Mind/Body Medicine refers to the interaction between the mind, body, and spirit, specifically the ways in which emotional, mental, social and spiritual factors directly affect health. With the advent of modern medicine and pharmacology, mind-body medicine had been downplayed in the Western world until recently, when researchers and practitioners started to see the benefits of Mind/Body Medicine.
For Dr. Helene Pulnik ND, this means looking beneath the surface of symptoms and test results, and finding the more fundamental causes for the conditions she treats. By leaving behind the old Western school of thought that illness happens either in the mind or the body, the goal is to achieve a more complex and complete understanding of health and illness.
There are many areas where research has found Mind/Body Medicine to be potentially helpful, including:
· High blood pressure
· Coronary heart disease
· IBS, Stomach and intestinal problems
· Menopausal symptoms
Techniques used in Mind/Body Medicine include meditation, diet, exercise, stress management, mindfulness, healing imagery, and guided visualization.
These techniques are taught and emphasized by Dr. Pulnik as a crucial part of the patient treatment plan and healing journey. They can be used separately or in conjunction with other healing modalities such as Naturopathic Medicine and Functional Medicine.
By treating an individual as a whole and taking into consideration the “big picture” perspective of care in terms of causes, management, and treatment, Mind/Body Medicine can help repair the damage that can riddle our bodies.
Here are some interesting facts and findings that involve Mind/Body Medicine:
· According the World Health Organization (WHO), if the major risk factors for chronic disease like poor diet, inactivity and tobacco use could be eliminated, at least 80% of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 Diabetes would be prevented as well.
· Women who participated in a mind/body program for stress reduction while undergoing IVF treatment have a significantly higher pregnancy rate than those who do not (52% versus 20%) (A. Domar et al., Fertility and Sterility, 2011).
· More than a third of Americans use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Of this figure, 1 in 30 are referred by a medical service provider (A. Nerurkar et al., Archives of Internal Medicine, 2011).
· Bacteria residing in the gut influences brain chemistry and behavior. These findings are important because several common types of gastrointestinal disease, including irritable bowel syndrome, are frequently associated with anxiety or depression (P. Bercik et al., Gastroenterology, 2011).
· A 2011 study linked Metabolic Syndrome to memory loss in older people. Metabolic syndrome can include factors like high blood pressure, excess belly fat, higher than normal triglycerides, high blood sugar and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (known as “good” cholesterol) (C. Raffaitin et al., Neurology, 2011).