What is Mind/Body Medicine?
Mind/Body medicine is an approach to healing that honors the connection between the processes of the mind and the biological and biochemical reactions of the body. Mind/Body medicine harnesses the power of an individual's thoughts and feelings to positively influence physical health, thereby tapping into the natural healing force within each person. The goal of mind/body techniques is to train the mind to develop "focused concentration" on the body to effect positive changes in health.
Mind/Body techniques include:
What Conditions can Mind/Body Medicine Treat?
Mindy/Body medicine promotes relaxation, improves coping skills, reduces tension and pain, and may lessen the need for medication. It can be used to treat many conditions, and may also be used to complement conventional treatments. Conditions that respond well to mind/body therapies include:
- Acute pain
- Anxiety and depression
- Cancer, such as pain and nausea/vomiting related to chemotherapy
- Chronic pain
- Coronary heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Migraine headache
- Stomach and intestinal disorders [including indigestion (dyspepsia), irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, heartburn, and Crohn's disease]
- Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, depression, and irritability
- Tension headache
How Can I Find Out More?
To find out more about Mind/Body medicine 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mind/Body Medicine Techniques
There are many different styles of meditation including transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation. In transcendental meditation, a person uses the repetition of a mantra to calm the mind and body, focus energy, and achieve a heightened sense of connectivity to self and others. Mindfulness meditation is the practice of focusing one's attention on his or her thoughts and feelings in the present moment. Benefits of meditation include relaxation, clarity, stress reduction, and rejuvenation.
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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR)
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a form of mind/bodywork that integrates relaxation techniques, meditation, and gentle stretching through yoga. The combination of these elements seeks to help the individual develop the skills to live fully in the present moment, connecting more deeply with oneself and with others in the here and now.
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Hypnosis is the process by which an individual's body relaxes while the mind enters a state of deep concentration. In this state, the individual's thoughts are more focused and attentive and highly responsive to a hypnotherapist's suggestions. Hypnosis can be used to treat people with addictions, pain, anxiety disorders, and phobias.
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Art, Music, and Dance Therapies
Creative arts therapies provide individuals with ways to cope with emotional conflicts, increase self-awareness, and express unspoken and often unconscious concerns about their health. Art therapy encourages patients to explore their feelings through painting, drawing, sculpture, and other mediums of visual art. Music therapy uses music to promote healing and enhance quality of life. Dance therapy uses movement to improve mental and physical well-being. Taken together, these creative therapies represent complementary mind/body approaches to conventional treatments that allow patients to connect deeply with their emotions, unlock their bodies, and tap into the unconscious self to encourage expression of thoughts or feelings that may result from, or get in the way of, the healing process.
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Rooted in the belief that the mind and body are connected, and that one can influence the other, guided imagery is process of using directed thoughts and suggestions to guide one's imagination toward a relaxed, focused state. By engaging all of one's senses in the imaginary experience, the body responds as if the imaging is real, helping to promote relaxation, reach goals (such as losing weight or quitting smoking), manage pain, and promote healing. Similar to visualization, guided imagery practices can help you prepare for an event or activity by imagining and positive outcome.
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He, who has health, has hope; and he who has hope has everything.
- Arabian Proverb