When it comes to staying healthy, your body is not the only piece of the puzzle. Your mind — and its connection to your body — have an important role to play as well.
The Mind-Body Connection
This mind-body connection means that your thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs can all affect the state of your body — both negatively and positively.
However, it’s not just the mind that affects the body. Your physical state can also change how you think or feel. This includes the foods that you eat, how much you exercise and how well you sleep.
In fact, the mind is in constant communication with all parts of your body — the brain and nervous system, the immune system, the endocrine (hormone) system and all of your organs.
Because of the importance of the mind for good health, many doctors now recommend taking a mind-body approach to overall wellness alongside undergoing traditional medical treatments.
Types of Mind-Body Techniques
The list of mind-body therapies and practices, which help the mind and body work together to support healing, is extensive and include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Creative arts therapies (art, music or dance)
- Guided imagery
- Hypnotherapy (hypnosis)
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
- Patient support groups
- Tai chi
Conditions Treated by Mind-Body Therapies
Mind-body techniques can be used — alongside traditional medicine — to treat many conditions, including:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Chronic pain
- Coronary artery disease
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of urinary control (incontinence)
- Panic disorders
- Stress and anxiety
The mind-body practices can also help people get ready for surgery and cope with the symptoms of many diseases and their treatment, including cancer.
Benefits of Mind-Body Therapies
But mind-body therapies are not just for people who are sick. These practices provide many benefits even before illness appears, such as:
- An improved ability to cope with stress
- Increased mental clarity
- Less muscle tension
- Mental calmness
- Overall wellness
- Physical relaxation
To learn more about how mind-body techniques can help optimize your overall wellbeing, contact us for an appointment.