I was reading an article today about a neuroscientist who took up pilates, to reduce stress responses. His reasoning was based upon a study regarding nodes in the cerebral cortex and how they interact with the internal organs.
It’s a good read, and one that supports something I’ve believed for a very long time. “It’s not all in your head, but in your stomach, chest, back, etc. as well.” There’s very possibly a distinct reason that we see yoga or tai chi not only help with the body, but with the state of the mind as well. It’s a bit too early for us to say “Eureka!” but I would imagine that 3000-ish years of practice probably aren’t totally wrong. I would imagine that control of the bandhas (yoga) or focusing on the dan tian (tai chi) does alter how stress-related adrenal response works.
There’s a huge mass of things that we don’t know yet. I recall a conversation I had once with a high-school age student who explained to me “I don’t believe any of that new-age crap, I have science.” As someone who’d majored in biological chemistry and gone to work in data science for about as many years as this young man had been alive, I thought to myself, “Wow, I wish I believed in us as much as he does.” It’s a perspective scenario. He believed the books that were written by people who wrote them based on studies done by people who had questions still. We should all have those questions, and understand how little we really do understand.
I would say that it’s nice to see that there is some support for body/mind integration. I feel like the more that this is explored, the more we could potentially learn about ourselves and how we perceive the world around us.
…until then, I’ll probably keep doing core work, because even if it doesn’t help our abilities to control stress, it should still help prevent back pain.