I posted a few weeks back the prevalence rates of somatization or what’s called somatoform disorders is much higher than most know- upwards of 40% seen in general practice. Somatoform disorders comprise physical symptoms that are caused by neural circuit alterations in the brain vs structural issues in the body. This meta-analysis titled: ‘Stuctural neuroimaging of somatoform disorders’ sifted through 45 research studies to uncover whats happening in the brain that’s causing physical symptoms in the body. Here’s what they found:
‘The results suggested that somatoform disorders (SD) are characterized by selective alterations of large-scale brain networks implicated in cognitive control, emotion regulation and processing, stress and somatic-visceral perception.”
These are exactly the things I look to address when treating someone with mind-body symptoms. Just like you would exercise a weak muscle in the body to get stronger, we need to exercise the brain in the right way to get certain neural circuits stronger.