The Tao of Candace: Change Your Mind; Change Your Health
These days, most of us have a vague sense that, yes, our bodies and minds are somehow connected. Difficult day? Crushing headache? Reach for the Tylenol.
But when Dr. Candace Pert, a molecular biologist and pharmacologist studying and mapping brain peptides, worked as a research scientist in the early '70s -- the mind-body connection was, well, a thing of the past.
For thousands of years, Eastern medicine -- influenced by chakras, meridians and subtle energies -- has believed in the intrinsic interconnection of mind and body.
For hundreds of years, Western medicine -- influenced by Descartes, the Church and too much processed food -- rejected the mind-body connection, insisting they were distinct, unconnected entities.
That's all changing now, cautiously but dramatically. It's been scientifically proven time and time again, by Dr. Pert and many illustrious others, that the mind and the body are inextricably biochemically linked. The two form one formless mind-body -- a vibrating, pulsating, intelligent system. If your primary doctor doesn't understand this, kiss him goodbye and find one who does.
Our mind is not only in our brain, Dr. Pert discovered. The mind is actually our entire body. It exists in every cell. Our emotions are in our bodies, too. (That's why a great massage can give us a deep emotional release.)
And furthermore, your emotions -- both your feelings and your thoughts -- are the links that connect your mind and body, which is why a shift toward positivity can help heal. Difficult day at work? Crushing headache? Reach for the meditation cushion.
"Even when we are stuck emotionally, fixated on a version of reality that does not serve us well, there is always a biochemical potential for change and growth," says Dr. Pert.
She demonstrates that and much more in her groundbreaking work "Molecules of Emotion: The Science behind Mind-Body Medicine."
It's been translated into 10 languages. It stayed on the bestseller list for 15 years and has helped establish her as a leading guru in a field that is evolving and in some places exploding, thanks to consumer demand.