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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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mindbody Medicine - notes from a recent talk by Dr. Iyer

MindBody Medicine
Mary Ann Iyer, MD

I. Mindbody Medicine: What is it?
II. How does this relate to me in my life?
III. What are some useful Mindbody tools I can use to be healthier and happier?

MindBody Medicine:

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. We estimate, right now, that roughly 80% of what ails us, particularly in this culture, has to do with lifestyle choices. Hans Selye made the expression, “fight-or-flight response” famous in the ‘70s. There is little doubt any more that perceived stress has an influence on the body. We each have our own unique way of reacting when we feel anxious. Science continues to catch up to our common wisdom: the way we think, what we believe, and our fears and anxieties affect our wellbeing. And they affect it through what are now well documented chemical pathways: hormones, stress reactions, and our immune system. Our sense of wellbeing and the entire internal chemical milieu of our bodies are modulated by our response to perceived stress.

How does this relate to me in my life?

There are practical ways to bring the wisdom of Mindbody connections in to our daily lives. Noticing when and where you seem most often to experience stress in your life is an important first step. Linking situations with your physical response and experience gives you clues as to internal messages you may be telling yourself. For instance, in the above example of running late to an appointment, you can easily see that being late is, in and of itself, just a neutral event. If, however you are nervous about impressing the person with whom you are meeting, or you have a lot riding on this particular meeting, you will have all sorts of related messages running in your mind about the event. “If I’m late I might lose my assignment – or job – or, or –“). It is the response to our messages about an event that causes us to tense up in fear, anxiety or anger.

The second major thing to become aware of is what your actual body response is to these perceived threats. For some, tension always goes to the shoulders. For others, a migraine may develop. And so on. Learning to link events with what you are telling yourself with what your body does in response is the beginning key to breaking the cycle of unnecessary pain in your life.

Mind-Body Healing:

The final step in breaking the cycle of event-perception-messages-response is to choose a point in this dynamic and begin to undo it. Really, any point can work. We’ll briefly discuss each.

Event: if a situation is chronically stressful to you – can you change it? Be very honest here. We are seldom as stuck in a situation as we think we are. Make the changes you can.
Perception: is there any way that you are seeing only part of the picture? Are you sure your boss hates you? Is it possible his stress is making him temporarily a beast? Explore the edges of what might be different than what you think.
Messages: this is often the richest place to look. A good starting point to start to unearth this area is to diagram a sentence: If this happens, then this will happen, then this, then this – until you get to the conclusion that you are finding so odious. Then go back to that sentence and ask diligently at each step: “Do I actually, for sure, know this is true? Is it absolutely guaranteed? Is there a possible different way it could or might go? Do I have anything to do with it? Can I change any part of this formula?” Often the foregone conclusions we have in this regard reflect a past traumatic or unpleasant event that happened to us that our subconscious then records as the inevitable conclusion to anything that looks or feels similar. Spend some time at this stage. It is well worth the effort to free up a lot of energy in your life that may be bound up in false conclusions, and avoidance.
Response: another rich area. When we learn to disassociate an event or perception from a customary response, we have gained enormous freedom in our lives. Then and only then can we find true choice in HOW we respond to any given stimulus. That choice is there and it is ours, and when we awaken to the sequence in its entirety, we gain the freedom that Viktor Frankl described in his description of living in the Nazi Concentration camp – that no matter what constraints or punishment were meted out to him, he always remembered that he retained the choice in his reaction.

We each have a space of calm from which we can act, which provides a pervasive healing quality to our thoughts. Decisions made from within this framework tend to be healthier and more in balance. Mind-body integration therapy helps us remember this space of peace so we operate with awareness in our daily lives.

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