What is Integrative Behavioral Health?

Integrative Behavioral Health addresses the relationship between our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical well-being, and the impact these elements have on illness, health and healing.

 

Our thoughts have tremendous capacity to affect our physical state of well-being and the healing process. Similarly, how we respond emotionally to events that take place in our lives can lead to states of chronic stress and tension that, in turn, can affect our physical health. Repeated strong stress reactions have been shown to contribute to medical problems, and can impede the healing process.


Integrative Behavioral Health integrates behavioral and psychosocial theories with biomedical science and applies these theories to help patients develop effective ways to reduce stress and tension, and to create healthier ways of being. The behavioral medicine approach assumes that promoting mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being promotes physical well-being, optimal health, and wellness.

 

Integrative Behavioral Health therapies offered at the institute include:


What Conditions Can Be Treated with Integrative Behavioral Health?

Common reasons for Behavioral Medicine treatment include:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Chronic medical conditions
  • Chronic pain
  • Counterproductive behaviors
  • Depression
  • Disruptive emotional reactions
  • Epilepsy/seizure disorders
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mood disorders
  • Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy
  • Panic attacks
  • Peak Performance
  • Phobias
  • Raynaud's disease
  • Stress/anxiety
  • Tic disorders


When Should I Avoid Integrative Behavioral Health Treatment?

Some types of integrative behavioral health treatments that should be avoided if you have:

  • Psychosis
  • Other major mental health complications

 

How Can I Find Out More?

To find out more about Integrative Behavioral Health options offered at the Raby Institute for Integrative Medicine or to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed practitioners, contact the Raby Institute at 312-276-1212 or info@rabyintegrativemedicine.com


Integrative Behavioral Health Treatments

Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a type of mind/body medicine based on the premise that people have the ability to use their minds to influence many of the automatic and involuntary functions of their bodies. Biofeedback specialists use special monitoring equipment to help patients understand the rhythms and patterns of their involuntary responses so that they can use mind-over-matter techniques to control certain body function and their responses. 

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Cerebral Blood Flow Training

Cerebral Blood Flow Training is a process that supports patients to actively encourage increased blood flow to certain selected areas of the brain in order to increase performance and functioning. Blood brings oxygen and the basic nutrient glucose at life sustaining levels to all parts of the brain. Our brains have an amazing ability to supply extra blood preferentially to areas in current use. These active brain areas are marked by high oxygen density and higher than normal temperature. Using simple measurements we can locate active areas as well as note undersupplied areas.

 

Certain brain areas are associated with specific learning, behavioral or emotional challenges. For example, executive/organizational failures and impulse control issues are generally marked by prefrontal cortex trouble. Memory challenges, mood swings including temper (anger) issues and word finding trouble, usually indicate problems in temporal lobes. People who get lost easily may have issues in the parietal region of the brain. Once we know a patients' particular challenge we can target your brain exercise training to increase blood flow to the area of the brain associated with that challenge.

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Cognitive Behavioral Enhancement

Cognitive Behavioral Enhancement asserts that our thoughts influence our feelings and behaviors. This method helps patients adjust how they think in order to create healthier behaviors and emotional responses. This process is very systematic and goal-oriented within an established time-frame. Sessions are focused on helping patients unlearn their unwanted thoughts and reactions, and learn new ways of being. 


The approach relies heavily on assignments to help patients track and adjust thoughts and behaviors. Practices and therapies may include, but are not limited to: keeping a diary of significant events and associated feelings, thoughts, and behaviors; questioning and testing cognitions, assumptions, evaluations, and beliefs that might be unhelpful and unrealistic; gradually facing activities which may have been avoided; and trying out new ways of behaving and reacting. Relaxation, mindfulness, and distraction techniques are commonly utilized.

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Cognitive Enhancement Training

The cognitive enhancement training system is used to improve an individual's mental abilities in a wide variety of areas. The underlying training premise is that "practice makes perfect". The exercises may be conceptualized as a computerized "mental gym" providing a full range of mental "exercise equipment". Cognitive enhancement exercises are designed to develop, improve, and remediate attention, concentration, memory, hand-eye coordination, fundamental numerical concepts and basic problem solving/reasoning skills - cognitive skills which clinical research has shown can be enhanced through exercise and practice. The exercises are designed to help improve the functioning of individuals with ADHD, ADD, learning disabilities, brain injuries, developmental delays, mental retardation, and psychiatric disorders. The programs, which are enjoyable but not childish, range from very simple exercises to tasks which will challenge the attention of a normal adult. They are appropriate for ages 6 to adult, and with one-to-one "coaching" can be used with children as young as 4 years old.

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EEG Biofeedback (Neurofeedback)

Neurofeedback is a method of brain exercise that can strengthen the brain, calms it and improve stability. It is used as an effective method for increasing awareness and improving levels of physiological functioning. Neurofeedback uses computerized electronic measurement devices placed on the surface of the head to monitor brain wave activity. The computer "feeds back" the important information relevant to presenting clinical symptoms (i.e. attention). Through guided techniques the trainee is able to learn to significantly increase brain waves that are compatible with stronger attentional focus and enhanced mental performance. The trainee learns to create "better" brain waves automatically, a skill which quickly generalizes to everyday life. Neurofeedback has physiological effects similar to those created by medication, but has no side effects, it is painless, and often provides long lasting results

 

As a comprehensive training system, Neurofeedback promotes growth and change at a cellular level of the brain. It is an effective treatment for attention deficit, learning disorders, mood disorders, stress reduction, headaches, addictions, and personality disorders. It also offers peak performance training for business executives, athletes, performers and many others.

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QEEG (Brain Mapping)

Quantitative Electroencephalogram or Brain Mapping is an assessment tool to objectively and scientifically evaluate a person's brainwave function in order to help them understand which parts of the brain are being compromised. Measurements are taken by placing a snug cap on the head which contains small electrodes to measure the electrical patterns coming from the brain. This is done while the patient is resting quietly with his or her eyes closed, and sometimes also with eyes open or during a task such as reading. A series of complex analyses are performed on the resulting data to determine whether and how a patient's brainwave patterns are significantly different from normal. The EEG and QEEG evaluations assist us in knowing if there are abnormalities in brain function that Neurofeedback might be helpful in treating.

QEEG has scientifically documented ability to aid in the evaluation of conditions such as ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, peak performance, mild traumatic brain injury, stroke, and dementia. QEEG has also been able to predict outcomes from treating conditions such as ADD/ADHD, alcoholism, and drug abuse.

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Relaxation Techniques

There are many relaxation techniques that can be easily learned to help patients cope with stressful situations, chronic pain, or anxiety. Relaxation is an important way to help decrease the impact of daily stressors on the mind and body, and allow the whole person to experience improved health. Relaxation techniques can be used to slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, reduce the need for oxygen, increase the flow of blood to muscles and organs, and reduce muscle tension. Health benefits of relaxation include fewer physical symptoms such as headaches and back pain, more controlled temperament, increased energy, improved concentration, greater ability to cope with stressful situations, improved problem solving capabilities, and more energy to undertake daily activities.


Many types of relaxation techniques target physical and psychological relaxation. These include muscle relaxation, visualization, yoga, Tai chi, music, exercise, meditation, hypnosis, massage, and deep breathing.

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The focus of integrative medicine is to restore this natural balance through the blending of conventional and ancient healing techniques.