My first learnings into the mind-body connections was reading about Candace Pert’s research into neurotransmitters. The peptide neurotransmitters influence our emotional responses to hunger, pain, sex, pleasure and thirst. Pert is best known for her discovery of opiate receptors in the brain. Because of the work done by her and others, I understood that these neurotransmitters had much to do with the functioning of my mind and body. The neurotranmitters belong to three chemical families and are nine compounds.
Dr. George Boeree has a great explanation of neurotransmitters here.
Believers of the mind-body connections believe that our emotions/thoughts directly influence our physical health. I have studied all that I could about this connection and have incorporated it into my life. I have few health problems to deal with and I am rarely sick. I don’t believe that I can reject or control illness. I am prudent in my life choices; eat fruits, and vegetables with some protein; exercise regularly; check my negative or obsessive thinking, and follow a daily meditation period.
Dr. Pert is also the author of Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind. The mind-body connection (also known as psychoneuroimmunology ) has gained much leverage in the past 20 years. Some of the other pioneers in this field of study are Larry Dossey, Bernie Siegal, John Sarno, Brian Luke Seaward (my favorite), Louise
Hay, Joan Borysenko, Wayne Dyer, Dr. Andrew Weil, Ram Dass, and many others.
The author of the relaxation response is Dr. Herbert Benson. He writes about his experiences at the Mind/Body Medical Institute (MBMI) with treating patients using his relaxation response techniques, nutrition, exercise and reframing of negative thinking patterns.