If you’ve ever felt alarmed or soothed by the sound of your loved one’s voice, uplifted from a walk on the beach, shaky before giving a presentation, or sick with a cold after long days of too much work and too little sleep, you’ve experienced what’s known as the mind-body connection. There’s a lot more to it than these examples might convey, but they point to the fact that powerful interactions regularly take place within us, between us, and between us and our environment—and we’re not strangers to these happenings, at least from the standpoint of feeling their effects.
But a growing database of scientific research indicates that with the help of deliberate practices that promote relaxation, self-awareness, and self-expression, we can harness the power of the mind-body connection to feel more in charge of our experience. We can transform stress, ease pain, improve concentration, build resilience, and live life with a greater sense of self-efficacy and purpose. Examples of such practices, known as mind-body skills, include meditation, breath work, imagery, movement, expressive writing, and more.
Mind-body skills are self-care skills, and they can be learned. At this point in time, with all the evidence supporting their effectiveness, not only are they part and parcel of integrative psychotherapy practices like my own, they also are being taught in a wide variety of healthcare settings. Self-care, simply, is fundamental to good health.
If you’re interested in learning more about mind-body practices for yourself or your organization, please contact me. I’m certified to provide Interactive Guided Imagery™ (best suited for individuals) and to facilitate Mind-Body Skills groups, based on the model pioneered by the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.