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. 

  • Weight Loss That Stays Lost

    America's weight problems are now so well-known they're even fair game for jokes at the Oscars. "Americans really know how to fill up a seat," jibes Ellen DeGeneres, host of the 2007 Academy Awards. The statistics are alarming. Sixty-five percent of Americans - 130 million in 2001 - are overweight.

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  • Owning Your Health

    Recent discussions in the scientific literature are focusing on monitoring and possibly improving cardiovascular health in children. There's been a lot of conversation and a lot of controversy. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association1 argued that universal screening of children

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  • Principles of Posture

    Long ago and far away, a fourth-grade teacher told a student to "stand up straight - you look like a pretzel". The unthinking adult only offered criticism. The child was left to try to unkink himself in the ways that probably caused more structural damage. Most of us think good posture involves thrusting

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  • Rise and Shine!

    We all know people who get up with the first rays of the sun. Some people wake up even earlier, bouncing out of bed before there is even a glimmer of Homer's famous "rosy- fingered dawn" in the eastern sky. In contrast, for many people leaving the confines of their comfortable bed is a daily exercise

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  • The Luck of the Draw

    Some people do all the right things and still develop serious health problems. Others flaunt their bad habits and are able to live long lives, dying peacefully in their sleep at the age of 95. For example, high blood pressure (hypertension, HTN) is a common chronic disease in the United States. With

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  • Your New Reality

    Is it possible to create a new personal reality? So-called unscripted television shows say you can - "The Biggest Loser" being one of the more popular of these tell-all and show-all programs. But most of us realize that these shows don't closely represent reality as we experience it. What causes us to

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  • Back Pain - Am I At Risk?

    Are there risk factors for back pain? And, if there are, what can I do to keep myself healthy and well? Your chiropractor can help answer these questions and more. One primary risk factor relates to exercise. Everyone has heard, "if you don't use it, you lose it". If you're not exercising regularly,

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  • Back Pain and Herniated Discs

    A 30-year-old mom bends over to pick up her four-year-old and feels a sharp stabbing pain in her lower back. A 60-year-old man bends over to pick up his five-year-old grandchild and feels an electrical shooting pain in his lower back. For both, the pain is so severe they need to sit down. The next

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  • Backpacks and Back Pain

    Backpacks are the tote of choice for most school-aged children with two books per class to lug around. In fact, it is reported that between 92% and 94% of schoolchildren carry backpacks. And it appears these contraptions are evolving somewhat with sturdier-looking designs, heavily padded straps and about

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  • Dealing with Arthritis

    We've all seen the TV ads ─ nice-looking woman in her fifties, sitting on a nice sofa in a nice living room, rubbing her hands, in obvious pain. Of course, she's not Lady Macbeth, trying to rub off the imagined blood of her murdered husband. She's a woman with arthritis. According to the Center for

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  • Do I Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

    Many people believe they have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The majority have been told by their medical doctor that they have CTS. Others have mistakenly concluded that because they have some numbness and tingling in their wrist or hand, they must have this neurological disorder. Still others have ongoing

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  • Effective Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain

    Here's an all-too-common situation. You develop low back pain that lasts for more than a few days and you're uncomfortable enough to go see your primary care physician. He or she tells you it's not clear what's going on and sends you for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of your lumbar spine.

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  • Healthy Hips and Healthy Knees

    The numbers of individuals undergoing total hip replacement and total knee replacement are increasing significantly.1 Annual rates in the United States for total hip replacement have increased more than 50%. In Denmark, rates have been increasing by 30%. Annual rates in the United States for total knee

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  • Is My Pain Serious?

    How do you know whether your pain needs to be evaluated by your chiropractor? This is the age-old question. The answer needs to be specific to your particular problem, rather than a one-size-fits all solution. But there are good guidelines that everyone can follow. First, is your pain deep and boring

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  • Lines of Force

    Most chronic joint-related problems involving the hip, knee, and ankle1,2 can be successfully managed with conservative treatment. Surgery for such conditions is typically a last resort and frequently does not work out well. Revision (repeat) procedures are common and represent a failure of appropriate

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  • Replacement Parts: What You Need to Know

    If you've ever been involved in a motor vehicle collision, you're probably familiar with the term "replacement parts" or "crash parts". Your auto insurance company will usually offer to repair your car using after-market bumpers, door panels, wheel assemblies, and other parts. Or, you may prefer to have

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

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Sunday:

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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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