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An Overview – Mind-Body Medicine

Hippocrates once wrote, “The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” The field of mind body medicine, also known as psycho-immunology, is key to the patient-centred approach to medicine.

Most ancient healing practices emphasise the important links between the mind and the body, but as Western medical views took over the two became seperated and the notion that the mind had power to heal was thought to be superstition.

In 1964, psychiatrist George Solomon saw that rheumatoid arthritis worsened when people were depressed. This led him to investigate the impact of emotions on inflammation and immune function in general. Thus began the new field of psychoneuroimmunology (‘psycho’ for psychology; ‘neuro’ for neurology, or nervous system; and ‘immunology’ for immunity).

In the 1960s and early 1970s, a physician named Herbert Benson, who coined the term ‘relaxation response’, studied the effects of meditation on blood pressure. Further understanding of the mind-body link came in 1975, when psychologist Robert Ader showed that mental and emotional cues affect immunity.

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 in the United States and around the world.

Mind-Body Medicine Lead Bodies

For more information, please select Lead Body – The Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Resources on the left, to be redirected to their site.