|Do mental functions diminish with age?
It used to be thought that the brain and consequently the mental powers deteriorate with
age, but recent studies show that this is not so. Deterioration of mental function is most
often due to some pathological changes in the brain and not just due to ageing.
While it's true that some of the brain's functions are at their peak early in life, others
take years to develop. Such qualities as judgment and wisdom continue to improve as we
age, whereas short-term memory and quickness of recall may decline.
|There is recently a lot of talk about the mind-body connection,
as spoken of centuries ago. What is it all about?
Recently it has been proposed by many schools of thinking that visualizing the killer
cells in your immune system as fighting against the organisms that cause disease can
actually get the body to produce a response against them. This is part of a system of
alternative therapy which is also called Holistic
medicine. Whether it's called "treating the whole patient," holistic
medicine, or some other name, it all boils down to the very logical fact that we are the
sum of our minds and our bodies. Emotions and feelings have a powerful impact on physical
|Many of the so-called alternative therapies emphasizing the mind/body
connection are increasingly acknowledged by medical professionals as effective methods for
coping with health problems.
We know from recorded history that ancient medical science was based on the idea that mind
and body are intimately interconnected, and that successful treatment required the healer
to take both into account. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, cautioned
physicians to study the mind as well as the body. But over the centuries, the Western
world began discounting this wisdom. Scientist-philosophers like Descartes believed that
medicine should devote itself to understanding and curing the body's ills.
|This mindset produced the modern Western approach to curing illness, in
which the only valid treatments are considered to be those that have been proven to work
in rigorous scientific studies. Many invaluable means of treatment have resulted from this
method, but clinical medicine today still can't cure everything.
Gradually, a new idea has evolved, or re-evolved: that mind and body are constantly
interacting. Since our emotions seemingly have the power to ravage our bodies or to heal
them, why not use them to our advantage rather than ignoring them?
|See Also: Alternative Medicine