Mindfulness and the Mind Body syndrome

MBS Blog —  #9 Mindfulness Meditation

 

I have been a devoted and passionate teacher of mindfulness meditation for about 15 years.  Many people have misconceptions about meditation.  The most common misperception is that meditation is about relaxing.  Of course, meditation may be relaxing at times, but not always and the intent is not relaxation, but obtaining a better understanding of yourself, and learning to respond to body sensations and thoughts/emotions more deliberately, and learning to live fully in the moments of our lives.  Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that asks people to simply pay very close attention to the here and now, to the present moment, to what is happening right now, whatever that may be.  One of the great things about mindfulness is that one can practice it at any moment, no mater what you are doing or what is going on.  That makes it quite useful as a way to cope with the ups and downs of life.

 

The reason to learn mindfulness meditation techniques for people with Mind Body syndrome is that it can help a great deal in learning to live fully in the present and to learn to let go of some of the things that tend to perpetuate MBS, such as fear, anxiety, sadness, issues from the past, or worries about the future. 

  Continue reading

Genetics and Mind Body Syndrome

MBS BLOG # 8

 

Genetics and Mind Body Syndrome

 

Everyone knows that genes “controls” our lives.  But how powerful an influence do our genes play in our lives?  Of course, these issues have been debated for many years since the discovery of genes and the classic experiments of Gregor Mendel in 1865 on pea plants genetics.  We wonder not only at the similarities of facial features of children and their parents, but also at their personality quirks that seem to be passed down through genes.  There have been many books that purported to show that genes control everything.  So, when we are told that a certain disease is genetic.  We often assume that we are destined to be affected and that treatment may have little effect.

 

First, you must realize that there are certain genes that do have powerful effects that will produce diseases if those genes are present.  For example, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia are diseases produced by inherited genes.  If you have those genes, you will get the disease.  However, it is also clear that different people with the same genes can have differing levels of that disease, even in CF and sickle cell.

 

Other diseases have some contributions from genes, but these contributions are either minor or variable.  For example, breast cancer has been found to have genetic components, but most people with breast cancer do not have the breast cancer gene.  There are genetic contributions to asthma and migraine headaches, but these are relatively small contributions in comparison to the effects of genes on height, ADHD and schizophrenia, which have heritability factors of 0.8-0.9.  The heritability factors of asthma and migraine headaches are in the range of 0.4-0.5, i.e. much smaller effects. Continue reading

Letter to Dr. Schubiner from Paul Mazzafero

June 21, 2008

 

Letter to Dr. Schubiner from Paul Mazzafero, Davie, Florida

 

 

I first suffered excruciating back pain in 1984 as a 20-year-old young man. I had searing back and calf pain. I eventually had surgery in 1988 to remove a synovial cyst off my sciatic nerve. However, post surgery the pain was still there. I was scared I would be like this for life and was in pain management. I eventually picked up a book by Dr. Sarno and read it. I went to the Dr. and he assured me my back was fine. I was so emotionally damaged at this point I did not know what to do since I had already been to 21 doctors and had every test, steroid, epidural, etc. I eventually said, “I am fine and this is psychological”. I proceeded to workout like a madman and eventually the pain left me for 16 years. In fact I went on to compete as a boxer and was very active.

 

Fast forward to 2004, when I was throwing 100 pound logs and felt the dreaded pop and searing calf pain. “Uh oh,” I said and went to my GP and he ordered an MRI which was negative.  However, I still had the calf pain. P.T. did not work…..Epidurals did not work……Massage did not work….Chiropractic did not work….Books, exercises, you name it and nothing worked. I was on prednisone and gained weight. I stopped working and contemplated ending it all. I am a vociferous reader and came across your program and within doing the 1st night of journaling I felt relief, not 100% but I felt like a layer was being peeled off an onion. I realized I was in a miserable job when this happened and that I am a perfectionist and I could understand how these factors played an important role in my back pain. Anyways, long story short: within 3 weeks of doing the online program, I was feeling 90% better but still skeptical a little. However, after 6 weeks, I have been pain free 100%. Dr. Schubiner’s course was an introspective look at what makes me tick. I do not think the pain will come back. In fact the 1st week when I started to feel better, an old neck injury and pain mysteriously returned…..I laughed out loud. When I am stressed, I pull out my notebook and read my journal and sometimes re-watch the videos.

  Continue reading