Friday, January 14, 2011

A Brain to Pick


Being on vacation with wifi and cellphone access means never having to say, “I’m unavailable!”
Never said I wasn’t a type A individual, now did I? 

So here I am in San Francisco pouring over the emails when I come across a newsletter from the Washington Post called “Lean & Fit.”  It cites an article in the LA Times regarding new research into the condition IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  I know several people who live with it, among other digestive disorders, so I read on.  Here’s the link:,0,2369726.story?wpisrc=nl_health

Certain structural characteristics of the brain seem to be present in people who suffer IBS.  What really made me look deeper into the article was the line in the Washington Post letter saying this research demonstrates that IBS is a physiological rather than psychological condition.

WHAT?  Here I was feeling so secure in the knowledge that my brain is integrated into my skull, and therefore my body… silly me.

I looked further at the LA Times article to see if they or the research summary mentioned anything about a physical or mental dividing line.  Nope, no such reference.

So here’s something on which we can all chew… is there really a division between the mind and the body?  Don’t they work in tandem at all times?  Is it appropriate to dismiss psychological conditions with the old line, “it’s all in your head,” when in fact your head is integral to the proper operation of nearly all of your bodily systems and functions?  And vice versa?

For crying out loud, Washington Post, this is the 21st century.

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