Last week I began to share some of the fascinating stories told by the author David Hamilton PhD. His work makes it clear that your brain – in fact your mind – can cure your body and slow the ageing process! If you missed last week’s instalment you can read it here first:
This is the next instalment:
David Hamilton PhD is a cheerful Scotsman with a warm, undulating voice and animated presentation style. Two hours (in his audience) flew by as he shared some convincing evidence.
David is completely fascinated by how we use our brain to cure the body. In his early career, as an organic chemist at AstraZeneca, he was able to explore his fascination every day, and he never stopped. His latest book draws on research data from around the world to captivate us all and spread the word.
First of all we need to grasp the fact that our brain does not distinguish between what is real and what is imagined.
Mirror neurons in everyone’s brain play a big part in that. You don’t need to sip a cold beer, bite into a lemon or lie on a beach in the sun to sense the feelings that come with these activities. Imagining them is enough to get the neurons firing. This is why we can visualise. This is why we can meditate. This is why we can be cured by placebo.
David’s first evidence is familiar to us all. Branded headache pills are more effective than own label, despite having the very same active ingredients. From here David explained how we can change our mind to change our body and even slow the ageing process! His tips are so beautifully simple, even you and I can do it. But we are going to have to work at it. Here’s how:
- Start with a positive mindset. People who are cheerful and positive, live longer than negative people. For evidence read The Nun Study by Danner, Snowdon & Friesen 2001.
- Start producing Oxytocin, an anti-oxidant, that fights free radicals in the blood, and an anti-inflammatory agent that acts to reduce blood pressure. Unfortunately you can’t take Oxytocin. You have to encourage your body and your brain to produce it.
- Being kind to others – and meaning it – releases Oxytocin into the blood, dilating veins and arteries, protecting your cardio system by reducing blood pressure.
- For the same reason, buy a dog if you’ve had a heart attack. Doing so can reduce the likelihood of a second attack by 400%.
- Make love – with someone you love. That also releases Oxytocin.
But don’t despair if these behaviours are out of reach for you.
Remember, your brain does not distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. So you can simply visualise these behaviours, sit back and look forward to the health benefits.
In my last article in this series I will present the evidence for using visualisation in all parts of your life. It has helped people recover from some pretty scary diseases. Will it help my daughter to recover?
I hope this series of articles is no use to you whatsoever, because you are fit and healthy. But if you or any of your friends, family, work colleagues or neighbours are suffering, please share.