Read Newsweek's Issue on the Scientific Advances in Mind/Body Behavioral Medicine
Physiologically, the mind and body are intricately connected through complicated hormonal pathways. Changes in one area results in a cascading of changes in other areas. In basic terms, mind/body medicine engages the abilities of the mind to affect the physical body.
Why is the mind/body connection so important?
Our mind and emotions activate our physiology through three major pathways:
The Musculoskeletal System – primarily our head, shoulders, neck, and low back.
The Sympathetic Nervous System – also called the fight-or-flight response – causes increases in heart and respiration rates, blood clotting, and contraction of the fallopian tubes, GI tract, and large muscle groups.
The Psychoneuroendocrine System – causes the activation of our pituitary gland, which controls over thirty-six hormones. Virtually every body process, including our immune system, is indirectly influenced through the pituitary gland. Therefore, every aspect of our physical, emotional and psychological health is influenced by our thoughts and emotions.
Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine
The effectiveness of behavioral medicine techniques has been scientifically proven to be highly effective in treating and reversing many medical conditions, from chronic pain and fatigue, to anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, PMS, infertility and cardiovascular disease.
Researchers and clinicians from the Anbar Institute to HarvardMedicalSchool, DukeUniversityMedicalCenter, University of Rochester, and the University of California, as well as medical scientists and clinicians around the world, have been engaged in ongoing research and the clinical applications of mind/body medicine for over 25 years. Today, mind/body medicine is on the cutting edge of healthcare. In 1998, the U.S. Senate instructed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish mind/body medical centers around the country to expand the research and applications in healthcare.
By enhancing the natural healing capacities of the body, mind/body medicine alters processes that cause or exacerbate conditions such as:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Repetitive strain injury
Components of Mind/Body Medicine
Mind/body behavioral medicine as practiced at the San Diego Mind/Body Health Initiative, is based on the inseparable connection between the mind and body - the complicated interactions that take place between thoughts, body, and the ones environment. Behavioral medicine integrates modern scientific medicine, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral psychology, clinical nutrition, exercise physiology and belief to enhance the natural healing capacities of body and mind.