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The Body/Mind Relationship
Martin Brofman, Ph.D.
Everything begins with your consciousness.
Everything that happens in your life, and everything that happens in your
body, begins with something happening in your consciousness. Your consciousness
is who you are, your experience of Being.
You decide what ideas to accept and which to reject. You decide what to
think, and you decide what to feel. When these decisions leave you with
residual stress, you experience the stress as if in your physical body.
We know that stress creates symptoms. The interesting question is, "Which
stress creates which symptoms?" When we are able to quantify this process,
we are then able to see the body as a map of the person's consciousness,
and relate particular symptoms to particular stresses and particular ways
of being, in the same way that Type "A" Behavior has been able
to be associated with heart disease.
To understand this map, we must first orient ourselves to the idea that
the causes of symptoms are within. While it's true that germs cause disease
and accidents cause injuries, it is also true that this happens in accord
with what is happening in the consciousness of the person involved.
Germs are everywhere. Why are some people affected and not others? Something
different is happening in their consciousness. Why do some patients in hospitals
respond better to treatment than others? They have different attitudes.
Something different is happening in their consciousness When someone is
injured in an "accident," why is it that a very specific part
of the body is affected, and that it is the same part that has had habitual
problems? Is that an "accident," or is there a pattern and an
order to the way things happen in our bodies?
Your consciousness, your experience of Being, who you really are, is energy.
We can call it "Life Energy" for now. This energy does not just
live in your brain; it fills your entire body. Your consciousness is connected
to every cell in your body. Through your consciousness, you can communicate
with every organ and every tissue, and a number of therapies are based on
this communication with the organs which have been affected by some kind
of symptom or disorder.
This energy which is your consciousness, and which reflects your state of
consciousness, can be measured through the process known as Kirlian photography.
When you take a Kirlian photograph of your hand, it shows a certain pattern
of energy. If you take a second photograph while imagining that you are
sending love and energy to someone you know, there will be a different pattern
of energy shown on the Kirlian photograph. Thus, we can see that a change
in your consciousness creates a change in the energy field that is being
photographed, which we call the aura.
This energy field shown in the Kirlian photographs has been quantified,
so that when there are "holes" in particular parts of the energy
field, these are said to correspond to particular weaknesses in specific
parts of the physical body. The interesting thing about this is that the
weakness shows up in the energy field before there is ever any evidence
of it on the physical level.
Thus, we have an interesting direction of manifestation shown through what
we have described.
A change of consciousness creates a change in the energy field.
A change in the energy field happens before a change in the physical
The direction of manifestation is from the consciousness, through the energy
field, to the physical body.
When we look at things in this way, we see that it is not the physical body
creating the energy field, the aura, but rather the aura or energy field
that is creating the physical body. What we see as the physical body is
the end result of a process that begins with the consciousness.
When someone makes a decision that leaves them with stress, creating a blockage
in the energy field with a sufficient degree of intensity, this creates
a symptom on the physical level. The symptom speaks a certain language,
which reflects the idea that we each create our own reality. When the symptom
is described from that point of view, the metaphoric significance of the
symptom becomes clear. Thus, instead of saying, "I can't see,"
the person would have to say, "I have been keeping myself from seeing
something." If they cannot walk, they would have to say, "I have
been keeping myself from walking away from something." And so on.
We must understand that there are no accidents and no coincidences. Things
do happen according to a pattern and order. We can say that we have an inner
guidance system, a connection to our Higher Self, or our Inner Being, or
whatever name we choose to give this Higher Intelligence. This inner guidance
system functions through what we call our intuition, or our instinct. It
speaks a very simple language. Either it feels good, or it doesn't. All
the rest is just politics.
We are told we should move with what feels good, and do not do what doesn't
feel good to us. We are told to trust this inner voice. When we don't follow
this inner voice we feel tension. We feel not-good.
Then, the voice must get louder. The next level of communication is through
the emotions. As we move more and more in the direction that feels not-good,
we experience more and more emotions that feel not-good, and at some point
we can say, "I should have listened to myself when I thought to move
in the other direction." That meant that we heard the inner voice.
Otherwise, we could not have said, "I should have listened." If
we make the decision we know is the right one for us, and therefore change
direction, there is a release of tension, we feel better, and we know we
are again on the right track.
If we continue to move in the direction that feels not-good, the communication
reaches the physical level. We create a symptom, and the symptom speaks
a language which reflects the idea that we each create our own reality.
When we describe the symptom from that point of view, we can understand
the message. If we change our way of being, we have received the message,
and the symptom has no further reason for being. It is able to be released,
according to whatever we allow ourselves to believe is possible. If we created
the symptom with a decision, we are also able to release it with a decision.
