For centuries, people have seen mind and body as being divided, or separate.  This is not the case; research makes it clear that both influence each other in many different ways.  This overview focuses on the mind-body connection and how it can be used in a Personal Health Plan (PHP).  This overview builds on the materials from Chapter 12 of the Passport to Whole Health (13MB PDF).  The first part discusses the history of the mind-body connection.  The second part describes a number of specific mind-body applications, including psychotherapies, breathing exercises, biofeedback, clinical hypnosis, meditation, and imagery.  Research regarding the efficacy and safety of these approaches is summarized, and practical tools and resources are provided to help clinicians more fully integrate these approaches into practice.

Key Points

  • Mind and emotions play a key role in health.  Research in psychoneuroimmunology, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and the placebo effect are beginning to elicit the many ways in which mind and body interconnect.
  • Using a combination of practices to elicit the relaxation response can be extremely beneficial.
  • Options include, but are not limited to, breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training, clinical hypnosis, imagery, biofeedback, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, arts therapies, and therapeutic journaling.
  • Tailor choices of mind-body approaches to the specific needs and preferences of each individual patient.  It can help to be familiar with the latest research for various mind-body approaches.

Please see the downloads section for more detailed clinician and patient information.

Disclaimer: This information is for general education. Please work with your health care practitioner to use it in the best way possible to promote your health.