Our survey results about mind-body medicine show that 76 percent of respondents provide mind-body therapies.
Respondents report a wide variety of mind-body therapies used in their practices. The most frequently provided therapies are shown below.
Meditation is the most frequently provided mind-body therapy, followed by mental health, energy work and yoga. Meditation is a good example of how mind-body medicine works. Studies show that the calming of the mind that occurs during meditation has numerous effects on physical health, including lower blood pressure, decreased stress hormone levels, improved immune function, and reduced pain.
Respondents to the wellness survey answered the following question:
“How does the mind-body therapy you provide positively influence change on the mental or physical level? What changes do you see in clients who utilize it?”
Here are their responses:
“We don’t provide any of the mind-body therapies that are listed above. However, I really do believe that all true healing is mind-body healing — in other words, healing that gets to the root of the issue, healing that is transformational, treats both the body and the spirit for they are simply two aspects of the same thing. Furthermore, I find that healing is most likely to occur when the individual first makes a mental shift and opens to the idea that healing is a possibility. I always tell my patients that by the time they have come to see me, they have already made the most important step, which is to do something! In this way, the mind absolutely influences the healing of the body. The patient’s attitude is critical to the treatment’s success, whether they use conventional or alternative therapies. Those who believe most strongly that they can get better are typically the ones who transform the most.” — Nancy Hyton, founder and director, Center for Holistic Medicine
“The mind-body approaches we use create shifts at the physical, mental and spiritual levels. All modalities are designed to contribute to [the] expansion of awareness/consciousness and assist the individual to begin to see life through a more positive, life-affirming lens. We see incredible transformations occurring in our model of ‘well care.’ Many lose unwanted weight, many gain vitality and energy, many feel happy and in love with life again. Many retrain their limited beliefs and find that everything in their life changes. They find a new lease in life and are excited about each new day.” — Dr. Mikra Hamilton, director of transformation, Synchronicity Wellness
“The mind-body therapies I provide help my clients improve their eyesight and insight. My clients who used to wear glasses and contacts no longer rely on them as much, if at all, since they learn how to improve their own eyesight naturally.” — Nathan Oxenfeld, Bates Method teacher, Integral Eyesight Improvement
“Chinese medicine is a holistic therapy. It is very effective at treating and balancing the whole body. It is based [on] a theory that views the body as a network of energy meridians. The majority of these meridians are associated with an organ. Acupuncture, therefore, has an effect on the physical and energetic aspects of the body. By viewing and treating health issues in this way, acupuncture can have a positive effect simultaneously on both the mind and body.” — Aimee Schinasi, acupuncturist, People’s Acupuncture
“The Transcendental Meditation technique allows the mind to ‘transcend’ or spontaneously settle inward, beyond thinking, to a state of pure consciousness or restful alertness — a naturally harmonious and peaceful state of human awareness. Because of the natural connection between mind and body, when the mind becomes so deeply settled and harmonious, the body gains deep, rejuvenating rest. Hundreds of scientific studies show that this state of restful alertness gained during TM practice reduces stress, revitalizes mind and body and unfolds creative potential. People who practice regularly twice a day report heightened awareness, the growth of inner peace and happiness, and a higher state of well-being.” — Tom Ball, director, Asheville TM Center
“Clients become more clear about how thoughts, feelings, sensations and behaviors are connected, and this creates options for change, acceptance and/or release. Strategies are taught and practiced. Deep listening is healing as well. Typically, treatment goals that are mutually created are achieved.” — Lisa Perry, counselor
“Neurofeedback regulates dis-regulated brain waves. The brain has four distinct brain waves: alpha, theta, delta and beta. At any given time, these brain waves are in a certain pattern, [which] can become disrupted from toxins trauma and stress. What is happening in the brain will ultimately affect the rest of your body. The dis-regulated brain waves can result in different symptoms for each person. Once the brain-wave patterns are corrected and regulated, the physical body can experience healing and the symptoms are alleviated. Most patients will experience normal sleep patterns, alleviation of anxiety and depression symptoms, more concentration, enhanced memory and a sense of well-being.” — Dr. Nicole D’Ippolito Lindsey, chiropractor, Back in Balance
