The Mind-Body Approach & Practices
I believe in an Integrative Behavioral Health to treatment and care. This philosophy acknowledges the connection between our mind, psyche, body, spirit and life circumstances. This means You, as a “whole person” is taken into account, as we begin to explore and understand more thoroughly your psychological and relationship needs. Methods and techniques that build on your strengths and strengthen the mind-body connection are utilized in the therapeutic process. You can make gains in your personal health and growth if you stay connected to yourself in your daily life. Engage in practices that orient and focus you, and you will begin to feel less stressed, more centered and achieve that which you desire more rapidly.
Congress and the National Institute of Health recognized the merit of Integrative Medicine and Therapy in 1998 by establishing the Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM). Their mission is to research and fund studies in mind-body medicine and mind-body therapies and establish a library of evidence based research supporting their validity, reliability and effectiveness. The intent is to determine complementary and alternative medicine methods, approaches and techniques effective in the treatment, delivery and care to the individual, and add to the existing body of literature.
Meditation is a practice of concentration. It is the art of “paying attention” “on purpose.” In practice the individual sets the intent for meditation, and with presence, openness, deep mind-body listening and acceptance moves towards quieting the mind and being with what is in the present moment. Focusing on the breath is an integral part of the practice. There are different types of meditation practices. Mindfulness meditation, Vipassana meditation and guided meditation are the meditation practices utilized by MindBody Therapy & Healing, Inc.
Moving in a high paced, high "doing" society, individuals often feel stretched to the max and stressed out. The "stressed out feeling" is actually the body’s way of saying something is out of balance. Over time psychological symptoms of stress lead to anxiety and depression, and the body reacts to stress with symptoms of heart palpations, high blood pressure or conditions of fatigue and general malaise. The relaxation response was pioneered by Dr. Herbert Benson from Harvard University who extensively studied the effects of stress on the body. He developed exercises to help cope with stress and reduce the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual symptoms of stress. Exercises range from proper breathing to stretching to yoga postures. These practical skills and tools help facilitate the connection of mind and body and contribute to the restoration of well-being.
Energy medicine is a field with historical roots dating back 2000 years ago. Originating in the east with the "laying on hands" and acupuncture, today energy medicine is a field widely recognized by Western mind. The basic premise of energy medicine is that all living beings are comprised of energy, and organized into an intelligent, self-regulating network of vibrations and frequencies. When we function optimally our energy flows freely and with vitality, and our energetic network of communication is "listening, talking and responding" effectively. Imbalances and blocks in this natural flow of energy create energetic disturbances, which lead to illness and eventually to disease. The first task of energy work is to identify how the energy is flowing in the individual and the healing task is to restore and balance the "chi", or primal energy in the body. During a session clients may be sitting or lying down and the therapist senses the flow of energy in the body and works towards releasing excess energy, fortifying energy and balancing the body system. Sometimes this work is done from a distance, with the therapist and client sitting opposite from one another, or with the therapist placing their hands directly over the body or lightly touching the body.
Guided Imagery & Visualization
This type of meditation is more directive and specifically designed for the particular individual. The therapist verbally guides the individual through a meditative visualization that is “topic focused”. Common topics are Reducing Stress, Decreasing Anxiety, Finding Calm Within, Preparing for Surgery and Relaxing Fears. Either specific images are given or images emerge from within.
Journaling is a written process of communicating with yourself. It is a tool for recording your thoughts, feelings and awarenesses. Considered a contemplative exercise it can awaken you to new thoughts and insights, ignite the creative process, deepening your understanding of self and help shift old habits and patterns.