Research has now over a century of studies showing how psychosocial factors may cause the onset and progression of chronic diseases such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
The idea that psychological and social
stressors might be involved in the causation, exacerbation, and
progression of disease began to return in the late 1800's by renowned physicians such as Charcot and Osler. But the relationship that emotions, traumatic events, and personality have on health was dismissed by most scientists and physicians. Even with the birth of psychoneuroimmunology, epigenetics and health psychology that study this relationship, the connection of disease and mental states by modern medicine is still, in many instances, considered folklore:
Why this split?
psychosocial factors had been removed from the equation of cause of
disease by a philosophical split in the 1600's called dualism that later became eliminated entirely from the equation by materialism (read more on this philosophical split here).
The split of the mind and the body, attributed to Descartes, had been brought on by the need to separate mind and soul from the body and physics to avoid the wrath of religion on the progression of science and medicine at the time. At this time in history, the 17th century, medicine was striving to change the religious authorities attitudes regarding dissecting human cadavers, the church had banned Copernicus's book "On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres" concerning the Earth's orbit of the sun and Galileo had to swear to the church he did not believe Copernicus's theories under threat of a death sentence.
Materialism in the nineteenth century removed the mind further from the equation by theorizing that everything that happens follows from the laws of physics and physics only and that the mind is merely a by-product of the physical and has no influence back on it.
The return of the inclusion of the psychosocial factors on disease and health has been a slow and arduous one.
Belief is a hard thing to change.
Research has found that the mind, stress, emotions, and personality, does influence the body and health. In the case of multiple sclerosis (MS), as with many chronic diseases, the research has shown this relationship not only exists but, possibly, could be determinant in the onset and exacerbation of the disease.
Research has proven that psychosocial factors are indeed significant in the onset, exacerbation and progression of disease and that addressing these factors can improve symptoms.
The research studying the relationship of treating the psychosocial factors and improvements in symptoms is promising.
MINDbasedHealing's own case study by founder Eva M Clark, The Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy on Treating Multiple Sclerosis also found positive results from treating the psychosocial factors through hypnotherapy and NLP
interventions. The study concluded that "People diagnosed with MS have ingrained habit patterns of the mind
specific to their symptoms. When those habit patterns are transformed
using a combination of methods that bring (1) insight into a person’s
habit patterns and (2) resources to modify those patterns, the symptoms
decrease and frequently disappear. "
Research has now begun to show symptom improvement by addressing the psychosocial factors behind the disease. The mind does influence the physical body.
MINDbasedHealing's mission is to lead in the development and application of mind-based practices, with a focus on hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), to effectively treat the psychosocial factors determinant in the onset, exacerbation, and recurrence of chronic disease with the goal of restoring health.
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