MIND-BODY THERAPYComplementary health careUnderstanding Mind-Body Therapy
Mind-body therapy is based on the belief that thoughts and physical health are closely connected. Your attitudes, beliefs and outlook can all affect your physical health. And your physical health can also impact your mental and emotional well-being. By being aware of the connection and by learning new ways to relax, you can enhance your general health.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. Or, a biofeedback machine that makes sounds as body functions change may give the suggestions.
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.Is Mind-Body Therapy Right for You?
Mind-body therapy uses a number of methods. You may be more comfortable with one approach over another. Learn about your choices before deciding which approach may work best for you.Choices in Mind-Body Therapy
Here are some of the more 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.Questions for the Mind-Body Therapist
Before you decide whether to have mind-body therapy, talk with at least one professional who practises 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?The Qualified Therapist
Biofeedback and hypnotherapy specialists are often licensed or certified. In some cases, physicians or psychotherapists may be trained in a wide range of relaxation techniques. But mind-body therapists often don't need a license to practise. Talk with the therapist about his or her experience and qualifications.Exploring Options with Your Doctor
When seeking complementary care, it's always a good idea to stay in close contact with your medical doctor. Ideally, you, your doctor, and your complementary care provider will work as a team. Together, you can ensure that the care you receive is right for you. And you can make sure that one type of care doesn't interfere with another. Discuss with your doctor how he or she believes mind-body therapy can affect you.Questions Worth Asking
Can mind-body therapy interfere with other treatment I'm receiving?
What professional experience have you had working with mind-body therapists?
Is there a specific type of mind-body therapy you would suggest for me?
Can you recommend an experienced mind-body therapist you've worked with in the past?Learning More
Discuss with friends and family any experiences they may have had with mind-body therapy. The people who know you are often your best resource. Also, research mind-body therapy in your local library or on the internet.