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karalennox
April 16th, 2012, 12:17 PM
Lesson#1--Introduction

Afew years ago, if I'd done a workshop on "mind-body connection," manyof you might have dismissed it as "woo-woo stuff." You know what I mean. Paranormal, metaphysical, woo-woo. After all, many of the books written on thesubject are found in THAT section of the bookstore, the one that lumpswitchcraft, Tarot cards and alien abductions with meditation and visualization.<o:p></o:p>

Butin recent years, even mainstream medical physicians (even Dr. Oz!) agree thatthe mind-body connection is far more extensive than anyone had guessed. Consider the following statements:<o:p></o:p>

Type-Abehavior, typified by aggressiveness and hostility, has been linked toincreased risk of heart attack.<o:p></o:p>

Emotionalstress can raise your blood pressure and contribute to the formation of stomachulcers.<o:p></o:p>

Biofeedbackand meditation can lower blood pressure, lower oxygen consumption, slow heartbeat and respiration, and lower blood lactate--which is connected to anxiety.<o:p></o:p>

Fearor excitement lead to the release of adrenaline in the body, causing the fightor flight mechanism to come into play--and causing a certain amount ofpleasure.<o:p></o:p>

Pantingduring childbirth relieves pain (for some people, anyway!).<o:p></o:p>

Ahypnotized subject can produce welts on the skin simulating burns, when theyhaven't been burned.<o:p></o:p>

Ratsand mice have been conditioned to enhance or suppress their immune systems.<o:p></o:p>

Theplacebo effect can relieve pain and alleviate other symptoms of disease.<o:p></o:p>

Chocolateelevates mood, especially for women.<o:p></o:p>

********<o:p></o:p>

Mostof you will probably agree that some or all of the above statements aretrue. All have been shown to be trueeither through clinical studies or under laboratory conditions, so thedocumentation is clear: mind and body are connected; your thoughts can directlyaffect your body and vice-versa.<o:p></o:p>

Whilethe mechanisms that make this true aren't always crystal clear--medical sciencestill hasn't explained why acupuncture works, even while they acknowledge thatit does work--researchers are learning more about this area of scienceall the time. One very active area ofresearch is studying neurotransmitters, the brain's messengers to thebody. Neurotransmitters, which includehormones, regulate everything from sexual desire to sleep patterns, appetiteand mood. Depression, addictions, PMS,insomnia and even chocolate cravings have a physical basis in our chemistry. There is even a chemical reason why we "freeze"when something grabs our attention.<o:p></o:p>

Butrather than getting any deeper into the scientific aspects--and I couldn't,anyway--what I want to talk about is the implications these scientific findingshave for us as writers.<o:p></o:p>

Themind/body connection probably has more relevance for creative artists,including writers, than for the average person.<o:p></o:p>

Whatyou do to your body affects how you think, how you create, and how you feelabout what you've created. And how youdirect your mind, what you allow yourself to focus on, has a profound effect onyour body.<o:p></o:p>

Tomorrowwe'll start getting into the specifics. Meanwhile, feel free to introduce yourself, and if you have anything to add to the topics as I address them--studies you've read about or personal experiences--feel free to share. I am not an expert on this subject, just a very interested student.<o:p></o:p>

karalennox
April 16th, 2012, 02:45 PM
Sorry about words running together. It didn't look like that in my orginal file! I'll try to fix that going forward.

Kara

moonlightvirgo
April 16th, 2012, 09:24 PM
Sorry about words running together. It didn't look like that in my orginal file! I'll try to fix that going forward.

Kara

Hello Kara,

I'm trying to figure out this forum, hope I'm doing it right. My name is Naomi. I'm a massage therapist, and every day I see a connection between the mind and the body. Good stuff so far!

karalennox
April 17th, 2012, 01:33 AM
Hi, Moonlight, thanks for stopping by. I am new to these forums, too. I would think as a massage therapist you will have lots to contribute to this topic!

