Quotes About Mind/Body Medicine

Compiled by Sue Staropoli, M.A.

“The human mind can be trained to play an important part both in preventing disease and in overcoming it when it occurs.” (Anatomy of an Illness p. 118)

“Many physical disorders are caused by repressed, unconscious feelings.” (The Mindbody Prescription)

“The fact that the mind rules the body is, in spite of its neglect by biology and medicine, the most fundamental fact which we know about the process of life.” (Franz Alexander M.D. – Love, Medicine and Miracles, p. 1)

“We are each responsible for all of our experiences.
Every thought we think is creating our future.
The point of power is always in the present moment.
Everyone suffers from self-hatred and guilt.
The bottom line for everyone is, “I’m not good enough.”
It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.
We create every so-called illness in our body.
Resentment, criticism, and guilt are the most damaging patterns.
Releasing resentment will dissolve even cancer.
We must release the past and forgive everyone.
We must be willing to begin to learn to love ourselves.
Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are the keys to positive changes.
When we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.”
(You Can Heal Your Life, foreword)

“The human body, like everything else in the cosmos, is constantly being made anew every second. Although your senses report that you inhabit a solid body in time and space, this is only the most superficial layer of reality. You body is something far more miraculous – a flowing organism empowered by millions of years of intelligence. This intelligence is dedicated to overseeing the constant change that takes place inside you. Every cell is a miniature terminal connected to the cosmic computer.” (Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, p. 8)

“The regular inappropriate activation of the fight-or-flight response may lead to such diseases as hypertension with its often deadly consequences of heart attacks and strokes….Each of us possesses a natural and innate protective mechanism against ‘overstress,’ which allows us to turn off harmful bodily effects, to counter the effects of the fight-or-flight response. This response against ‘overstress’ brings on bodily changes that decrease heart rate, lower metabolism, decrease the rate of breathing, and bring the body back into what is probably a healthier balance. This is the Relaxation Response…. Evoking the Relaxation Response is extremely simple if you follow a very short set of instructions which incorporate four essential elements:
1) a quiet environment
2) a mental device such as a word or a phrase which should be repeated in a specific fashion over and over again
3) the adoption of a passive attitude, which is perhaps the most important of the elements; and
4) a comfortable position. Your appropriate practice of these four elements for ten to twenty minutes once or twice daily should markedly enhance your well-being.”
(The Relaxation Response, pp. 99, 18-19)

“Given its many benefits, I see the Relaxation Response as being a basic life skill – something that everyone should have the opportunity to learn, practice and benefit from…”
(Peace of Mind, p. 4)

“The body is the servant of the mind. It obeys the operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed….If you would perfect your body, guard your mind. Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought….Thoughts of fear have been known to kill a man as speedily as a bullet…Anxiety quickly demoralizes the whole body, and lays it open to the entrance of disease…”
(As A Man Thinketh, pp. 47-53)

Quotes from Healing and the Mind:

“We can no longer pretend that the patient’s perceptions don’t matter. And we can’t pretend that healing is something doctors do to a patient. Your mind is in every cell of your body. And your emotions are the bridge between the mental and the physical, or the physical and the mental. It’s either way. Now there is overwhelming evidence that hormones and neurotransmitters can influence the activities of the immune system, and that products of the immune system can influence the brain.” (David Felten, PhD., University of Rochester School of Medicine)

“Medicine is reaching the point of increasing expenses with diminishing returns. Part of the problem is that a very profound element is missing in medicine: the active participation of the patient. That’s where optimizing the mind/body connection really becomes critical…. If it’s possible to teach people how to self-regulate so that, for instance, they don’t go into panic so much, and their blood pressure doesn’t escalate so often under stress, and they can handle their musculoskeletal pain in such a way that they don’t constantly have to go to the emergency rooms, or be medicated because of it, you can imagine how much money that would save the system?” (Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD., University of Massachusetts Medical Center)

“…But I don’t believe there is any such thing as a psychosomatic disease. I don’t accept the notion that psychological factors alone cause disease….All disease is multi-determined, and one of the determining influences is the psychological state of the individual.” (Robert Ader, PhD, University of Rochester School of Medicine)

“Healing may not be so much about getting better as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are. Not a better you, but a ‘realer’ you….People can heal and live, and people can heal and die. Healing is different from curing. Healing is a process we’re all involved in all the time. Healing is the leading forth of wholeness in people. I think that healing happens only in the context of our imminent awareness of something larger than ourselves, however we conceive that.” (Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., founder and director of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal, Bolinas, California)

“If you can’t control whether or not you die, you can at least control how you live and how your body is handling the stressors that you are facing….We must help patients understand what’s happening to them and help them mobilize support from family and friends. Just a little bit of caring goes a long way….It’s how you live your life, and how fully you use your own resources, and do what you want to do in the world, and make and cherish relationships that are important.” (David Spiegel, M.D., Stanford University School of Medicine)

“You may do the same job, but for different reasons. It’s not really what we do that leads to chronic stress and to illnesses like heart disease, it’s what motivates what we do – the misbelief that somehow, something external to us is going to bring us health, and peace, and intimacy, and love.” (Dean Ornish, M.D., Preventive Medicine Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco)