Reading an article today in the Globe and Mail on intuition and trusting your gut instincts, I thought to mention the notion of intuition as an important part of health (of course, many would elude that naturopathic doctors only use intuition, or bells, or some sort of “magical spells” to assist with diagnosis — sorry to disappoint, but we do not). Intuition is however, a very important part of what we do not understand about the brain.
Intuition is an important aspect not only in decision-making activities for work but also in aspects of self-awareness and health. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), a branch of science that was once considered pseudo-science, was claimed to be the real connection between the immune system, the mind, and the nervous system. In layman’s terms, this is essentially the mind and body connection. Research produced lead to this becoming an actual field of science by the 1970’s, and studying this connection is fascinating.
Much of the research in PNI does discuss almost an “x” region in which the mind and body interface. We know that hormone systems in the pituitary and hypothalamus in the brainstem interface with our immune system, and can direct in a sense the stimulation of immune cells. We know that our thought patterns can direct the stimulation of these cells. However, we do not know tangibly how this happens or more precisely, where this happens.
Intuition is a very similar phenomenon. Many describe a gut feeling, a sense in the pit of the stomach, a very strong direction of choice for a particular outcome without a definitive reasoning. As there is so much about our subconscious mind and more basic instincts that are still not understood, it is entirely plausible that we are directed by this “other” side of ourselves quite often, perhaps a very deep body-mind connection. Intuition, it would seem, may be a very untapped part of ourselves that we could potentially learn to nurture, as is outlined in the article with the Globe and Mail.
I don’t know about you, but if I get an intuitive sense or a strong gnawing in my stomach that I should play the lottery today, I think I will. For me, proving that my intuition exists definitively is less important than winning millions :)