Mind-Body Health what is it and how can it help?
What is Mind-Body Health?
Mind-Body Health is a truly holistic approach addressing physical, emotional and mental health through the use of a variety of psychological and experiential techniques. It recognises that the mind and body are of equal importance, profoundly interlinked and naturally inclined towards balance.
Our current healthcare system is based on the bio-medical model of western medicine, which focuses on disease and how to eliminate it. Whilst this approach has been very successful and effective for certain specific health conditions, applying this approach to all of human suffering is limited and can sometimes cause harm. With its reductionistic lens on individual biological processes and its separation of the body into disconnected systems and organs, western medicine fails to see the whole person in the context of their unique life circumstances.
In reality, your physical, mental and emotional health are all deeply connected, and trying to treat one aspect in isolation just doesn’t make sense.
Your body and mind are programmed to continuously strive to find balance and it feels very uncomfortable when this balance is not achieved (stress). If you are out of balance for long periods of time then the body will suffer, and illness develops. The physical body acts like a messenger, communicating to you that there is unresolved stress deep in your system.
Stress does not come solely from events that happen in the outside world. Your own thoughts, memories and feelings can also be detected as stress by the nervous system, which can lead to some very unhelpful and deep-rooted stress cycles.
Stress is not just a mental experience, there are many physical changes that occur, such as decreased immunity, excessive inflammation, digestive changes and increased tension in muscles and blood vessels. Over time, if the stress is not resolved, those changes can cause a great deal of harm. Even unresolved stress from many years ago can be driving symptoms and disease in the present moment.
Common symptoms that can result are chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel/bladder syndrome, migraines, tension headaches, tendonitis, skin conditions, depression, anxiety and addiction. Many diagnosed medical conditions can also be exacerbated by this same process.
The way that we respond to stress is learned throughout the course of our lives. We learn as children whether it is safe to express and resolve the stress, or whether to bury it and deny it in order to keep the peace with our care-givers. Although our stress response is deeply unconscious and habitual, it is possible to re-learn new stress response strategies and, if practised often enough, these can then replace the old unhelpful habits.
What can you expect from a treatment session?
Mind-Body Health sessions are initially about exploring, understanding and listening to your thoughts, feelings and health concerns. The sessions will then move into a more active form of treatment with a mixture of therapeutic neuroscience education, guided mindfulness and experiential exercises, thought work and emotional awareness techniques.
The aim is to help you to understand your body and mind from the inside out and learn how to self-regulate, allowing your nervous system to build new connections that will keep you in a more balanced state for longer periods of time.
As your internal reservoir of stress diminishes through this work, many symptoms become less intense and may resolve completely.
The sessions are designed to work alongside normal medical care, not to replace it.
Sessions last for one hour and can be planned weekly or fortnightly. You will be invited to practise the techniques in between sessions so that you can really embed your learning into your daily life and achieve the change that you need.
What can Mind-Body Health help with?
There is now growing evidence that this type of approach can facilitate healing and recovery from many health problems such as:
irritable bowel/bladder syndrome
Many diagnosed medical conditions can also be managed more effectively when a whole person approach is applied.
To find out more about Mind-Body Health or to arrange a consultation, please follow the links below: