Why "BodyMind" and not "Mind Body" ?
Here’s some news that might surprise you: the BodyMind connection is not a mystical, otherworldly, nebulous thing. It really exists--and you don’t need to be a yogi to access it! There is now scientific evidence to support a centuries-old philosophy: that the body and the mind are not two separate spheres, but are in fact deeply entwined. In the 1970s, American scientist Candace Pert made an historic discovery that would have profound impact on our understanding of both mind and body. She identified molecules whose purpose was to unlock brain cells and allow morphine and other opiates to enter the cells. Uncovering the nexus where mind, matter, and emotions collide, Pert had quite literally found the key to a tangible link between the body and the mind.
Since then, scientists have discovered these “unlocking” molecules, called neuropeptide receptors, throughout the body. The result of these discoveries has been the identification of a network that links the brain, the endocrine system, the immune system and the nervous system in a relationship where each communicates with the other. Gone is the old notion that the brain “controls” the body. Through Dr. Pert’s research, we now know that both our mental and physical selves—our minds and our matter—cooperate in making our bodies work. We also know that our emotions are a kind of “nexus between our mind and our matter, carrying messages back and forth and influencing both.” Essentially this means that when we think negative thoughts, we release certain chemicals that weaken both our physical health and psychological well being; when we consciously create positive thoughts, training our mind to do so, we can literally boost our health – in both our mind and our bodies. This is what I mean when I say you can rewire your brain through exercise. The exercise makes you feel good, which in turn creates more positive thoughts.
So what does the BodyMind connection mean for you and your health and fitness? As your Outdoor Fitness coach, I care about your whole body, and your total health. I don’t just care about getting your body into shape, I care about helping you to shape up your BodyMind. Mental, emotional and physical wellness are equal partners in Outdoor Fitness, just as they are in your BodyMind. Keep this in mind: more often than not, we humans aren’t motivated by rational thought, we are motivated by our emotions.
Rather than taking on a Boot Camp mentality of discipline and butt kicking, I’d like you to find flow and ease, where exercise comes naturally and without effort, so that you are drawn to feeling good—physically, mentally and emotionally!
Emotional experiences and life events are stored physiologically in your body. When you work deep in your body to release tensions, when you challenge your body to new physical heights, can often bring about emotions. This is normal--in fact it’s a good, healthy thing. I think of it as a side benefit of your Outdoor Fitness training. With Outdoor Fitness comes self discovery and you'll learn a great deal about controlling and clearing your emotions, channeling your thoughts and feelings. Many people experience intense feelings and even cry – I call this “tears on the trail” because it’s so common! Remember that emotions are natural, embrace your feelings in the moment, and take time later on to reflect on what you discovered in your workout. The key is to eliminate those emotions that no longer serve you and replace them with emotions that do.