What is Mind-Body Medicine?
- A focus on healing the whole person verses treating symptoms.
- Collaboration between the healthcare provider and the patient.
- Empowerment of the patient specifically in his/her healing and treatment decision-making.
- A focus on the whole person including the relationships among the physical, emotional, social, environmental, mental, behavioral, and spiritual.
— Christina Lombardo, PhD, NBC-HWC, BCC, MCC, CPCC, CPHWC
Mind-body medicine applies a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment, helping a patient with more than one area of his/her health and well-being. The healthcare team can include, physicians, nurses, mind-body specialists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, chiropractors, nutritionists, counselors, wellness coaches, personal trainers, and yoga instructors (Moss et al., 2003).
Similar to wellness coaching and occupational therapy, mind-body medicine uses a patient-centered (or client-centered) design to treatment. The integrated team respects the patient’s independence and guides the patient to make his/her own decisions.
I like to think of mind-body medicine as relating to my personal motto, “Exercise for thy mind and thy body will follow.” The healthcare team identifies physical and mental and emotional causes of a patient’s symptoms. A person’s mind and body work together – just like this integrated team!
My CalU professor and Wellcoaches faculty member, Christina Lombardo attended a Mind-Body Medicine Workshop at the Center for Mind Body Medicine. In her recent Wellcoaches blog post, she shares several mind-body exercises she applies in her wellness coaching practice – and, we all can incorporate these exercises into our own daily lives!
- Raising the Qi – Raise your arms up and down as you breathe in and out; 9 times.
- Waking up the Qi – Clap, rub your hands together fast for one (1) minute; stop and steady your hands; pull your hands apart ever so slowly and move them together slowly to feel the energy. Repeat.
- Stare at another person and smile, don’t speak, just smile. Barbara Fredrickson’s research discovered that this exercise decreases cortisol, which contributes to abdominal fat. This practice also initiates our relaxation response and boosts our immune system.
- Breathe in positive emotions – Think of a stressful situation that currently had a hold on you. Next, breathe in positive emotions (speak positive words). Lastly, smile and reflect on how it felt.
- Mindful eating of chocolate or grapes (your choice) as slowly as you can. As you are eating reflect on the following questions: What was that like? What were your thoughts? What did it feel like inside your body?
For more mind-body exercises, visit Wellcoaches blog post.
Moss, D., McGrady, A., Davies T.C., and Wickramasekera, I., (Ed.). (2003). Handbook of mind-body medicine for primary care. Sage Publications.
Lombardo, C. (2020, June 17). What is mind-body medicine? Wellcoaches Blog: Inspiring Words for People Inspiring People. http://blogs.wellcoachesschool.com/?p=596&fbclid=IwAR2UwmocnamzxVfvZP_k7nPt3R6lRDJh4nt6zTsknTP2uu5XzZuQyBFXUE&inf_contact_key=75e34a3115796a2592659e0d67cc5e70d18a532c4142cb79caf2b269de1401fa