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Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on June 08, 2012

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James Rippe, MD. Assoc. Professor of Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine

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How does the mind body connection affect our overall health?

We know from literally hundreds, if not thousands of studies that there are very significant links between mind and body, for example,

we know that over 30% of the adult population in the United States has enough stress in their daily life to hinder their performance at home or at work.

And we know that stress has been implicated in conditions as wide ranging as cancer to the common cold. So there are very significant interactions between mind and body.

But there are also some very positive things. I always think that each of us is endowed when we enter this world with three ages.

There's our "Chronologic Age", and that's the number of years we've been on the planet. We spend an awful lot of time and effort trying to reverse that, and that's not possible.

All that you can do is accurately count. That's our "Chronologic Age", And then, there's our "Physiologic Age", and to a large degree, that's determined by how well we've taken care of ourselves.

I have patients whose fitness level, I have patients in their 50s and 60s whose fitness level is above average for men and women in their 20s,

because they've taken excellent care of themselves year in and year out.

The third age I think we all have is a "Spiritual Age", and I think it's very important to recognize that each of us has a spirit,

and each of us has an active mental life and we can employ that spiritual aspect of our lives and the mental strategies and the sense of well being as a very powerful tool to promote good health.

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