Kara

alabamagirl
April 17th, 2012, 11:13 AM
Hi Karen! I personally enjoy the "woo-woo" factor and am open to anything that will happen me become a better writer.
Debbie

Chrissy Munder
April 17th, 2012, 11:15 AM
Hi Kara, thanks for offering up such an interesting class. I'm Chrissy, and while I won't be online much during the class, I plan on coming back and enjoying the posts.

dbmoon
April 17th, 2012, 11:25 AM
Hey my name is Desi, I am a romance author and life long student of mind/body health. I look forward to getting to know you all and learning.

AliciaC
April 17th, 2012, 11:30 AM
Hi Kara and Everyone,

I'm Alicia. I'm enjoying the workshop. Just received an email about it. Will check in periodically during the day to try and keep up.

SusanL
April 17th, 2012, 11:34 AM
What a timely subject, Kara. I'm a RN and it is definitely true that there is a mind, body connection. In my experience with patients, the more positive and forward thinking a person is, the quicker they heal. I look forward to your next post.

Mikki3
April 17th, 2012, 11:39 AM
Hi Kara. Thank you for offering such a neat class. I have been meditating off and on for years and am really interested to learn how it can help me with my writing.

Cheers,
Michelle

kayelle_allen
April 17th, 2012, 11:56 AM
I'm Kayelle. I write full time, I'm a mother of three grown children, and grandmother of five (age 10 and under). I write erotic scifi romance and gay romance - I don't fit into the usual grandmother template very well. ;) Add to that my hubby is a medical assistant, and I helped him study for college and his health sciences degree gained over the last three years - so I've learned a great deal about anatomy, physiology, and can take blood pressure, test blood sugar, and do a lot of other fun things like hubby had to learn. I am an excellent guinea pig, too. =^_^=

Hubby is a big Dr Oz fan. I am a bit skeptical of the show because on one day it's all about why we avoid food A, and on another day, it's how food A is the best thing you can eat. I am guessing the doc's presentations are all about cutting edge information and we should realize that these things change. But I'd like to have something concrete that I can do and know it'll always work. Now and then I see an episode of The Doctors (a panel show with docs who discuss health issues). I'm interested in staying healthy. I found out I was diabetic about six years ago, and immediately went on a campaign to change my lifestyle. I reduced my weight by 85 lbs, started exercising, and have been successful in keeping it off. This year, I've lapsed into more sedentary lifestyle and was shocked to discover I'd gained 10 lbs, so I am back on the fitness wagon again. Your class came along at a good time.

I'm less of a woo-woo fan and more a solid-show-me fan. ;) But I do believe in the connection between attitude and health. I believe you can think yourself well, and that the will to live is vital. After this burst of input, I will probably be pretty quiet, but do expect to have questions. I'll be popping in to see what you have to say. Thank you for putting the program together.

karalennox
April 17th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Welcome to Debbie, Chrissy, Desi, Alicia, Susan, and Michelle!And Kayelle!


Susan, and anyone else in the medical profession, please don't hesitate to correct me if you feel I've gotten something wrong. I've done the best I can with research, but I have no particular training in science.


Kara

TianaDawn
April 17th, 2012, 02:03 PM
I hope I am not too late to Join in Kara, I love learning more about the mind-body connection, and often explore the connection via aromatherapy and audio-therapy as well.

Tiana

karalennox
April 17th, 2012, 03:44 PM
Tiana, it's not too late at all. Since this class doesn't require writing exercises, anyone can join any time, just simply read the posts and catch up! I love the whole idea of aroma therapy. Sadly I am allergic to many scents so I have to be careful with scented candles and the like. The scent of coffee always makes me feel good, though!

