Mind & Body Balance

What is the mind-body health connection?

The notion that our mind and emotions play a significant role in our health is far from new. The interconnection between the mind and body was proposed by several ancient healing methods. The father of Western medicine, Hippocrates, believed health was achieved via a balance of the mind, body and environment. Modern day science continues to prove this theory and has demonstrated that our thoughts and emotions play a critical role in all aspects of our health. This means that by taking care of our psychological well-being, we may be able to prevent medical illness or speed our recovery when we are sick.


How does the mind-body health connection work?

The mind and body are intricately connected. Their reciprocal relationship has a powerful influence on our overall health and quality of life. Our beliefs, attitudes and feelings affect us physiologically. Our different emotional states ranging from love and happiness to anger and anxiety can cause chain reactions that affect our blood chemistry, heart rate and the activity of every cell and organ in the body which can influence structures such as our gastrointestinal tract and immune system. Our thoughts and emotions can also affect our body's response to stressors, which can cause physical problems such as aches and pains, disturbed sleep, low energy, headaches, heart palpitations, upset stomach or weight gain or loss. These physical symptoms are signs that our emotional health is out of balance. By paying attention to our emotional and mental states, we can help ourselves stay healthy.


How can Healthwise help me to improve my mind-body health connection?

At Healthwise, we value a holistic approach to care. This means that we can integrate the mind-body connection into your treatment plan by offering a variety of therapy techniques such as stress management, support groups, individual psychotherapy, biofeedback, and relaxation and mindfulness techniques. These are designed to improve both emotional and physical well-being, help people live healthy lifestyles, and to provide support and guidance to those who are sick. We also believe in the importance of collaborative care and work closely with your other health care providers to maximize your psychological and physical well-being.

Treatment that increases the awareness of the mind-body connection can help with:

  • Stress
  • Weight control
  • Smoking cessation
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic pain
  • Fatigue


How can the mind-body connection help me if I have a chronic illness?

When illness occurs, our levels of stress tend to increase. By focusing on the mind-body connection, the psychologists and therapists at Healthwise can assess your lifestyle, attitude, and family support and help you to better understand and deal with your illness. We will encourage, support and facilitate you taking an active role in your health care choices and decisions. We will help you to generate an awareness of the mind-body connection which can be helpful in:

  • Minimizing time missed from work
  • Expediting recovery time from illness
  • Minimizing pain and discomfort
  • Decreasing time spent in hospital
  • Assisting patients and families to adjust to and deal with illness
  • Maximizing mental awareness, alertness and activity


What is mindfulness and how does it relate to the mind-body connection?

To say it's a busy world would be an understatement. We live much of our lives on auto pilot, multi-tasking every chance we get. You make dinner while having a conversation with your mother on the phone and keeping an eye on your children. You make a mental checklist of items you need at the grocery store on your commute to work while listening to the weather on the radio. In our effort to function as efficiently as we can in this hectic world, we are losing our awareness of the present moment on how we are feeling or on what we are doing.

Mindfulness is the practice of deliberately focusing our attention on the present moment, the here and now. When mindful, we focus on what we are experiencing in the moment and accept it without judgment. Research has demonstrated that mindfulness has significant effects on our overall well-being and happiness; this simple meditation technique improves both our physical and mental health.

Below is a video explaining the many benefits of mindfulness. 

My therapist taught me how to deal with my anxiety by using Biofeedback. It was easy for me to understand and really helped me learn how I can use my body to calm my mind and feelings. -A.N. Otsego

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