As an hypothesis, we can imagine that someone makes a decision that it is
not a good idea to express what they want. From that moment, whenever there
is something they want, they keep themselves from expressing it, and therefore
from having what they want. That feels not-good. The tension grows. They
feel more and more not-good as they keep themselves from expressing what
they want and not having it.
Eventually, something happens to create a symptom on the physical level,
and their right arm is affected. It could have happened through falling
from a ladder, or in an automobile accident, or by pinching a nerve in the
neck, or by "sleeping in a draft."
Something had to happen on the physical level to create the symptom, in
order to give the person the message on the physical level about what they
had been doing to themselves. We do to ourselves literally what we have
been doing to ourselves figuratively.
The effect is that the person cannot move their arm. They are keeping themselves
from reaching for something, and since it is the right arm, on the "will"
side of the body, they are keeping themselves from reaching for or going
for what they want. They have been giving themselves reasons to not believe
that they could have what they want.
When they begin to do something different in their consciousness, they notice
that something different begins to happen with their arm, and the symptom
is able to be released.
To understand the map of the consciousness that the body represents, we
can turn to some ancient Hindu traditions which have been studying consciousness
for thousands of years, and which use the language of the chakras.
Chakra is a Sanskrit word, and it means "wheel," or "vortex,"
because that's what it looks like when we look at it. Each chakra is like
a solid ball of energy interpenetrating the physical body, in the same way
that a magnetic field can interpenetrate the physical body.
The chakras are not physical. They are aspects of consciousness in the same
way that the auras are aspects of consciousness The chakras are more dense
than the auras, but not as dense as the physical body, but they interact
with the physical body through two major vehicles, the endocrine system
and the nervous system. Each of the seven chakras is associated with one
of the seven endocrine glands, and also with a particular group of nerves
called a plexus. Thus, each chakra can be associated with particular parts
of the body and particular functions within the body controlled by that
plexus or that endocrine gland associated with that chakra.
Your consciousness, your experience of being, represents everything it is
possible for you to experience. All of your senses, all of your perceptions,
all of your possible states of awareness, can be divided into seven categories,
and each of these categories can be associated with a particular chakra.
Thus, the chakras represent not only particular parts of your physical body,
but also particular parts of your consciousness. When you feel tension in
your consciousness, you feel it in the chakra associated with the part of
your consciousness experiencing the stress, and in the parts of the physical
body associated with that chakra. Where you feel the stress depends therefore
on why you feel the stress. When someone is hurt in a relationship, they
feel it in their heart. When someone is nervous, their legs tremble and
their bladder becomes weak.
When there is tension in a particular part of your consciousness, and therefore
in the chakra associated with that part of your consciousness, the tension
is detected by the nerves of the plexus associated with that chakra, and
communicated to the parts of the body controlled by that plexus. When the
tension continues over a period of time, or reaches a particular degree
of intensity, the person creates a symptom on the physical level. Again,
the symptom served to communicate to the person through their body what
they had been doing to themselves in their consciousness. When the person
changes something about their way of being, they are able to release the
stress that had been creating the symptom, and they are then able to return
to their natural state of balance and health.
When we are reading the body as a map of the consciousness within, we work
with the idea that the tensions in the body represent tensions in the person's
consciousness concerning what was happening in the person's life at the
time that the symptom developed. The person was feeling stress about something
that was happening in their life at that time.
We are going to examine the map of consciousness that the chakras provide,
in order to understand the language of the symptoms that are associated
with each chakra. In order to complete this map, however, we also need to
look at ourselves as each a polarity of yin and yang, feminine and masculine
For most people, their right side is their yang side, their will side, their
acting or active side, and the left side is their yin side, their female
side, their feeling or adaptive side. For people who were born left-handed,
this polarity is reversed. Thus, for a right-handed person, their right
leg can be described as their will leg, or their male leg, or the foundation
of their will, but for a left-handed person, their left leg would be their
male leg or will leg, and so on. Thus, we can talk about the will arm, or
the will eye, or the will nostril, etc., and which side it is on will depend
upon whether the person is right-handed or left-handed at birth.
Each of the chakras is energy vibrating at a certain frequency, in a logical
and orderly sequence of seven vibrations. As we move up the scale, the elements
become more and more subtle, moving through the five physical elements of earth,
water, fire, air, and ether, to the spiritual elements of inner sound and
inner light. The heaviest element is on the bottom, the lightest on the
top. It is a logical and orderly sequence.
The colors of the spectrum also represent a series of seven vibrations in
a logical and orderly sequence, as do the notes of the musical scale. Thus,
we can put the heaviest vibrations or the longest wavelength on the bottom
and the lightest on the top, and a particular color can be used to represent
a chakra in its clear state, as can a particular musical note. Music played
in a certain key vibrates a particular chakra, and we feel a particular
way when we hear that music. Our relationship with a certain color says
something about our relationship with the part of our consciousness that
the color represents.
