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Influence of mood on physical health.

Neurosis is not the only consequence of internal conflict, different physical illnesses can also result. Nervous "lava" beats like a whip on the vessels and bronchi, penetrates the stomach, squeezes the heart with a steel fist. Scientists single out a special group of disorders, which are now called psychosomatic, because nervous factors are one of the main reasons for their occurrence.

Traditionally, the following illnesses are considered part of this group: stomach ulcers and ulcers of the duodenum, hypertension, ischemia and bronchial asthma. Lately the following have been added, not without basis: ulcerative colitis, tireotoxicosis, myoma of the uterus, rheumatoid arthritis and a series of other illnesses. Modern medicine considers that around 80% of all illnesses are in one way or another associated with mental disorders.

The Ven. Ambrose of Optina wrote, in letters to laymen, that "illnesses most often occur as a result of the anxious state of the soul." And the Ven. Ephraim of Syria says: "The irate person kills and destroys his soul, because his whole life is spent in confusion and is remote from peace. Peace is alien to him, he is also a long way from health, because his body aches, and his soul grieves, and his body wilts, and his face is pale, and his thought betrays, and his reason is exhausted, and dark thoughts flow like a river…"

Confusion and nervousness, as was mentioned earlier, often have sinful roots. Sin, expanding in the depths of the spirit, conquers both the soul and body of a person. The origin of psychosomatic pathology can be sketched as the process of expression, or "materialization" of sin: sin — character — illness. Obviously, this scheme should be applied carefully and not to all cases.

But sometimes the Lord can permit an illness to test the faith of a person, or for his spiritual perfection. It is enough to remember the great sorrows of Job the Much-Suffering, the great patience of the Ven. Pimen the Much-Ailing, the illnesses of the Ven. Seraphim of Sarov, or Ambrose of Optina and many other sycophants of God.

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