"Numerous studies published since 1960 demonstrate the efficacy of mind-body medicine techniques in lowering blood pressure and stress hormone levels, relieving pain and improving immune functioning, as well as improvements in clinical conditions such as HIV, cancer, insomnia, anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) "- The Center for Mind/Body Medicine
What is mind/body medicine?
"Mind/Body Medicine refers to the interaction between the mind, body, and spirit, specifically the ways in which emotional, mental, social and spiritual factors together can directly affect health."
-nicabm National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine
"Mind/body medicine is an approach that recognizes the effect of thought, feeling, and belief on health, as well as the impact of health and illness on attitude and thought. Common therapies used in this field are biofeedback, hypnosis, imagery, meditation, psychoeducation, and relaxation therapies."
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
Mind/Body Medicine is a non medical approach to health and healing that honors the connection between the mind, brain, body, and spirit. Mind/Body medicine harnesses the power of an individual's thoughts, attention, somatic (body) awareness, and emotions to positively influence health. Mind/body medicine is based on the recognition of the body's innate healing potential, and the partnership of patient and facilitator in restoring the body to health. Mind/Body medicine is designed to promote stress reduction, healing, pain relief, and overall resilience.
- Many chronic illnesses, pain conditions, mental and emotional difficulties, etc.. are caused or exacerbated by excessive stress, negative thoughts, erroneous beliefs, trauma, and emotions.
- Your mind, brain and body are inextricably linked.
- Your every thought produces a biochemical reaction in the brain. The brain then releases chemical signals that are transmitted to the body.
- Just as all thoughts release biochemical reactions that lead to behavior, our repetitive, unconscious thoughts produce automatic, acquired patterns of behavior that are almost involuntary. These behavioral patterns are habits that become neurologically hardwired in the brain.
- Mindful attention can change the brain and body.
- Movement and bodywork can change the brain.
- Meditation, imagery, prayer, yoga, tai chi and other spiritually-based practice are now an accepted part of mind-body medicine" (Richard Schaub, PhD)
We use a combination of meditation, imagery, breathwork, movement, and energy medicine practices to facilitate healing and wellness.
Meditation can be defined as a practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. (Wikipedia). There are different types of meditation.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that uses awareness. It is the process of cultivating nonjudgmental, present moment awareness in daily life. Mindfulness helps bring awareness to how we are being on a moment to moment basis. It helps us become aware of negative beliefs and negative self-talk. As you become more aware of your habitual ways of thinking, you will be able to change your underlying beliefs and thoughts and create neuroplastic changes in the brain. Once, you are able to get off "automatic pilot" , focus, and remain present, than it is easier to engage in other processes including imagery and goal setting.
Mindfulness helps to strengthen an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex which is helpful for all aspects of health, focus and stress relief.
Mindfulness is being utilized in many of the healing and helping fields. In fact, research has shown that the practice of mindfulness actually creates neuroplastic changes in the brain.
Somatic Mindfulness (being aware of the body)- By focusing inward, on the body, we can become aware of sensations and their related images/emotions. This helps deepen mind/body communication and self regulation. Although mindfulness is a practice in and of itself, it is often helpful for clients to receive bodywork sessions or energy balancing to improve self-regulation to help with their mindfulness practice.
Mental Imagery can be considered applied meditation. Our inner images reflect our beliefs about ourselves and the world. These beliefs create our outer experiences. We use language and the imagination in a way that leads the mind to create pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes, smells and self-talk to create new Internal Representations. This creates new neurological pathways that allows for a new inner picture which leads to a new outer experience of the world.
Mind/Body Movement - Life is movement. Top down approaches including meditation, cognitive training, and mental imagery are more effective when balanced with embodied approaches like movement and bodywork. Movement based on chi kung, martial arts, yoga, myofascial stretching and brain gym is very beneficial to keep the body/mind relaxed, balanced, and open. Movement also helps balance the nervous system, free up life energy, and facilitate awareness of tension patterns.
**Mind/Body Medicine practices are NOT psychotherapy or mental health counseling. They are wellness interventions to facilitate stress management, self- healing, and optimal wellness.
**The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment or prescription for any disease or illness. The decision to use, or not to use, any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Always consult with a licensed health care practitioner when dealing with as disease, illness, or health condition.
copyright 2018 Walter Blick, New York, New York