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Mind-body healing is a concept where healing is achieved through the power of the mind. This approach may be utilized by health care providers or practiced by patients on their own. Other terms for mind-body healing are holistic healing and energy healing. Mind-body psychotherapy is often used in conjunction with this type of holistic health care.
Mind-body healing is chosen by many individuals who suffer from chronic medical conditions that cause pain or immobility that interferes with their quality of life and daily activities. Rather than rely on daily pain medications that may cause side effects, some seek an alternate method to conventional treatment. Mind-body healing is meant to restore physical health and well being without drugs.
Self hypnosis can be part of mind-body healing. This is achieved through the power of suggestion, or what is commonly referred to as visualization. The concept is to form a positive image in one's mind and do this repeatedly, in short sessions.
To understand how this works, imagine a patient who experiences chronic wrist pain. She will sit in a quiet room where she will meditate or visualize. She may close her eyes and visualize herself free of pain, moving her hand and wrist freely where she is able to accomplish tasks such as typing or writing. While this action would normally produce pain, she will visualize herself totally pain-free for a period of five to ten minutes. This may be part of the visualization process in mind-body healing.
The basic concept behind this form of healing is to allow one's mental awareness and state of mind to replace negative energy with positive energy. In theory, positive energy will induce a feeling of well being. This is achieved through the process known as sensory perception.
Mind-body healing proponents believe a person's state of mind can reflect how the body reacts in terms of discomfort and pain, or pleasant sensation. Hormones released by the body's endocrine system can influence how the body responds. For instance, deep fear may cause the body to release adrenaline, which in turn may lead to increased heart rate, shortness of breath, or even pain. With the practice of mind-body healing, that action is reversed. Through reinforcement of positive imagery and relaxation, endorphines are released that produce a feeling of well being.
Many experts believe that positive visualization and thoughts can also boost the body's natural defenses by improving the immune system. While these methods are meant to aid in healing, it is advised that any individual suffering from a medical condition seek the advice of a physician before attempting self treatment.
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