MindBody Medicine is an emerging field that includes the mind in the treatment of physical pain and illness. It also includes an awareness of the body in the treatment of mental, emotional, or spiritual issues. The mind and body are seen as an indivisible mindbody whole.
In my office, I teach the self-awareness and self-regulation skills that lie at the heart of mindbody medicine. These skills form the foundation of my Guided Neuroplasticity program. In addition to this instruction, patients are supported with acupuncture, acupressure, and nutrition.
This 3 part post will focus primarily on how the mind triggers physical illness and the most efficient forms of treatment for mindbody disorders.
I’ll give you an example of how the mind can be involved in creating a physical complaint. Digestive disturbances are common issues that are frequently influenced by the mind and emotions.
Imagine a stressful situation in your life, one that generates unpleasant feelings like worry, concern, or anger. If you’d rather not think about that issue or feel the disturbing feelings, which is on par for most of us, you’re actually triggering a stress response.
Avoided, buried, or ignored feelings are a primary trigger and sustainer of the stress response. What we don’t address consciously takes on an unconscious life of its own. In this case, the body is a reflection of unconscious processes.
You might think, “Yeah, I know, stress …. so what?”
Here’s the 101 on the stress response. The stressful feelings that many of us have learned to ignore actually upset our brain function and biochemistry, negatively influence gene expression, and ultimately our physical and emotional health.
Let’s go back to our example of digestive system distress. The stress response prepares the body for defending itself, for running or fighting, while normal maintenance and repair functions like digestion are inhibited.
Under stress, whether it’s perceived consciously or not, digestive function can falter. Digestive juices will tend to be insufficient, blood flow to the mucous membrane lining will be impaired, and the normal rhythmical movement of the G.I. tract will be altered.
These functional changes commonly result in indigestion, acid reflux or heartburn, constipation or diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel conditions.
No amount of antacids, fiber, or other remedies will will resolve the stress-induced nervous system dysfunction that’s causing these unpleasant symptoms.
Understanding these basics of the stress physiology helps us to make sense of the NIH (National Institutes of Health) study revealing that 85% of all doctor and hospital visits were related to the ill effects of chronic stress.
Here’s a partial list of common symptoms generated by the stress response and its accompanying biochemical changes: increased inflammatory processes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased abdominal fat, impaired memory due to hippocampal damage (the brain’s memory center), decreased bone density, excess muscle tension and pain, increased anxiety and depression, increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut), increased dietary cravings, weight gain, decreased muscle mass, and altered blood lipid levels.
MindBody research begins to explain what really makes us sick and the most sensible ways to get well. It also helps us to understand why conventional treatments that only address symptoms and not the root cause of ailments often don’t live up to expectations.
Childhood Stress Programs Adult Illness
Clinical experience and a wealth of new science, like epigenetics and psychoneuroimmunology, show that unresolved emotional stress or trauma, including childhood events, adversely programs the brain, nervous system and the subtle energy systems to make us more likely to struggle personally and suffer from chronic pain, addiction, inflammation, and illness.
The A.C.E. (Adverse Childhood Events) studies sponsored by the CDC (Centers for Disease Contol) and Kaiser Permanente, clearly demonstrated that childhood stress is a significant predictor of adult addiction, depression, pain, and chronic illness. You can take the A.C.E. quiz here.
Here is a link to part 2 of this 3 part post.
Steven Templin, D.O.M. treats the stress-induced roots of most chronic pain, anxiety, and illness with his MindBody Medicine program combined with Acupuncture, Nutrition, and Energy Medicine.
He translates emerging research in the fields of Epigenetics, Interpersonal Neurobiology, and Energy Psychology into effective self-healing practices that you can perform at home.
You can work with Dr. Templin in his Lakeland office, or via online video conferencing. You can visit his website at www.stevetemplin.com and contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can schedule an office visit with Dr. Templin by calling 863-838-2779.