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Mind-Body Medicine

You have probably heard the phrase mind over matter. Healers for centuries have believed that the mind had a capacity to restore health. Hippocrates wrote about a natural healing force that exists in each person. Even today, there is science that proves the mind is a factor in physical strength and healing.

The Link Between the Mind and Health

Many ancient healing practices were based on the theory that there is a link between the mind and the body. Western medicine moved away from that approach, however, to emphasize treatment and drug therapy. It was in the 1960s that psychiatrist George Solomon discovered a connection between pain and depression when he investigated the bond of emotions and the immune system.

Studies along this path continued as researchers found that drugs created a relaxation response that lowered the blood pressure. In theory, if a person could find as way to control their blood pressure outside of drug therapy, it should have a similar effect.

The Mind-Body Technique

The goal of the mind-body technique is to train the brain to enter a state of focused concentration to improve health. There are a number of practices that come together to encourage this state including…

Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a tool that Dr. Tania Tyles Dempsey teaches patients to use for controlling the bodily processes that are involuntary. Patients will experiencing the continuation of breathing even when they are not thinking about it. You can, however, focus on breathing and take control of that autonomic process. Biofeedback provides a physical record of your mind taking over certain functions as a training mechanism.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Harmful thoughts can make a person ill. Through cognitive behavioral therapy patients can expect to learn how to recognize what thoughts and behaviors effect how you feel, so you can counter them before they take over.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques are a critical part of how Dr. Tania Tyles Dempsey uses mind-body medicine. It is a scientific fact that when you are upset, anxious or under stress, it has a physical affect on the body. People under duress develop skin rashes, headaches and stomach conditions. The immune system is less effective, so the body is more susceptible to infection. Increased levels of stress lead to more colds, asthma attacks and high blood pressure.

Dr. Tania Tyles Dempsey teaches her patients how to relieve stress naturally through the art of relaxation techniques. For example, autogenic training uses visual imagery to help the body reach a deep state of relaxation. Some other common relaxation practices used at Armonk Integrative Medicine include:

Progressive muscle relaxation

A person tenses each muscle group slowly and then relaxes it.

Meditation

Teaches a person how to focus their attention on thoughts and sensations. There are several forms of mediation available; most involve shutting out outside distractions to concentrate on what is happening within the body.

How does Mind-body Medicine Work?

Controlling stress is the key. When the body is under duress, it releases hormones that affect the functioning. For instances, getting hostile changing the heart rate and alters immune function. Depression can make healing difficult. The practice of mind-body medicine at Armonk Integrative Medicine teaches ways to relax and reduce the release of hormones to counteract the negative effect emotion can have on the body.

Although the theory behind mind-body medicine has been around for centuries, a clinical study by a physician at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1989 proved that the mind has the power to heal. The study used relaxation techniques and cognitive therapy on women in the late stages of breast cancer. The women who went to this support group lived twice as long as those who did not. Learning to harness the power of the mind has positive effects on fitness, pain management and overall health. That is the basis behind mind-body medicine.

Office Location

Armonk Integrative Medicine
99 Business Park Drive
Armonk, NY 10504

We are located inside of the new White Plains Hospital Medical and Wellness Center Facility near downtown Armonk

Contact Information

Phone: 914-730-7390
Fax: 914-730-7391
E-Mail: info@armonkmed.com

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