The age-old concept that a healthy state of mind leads to good physical health is not lost on Joan Borysenko. And to better ensure good health at an old age, she said, it’s paramount to establish a good relationship between the mind and the body at a young age.
“The best indicator of how healthy you will be in a decade is how healthy you believe you will be,” Borysenko, a Denver-based health expert, told an audience about 100 people Monday in the Lory Student Center Theater.
But despite her message that a strong connection between the mind and the body needs to be established at an early age, the student-age portion of the crowd was thin and scattered among the gathering of mostly middle-age women.
Borysenko, who taught medicine at Harvard University in the early 1980s and authored 13 books, stressed that her methods and research about spirituality and the body are useful for every age demographic, but are especially powerful for young people.
She emphasized interpersonal relationships and exercise as integral parts of becoming more spiritually aware because those facets of life help balance hormone levels properly.
“TLC (tender loving care) reduces interlucken-6 and Cortisol levels while increasing (human growth hormone) levels,” she said.
Borysenko’s passion for teaching spirituality stems from her early years. When she was 10 years old, she went through a six-month period of psychosis, which left her with delusions that doctors were unable to diagnose. But she recovered inexplicably one day, gaining total mental clarity.
So she dedicated her time to studying spirituality, eventually graduating magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College, and then moving on to get her PhD in medical sciences from Harvard.
And since, she has established herself as a figurehead in psychology and medicine, having co-founded a mind and body clinic in Boulder and formed numerous health programs.
“The spiritual is that realm of human experience which religion attempts to connect us to through dogma and practice,” she said. “If I had understood more about emotions when I was younger, I would have had a happier life.”
Staff writer Chloe Wittry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.