I would like to suggest to you that this is not merely a figure of speech, but that the saying is more literal than we tend to assume.
Your Body and Your Mind
About 15 years ago, I attended one of the most interesting lectures I’ve ever heard. A doctor at the University of Minnesota described the research they were doing into eating disorders.
The vagus nerve is the main neural trunk connecting the brain and the internal organs of the chest and abdomen, and other scientists had discovered that implanting an electrical stimulator on the vagus nerve was effective at treating depression. The Minnesota team was exploring the theory that patients with bulimia, without being consciously aware of it, were self-treating depression by their purging — an act that intensely stimulates the vagus nerve and, by that pathway, the deep brain. Implanting nerve stimulators in these patients effectively quelled the purging, presumably because it replicated the effect they had been getting by self-induced stimulation of that nerve.
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Something recently reminded me of this lecture, and prompted me to do a little digging into what has been learned since then. It turns out that electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve has been discovered to be an effective treatment in a variety of disorders, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, anorexia, obesity, dementia, and schizophrenia.
But of course, the neural connection runs both directions. Long before researchers discovered that you could affect the brain by stimulating the vagus nerve, it was known that that nerve is the primary means by which the brain controls things like heart rate, stomach acid production, and speed of intestinal activity. In recent years, it has also been found, surprisingly, that important parts of the immune system are modulated by the brain via the vagus nerve. Early research is showing promise at stimulating the vagus nerve to treat such immune-related diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease.
All of which is a long way of emphasizing this point — the mind and the internal organs have deep, complex, important neurological connections that science is only now beginning to understand. Read More @Pokernews.com