The Root Chakra is associated with the parts of our consciousness concerned
with security, survival, or trust. For most people, this concerns the parts
of their consciousness concerned with money, home, and job. When this chakra
is in its clear state, the person is able to feel secure, be present in
the here and now, and be grounded. When there is tension in this chakra,
it is experienced as insecurity or fear. When there is more tension, it
is experienced as a threat to survival.
Parts of the body controlled by the sacral plexus and this chakra include
the skeleton system, the legs, and the elimination system. Symptoms in these
parts of the body represent, therefore, tensions at the level of the Root
Chakra, and we therefore know that the person is seeing the world through
a perceptual filter of insecurity or fear. The adrenal glands are also associated
with this chakra.
If one leg is affected, we can see whether it is the male leg or the female
leg, and thus whether it has something to do with trust in a male or trust
in a female. We can also see it as having something to do with trust in
the will, or the aspects of trust in the foundations the emotional being,
related to what was happening in the person's life at the time the symptom
The physical sense of smell, and therefore the organ of the sense of smell,
the nose, is associated with the Root Chakra. Symptoms at the level of the
nose or affecting the sense of smell reflect tensions at the level of the
Each chakra is associated with an element. The Root Chakra is associated
with the element of earth, and reflects something about the person's association
with the earth, or how they feel about being on the earth, which we call
Mother Earth. This chakra is also associated with our relationship with
our mother. When someone experiences a sense of separation from their mother,
or not feeling loved by their mother, they cut off their roots and experience
symptoms of tensions at the level of the Root Chakra until they can again
open to accept their mother's love.
When a child comes into the world in the traditional family structure, the
mother provides the nourishment and the father provides the direction. Thus,
in the child's relationship with its mother, it makes certain decisions
about the way things are. The relationship with the mother thus becomes
a model for the person's relationship with everything that represents security
- money, home, and job.
The Root Chakra is associated with the color red. The Abdominal Chakra is
associated with the parts of our consciousness concerned with food and sex
- the communication from the body to the person within it, about what the
body wants or needs, and what it finds pleasurable. It also is related to
what is happening in their consciousness about having children. When this
chakra is in its clear state, the person is in touch with this communication,
and listening to and responding appropriately to what the body wants and
Parts of the body controlled by the lumbar plexus include the reproductive
system and the abdomen, and the lumbar region of the back.
The sense of taste is associated with this chakra, as is the element of
water. When someone does not have a clear relationship with water (swimming,
for example, or being on a boat), this reflects their attitudes about the
parts of their consciousness that this chakra represents.
Tensions on the will side or the emotional side of this chakra indicate
tensions in the person's consciousness as conflicts between either the will
or the emotions with what the person's body is asking for.
This chakra is associated with the sense of
taste, and with appetite. It is also involved with the person's willingness
to feel their emotions.
The second chakra is associated with the color orange.
The Solar Plexus Chakra is associated with the parts of our consciousness
having to do with perceptions of power, control, or freedom. In its clear
state, it represents ease of being, and comfort with what is real for one's
self - being comfortable with who you are. Parts of the body associated
with this chakra include the organs closest to the solar plexus - stomach,
gall bladder, spleen, liver, etc. - as well as the skin as a system, the
muscular system as a system, and the face in general.
The physical sense associated with this chakra is the sense of sight. Anyone
with impaired eyesight experiences tension at the level of their solar plexus
chakra about the issues of power, control, or freedom. Nearsighted people
also experience tensions at the level of the Root Chakra, and experience
the world through a perceptual filter of fear or insecurity.
Those who are farsighted experience tension also at the level of the throat
chakra, and see the world through a perceptual filter of anger or guilt.
Astigmatics see through the emotional perceptual filter of confusion.
The endocrine gland associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra is the pancreas.
We can say that diabetics are keeping sweetness from themselves. When someone
gets too close with sweetness, they feel threatened in their power to be
who they are, and an emotion comes up to create a safe distance again. The
emotion is anger. Diabetes is associated with suppressed anger.
The element associated with this chakra is fire, and the person's relationship
with the sun says something about their relationship with the parts of their
consciousness associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra.
The color of the Solar Plexus Chakra is yellow. The Heart Chakra is associated
with the parts of the consciousness concerned with relationships and our
perceptions of love. The relationships we speak of here are with those people
closest to our heart - partners, parents, siblings, children.
The parts of the body associated with this chakra include the heart and
lungs, and the blood circulatory system as a system. This chakra is also
associated with the thymus gland, which controls the immune system. When
this is affected, as with AIDS, the person's lifestyle separates them from
someone they love.