Kara

TianaDawn
April 17th, 2012, 04:31 PM
:) I understand how that is Kara, I drive my allergies to the funny farm, but I can't help it, When I need to wrap my head around a strong alpha male, sometimes I need a little inspiration. I find that not burning the candles helps, I just pick the ones that speak to the current characters out of the box, then set them on my desk, when I need that pick me up, they are right there. Currently that would be Yankee Candle's Storm Watch, and Pink Sands, it's an interesting combination that's paired with a very weird couple. I also rotate out the playlist, usually choosing classical tracks (a hangover from my grandparents and their love of Bach) but some characters yawn at that so I mix in a little of this and a little of that.

:)

karalennox
April 17th, 2012, 05:44 PM
LOL, Tiana. Can't listen to music while I write, either. I need quiet. Or, at the very least, ambient noise that I can tune out. But to me it's fascinating how different everyone's process is.

Kara

amy kennedy
April 17th, 2012, 08:35 PM
Very interested in this subject. I adore the woo-woo, writing it and living it. Looking forward to this. Tried to register for this class last week, never took, so, glad I can view it and join in on the discussion!

karalennox
April 18th, 2012, 02:18 AM
Hi, Amy, welcome! Glad you made it.

KellyS
April 18th, 2012, 10:31 AM
Hi! I'm Kelly, a writer, with some minor health issues. This forum caught my attention. I would like to adress these issues and hopefully it will make me a more productive writer.

karalennox
April 18th, 2012, 12:49 PM
Kelly--
I know that when my health is suffering, I find it very hard to focus on my writing. Even if it's a bad allergy day, it's hard to find the proper concentration to really get into the story. Any kind of pain can be quite a distraction, or even a worry about getting test results. Meditating is the one thing I've found that helps to quiet distractions. Any kind of relaxation technique (meditation, massage, yoga etc.) can help soften the body's pain response (you know, that endless feedback where you feel pain, you tense up, and make the pain worse). I hope you will glean some other tidbits from the lessons to help! And welcome!

Kara

Laurean
April 18th, 2012, 12:57 PM
Kara, this sounds interesting. I'd love to know more.
Lesson#1--Introduction Afew years ago, if I'd done a workshop on "mind-body connection," manyof you might have dismissed it as "woo-woo stuff." You know what I mean. Paranormal, metaphysical, woo-woo. After all, many of the books written on thesubject are found in THAT section of the bookstore, the one that lumpswitchcraft, Tarot cards and alien abductions with meditation and visualization.<o:p></o:p> Butin recent years, even mainstream medical physicians (even Dr. Oz!) agree thatthe mind-body connection is far more extensive than anyone had guessed. Consider the following statements:<o:p></o:p> Type-Abehavior, typified by aggressiveness and hostility, has been linked toincreased risk of heart attack.<o:p></o:p> Emotionalstress can raise your blood pressure and contribute to the formation of stomachulcers.<o:p></o:p> Biofeedbackand meditation can lower blood pressure, lower oxygen consumption, slow heartbeat and respiration, and lower blood lactate--which is connected to anxiety.<o:p></o:p> Fearor excitement lead to the release of adrenaline in the body, causing the fightor flight mechanism to come into play--and causing a certain amount ofpleasure.<o:p></o:p> Pantingduring childbirth relieves pain (for some people, anyway!).<o:p></o:p> Ahypnotized subject can produce welts on the skin simulating burns, when theyhaven't been burned.<o:p></o:p> Ratsand mice have been conditioned to enhance or suppress their immune systems.<o:p></o:p> Theplacebo effect can relieve pain and alleviate other symptoms of disease.<o:p></o:p> Chocolateelevates mood, especially for women.<o:p></o:p> ********<o:p></o:p> Mostof you will probably agree that some or all of the above statements aretrue. All have been shown to be trueeither through clinical studies or under laboratory conditions, so thedocumentation is clear: mind and body are connected; your thoughts can directlyaffect your body and vice-versa.<o:p></o:p> Whilethe mechanisms that make this true aren't always crystal clear--medical sciencestill hasn't explained why acupuncture works, even while they acknowledge thatit does work--researchers are learning more about this area of scienceall the time. One very active area ofresearch is studying neurotransmitters, the brain's messengers to thebody. Neurotransmitters, which includehormones, regulate everything from sexual desire to sleep patterns, appetiteand mood. Depression, addictions, PMS,insomnia and even chocolate cravings have a physical basis in our chemistry. There is even a chemical reason why we "freeze"when something grabs our attention.<o:p></o:p> Butrather than getting any deeper into the scientific aspects--and I couldn't,anyway--what I want to talk about is the implications these scientific findingshave for us as writers.<o:p></o:p> Themind/body connection probably has more relevance for creative artists,including writers, than for the average person.<o:p></o:p> Whatyou do to your body affects how you think, how you create, and how you feelabout what you've created. And how youdirect your mind, what you allow yourself to focus on, has a profound effect onyour body.<o:p></o:p> Tomorrowwe'll start getting into the specifics. Meanwhile, feel free to introduce yourself, and if you have anything to add to the topics as I address them--studies you've read about or personal experiences--feel free to share. I am not an expert on this subject, just a very interested student.<o:p></o:p>

