An interesting study came out in 2013 which asked 773 participants to map felt sensations with a range of different emotions on a picture of a body. What is interesting about this is that there were similar sensations and areas of the body highlighted across the board with specific emotions. Participants were from around the world to eliminate cultural bias and they still reported statistically significant similarities. This was the first study of this kind to map specific locations on the body to emotional states.
As early as 1996 neuroscientist, Antonio Damasio postulated on the connection of the emotion system to physiological processes and somatic experiences. Since then numerous studies have established this connection. Emotions have been shown to the activate the cardiovascular, skeletomuscular, neuroendocrine, and autonomic nervous (ANS) systems and this modulation helps us meet the challenges we encounter in our environment.
Watch a Ted talk from Antonio Damasio on the Quest to Understand Consciousness:
One of the most revolutionary aspects to homeopathy when it was first developed over 200 years ago was that it recognized and used the mind body connection in making prescriptions. Homeopathy is a truly holistic medicine in that one medicine is given to treat the whole health and this medicine is selected by how similar its symptoms, on multiple systems and levels, is to yours. Holistic has become a cringeworthy term with how greatly cliched and misused it has become. But if you really think about the word’s meaning, ‘whole’ istic, you see homeopathy comes the closest to this healing ideal.
2. Nummenmaa L, Glerean E, et al. (2013) Bodily maps of emotions, Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.