Mind-body medicine is a set of therapeutic practices — including meditation, yoga, massage therapy, biofeedback, hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and many others — that harness thoughts and emotions to further the physical body’s healing processes.
Drawing from Eastern systems of medicine — for example, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda — mind-body medicine gained prominence in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s and is now commonly practiced by medical doctors and many other healthcare professionals. According to practitioners of mind-body medicine, thoughts and emotions directly impact other systems of the human body. Therefore, stress and other negative emotions lead to increased opportunities for sickness. By decreasing stress hormones in the body, a client’s immune system is better equipped to ward off disease.
As mind-body medicine is comprised of a variety of therapies, a session with a mind-body practitioner will vary depending upon his/her specialization. The client can also take group workshops or classes to learn how to implement mind-body practices into his/her daily life.
Mind-body medicine is used to treat chronic pain, stress, anxiety, obesity, addiction, and many other conditions.