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HealthSheets™

Mind-Body Therapy

Mind-body therapy is based on the belief that thoughts and physical health are closely connected. A person's attitudes, beliefs, and outlook can all affect physical health. And physical health also can impact mental and emotional well-being. By being aware of the connection and learning new ways to connect these areas, a person can learn to optimize their overall wellness and health.

Mature woman outside sitting cross-legged with eyes closed,meditating.

Uniting mind and body

Mind-body therapy is a way to improve the link between mental and physical health. By doing so, you may find untapped resources within yourself that may enhance your general health and mental outlook.

The power of suggestion is key to this type of therapy. A therapist may give suggestions that can help you better unite mind with body. Some therapists use a biofeedback machine that uses sensory feedback from the body allowing first hand observation of the effect that the mind has on the physical body.

The way you receive the suggestion matters less than what it teaches you about how to relax. A relaxed mind and body are key to this therapy. In fact, enhanced relaxation is often a main goal of therapy.

Questions for the mind-body therapist

Before you decide whether to have mind-body therapy, talk with at least one professional who practices it. Asking him or her some of these questions may help you make an informed choice:

  • What is your training? How long have you been practicing?

  • What results have you had working with people who have problems like mine?

  • What will a typical visit be like?

  • How long will treatment take? How much will it cost?

  • Will my insurance cover my therapy?

  • How long will my results last?

Common choices in mind-body therapy

  • Biofeedback: Sensory feedback is used to help control body function.

  • Guided imagery: Suggestion or thought is used to enhance awareness.

  • Hypnosis: Suggestion or relaxation is used to help influence mental state.

  • Meditation and prayer: Thought or spiritual belief is used to improve health.

  • Progressive relaxation: Focused awareness of the body is used to reduce stress.

  • Yoga: Movement, breathing, and thought are used to improve well-being.

Resources

Research mind-body therapy in the library, on the Internet, or by contacting:

  • Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback  www.aapb.org

  • The Academy for Guided Imagery   acadgi.com

  • Center for Mind-Body Medicine   www.cmbm.org

  • American Society of Clinical Hypnosis  www.asch.net

© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.