Mind-body medicine uses the power of thoughts and emotions to influence physical health. As Hippocrates once wrote, "The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well." This is mind-body medicine in a nutshell. Most ancient healing practices, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, emphasize the links between the mind and the body. Western medical views were shaped by systems of thought that emphasise the opposite, that the mind and body are separate. In 1964, psychiatrist George Solomon noticed that people with rheumatoid arthritis got worse when they were depressed. He began to investigate the impact emotions had on inflammation and the immune system in general. The new field was called psychoneuroimmunology ("psycho" for psychology; "neuro" for neurology, or nervous system; and "immunology" for immunity). In the early 1970s, a physician named Herbert Benson, who coined the term "relaxation response," studied how meditation could affect blood pressure. More understanding of the mind-body link came in 1975, when psychologist Robert Ader showed that mental and emotional cues could affect the immune system. Today, there is renewed interest in age old traditions such as yoga and meditation. No longer viewed with suspicion, mind-body programs are now established at prestigious medical schools around the world. The key to any mind-body technique is to "teach" the mind to focus on the body without distraction. In this state of "focused awareness" a person becomes conscious of the present moment and, in objectively exploring their situation, may be able to improve their health and wellbeing.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale, based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. It is a guided process designed to help people who experience repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness. Its intention to specifically address major depression distinguishes MBCT from other mindfulness-based therapies such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, which is applicable to a broad range of disorders, and mindfulness-based relapse prevention, which is used to treat addiction.
MBCT combines ideas from cognitive therapy with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness. The heart of this work lies in becoming acquainted with the modes of the mind that often characterise mood disorders, whilst simultaneously learning to develop a new relationship to them. Mindfulness and mindfulness meditation, focus on becoming aware of all incoming thoughts and feelings and accepting them, but not attaching or reacting to them. This process is known as "de-centering" and aids in disengaging from self-criticism, rumination, and dysphoric mood states that can arise when reacting to negative thinking patterns.
EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT)
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Is A Form Of Counselling That Draws On Various Forms Of Complementary Practice Theories Including Acupuncture, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Energy Medicine, And Thought Field Therapy (TFT). EFT And Similar Techniques Are Often Discussed Under The Umbrella Term "Energy Psychology". The Technique Can Be Used To Treat A Wide Variety Of Physical And Psychological Disorders, And Is A Simple Form Of Self-Administered Therapy, To Be Used As Needed. During A Typical EFT Session, The Patient Focusses On A Specific Issue While Tapping On Reflex Points Of The Body's Energy Meridians. The Procedure Consists Of The Patient Rating The Emotional Intensity Of Their Reaction On A Subjective Units Of Distress Scale (SUDS) (Calibrated 0-10), Then Repeating An Orienting Affirmation Whilst Tapping Specific Points On The Body. Some Practitioners Incorporate Eye Movements Or Other Tasks. The Emotional Intensity Is Then Re-Scored And Repeated Until No Changes Are Noted In The Emotional Intensity.