How The Brain And Body Connection Impacts Overall Health, And Why

Adiel Gorel

The Body’s Prime Directive and How All the Body’s Systems Are Geared for It

The brain is this powerful, wonderful organ, and we are constantly discovering new things about it; particularly the brain and body connection, and the way it influences the rest of the human body. I recently spoke to Dr. Felice Gersh who knows a thing or two about how the brain impacts health. She is a physician with dual board certifications in OB-GYN and Integrative Medicine and has won many awards for her work. She has been kind enough to join me as a guest on my podcast a second time. There is so much that I learned about the mind and body connection, and how one impacts and communicates with the other. We speak about gut health, the importance of circadian rhythms, the human body’s prime directive, and more through our podcast conversation.

Why integrative medicine is important.

Dr. Gersh has something amusing but also thought-provoking to say about conventional medicine. She recalled the old saying about medical school, that half of what you learn in medical school is wrong, but you don’t know which half that was. This is a little scary to think that we could be receiving medical treatment that isn’t as sound as we hope. Out-of-date or non-holistic treatments could be doing us more harm than good, which is a scary thought.

Not too long ago, we thought of the brain as being somehow separate from the body, which we know to be false now. In fact, it is all connected: the immune system, the autonomic nervous system, our emotions, and cognitive function are all intimately connected, she explains. The brain and body connection is deeper than we fathom. How we think impacts our digestion and vice versa. This is why, in my view, it is important for us to view the body as a whole and to treat ill health or disease in a comprehensive way, not just treat symptoms in a piecemeal manner. It is important for us to not reject so-called alternative or complementary therapies but to choose holistic healing techniques that treat not just the symptom but the root cause of malaise as well.

The prime directive of life.

Dr. Gersh speaks about something called the prime directive of life, which is to create new life. She points out how every system in the body is actually geared towards this, and how humans are the only species that try to control and limit this process. The immune system, for example, is a wonderful thing that protects us from pathogens that could harm us. However, this is a dynamic system that alters when a woman is pregnant. While it is nurturing new life within her body, a woman’s immune system changes. Her heart capacity changes to cope with an increased workload and the volume of blood in the body also increases, and her whole musculoskeletal system alters. As an OB-GYN, Dr. Gersh has had a ringside view of this prime directive of life.

How do all of these systems work in such a synchronous fashion? It is the brain and body connection – the brain along with all the other organ systems in the body that regulates energy, appetite, metabolism, and the changes in the muscles and bones of the body. We are still understanding more about how this exactly works, but according to Dr. Gersh, the brain is like a big umbrella in the way that it impacts the workings of all of the body’s organ systems.

We speak about the way that space travel would typically discombobulate the body and how this reverts to normal at the end of it. We speak about jet lag and how to combat it. We speak about circadian rhythms and what this has to do with so many babies being born in the middle of the night. We speak about the gut biome and its multidirectional communication with the brain, the difference between female and male hormone systems, and more. You can check out my podcast with Dr. Felice Gersh here.

Adiel Gorel

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