking. Both mystics and scientists have described it as an energy field that extends beyond the boundaries of our body and can interact with and influence our environment, both near and far. The mind creates. Many years ago, my spiritual mentor Yogi Amrit Desai told me "Whatever you think, that is what you create, and that is what you become".

It is a scientific fact that everything in the world, everything we can see, touch or sense, is a form of energy. The celebrated genius, Albert Einstein, in his famous mathematical equation E=mc2, proved that energy and material stuff (matter) was interchangeable.

He showed that matter and energy are really different forms of the same thing. Matter can be turned into energy, and energy into matter. Our very thoughts are a form of energy and what we think can influence the energy fields in our bodies, our lives and our world.

The power of thought

We as humans have the wonderful capacity to choose what we think, and, thus, we can choose to create with our thoughts exactly what we want to experience in our life. This truth is not a recent discovery. The book of Proverbs in the Bible explains it this way: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". More than 2,500 years ago, the Buddha said: "You are what you think, all that you are arises in your mind. With your thoughts, you create your world".

By consciously choosing what thoughts we think, we can play a part in creating what we experience in our bodies and in our lives. Scientists tell us that the average person thinks about 60,000 thoughts each day. More than 90 per cent of those thoughts arise unconsciously and are repeated over and over again like an automatic programme. Each thought sends out an energy or vibration that begins to create a specific reality. Imagine what you are creating if you often think: 'I am afraid of cancer because it runs in my family', or 'Jamaica is a dangerous place to live in'. Without wanting to, you are helping to create and attract into your life things that you do not want. I believe that much of our problems, on a personal, family or national level have everything to do with what we think.

Mind-body medicine

There is a long list of physical disorders that doctors now agree may be caused by or originate in the mind. The list includes common problems like headaches and backaches, asthma and allergies, hypertension and digestive disorders. Sexual dysfunction and infertility, hormonal disturbance and heart autoimmune diseases may all ultimately have their origins in the mind. The mind and its thoughts affect the nervous system and, in turn, the powerful immune system. The study of this connection is called psycho-neuro-immunology. This branch of medicine is also referred to as psychosomatic medicine.

Many years ago, as a young doctor working in the intensive care unit (ICU) of one of Jamaica's largest hospitals, I had a dramatic experience of the power of the mind. A young criminal had been shot and brought to hospital by the police. He was the leader of a notorious gang and, as he was admitted to the ICU under my care, I could feel his energy, his personal power and his will to live and to escape. He was like a trapped animal, but badly wounded with a bullet in his spine. After the first day, he called me to his bed and said. 'Doc, I can't move my legs'. I explained to him that he was paralysed from his waist down from his gunshot wound. He looked deeply into my eyes and asked "Permanently?' I told him that I was sorry, but that he would likely be crippled for life. He sighed deeply, turned his face to the wall and, in two days, he was dead. This powerful man literally willed himself to death because he decided that he did not want to live the life of a cripple. The mind can heal and the mind can slay.

Mind-body problems are often bewildering to both patients and their doctors and often respond poorly to conventional medical treatment, as these do not address the root cause of the problem. Fortunately, there are a number of mind-body therapies that can address these disorders, including hypnosis, psychotherapy, relaxation therapies, therapeutic touch, reiki and energy balancing. I have found the practice of meditation to be a most powerful tool for learning how to make your mind your friend and servant and not your foe.

Healing with your mind

We can deliberately choose to think in ways that create the positive outcomes that we want to experience. We can mentally programme ourselves for health and success using simple mental strategies. There are techniques that can nourish, strengthen and focus your mental powers that I call 'vitamins for your mind'. Reflect on the ideas I have shared above and start to recognise and use the power and the potential of your mind and your thoughts to heal.

You may email Dr Vendryes at tonyvendryes@gmail.com or listen to An Ounce of Prevention on POWER106FM on Fridays at 8:15 p.m. Go to his website tonyvendryes.com for information on his new book 'An Ounce of Prevention - Particularly for Men'.