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What is Health Sciences of Mind and Body? 

The Themes of Health Sciences of Mind and Body

Theme 1) From the elucidation of matter to the elucidation of “life” and “the mind”

The inquiry of the natural sciences is also turning to an understanding of the “mind” or “heart.” It has become possible in recent years with the advancement of technology like functional imaging to make the activities of the mind visible. Thus the mind and spirit of a human being, which were beyond our grasped before, is now becoming more tangible. The trend in cutting edge science is to seriously investigate essential and fundamental issues of life including human life and relationships.

Theme 2) The chain of life… birth of the earth, emergence of life, evolution of man

Human beings inhabiting this earth have advanced with the aim of “living better” through a long process of evolution from the beginning of this planet to the present day. Organisms are designed to adapt to the environment they are in, and this information is encoded in all of us living today.

Theme 3) What is the source of our body and mind?

Our body is composed of around six trillion cells. Each cell is the smallest unit of “life,” with capabilities of metabolism and reproduction and the ability to resonate with the environment. Our life activities on an individual level are made possible by the amazing teamwork of countless cells. Likewise the activities of the brain cells, which sustain our mind, consist of delicate interrelationships between neurons.

Theme 4) The workings of stress ‒ the reaction of the brain and the body

Health Sciences of Mind and Body presents a new concept of allostasis in relation to stress. Allostasis refers to appropriate and effective response of the body in dealing with stress. The body is always living under many kinds of stimuli and it fluctuates according to these changes by an adaptive response. The body also exhibits an adaptive response in relation to stress. We can recover our allostatic function by avoiding unnecessary stress.

Theme 5) The scientific integration of East and West

In East Asia, on one hand, the concept of “mind and body as one” has been handed down, and this has become the basis for the understanding of human beings. In the West, on the other hand, modern medicine developed based on viewing human beings in terms of a mind-body duality. In recent years, however, this division between mind and body is being reconsidered, and an understanding of human beings based on mind-body correlation is being emphasized. It is significant in terms of integrating East and West as well as science and culture that the Health Sciences of Mind and Body become the central axis of innovations in the sciences of mind-body correlation.