What is Mind-Body?

There is a strong, intimate connection between the mind and the body that is often underestimated. It has been proven by numerous research studies that many of our physical disorders are closely linked to stressful events in our lives. For example, more heart attacks occur at 9 am on Mondays than at any other time of the week. Another example of how our mind can affect our physiology is the well-known phenomenon of white coat syndrome: some people experience elevated blood pressure in the doctor’s office compared to their home measurements. Prolonged state of stress affects our body’s functioning and likely contributes to conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, eczema, gastrointestinal disease, anxiety, depression, asthma and other problems such as addiction and restless sleep.

We can use the powerful mind-body connection to reduce stress by doing practices that relax our mind and lead to improved physiological responses in our bodies.

Dr. Herbert Benson and a group of physicians at Harvard in the 1970s showed how meditative practices can objectively lower blood pressure. Different types of mind-body practice include meditation, mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, guided imagery and hypnotherapy. 

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Last updated by jamie.romeiser on January 18, 2011

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