Orandum est, ut sit mens sana in corpore sano

A new year is always a good occasion to start again on the right foot. During this very troubled period that generates much stress and anxiety, we can fully take advantage of what is known about the links between mind and body. Science proves that we have more than we think to escape the negative consequences on health of our modern societies. How can we do that? By returning to the simple things for which we have been designed and by removing from our daily life the main toxics for the mind and the body.

Building on the most recent clinical studies in the field, I can make a simple prescription:

-        First, take care of your body, and your mind will say thank you!

o   Eliminate from your dietary intakes, all the proven toxics like refined sugar, alcohol, manufactured food and of course, get rid of tobacco, the N°1 killer;

o   Fast on a regular basis, for example by reducing your calories intake up to 750 a day, for a period of 5 days. Follow this fasting regime four times a year to reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer as well as to boost your immune system, lose weight and look younger too, according to Prof Valter Longo, Professor in Gerontology and Biological Science at the USC, and Director of its Longevity Institute;

o   Exercise regularly, 3 times a week, combining endurance and strength activities;

o   Enjoy nature. Several studies show that exercise –even walking- in outdoor natural environments provides all-around health benefits, including stress reduction and improvement in mood and self-esteem.;

-        Second, take care of your soul, and your body will say thank you!

o   Stop feeding your mind with worrying news. Stop listening or watching 24-hour news networks and prefer the music of your choice that brings peace and comfort. If you want to stay informed, prefer reading newsmagazines or newspapers.

o   Meditate. Meditation brings the brainwave pattern into Alpha state, which promotes inner peace and healing. The mind becomes fresh, delicate and beautiful. With regular practice of meditation, you can enjoy emotional steadiness and personal transformation. It is also proven that meditation enhances empathy. To experience these benefits, regular practice is necessary. Only few minutes every day are necessary. Once imbibed into the daily routine, meditation becomes the best part of your day!

o   Read the Bible every day, to know more about God and His plan for your life. Plunging into these holy teachings will renew your understanding of what’s happening. It will release you from fear and worry and strengthen your faith.

o   You can combine meditation and Bible reading through practicing the Lectio Divina, an ancestral practice that goes back to the Desert Fathers.

Read more about how faith and spirituality can determine your health in my new book, The Faith Link.


"My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body a
nd refreshment to your bones"

Proverbs 3:1-8 (NASB)

This well-known passage of the book of Proverbs, in the Old Testament, talks about the effects of our relation with the Word of God. It clearly says that if we keep His commandments in our hearts, subordonating our own understanding to the Lord, it guarantees us a long and peaceful life. More, it says that fearing  God, that is, respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline and worshipping Him, assures us physical healing and strength ! It is interesting to note that the book of Proverbs has been composed around the IVth century BC, far, far before the scientific demonstration of the benefits one can draw from a true and wilfull submission of his ou her heart and soul to God, through prayer and meditation.
See also Proverbs 4:20.