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Research into the mind body connection

Research into the mind body connection

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Harvard professor Ellen Langer found by reconnecting with memories of your youth you can reduce the effects of aging in just 5 days. (Langer, 2009)

Professor Richard Davidson found changes in the brains & immune function of meditators.(Davidson, 2003)

Princeton researcher Dr David Phillips showed a link between causes of death and the type of death predicted by their star sign in Chinese American families. The more they believed in Chinese astrology the stronger the effect it had on what they dies of – but for more westernised the star sign made no difference to death rates.(Phillips, Ruth, & Wagner, 1993)

Professor Ed Diener showed lack of happiness is as serious a health risk as smoking – costing you 10 years of life.(Diener E. & Chan M.Y., 2011)

Dr Christina Jaén found if an asthmatic were told rose scent would make their asthma worse, smelling rose caused an attack. If they were told rose scent cured asthma, smelling it stopped attacks.(Jaén & Dalton, 2014)


I’ve also made a more in depth podcast on this topic which you can get for free here.


Davidson, R. J. (2003). Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(4), 564–570. doi:10.1097/01.PSY.0000077505.67574.E3

Diener E., & Chan M.Y. (2011). Happy People Live Longer: Subjective Well-Being Contributes to Health and Longevity. Appl. Psychol: Health Well-Being Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3(1), 1–43.

Jaén, C., & Dalton, P. (2014). Asthma and odors: The role of risk perception in asthma exacerbation. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 77(4), 302–308. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2014.07.002

Langer, E. J. (2009). Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility (1 edition.). New York: Ballantine Books.

Phillips, D. P., Ruth, T. E., & Wagner, L. M. (1993). Psychology and survival. Lancet, 342(8880), 1142–1145.

About Phil Parker

Phil specialises in the psychology of health, happiness and genius.

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