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  • Writer's picturesteve richardson


The Roman poet Juvenal coined the famous phrase when he wrote Orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano - You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body – at the end of the first century AD.

It is a philosophy the ancient Egyptians, Mayans, Chinese, Native Americans, Indians and Shamans worldwide all understood and practiced. They knew that to heal the body, you must consider the mind-body connection.

We possess internal bi-directional communication systems that share information. The brain will talk to the tongue, the tongue can talk to the throat, the throat can share information with the lungs and so on.

This knowledge is important to know in our modern age. Billions of Pounds, Dollars, Euros and Yen are spent in medicating people in a hope of curing the ailment but not the cause. If you comfort eat and become overweight and subsequently find yourself with Diabetes, a permanent solution lies in training the mind not regulating blood sugars through insulin medication.

Our subconscious mind does not judge

Our subconscious mind will work without limiting beliefs, offer no judgements and respond to the schooling we give it. Too many people suffer from poorly scripted belief systems in the subconscious mind – many of them housed there since their formative years.

Consequently, many people are labelled fat, ugly, under-confident, shy, unintelligent, limited, weird, stupid or any other tag you wish to mention, which all turn into embedded belief systems.

And in those rare moments where the belief system is proven wrong; we find an excuse or justification for the fluke of our brilliance and then return to the old and toxic belief system.

You can’t eat an ice cream – if the ice cream is missing

Even if we tell our critical mind that ‘we are brilliant, pretty or smart’ and use diligently that empowering mantra throughout the day – it is like telling yourself there is a scoop of ice-cream sat atop an empty cone. You can tell yourself all day the ice cream exists, but you will never get to the point of enjoying the ice cream.

The critical mind, you see, is weak. It has a short attention span and demands a lot of brain energy. It can spell belief but can’t make a belief stick and has the annoying and embedded ability to justify bad habits.

However, we see the critical mind being put in its place when individuals practice mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises. When we start to relax and allow ourselves to calm our busy thoughts, that is when the subconscious mind has a chance to be schooled in new ways of thinking and believing.

And it is this subconscious education that sees people quit smoking, manage their weight, increase their brain power, manage and heal debilitating illnesses and perhaps best of all: appreciate and use the power of the mind-body connection.

The biology of belief

Hypnotherapists worldwide have a working appreciation of how powerful the mind can be. The subconscious mind can positively or negatively influence our biological chemistry, our behaviours, our health, our lifespan and of course, our mental wellbeing. You need look no further than the power of placebo to see this in action.

I think I may be forgiven by the Roman poet, Juvenal who I mentioned at the start of this article, when I tweak his maxim from, ‘Pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body’ – to, ‘Train your mind to heal your body’.

The subconscious mind is a powerful ally if you can learn to harness its restorative and healing powers. After all, when you consider the alternative, it all boils down to choice – and a simple one at that.


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