“Attendees at the [annual] Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference … report increased wellness — both body and mind — through bringing the tools, practices and modalities offered into their lives. The women-only environment of these programs creates a safe and sacred space for women to learn and dialogue about physical and emotional issues that are common experiences as women, developing confidence and clarity about addressing day-to-day health challenges for themselves — as well as their families and communities.” — Corinna Wood, herbalist, Southeast Wise Women
“Acupuncture treatment stimulates the body in a way that enhances the rest-and-digest part of the nervous system. There is no active participation involved. The process of receiving acupuncture needles placed in the body creates this change in the nervous system, providing a greater peace of mind. Acupuncture is well-known for its effectiveness at eliminating pain and other physical discomfort. Chinese herbal medicine also works on the mental and physical level. Chinese medicine physicians develop an understanding and experience with how the physical and emotional experiences of a patient coexist. The physician is able to help the patient understand the connection between the physical and emotional states. This empowers patients to have more control of their physical and mental states.” — Joshua Herr, acupuncturist, Chinese Acupuncture and Herbology Clinic
“The Council on Aging [of Buncombe County] is not a health services provider, but through our Senior Dining sites, annual Successful Aging event, and work at Battery Park and Vanderbilt Apartments, we support and provide (either directly or via assisted access) various ‘healthy aging’ opportunities. These include yoga, exercise classes (chair and traditional), therapeutic arts, meditation, creative movement and tai chi, among others, along with education on alternative therapies. Staff are also trained in fall-prevention education and healthy ideas (for depression intervention).” — Wendy Marsh, executive director, Council on Aging
“We should approach any healing effort with a respect for how the mind and body complement each other. A total understanding of this interaction will remain a mystery for the well-foreseeable future. And yet we must deepen our understanding of how we use our minds and bodies to grow healthier and live our lives as a practice of these principles. This requires intention, discipline and commitment. It also helps to have an ally and planning partner in this process, which is part of the service I provide. “ — Daniel Johnson, psychiatrist, private practice
“All disease starts with a mental thought. Change the thought process or the hidden beliefs the disease will spontaneously heal itself. We impact mental and physical. We focus on healing in the realm of Health, wealth, relationships and career.” — Lynn Villa, spiritual coach, Centers for Spiritual Living
“Reiki is holistic as it balances the person on 4 levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. It deeply relaxes and allows the body to heal naturally. Clients have reported relief from a variety of ailments, i.e., migraines, cancer, back pain, knee pain, MDDS, Bells palsy, anxiety, depression and so on.” — Odilia Forlenza, founder and owner, NC Reiki Training Center
“Decreased anxiety, decreasing cravings, increased focus and attention … Connect[ions] between mind and body has had overwhelming success in our program.” — Dixie Brown, executive director, Willow Place
“In order for the body to heal, you must take the overwhelm/stress off of the body/mind/spirit. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are really effective at doing so. Once the overwhelm is taken off, Chinese Medicine goes to the root of the imbalances and helps the body in re-engaging it’s innate healing wisdom. The body does the healing once it is in balance.” — Whitney Madden, acupuncturist, Source for Well-being
“Mind-body therapies provide enhanced change in mood, greater ability to handle or decrease stress, and release of anger and fear that remain in the body from earlier trauma.” — Linda Newman, psychotherapist, Wellspring Institute
“The approach to wellness needs to incorporate all modalities of nutrition, fitness, and mind/spirit. Without the full compliment, wellness is incomplete. In our health optimization program, we inform clients that they will not achieve optimal response without having a solid base of optimized sleep and stress.” — Daniel Stickler, physician, private practice
“Less stress, more energy, better sleep. Brain chemical balancing. Patients are better able to tolerate stress when it occurs with less physiological consequences.” — Dr. Brian Gualano, chiropractic physician, Asheville Chiropractic and Wellness Center