What Is Mind-Body Medicine?

Many people don't think about their health until they get sick, and then they resort to powerful medications, or even surgery, to relieve their symptoms. What I propose is that being healthy is a way of living, a natural lifestyle, where the focus is on keeping the system in good working order.

There are two points of view about treating illness. The conventional one focuses on the physical symptoms, and medicines or other remedies to relieve them. The alternative point of view focuses on enhancing the natural, built-in healing system so that it can get at the root of the problem, rather than only treating the outward manifestations.

Mind-body health is an approach to health and wellness that recognizes the power of our thoughts, feelings and attitudes to affect our physical health. Modern science has only just begun to acknowledge the importance of the mind-body connection, and it is revolutionizing the practice of medicine. Stress management, meditation, imagery, t'ai chi and yoga are some examples of mind-body medicine, because they calm the mind and relax physical tension, which, in turn, allows the body to function optimally. By taking charge of our own day-to-day preventive health care we can reduce dependency on the medical system and become our own Primary Healthcare Providers. Doctors could be called our "sickness care" providers! They are a blessing when we need them, but basically, being healthy is up to us.

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In my work I emphasize three basic principles of mind-body health:
  1. We are self-correcting, self-healing beings, designed for survival. Realizing that the body is made to heal itself, and listening to our internal signals, is the first step to relaxing, and trusting our own bodies.

  2. Body, mind, emotions and spirit are part of one interconnected system. Each aspect of our lives affects the others, and when they are all in harmony the body works best.

  3. Self-healing works when we live and practice the principles of healthy living. You take charge of your own health as you incorporate simple self-healing techniques into daily life.