The mind-body medicine is the use of the power of thoughts and emotions to impact physical health. The notion that mind is vital to health and ailment started long time ago when the field of medicine was in its early stages. The advancement in technological discoveries and scientific researchers have shown that mind and body are separate and have emphasized on pathological disease based models and external cure. In the 20th century, the role of mind and belief in health and illness started to re-enter the Western health care, and it was a catalyst by findings on pain control through placebo effect and the influence of stress on health (Wolsko, Davis & Phillips, 2004).
The most important thing to any mind-body technique is training the mind to concentrate on the body with no interruption. When someone is in a state of focused concentration, his/her health is likely to become better. Mind-body medicine comprises of various practices which are designed to facilitate the capability of the mind to affect health. Based on data released by National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the most common mind-body techniques in the united states and which are frequently used include relaxation, biofeedback, and cognitive behavioral therapy. In biofeedback technique, individuals are trained to control particular bodily process which takes place involuntarily such as heart rates. These processes can be measured and shown on a monitor which responds the inner working of the body (Wahbeh, Elsas & Oken,2008). Cognitive behavioral therapy is used in assisting people to identify and change harmful thoughts. For instance, a guidance therapist can expose individuals with the phobia to what they fear most. Lastly, there are relaxation techniques that use both visual imagery to produce a deep state of relaxation. The techniques mostly entail gradual tensing and freeing every group muscle in the body beginning from the toes to the head. Various researchers have found that cognitive behavioral therapy when used together with biofeedback treats tinnitus. Also, mind -body medicine can treat chronic fatigue syndrome that affects the immune system (Moss, 2003).
While the use these techniques precede the current biomedicine, more researchers continue to research on how the mind and body influence one another. Since mind-body medicine is not costly, it is regarded one of the cost saving option in this period where medical expenditures are on the rise. However, a lot of questions about the use of mind-body therapies and their potential as valuable medical treatment remain unanswered regardless of extensive, widespread interest. For example, while mind-body therapies have proved effective in treating chronic pain and insomnia, it is not clear if individuals with such conditions regularly use these effective treatments. Additionally, it is not clear if people are using mind-body therapies without close supervision of health care officer for conditions that could have been treated with other more efficient therapies (Vitetta, Anton, Cortizo & Sali, 2005).
There are some issues that people should watch out for before using or while using mind-body medicine. Mind body medicine should not make individuals feel that attitude is the cause of the illness. Also, mind-body medicine works efficiently when combined with usual medical care and it is not allowed to depend on it fully. If any of the techniques affect someone negatively, it is advisable to seek advice from health care providers for assistance(Moss, 2003). Conclusively, even though mind-body therapies were frequently used during the ancient period, more opportunity exists to increase the use of mind-body techniques for indications with demonstrated efficiency.
RerefencesMoss, D. (2003). Mind-body medicine, evidence-based medicine, clinical psychophysiology, and integrative medicine. Handbook of mind-body medicine for primary care, 3-18.
Vitetta, L., Anton, B., Cortizo, F., & Sali, A. (2005). MindBody Medicine: Stress and Its Impact on Overall Health and Longevity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1057(1), 492-505.
Wahbeh, H., Elsas, S. M., & Oken, B. S. (2008). Mindbody interventions applications in neurology. Neurology, 70(24), 2321-2328.
Wolsko, P. M., Eisenberg, D. M., Davis, R. B., & Phillips, R. S. (2004). Use of mindbody medical therapies. Journal of general internal medicine, 19(1), 43-50.
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