Laurean
April 18th, 2012, 01:06 PM
Hi Kara. Thank you for teaching this class. I can't wait to learn everything.

I'm a day late, too. I'll read the other posts and catch up. I am excited about this class. BTW I'm an alternative medicine addict. I want to learn all I can about mind/body connection--especially foods/prayer & meditation, and the right (write??) time of day. Sheesh! I want to know it all! Lol.

karalennox
April 18th, 2012, 01:06 PM
Laurean, this is the kind of class where you can jump in any time. There aren't too many posts yet so you can just catch up, and there's no "homework." So, welcome!

Kara

Laurean
April 18th, 2012, 01:24 PM
Kara, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to help us struggling writers. <label for="rb_iconid_25">Bouncy Icon Smilie</label>

Have I missed anything important, or are we still on introductions? Since I'll be off and online intermittently during the course(trying to beat a self-inflicted deadline),<label for="rb_iconid_22">:typing:</label> <label for="rb_iconid_21">http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/images/icons/xwriter.gif</label> do you know when would be a good time to check back for your next lesson? I don't want to miss a thing!

Have a beautiful and blessed day.

karalennox
April 19th, 2012, 12:42 AM
Laurean, I have posted Lessons 1-3. Each is in a separate thread, so you have to go back to the workshop home here: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=1849 to see them. (Remember to scroll down to find the list of threads).

karalennox
April 19th, 2012, 12:53 AM
Kayelle--
I was just going back looking at the posts and realized I'd missed one of yours, where you talked about Dr Oz, diabetes, losing weight, etc. and I did want to respond--I feel the same way you do about Dr. Oz. I like the show sort of because he does only present information that is the result of legitimate scientific study, and he is a medical doctor with an open mind. But the problem is, even legitimate, well-constructed medical studies can contradict each other.

I applaud you on your weight loss and changing your lifestyle. About 10 years ago I lost about 25 lbs. I kept 20 of that off for a long time. Then last year I had an issue with my feet that required me to be extremely sedentary for a period of several months, and I, too, gained 10 pounds--just like that! I love to eat and the only way I stay slim is with lots of exercise. Now my feet are better and I am walking/bike-riding again but the weight is being very stubborn. Grrr.

Kara

Daryl Devore
April 19th, 2012, 11:49 AM
I am Daryl Devore, a published author. The mind and body connection figures into my writing. The placebo effect is well known and I am a classic example of the mood elevating effects of chocolate.
When I am writing, if it is a sad chapter, I usually have to do something fun after to cheer myself back up. After spending hours trying to find the nuances of someone's pain, digging myself out of that can be difficult. - Chocolate helps. Looking forward to more discussions.

karalennox
April 19th, 2012, 11:54 AM
Hi, Daryl! Welcome. you must be psychic, because the effect writing has on our immediate mood is exactly what I'm talking about today! Be sure to chime in on that thread if you have any pointers.

Kara