If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it thousands of times… When I mention A New BMI, people naturally think of Body Mass Index. And they wonder, why on earth would we need a new one?
First, let’s get this straight. A New BMI really has nothing at all to do with Body Mass Index, other than recognizing that it can no longer serve as an adequate measure of health, or self-worth. It never has.
The new BMI stands for Body Mind Intelligence, which has everything to with your health and well-being. Body Mind Intelligence is the relationship between the thoughts you have and the feelings that show up in your body. It is the constant flow of information from your body about where you are and what you are sensing from the world around you. Body Mind Intelligence reflects the relationship between your body and your mind, not your height and weight.
What makes the body mind relationship work? Communication, of course.
Your body is incredibly complex in its ability to translate and communicate information for your personal benefit. I will not attempt to explain all the intricacies of human biology, but I will attempt to describe how the body receives and disseminates information.
The body has three basic networks that carry information (also known as intelligence): electrical, chemical and mechanical.
The nervous system passes information through electrical impulses. The vascular system passes information through chemical signalling. And the body receives information about where it is in space and in relationship to gravity through the fibrous net of our myofascial system, which operates through the interplay of tension and compression.
None of these three networks operates in isolation, but in constant communication with each other. I marvel at its complexity. Science has only begun to scratch the surface of how each system is able to inform and influence the other.
My fascination with and dedication to the principles of Body Mind Intelligence have led me to literature in the field of body mind medicine that you may find as provocative and informative. If you seek to know more, I would highly recommend Thomas Myers’ Anatomy Trains. Another excellent read would be Bruce Lipton, PhD and his breakout book: The Biology of Belief. Neither book is an easy read, but both are worth the effort to gain greater understanding of this relationship between body and mind.
Body Mind Intelligence reflects our state of well-being. When we discuss health or what it means to be healthy, we must take into account that the body is a system of networks and it is impossible to influence one aspect without impacting the whole.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or neurobiologist to realize that body weight does not express one’s state of health. The scale is only capable of measuring your relationship with gravity. Yet we continue to believe that thin is healthy and fat is unhealthy. It is our perception of what it means to be thin or fat that has the greatest impact.
Body Mind Intelligence has way more to do with your health than Body Mass Index. Period. End of sentence.
For example – let’s examine the “fight or flight” response. If the body senses danger as the nervous system perceives a potential threat (electrical intelligence), it assumes a protective posture (mechanical intelligence), and a cascade of hormones is released to prepare the body for battle and its consequences (chemical intelligence). While this interplay is incredibly useful for our survival, it becomes detrimental to our long term health when we constantly perceive danger in our environment. This constant barrage of information compromises your health by its impact on your immune system, making you more vulnerable to disease. And that is just one example!
To simplify, your brain informs and influences your body. Your body informs and influences your brain. Clearly, Body Mind Intelligence is not just a concept, it is a reality. And it influences your health, both physically and mentally.
Body Mass Index is only a measure of the relationship between height and weight. What you think and feel has far more influence over your health. Do you ever think less of yourself or judge yourself when you erroneously believe that the relationship between your height and your weight is out of balance? What do you think happens in your body, even at the cellular level, in response to those thoughts? Think about it!
You cannot separate the influence of body and mind. When it comes to your health, be aware of both what you think and how you feel. Your thoughts and feelings make a tremendous and lasting impact on your overall health. Pay attention. Be aware.
Your Body Mind Intelligence conveys the relationship between body and mind. Body Mind Intelligence is what determines the health of both. It is reflected in how you feel, not how much you weigh. Don’t you think it’s about time for A New BMI?