It has been documented that thoughts and emotions have a powerful influence over our physical health. There was an interesting study conducted at UCLA in the early 1990s where 14 professional actors were recruited to study the effects of emotion on the immune system. During the study, the actors were told which mood state they would be experiencing.

They then read the appropriate scenario, which was about 100 words long, and were told to create and experience a realistic mood by developing the scene and verbally and behaviorally acting it out while seated. Actors were encouraged to use their own personal memories to intensify the experience. Once the actors were in a particular emotional state, the researchers drew blood to measure any physical changes that may be associated with particular emotional states. What they found surprised everyone. Simply by shifting from one emotional state to another, the actors could stimulate or suppress their immune function. Subsequent studies have measured all kinds of physical changes that result from emotional states, such as changes in hormone levels, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, even the ability to heal properly. In fact, the mind-body connection is so strong that an entire field of science has emerged called psychoneuroimmunology.

More and more scientific studies are published on a daily basis proving the idea that thoughts and emotions have a powerful influence over our physical health. This is one of the reasons why people are much more likely to get sick during job changes, holidays and other stressful times; or why people who are depressed have a much higher risk of developing cancer. How can emotions affect our immunity or resistance to disease? Research shows that the brain can release hormones and other chemicals that affect white blood cells and other parts of the immune system. Though the chemicals also have other functions, they are a link between our thoughts and our ability to resist diseases.For example, when people react to stresses with fear, their brains send a "danger" message to the body. Hormones are released to raise blood pressure and prepare muscles for quick action, as if to fight or flee from danger. The stress hormones also depress the disease-resistance system, and over time, can damage the brain, heart and digestive tract.Thoughts can cause physical abnormalities such as ulcers, indigestion, nervousness and high blood pressure. Thoughts can also depress the immune system, which leads to a wide variety of diseases. Whether a person experiences poor health, and how soon, depends on that person's heredity, environment, diet, and behavior.

An Australian study in the late 1970s showed that when one spouse dies, the other experiences a weakened immune system. This helps explain why grieving spouses have more diseases and a higher death rate than others of similar age. Other studies have shown that heart patients who are depressed have more heart problems than happier heart patients; depression was a better predictor of problems than physical measurements were.

Cancer is more common in people who suffer a major emotional loss, repress anger and feel helpless. Cancer patients who express their emotions rather than denying them seem to recover more often. The link between emotion and cancer is so strong that some psychological tests are better predictors of cancer than physical exams are. This does not mean that everyone who has cancer or some other disease has simply thought it upon himself. There are many factors involved in disease; even the best attitude is not going to prevent ill effects from genetic malfunctions and some chemical and biological hazards. A new study shows physical proof how one of those aspects - a strong and happy marriage - can be a boon to your health. According to the study, physical wounds take much longer to heal in marriages marred by hostility and conflict than those in which couples build a more pleasurable home life.

As our thoughts and emotions have such a powerful influence over our physical health, we must take proactive steps to regain our health through healthy thinking, relaxation, and positive affirmations. Explore this section for more on how to calm your mind and improve your health. 

  • The Pain of Clinical Depression

    Many of us think of depression as a psychological condition. The causes of depression are sought in the person's childhood or in her personal circumstances as an adult. But within the last 10 or 20 years depression is increasingly being evaluated within a physiological context. Various disease states

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  • The Life You Want to Live

    We all want to get the most we can out of life. Whether we want to find a loving partner, work at a meaningful career, gather an abundance of financial resources, or have enough leisure time to pursue favored interests, the usual bottom line is that we want to be happy. Throughout thousands of years

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  • Questions About Cancer

    Cancer is a health issue for many families. It's important to understand that there are different kinds of cancers. Not all cancers are life-threatening. Some types may be very serious and some may be dealt with relatively easily. First, it's important to distinguish between benign and malignant tumors.

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  • High Blood Pressure

    We all know someone with high blood pressure (HBP), possibly a beloved family member or a lifelong friend. This common problem affects one in four American adults.1 An alarming 75% of patients with type 2 diabetes also have HBP.2 High blood pressure is particularly dangerous because, for the most part,

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  • Heart Disease Is Still Number One!

    According to a recent report, cardiovascular disease claims more lives worldwide than any other disorder.1 Diseases of the heart and blood vessels, including coronary artery disease, are responsible for more than 4 million deaths in Europe each year2 and almost one-third of all deaths worldwide. In the

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  • Healing Chronic Shoulder Pain

    As we get older, years and decades of mechanical stress may lead to deterioration of joints, ligaments, and tendons. This degenerative process, commonly known as arthritis, primarily affects weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees and those found in the lumbar spine. The shoulder, too, is especially

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  • Have You Been Suffering From Chronic Knee Pain?

    Chronic knee pain is notoriously difficult to treat successfully. Persons with these problems often become discouraged as they shuttle from specialist to specialist, from rheumatologist to orthopedic surgeon to physical therapist to acupuncturist and back again. Lack of progress and improvement becomes

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  • Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain

    The condition of fibromyalgia creates many challenges for a person with this disorder. These challenges often go far beyond the characteristic chronic pain which alone can be potentially debilitating. Those with fibromyalgia have pain in many locations and the presence of multiple pain sites is often

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  • Chiropractic: The drugless solution to headaches

    Headaches are an unfortunate and painful part of life for many Americans. In fact, an estimated five percent of adults in this country suffer from chronic migraines or severe headache pain. We spend billions of dollars each year on over-the-counter and prescription pain medication for relief from those

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  • Breathing Exercises Improve Asthma Symptoms

    In the United States, about 20 million people have been diagnosed with asthma; nearly 9 million of them are children. The most common treatment for Asthma has been the use of corticosteriod inhalers. A new study found that breathing techniques can cut the use of asthma reliever inhalers by more than

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  • Allergies and Asthma

    Allergies and asthma are big business. Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, and approximately 20 million suffer from asthma. With some overlap between the conditions, more than 60 million Americans experience either allergies, asthma, or both. The costs for medications, hospital

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  • Being Young, Feeling Young, Looking Young

    Poets throughout the centuries have helped us see that being young is a state of mind. That special state of mind impels us to take actions on our own behalf, actions that have specific consequences for our health and well-being. But so many people believe in the power of the dollar. They spend vast

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  • Is 60 the New 40?

    "60 is the New 40" is more than a marketing slogan. The phrase is also a metaphor for optimism, as well as a metaphor for good health. How can 60 really be the new 40? First, there are the demographics. Forty years ago, when today's 40-year-olds were just being born, 40 was a fairly substantial age.

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  • Taking Care of Older Joints (and Younger Joints, Too)

    Many people experience increasing musculoskeletal joint stiffness as they get older. Shoulders, knees, and ankles don't seem to be as flexible as they once were. It seems more difficult to bend over and pick up a dropped object. It may be uncomfortable to turn your head around to see the car in the next

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  • The Time Machine

    The Macintosh operating system contains a subprogram called "Time Machine" that allows you to reset your status to any previously saved state. Provided that you have designated a location for backups, you can literally go back in time and recover documents, directories, and applications you may have

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  • You Say It's Your Birthday

    Let's imagine that today is your birthday. One of the things you might do on or around your birthday is to take a look back at what you've accomplished in the year gone by. You might be glad at all the things you've done and a little sad at all the things you didn't get to do. You might feel proud that

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7400 West Indian School Road Phx - (623) 877-2250

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7016 North 27th Avenue, Phx - (602) 789-3800

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-3:00 pm

Sunday:

9:00 am-3:00 pm

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