I believe mental and physical health are inextricably linked.
In many of the martial art systems I have trained in there is a strong element of mental training to get the head right so the body can be pushed further, harder for longer.
I’ve even read that the Chinese don’t have a word for mind as they believe the mind and body are one entity (I’ve no idea how true this is, but it’s a nice story).
I certainly prefer this to the Descartian viewpoint where the body is just a vehicle and the mind is the driver.
Although in some circumstances, such as extreme duress, it’s nice to be able to make this separation, have the mind operate almost as an independent observer while the body goes through hell. Ironically, the better the mind and body are synchronised the better this “separation” can happen. So it’s still not the Descartian model that much of western medicine and thinking has been based on.
Of late there’s been a lot of research and information coming out about how gut health can make a difference to mental state.
Think about that for a moment, it should be obvious that poor gut health can lead to poor mental health.
If you’re not getting in the raw materials, ie Protein, fats and carb along with the full array of micro nutrients (vits and mins) then how can the mind work optimally?
After all, the ole brain uses up a huge portion of our daily energy consumption.
The guys over at Examine.com have looked at the role of gut health and it’s effect on depression. They’ve also poured over the research on probiotics and how their use can help combat depression.
Screen shot of Examine’s Research Review
If you’re unfamiliar with Examine.com, they are THE resource for nutrition information. They’re a bunch of research nerds with no affiliation to any company other than Examine. So when they go over research all they care about is getting the actual facts out there for laymen, like you and I, to be able to read and understand.
In other words, you can trust them.
Really trust them.
Here’s a link through to their latest research review with the article I’m talking about in it:
(yes, if you choose to buy it, I get a wee kickback. But as you ought to be well aware, I wouldn’t recommend anything I wouldn’t put my reputation on, so why not earn a couple of quid while I’m at it)
Between eating well, training well and recovering well, you should be able to keep your body and mind well. Add to that a real social network, not a virtual one, of like minded people who offer support and honest criticism, and you’re good.
Oh yeah, find time to meditate a wee bit. There’s no right way to do it, but there is your way.
It all adds up to a better human animal.
Till next time
Dave Hedges www.WG-Fit.com