Mary Ann (Wallace) Iyer, M.D. is a licensed physician, whose awakening led her to understand that the way to health involves waking up to our True Purpose. Full wellbeing includes attending to both our outer and inner selves.

Dr. Mary leads workshops which invite individuals into deeper awareness of their path in life. Her gentle, astute Presence leads participants into the safety of their own precious Hearts, where answers to perplexing problems lie.

Under the name, Mary Ann Wallace, MD, she has published several books and CDS. Visit http://www.maryanniyer.com/ for more details.

To bring Dr. Mary to your area, email: DrMA@maryanniyer.com

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Friday, March 30, 2012


If you’ve ever felt the stress of running late to an appointment, you’ve experienced the visceral impact of the mindbody connection.

There are several layers in which our thoughts influence our wellbeing. The first is related to our behavior based on our cultural beliefs. When I was a state epidemiologist, I helped with an outbreak of tuberculosis that was centered in an Asian community. It turned out that the color of the TB medication was inconsistent with the correct treatment that needed to be given for this illness according to this belief system.

When I began doing primary care, I realized that no matter how much education goes into nutrition, exercise, smoking/not smoking, etc, that there was a disconnect between the cognitive awareness and the behavior. We estimate that roughly 80% of what ails us has to do with lifestyle choices. And the decisive factor in our behavior? Our very personal beliefs – which is the second layer of influence of mindbody.1

A third layer of the influence of beliefs on wellbeing has to do with the direct chemical responses of the body to what we are thinking. My opening statement reflects this dynamic. Workshop attendees have said, in response to my question of “What is your body doing while you’re just sitting there in that car?” “My heart is racing.” “Body is tensing” Clearly there is something other than a physical cause for this. The mental pictures create a situation to which your body responds.

A fourth layer of the influence of our beliefs reflects our particular nuances of response to our internal messages. Some individuals tell me they would get angry if stopped at a train. Another person might get afraid. So, here we’re starting to bore down into our unique responses to the same stimulus. Human beings have the amazing capacity to create perceived danger based upon our history. We each have our own unique way of reacting when we feel anxious. We usually make decisions before we’ve gotten all the current facts.

I am often asked if it is possible to change this internal wiring.

The simple answer is, “Yes, it CAN be changed”–but not with just talk therapy. Once we find the history we still need to dismantle its grip on our actions. Mindbody methods help us gain awareness to the sensations that we have associated with certain belief structures.

Science continues to catch up to our common wisdom: the way we think, what we believe, and our fears and anxieties affect our wellbeing. Our sense of wellbeing and the entire internal chemical milieu of our bodies are modulated by our response to perceived stress. We have the enormous capacity for self-reflection – with all its nuances of bringing in the past and embellishing the stories of our lives – for better or for worse.

1Excerpted from the article, “Mindbody” by Mary Ann Iyer, MD. The full article, with examples of these layers of influence, can be found at: http://www.maryanniyer.com/articlesbydr.wal.html, for free download.