Mental health: the fifth component of the Healthy Cell Concept

       Much research has been done as to the connection between mind and body.  It is now realized that our nutritional status has a lot to do with our moods, thinking ability and general capacity to function mentally.  By simply adjusting the diet, you can virtually change behavior.  This has been shown in research with Attention Deficient Disorder, (ADD), where removing processed and refined foods from the diet resulted in a marked improvement in behavior.

       Research has been done in prisons with criminals where dietary adjustments have brought about a reduction in aggressive/compulsive behavior.  The use of herbal preparations such as gingko biloba have improved short term memory.   St.-John’s Wort, Sam-e, 5HTP Tryptophan and phosphatidylserine have been effective in altering brain chemistry to improve mood. Acetyl-L carnitine (ACL) has been shown to boost memory and concentration.

       While the nutritional status of the body has a definite relationship to how the mind works, the workings of the mind has great impact on how the body functions.  Mental stress will have great influence on how the glandular system responds.  The adrenal glands in particular respond to what goes on in our thinking.  The immune system is very sensitive to stress levels and will have a much more difficult time dealing with pathogens if mental stress levels are high and if the mind is in a state of anger, frustration and negative thought.

       Since it is impossible to avoid stress and mental negatives, it is important to maintain sound nutrition which will go a long way toward facilitating a good mental attitude and the ability to better handle stress.  Regular exercise is a known stress reducer in addition to its role in increasing nutrient and oxygen supply to all parts of the body, including the brain.  Body massage and related procedures are excellent ways to relieve stress and also promote a healing response in the body relative to various health problems.  

       Striving to focus on the positive things in life and minimizing the negative is highly conducive to a healthy mental attitude.  While this is easier said than done, it really does pay off in a healthier life style and can often lead to a healing response in the body.

       The classic example of this is the story of Norman Cousins as recounted in his book, Anatomy of an Illness.  Mr. Cousins suffered from a painful connective tissue disease where medical doctors had given him a one in five hundred chance of recovery.  Since nothing much could be done medically to deal with the situation, Mr. Cousins decided to try laughter therapy.  Brought into his hospital room were a number of funny films which Mt. Cousins would watch.  The discovery was made that with just ten minutes of genuine belly laughter, he would experience at least two hours of pain-free sleep.  As pain would return, Mr. Cousins would watch more funny movies and, more often than not, he would again experience relief from pain.       

      Seeing the kind of result that was obtained  in reducing pain through laughter therapy, the next step was to determine if there was a measurable effect on the body’s immune activity.  Sedimentation rate readings, (sedimentation rate is a blood test to determine white cell activity), were done just before and several hours after the laughter episodes.  Each time this was done, there was a drop in the sedimentation reading, indicating less struggle by the immune system to deal with the disease.  To make a long story short, Mr. Cousins eventually recovered, using laughter therapy along with high vitamin C intake.

       A number of years ago, researcher Candice Pert, of the National Institutes of Health, conducted research where participants had electrode stimulation done to the brain in order to stimulate the remembrance of past events.  The research showed that when positive, uplifting events were remembered, it produced a very positive effect on the immune and hormonal systems of the body.  When negative and traumatic events were remembered, the immune system became depressed, and the hormonal system was negatively impacted.

       As can be seen, what goes on in our mind has a powerful effect on what goes on in our bodies.  It is therefore very important to consider mental health as a vital component of the healthy cell concept.


       We have considered five basic areas of what it takes to be healthy.  While these areas are not exhaustive, they, nevertheless, do represent the major areas of importance in putting together a program to facilitate health and avoid disease.  It has been said that the absence of disease does not necessarily equate with the presence of wellness. This statement is true in so much that true wellness is much more than avoiding disease.  True wellness has to do with sustained energy levels, mental sharpness, muscular strength and endurance, and experiencing a general sense of vitality and well-being. 

       True wellness also involves something called organ reserve.  Organ reserve involves the creation of a level of health and vitality that allows for the bodies various organ systems to be strong enough to not only meet the demands of day to day living, but also be able to respond in a positive way to extraordinary challenges that confront us from time to time.  By implementing the healthy cell concept, you will greatly increase your chances of experiencing this kind of organ reserve and you will place yourself in a position to meet the demands of life.