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There are quite a few types of mind-body training. Meditation and yoga are commonly used methods of integrative body-mind training. Biofeedback, autogenic training, and art therapy are some other methods of training the connection between body and mind.
Meditation is one of the simplest and most effective methods of mind-body training. It involves quieting the mind of conscious thoughts, including everyday stresses and preoccupations. When these distractions are removed, the mind is connected to the body. This connection grows stronger the more time someone spends in meditation. Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can all be used during meditation to help bring the focus of the mind to the physical state of the body.
Yoga is another great type of mind-body training. Yoga stands apart from other exercise methods because it implements relaxation and breathing techniques to help strengthen the body and mind connection. Simply bringing awareness to the positions held during yoga is effective in training the mind to stay in touch with the state of the body.
Biofeedback therapy is another very effective method of mind-body training. Biofeedback has many different uses in psychological and physical therapy as well as pain management. The technique is very intuitive and involves simply listening to the messages of the body to improve health. A simplistic form of biofeedback is a person stepping on a scale, seeing that he or she is overweight, and taking action to lose the excess weight. In more subtle forms, it can help people overcome anxiety disorders by helping them stay aware of their stress levels and relaxing when they become overly stressed or anxious.
Autogenic training is also a type of mind-body training. This type of training is a way of teaching a person's body to respond to verbal commands, specifically verbal commands to relax. This technique implements different stress-reducing exercises, which take an average of four to six weeks to master. Once mastered, a person can use the exercises to relax his or her body on command and reduce stress. These exercise have been shown to enable a person to control breathing, heartbeat, and even body temperature.
Art therapy is also a great and fairly simple type of mind-body training. Art therapy is effective at connecting the mind and body, but it requires some practice for some people. Self-consciousness about art ability can deter some people from reaping the benefits of art therapy. When done correctly, art is a fantastic way to access the unconscious mind as well as the conscious mind. Self-expression through art often reveals more about the person's feelings and thoughts than he or she was consciously aware of.
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