Results of one trial can be newsworthy, but when 56 trials are studied, it’s wise to seriously consider the results. Trials use a relatively small study group and assume that the results represent everyone. With many trials in agreement, you can expect the results give a much better representation. When it comes to inflammation, which precedes most diseases (especially cancer), an accurate representation is vital.
You know that the physical environment is key to reducing inflammation. You may realize that your thoughts affect your health. You may not realize that thoughts have a direct impact on inflammation. But that is exactly what was learned: according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 56 trials showed two vital results:
- Behavioral/psychological therapies are highly effective at reducing systemic inflammation in the whole body.
- Of these therapies, one which specializes in present-moment thinking is the most effective.
Pro-inflammatory cytokines were most strongly reduced by mind therapy. You may remember discussion about the most serious cases of COVID-19, where a “cytokine storm” developed in attempting to fight the infection, which sometimes did lethal damage to the patient. Cytokines are highly inflammatory, and are meant to be used for only short periods. Cytokine response is necessary to heal wounds, but in today’s chronically stress-filled environment, many of us are living with high levels of inflammation due to an ongoing elevated cytokine response.
Part of the reason for chronic inflammation is simply the physical environment — the Standard American Diet, poor hydration, and lack of physical activity all contribute. But the mind is key in the “fight or flight” syndrome, which should only happen on occasion when there is real danger, not daily as we worry and stress over our lives. Mind-based therapies are vital to reducing stress to the whole body.
Focus on thinking in the present
The most effective therapy, according to this study, helps the patient:
- become aware of automatic thoughts and mood
- understand others rather than judging them
- stop judging and blaming themselves
- avoid all-or-nothing thinking
- distinguish facts from irrational thoughts
- see reality rather than perception
- learn how past experiences can negatively affect present thoughts
Such therapy focuses on the moment, recognizing that it is our current thinking that affects our outlook. We easily develop harmful thinking patterns, and never learn to turn them around. Most things we fear never come to pass, or at least not in nearly as severe a manner as we imagine, but those fears ruin our current mood, reinforce patterns of negative thinking, and sometimes cause us to act in harmful ways or make poor decisions.
Inflammation tells the story
There are many studies that show inflammation results in poor brain function. Clearly, since the brain is part of the body, it is going to be affected by your body. You cannot expect clear thinking and a good mood with poor overall health. However, less attention is given to how our brains affect our bodies. Yet your mind affects your body in profound and powerful ways. We often say things like, “seeing that made me sick”, or “she has such a strong will to live” — we know that thinking does affect the body. But other than the immediate effects that fear, worry, or joy have on hormones, it’s hard to measure how thoughts affect our health. Inflammation is measurable however. When we realize that reducing chronic inflammation is key to good health, we can see what thoughts do to our health from how they affect inflammation.
Analysis published in Neuropsychopharmacology studied PTSD patients against a control group and found higher cytokine production (which increased inflammation) in the PTSD patients. This appears to be the link: bad thoughts directly produce inflammation, they cause the immune system to go on the offensive as though it were fighting an infection, thus producing inflammation as cytokines go on the attack. Repetitive negative thoughts lead to increased chronic inflammation, which opens the door to disease.
A standard general measurement of overall inflammation — CRP level in the blood — appears responsive to mental attitudes. A controlled randomized trial published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity showed that a mental relaxation program reduced CRP level by one mg/ml after two months as measured against a control group. The CRP reduction averaged 2.67 mg/ml for non-obese (Body Mass Index or BMI less than 30). This says that your thoughts can change your inflammation levels, and if your body is more physically fit, the impact of good thoughts is even greater. In other words, as you remove other factors that also contribute to high CRP, the effect of mental relaxation is more obvious.
We tend to want a “magic bullet” approach to health: something quick and easy that would just make us healthy. Drugs are popular partly for this reason — it’s easier to just take pills rather than working on all the facets of our health. Mind affects body; body affects mind, and all must be considered if you want to be vibrantly healthy.
Dr. Nemec’s Comments:
The mind is such a key factor in your health that it could be called the gatekeeper to your health, healing and longevity. We have recognized this during our 36 years of treating and teaching patients and that is why our most powerful therapy is call Heart/Brain Entrainment Therapy. This therapy was developed over many years of analyzing brain CT scans for areas that appear to have microlesions from “blown fuses” in stress mind patterns. These areas of the brain correlate to areas in the body, which is why you can develop cancer in various areas in your body by blown fuses in the brain which originated from mental patterns of either acute or chronic stress. Our treatment and teaching program addresses these areas with specialty brain mapping along with Heart/Brain Entrainment Therapy to help release conscious and subconscious stress programs which are the root cause of inflammation, which is the root cause of cancer. So many people just want to cut the tumor out and do chemotherapy and get on with their lives, but it does not work that way. If you do not remove the stress program that caused the inflammation and the disease in the first place then the disease will just return. Here are the options we offer at Total Health Institute (the first two options include Heart/Brain Entrainment Therapy):
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.