The physical sense associated with this chakra is the sense of touch, in
its aspect of relating to the person inside the body. For example, a massage
given to someone with no sensitivity to what the person is feeling inside
would be an example of the sensation we associate with the Abdominal Chakra,
but when the masseur seems to have a sense of what the person inside the
body is experiencing, then it includes the aspect of relating we associate
with the Heart Chakra. When someone experiences extreme sensitivity about
being touched, we would ask what was happening at the level of the Heart
This chakra is associated with the element of air. When someone has difficulty
with air, with breathing (asthma, emphysema, tuberculosis, etc.), we say
that their relationship with air reflects their relationship with love -
difficulty letting it in, or letting it out, for example.
The color associated with the Heart Chakra is emerald green.
The Throat Chakra is associated with the parts of the consciousness concerned
with expressing and receiving. Expressing can be in the form of communicating
what one wants and what one feels, or it can be artistic expression, as
an artist painting, a dancer dancing, a musician playing music, using a
form for expressing and bringing to the outside what was within. Expression
is related to receiving, as, "Ask, and ye shall receive."
The throat chakra is associated with abundance, and with the state of consciousness
called, "grace," where it seems that what you want for you is
also what God wants for you. Accepting what the abundant universe offers
you requires a sense of unconditionally receiving.
This chakra is also associated with listening to one's intuition, and flowing
in a particular way where it seems that the Universe supports you in all
that you do. It is the first level of consciousness from which one perceives
another level of intelligence functioning, and one's interaction with this
other level of intelligence.
Parts of the body associated with this chakra
include the throat, shoulders, and arms and hands. and the thyroid gland.
The sense of hearing is associated with this chakra, and the element of
ether, the most subtle physical element, corresponding to what we find in
deep space. The ether is the crossover between the physical and the spiritual
dimensions. Someone looking at the world through this chakra watches the
manifestation of their goals. The Will Arm represents manifesting what you
want, and the Feeling Arm represents manifesting what makes you happy. Hopefully,
the two point to the same thing.
Blue is the color associated with this chakra.
The Brow Chakra is associated with the parts of the consciousness concerned
with the spiritual view, and the home of the Spirit, the Being within. This
level of consciousness is associated with what western traditions call the
unconscious or subconscious, the part of our consciousness that directs
our actions and our life. From this level we are aware of the motivations
behind our actions. We can watch our outer theater from an inner point of
This chakra is associated with the carotid plexus, and the nerves on each
side of the face, and the pituitary gland. Headaches in the temples or center
of the forehead are associated with tensions at this level. This chakra
controls the entire endocrine system as a system, and the process of growth.
The Brow chakra, also known as the Third Eye, is associated with extrasensory perception (ESP), the set of all inner senses that correspond to the
outer senses, which together comprise spirit-to-spirit communication. The
element associated with this chakra is a vibration known as the Inner Sound,
the sound that one hears in their ears that does not depend upon something
in the physical world. Some consider it a pathological condition. In some
of the eastern traditions the ability to hear this is considered a necessary
prerequisite to further spiritual growth.
The color associated with this chakra is indigo, midnight blue, the color
of lapis lazuli, or the color of the night sky during a full moon.
The Crown Chakra is associated with the parts of the consciousness concerned
with unity or separation, and just as the Root Chakra showed our connection
with Mother Earth, this chakra shows our connection with Our Father, Which
Art in Heaven. At first, it is associated with our connection with our biological
father. This becomes the model for our relationship with authority, and
this becomes the model for our relationship with God. When there is a sense
of separation from our biological father, the person closes this chakra,
and the effect on the consciousness is a sense of isolation and aloneness,
being in a shell, and difficult to make contact with those outside the shell.
The person feels as if they are hiding from God, or hiding from themselves,
not seeing what is true for them in the deepest part of their consciousness,
the part we call the soul.
This chakra is also associated with a sense of direction.
The parts of the body controlled by this chakra are the pineal gland, the
brain, and the entire nervous system as a system.
The color associated with the Crown Chakra is violet, the color of amethyst.
Using The Map
When there is tension in a particular part of the body, this represents
a tension in a particular part of the consciousness, about a particular
part of the person's life. Being aware of these associations helps one to
see the importance of resolving the tense issues in their life.
If it were only a question of doing what is necessary for the person to
be happy, that would be reason enough to motivate the person to want to
change something that doesn't work for them, but here, we see that it is
also a matter of health. The issues that are unresolved in a person's life
are, in fact, hazardous to their health.
When we see the correspondences between the consciousness and the body,
we see the degree to which we each create our reality. In fact, those words
begin to take on a new meaning. We see how everything begins in our consciousness
and we are able to look around us at other aspects of our lives in the same
When we see how the body carries our the messages and deepest wishes of
the Being within the body, we can realize that the process can go in more
than one direction. If our consciousness is directing how we develop symptoms,
it can also direct how we release these same symptoms. If our consciousness
can make our body ill, our consciousness can make our body well.
The logical conclusion of this process is that anything can be healed.
The Body Mirror System of Healing
See also: Through
the Tunnel, and Healing
of Technologies for Healing