In 2008, John J. Ratey, MD wrote a book called Spark about the science of exercise and its effects on the brain. To be clear, it is not a book about exercise! Rather it is a book about the effects of exercise on the brain. The content is revolutionary and fresh. Ratey dives into the science that explains how physical movement can aid in the treatment of all sorts of psychological conditions including stress, anxiety, depression, attention deficit, addiction and more. We’ve heard people say they exercise as a stress reliever and this book gets into the nitty gritty of why.
I found it fascinating in the introduction when the author explains that nervous systems and brains first developed and evolved to facilitate simple movement. In an introductory section titled “The Mind-Body Connection,” Ratey elaborates that only mobile life forms need a brain.
What does this have to do with oneness? Mind and body are connected and can only work together effectively as one unit. A healthy body promotes a healthy mind. This is the central message of Spark. We are also beginning to understand that a healthy mind promotes a healthy body. Understanding of this simple concept is the core of holistic wellness.