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Mind/Body Medicine - What is it?
by Dr. Karen Wolfe

Basic Principles
  • Mind, body and spirit are interrelated, not only with one another but also with the external environment.
  • The mind affects the body through psychoneuroimmunology
  • Stress and depression contribute powerfully to chronic disease. “Fight or flight” stress responses usually compromise immunity, and so does depression. Stress and depression can double mortality from certain illnesses
  • Mental outlook has an impact on physical health. Health is improved by optimism and is diminished by anger, pessimism and chronic stress
  • Placebo effects induce healing.
  • Social support enhances and sustains health. Family, friends and supportive health professionals bolster both effective conventional and CAM therapies.
Fundamental Qualities
  1. Relaxation
    Psychosocial stress is an important factor in many medical conditions from coronary heart disease to chronic pain to immune problems. By contrast mind/body interVentions produce a relaxed state which is the opposite of the stress response. Meditation, relaxation techniques, imagery, hypnosis, and movement therapies such as yoga and Qi Gong.
  2. Breathing
    Point of contact between mind and body, since respiration occupies a unique interaction between voluntary and involuntary nervous systems. Deep breathing induces relaxationa nd promotes circulation.
  3. Psychological Growth
    Cognitive behavioral approaches are used to help achieve relaxation by learning to recognize stress triggers and to respond to then actively.
  4. Exercise and movement
  5. Social Support
    Family, friends, care givers as well as animals and even plants!
Examples Of Mind/Body Therapies
  1. Meditation And Relaxation
    Late 1960’s – Harvard researcher Dr Herbert Benson showed that meditation brings about a healthful state of relaxation in which the sympathetic nervous system is decreased.
    1. Reduced heart rate
    2. Reduced repsiration rate
    3. Decreased plasma cortisol
    4. Increased relaxation brain waves
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  3. Hypnosis
  4. Imagery And Visualization
  5. Biofeedback
Copyright Dr. Karen Wolfe. All Rights Reserved.

Karen Wolfe is a national and international speaker, author and coach. She is the author of:
  • Medicine From the Inside Out - 7 Keys to Unlock Your Natural Healing Wisdom
  • Menopause - Renewal in Midlife,
  • From Stress to Strength
  • Successful Aging
  • A Wise Woman’s Approach to Healing and Cancer
  • Awaken Your Healer Within
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