The Body-Mind Connection…

Gut Feelings...working with, not against them

The body-mind connection is far from new. Herbert Benson, founder of Harvard’s Body/Mind Medical Institute in 1988, defined the relaxation response as a bodily calm wherein blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate and metabolic rates are decreased. Benson said we could achieve it through simple meditative exercises.

Candice Pert’s studies show that neuropeptides throughout the body and brain biochemically link to emotion. The subtle energy system of the Chakras are believed to produce odd sensations and intuitions. The Enteric Nervous System, often called ‘the brain in the gut’, helps us evaluate situations based on sensory input. All of these theories and studies suggest that our ‘gut feelings’ or ‘intuition’ provide us with information that shows the body-mind connection.

Many people agree that there is a strong body-mind link. But this link is not widely ackowledged in the formal structure and operation of our culture…our corporations, schools, our daily lives. How do you do personally deal with your gut feelings? And what can we do to support & encourage each other to live our lives in a way that reflects these ideas?

The body-mind never lies. We can choose whether to ignore the messages we are constantly receiving, or whether to increasingly tune into them and raise our ‘gut feeling quotient’.

The following exercise may help you tune into your body-mind on an ongoing basis:

· Begin with 3 slow, deep breaths in through the nose and out
through the mouth. Push out as much air as possible on the

· Think about something somewhat unpleasant that happened
recently (e.g. a conversation,a small accident, a missed
deadline). Notice the sounds, smells and sights associated with
this memory. Notice the sensations your are experiencing in
your body. Where in your body are they? Rate the negative
feeling on a scale of –1 to –10 with –10 being the worst

· Take 2 or 3 deep inhalations and exhalations to release the
memory from your body. Move around to shake off the feelings.
Now think about something great that happened recently. Again
notice the associated sensory input and where in your body you
feel the feelings. Rate this positive feeling from +1 to +10
with +10 being the best possible rating.

· You can, if you choose, apply this tool to any daily situation.
It will give you information about your body-mind. By paying
attention in this way you will be training yourself to be
more aware of your ‘gut feelings’.

Adapted from Dr. Martha Beck’s 'The Body Compass'

If you would like to learn more about your gut feelings, Ellen can be reached at:
800 961 1364 Toll Free N. Am.
604 886 1916 Gibsons, BC

Author's Bio: 

Ellen Besso, M.A., R.C.C. is a personal coach to Women 35+. She mentors women through the process of accessing their dreams and identifying and releasing the beliefs that limit them from achieving joy. Ellen has spent 25 years helping women deal with life challenges.

You can contact her at:
or 800 961 1364 or