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This recent report about the neuro-cognitive effects in some victims of COVID-19 highlights a stark fact; the human body is really a mind-body. Our minds and bodies seem to operate independently, but they cannot be separated.

Post-COVID and long COVID are as real as phantom limb pain (where someone feels pain in a limb that was amputated). And anyone can experience the underlying connection to help understand why.

Hold your thumb and first finger apart like you’re holding a lemon wedge. Now imagine you’re holding the wedge – really see it. Now bring it to your lips and imagine you’re biting on it.

Now you’re salivating.

That’s an automatic reflex to tasting a lemon wedge in your mouth.

But there’s no lemon, except in your mind. And you can’t stop the saliva from flowing as long as you are visualizing the lemon.

The cognitive and neuropsychological sequellae of COVID are just as real as the saliva we make for an imaginary lemon, even if our imaginations are the only real stimulus.

Next time you say something is just in someone’s head, remember, that’s where all biological reality flows.

And PS – when you feel overwhelmed, imagine that lemon, let the saliva flow, and enjoy the moment (Put a little sugar on it if that makes it easier).

It’s a reflex that is mediated through the vagal nerve, and so the experience is powerfully calming if we let it be.

If you would like to learn more about the mind-body connection, and how you can use it to collaborate with your doctors and take charge of your own healthcare, call us at 203-692-4422, or email ajc@operamhealthcare.com.