The harmony of body and soul is the basis of the philosophy and operation of Chinese medicine. According to the knowledge passed down from generation to generation and common methods of diagnosis, many diseases have a mental background, and the body becomes ill due to tension or frustration. What exactly happens when our psyche and soma do not find a healthy connection?
In perfect harmony
Psychosomatics is the science of the influence of mental factors on the functioning of the whole organism. Psychosomatic medicine studies the influence of social, behavioural and psychological factors on a person’s health and quality of life. The term “psychosomatics” comes from two Greek words: psyche and soma. The easiest way to translate them is as soul and body, but they have a deeper meaning – the psyche is all that pertains to spirituality and the intangible, while soma is the mundane world, associated with the solid.
Psychosomatics supports the theory that our mind communicates with us through signals transmitted through the body. When we ignore the mental signs and do not perceive excessive stress or tension, the “forces” are redirected to the body so it can recognise and react to these ’alarm’ signals.
Body instruction manual
The sources of our stress are seldom a puzzle. The assumptions of psychosomatics give us specific clues to locate our pains. It is like a map leading to a given place in the body. From the viewpoint of the science of psychosomatics, if we feel:
- back pain – we take too much on our shoulders and we are overwhelmed by the responsibility for the tasks or matters entrusted to us,
- prickling of the heart or neuralgia – we are overwhelmed by states related to feelings, such as love dilemmas or disappointments,
- worsening of the condition of the skin – we may be surrounded by tiring conflicts, which all the time “sit at the back of our head” and do not let us forget about them,
- chronic pain in the abdomen or stomach – usually a sign of great stress and tension,
- headache – says that we are afraid of something and our body is exhausted.
To summarise: resolving mental and emotional conflicts should help to rid us of unpleasant physical symptoms, i.e. somatic ailments. This indicates reconciliation with soma.
The organism against itself
Why does our body begin to harm us instead of acting in harmony? The causes of diseases and psychosomatic disorders are usually long-term stress and chronic fatigue. The resulting diseases are manifested by autoimmune reactions of the organism. This is a situation in which the organism subjected to strong and long-term stress begins to “eat” itself, destroying its own healthy cells by destroying viral cells.
What can we do? First of all, we must prioritise caring for our minds and bodies, so we must constantly observe and react to their signals. We need to support the body with healthy sleep, an adequate amount of rest, and permanently include these in our daily schedule. It’s a good idea to practise relaxation exercises, meditation, and consider using a weighted (sensory) blanket. Whatever we do, remember that balance is the key to psychosomatic health.