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The Connection (2014 documentary film)

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The Connection
File:The Connection 2014 documentary poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byShannon Harvey
Produced byShannon Harvey, Harriet Archibald
Music byPaul Dawkins
CinematographyShing Fung Cheung
Release date
  • 13 September 2014 (2014-09-13)
Running time
72 minutes

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The Connection is a documentary released in 2014 directed by former ABC journalist Shannon Harvey.[1] The documentary outlines various aspects of mind body medicine, such as the role of stress and the outside environment. It looks at the effects this has on human health, particularly those who suffer from chronic illness.[2][3]

The film features Dean Ornish, Herbert Benson, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Esther Sternberg, Andrew Weil, Alice Domar, David Spiegel, Craig Hassed, Damien Finniss and Sara Lazar. In addition, it features six stories of people who have used mind body medicine while suffering from illnesses and recovered from them. The people illnesses included multiple sclerosis, infertility, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease and chronic pain.


The film starts talking about the increasing appearance of chronic diseases. The documentary opens up by presenting flaws that it says are present in modern medicine. The main flaw that is addressed is the missing link in modern medicine concerning the connection between the mind and the body, commonly known as mind-body medicine as well as integrative medicine or alternative medicine. The documentary focuses on how the mind and the body are interconnected. It mentions that historically, the body and the mind were seen and treated as one, but due to new scientific discoveries and new technologies in medicine, the mind-body approach was lost and academic medicine rejected the mind-body connection.

The film claim the body can reverse stress responses that cause major physiological changes by activating relaxation responses through the therapeutic use of meditation. An example of the stress response in the film was the fight or flight response (stress) which works as an activation response. The documentary states that the reaction of the mind and the body to the outside environment is critical; that emotions cannot be felt in the brain but can be felt in the body.

The documentary displayed the role of genetics: the way genes are expressed, may bebe affected by stressful experiences by turning off good genes and turning on bad genes that can promote diseases such as cancer. The documentary concludes that being out of balance can affect people’s health: and that when the balance of mind and body is present there is health, but when there isn't, there is disease.


  • George Jelinek, who worked as a physician, started suffering from multiple sclerosis when he was 45. He says he recovered with meditation, exercise and nutrition.
  • Ann Salerno, a pediatric nephrologist, went through studies about her infertility, and became depressed and anxious, but says after she went into mind-body treatments for infertility she was able to conceive a child.
  • Craig Duncan, a non-smoker and non-drinker, was a healthy and active person that exercised daily and maintained a balanced diet. He worked as a doctor for sports science, but was constantly under stress for long periods and was not sleeping correctly. After a Myocardial infarction (heart attack), he underwent a spontaneous coronary artery dissection. He had no risk factors nor family history of heart disease, but he said the amount of stress and repressed emotions contributed to his cardiac complications.
  • Ian Gawler, a veterinarian, suffered from aggressive bone cancer which led to his leg being amputated. After one year in remission, the cancer came back, and he went on a quest for healing and used therapeutic meditation. He says he changed his thinking into believing he was going to get well and discovered that there is inner healing capacity.
  • Shannon Harvey, the director of the film, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at the age of 24 that could leave her with permanent organ damage or in a wheelchair. She suffered from fatigue and arthritis and no doctor could explain to her why her immune system was attacking her. She embarked on a journey in which she consulted scientists, doctors, as well as patients. She says she found that people who suffered from skin psoriasis that underwent treatment plus mediation were recovering four times faster than those who did not meditate.
  • Jason Wachob, an owner of a startup company, was suffering from back Chronic pain. He was internalizing his stress and stress manifested itself as back pain, and doctors said he needed surgery. Once he started practicing yoga, he felt that with his back was falling into place.


  1. Pereira, Victoria (October 3, 2014). ""The Connection" screens at Gallagher". Daily Wildcat. Tucson, Arizona. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  2. Eckelbecker, Lisa. "Sunday Sit-down: Shannon Harvey". ELEGRAM & GAZETTE. Retrieved 2020-06-16. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. Paul, Sharad P. (2017-04-04). The Genetics of Health: Understand Your Genes for Better Health. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-5011-5543-7. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

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