Hacking the Mind Body Connection

Biocognition - How thoughts and emotions affect our immune and nervous systems

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By Karl Lawrence on Thursday, September 14, 2017
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In this week’s episode of Your Best Life, Karl interviews Dr. Mario Martinez, who is a licensed clinical psychologist and bestselling author of The Mind Body Code. Dr. Martinez specializes in how cultural and transcendental beliefs affect our health and longevity. He lectures worldwide in his theory of biocognition, which goes deep into the mind-body connection and has identified patterns on how our immune system can make decisions under conditions of uncertainty. Dr. Martinez has also developed a unique model of organizational science that he calls The Empowerment Code and works to teach executives of global companies how to maximize productivity while enhancing wellness for their employees. During this episode, Karl and Dr. Martinez discuss the mind-body connection, causes of health, stress, the mind-body process and fear, life expectancy, and what makes for a healthy centenarian.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What is biocognition, and what led you to its development?
  • When in a state of stress, is the immune system being compromised or is it being suppressed?
  • If fibromyalgia is learned, then how does somebody deal with it?
  • What are the simple steps for the right expression, epigenetic context, and mind-body connection?
  • Do you feel that the current generation is expected to live as long as the generation before?
  • What other cultural differences have you identified that force the notion of cultural psychoneuroimmunology?
  • Do you need the feedback loop in order to accept realness?

Key Lessons Learned:


  • Biocognition is a combination of ‘bio’ from biology and ‘cognition’ from your mental process. It is essentially your physical being and mental thoughts through cultural context.
  • This is a way to bring together several disciplines that are not in communication with each other including anthropology and psychoneuroimmunology.
  • Biocognition is how thoughts and emotions affect immune and nervous systems.
  • The cultural context shapes how we view the world, and that affects our biology.


  • Stress is an interpretation of an event.
  • When you’re stressed, you begin to secrete cortisol, which is a stress hormone that is necessary.
  • When you secrete cortisol more than you should, it suppresses immune function.
  • In a fight or flight situation, cortisol says to your body that it is more important to stop digestion in order to decide if we are going to ‘fight or flight.’
  • If you are having 10-15 of these stress fight or flight situations a day, then your immune system is compromised and under-functioning.
  • The immune, nervous, and endocrine systems are constantly interacting with each other and are affected by how one sees the world.

The Mind-Body Code

  • The DNA can’t change, but the expression of the genes is what interacts with the context.
  • Gene expression is the key and can go into epigenetics, which is the passing of a gene expression from environment.
  • Since we have a propensity to express something, we can learn ways to express or not express it.
  • Recognition can teach people the ways to express the causes of health rather than the causes of illness.

Simple Steps

  • The causes of health are the thoughts and emotions that enhance immune function.
  • Longevity is learned, and the causes of health are inherited.
  • We have more than 150,000 years of trial and error of a highly sophisticated immune system.

Causes of Health

1) Set emotional limits.

    • Seeing yourself with worthiness and giving people permission not to like it.
    • Worthiness comes from your actions and not how long you’ve been around.
    • The cancer personality is the person who is afraid of life, upsetting other people, and is the caretaker.

2) Be socially connected.

3) Have meaning in your life.


Healthy Centenarians

  • Know how to set limits
  • Have a good sense of humor
  • Dont' see aging as an inevitable deterioration.
  • Know how to forgive.

Life Expectancy

  • For those born in 2050, there is a 50% chance they will reach 100 years old.
  • People are becoming more conscious, but the key is to not let technology rule you.

Middle Age

  • This has nothing to do with biology.
  • You can look older or younger based on where you place the index of being middle-aged.
  • Set your markers, and the immune system will listen.

Two Ways to Make People Sick in an Organizational Culture

  • Give people a job without responsibility.
  • Give them a job without meaning.

The Mind-Body Process & Fear

  • The biggest fear is to step into your excellence.
  • We are conditioned to meet certain thresholds to be worthy, which is tied to self-worth.
  • It comes down to changing a thought process from one of fear and anxiety to love.
  • The embodiment of a thought is important for the mind-body connection and to make it something other than just thoughts.
  • Fear will influence change for a while until the person goes back to what they were doing. A more powerful way is to find what you are distracting yourself from (this is the biggest fear).

Thank you for listening!

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Links to Resources Mentioned

The Mind-Body Code
Institute of Biocognitive Psychology

Click to tweet link! (Thanks for helping spread the word!)

Tweet: What is biocognition? Find out w/ @Biocognitive1 @wellnessgroup www.wellness.com/themindbodycode

From Your Best Life Podcast with Karl Lawrence

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About Karl Lawrence

Karl Lawrence is the host of Your Best Life on the Wellness.com Radio Network. Check out his work at http://www.wellness.com/podcast Read More