“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” first published as a memoir and later adapted into a film, surely ranks among the most inspirational stories ever told. The film centers around Jean-Dominique Bauby, a French journalist who suffers a stroke and falls into a coma.
When he wakes up, Bauby realizes he has been struck with “locked-in” syndrome, an extremely rare disease. Bauby is completely paralyzed, but still retains his mental awareness. Limited to only minor head movement, life is agonizing for Bauby, as he has nearly no physical functions, but can still perceive everything going on around him. Doctors are also forced to sew up his right eye to stop it from becoming infected.
Before his stroke, Bauby was set to publish a book. After coming to accept his condition, he decides that he will still do this. Bauby cannot speak, but develops a form of communication with his speech therapist through blinking his left eye. Bauby dictates the book letter by letter, with his therapist reading out each letter and Bauby choosing one by blinking.
While Bauby is afflicted with a stroke when he is only 42 years old, the film and novel can serve as an inspirational story for senior health as well. Elderly citizens are more commonly afflicted with strokes and other debilitating conditions, so the film serves to show what can still be accomplished after this happens.
Both the film and novel are some of the best inspirational stories about commitment. Bauby becomes afflicted with a condition that many people could not possibly imagine. Yet he goes on to complete his memoir and achieve something most people would have thought to be impossible.
In the dominating Western view of the self, the mind and the body are two completely separate entities that serve distinct functions. However, science is increasingly dismantling this dichotomy and indicating that the mind-body-spirit connection is stronger than previously thought.
For example, a recent study from a group of researchers at Indiana University found that poor posture may actually be a contributing factor to bipolar disorder. For years, doctors had noted an association between the two but dismissed the connection as a random association.
The researchers said that their study revealed individuals with bipolar disorder often experience difficulty maintaining balance and holding themselves upright while standing, and that these problems often precede any mood disturbances.
“It appears that people with bipolar disorder process sensory information differently and this is seen in their inability to adapt their movement patterns to different conditions,” said S. Lee Hong, who led the study.
The findings confirm what author and philosopher Ilchi Lee has been saying for years about the extremely close association between the brain and a person’s physical form. This mind-body-spirit connection is fundamental.
The use of alternative therapies like yoga, meditation and deep breathing is on the rise, and a new study has found that doctors are increasingly the ones recommending that their patients pursue these mind-body-spirit methods of healing.
Researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School gathered survey responses from more than 23,000 U.S. families and found that about one in 30 Americans are using some type of alternative mind-body therapy after being referred to it by a physician.
There is a significant amount of evidence that these types of healing methods can provide benefits, the researchers said. They were just surprised to see that so many medical professionals have started to buy into these types of treatments.
While increased prescribing rates were seen as a positive thing, the researchers noted that most of the individuals using them tended to be sicker, suggesting that doctors only recommend mind-body therapies as a last resort. However, these methods may have significant preventative effects that could benefit individuals before they become sick.
The findings support the teachings of Ilchi Lee, who has long professed a belief that strengthening the mind-body-spirit connection through methods like meditation can improve physical health.
Individuals who want to learn about naturally healing their mind-body-spirit connection may want to take a lesson from their cat.
As farfetched as it may sound, some research has indicated that the reason cats purr is to stimulate natural healing, according to the London Telegraph. Pete Wedderburn, who works as a veterinarian, recently wrote that studies have shown cats purr at a steady rate of 25 to 150 Hertz. It has been suggested that vibrations within this range may improve bone density and speed healing.
While humans don’t have the ability to purr as cats do, there are other things that can be done to support natural healing. For instance, it may be possible through brain training to learn how to use brain wave vibrations to bring the mind and the body back into harmony.
Ilchi Lee believes that using brain wave vibrations can play an important part in the overall health and wellbeing of individuals. While it may not involve literally vibrating, as does a cat’s purring, it may have similar health benefits.