Mind Healing Body
Mind-body is having its day in the spotlight, and for good reason! Intuitively, it makes sense the mind and body have a connection. After all, we’re not severed heads and bodies. However, there is a growing body of scientific research that indicates Mind-Body practices can help with all sorts of conditions from high blood pressure to digestion, and even pain.
The discussion around Mind and Body goes much further than “mind over matter” or the idea that you can psychologically override what you’re going through. Yes, that can be done through training, but it is not necessarily beneficial.
At Rebel Med NW, the idea of Mind and Body is the holistic relationship between the two. A person’s mental state can have positive or negative effects on their body and the body’s responses can create changes in a person’s mental state. Oftentimes, it is a two-way relationship that has been patterned and conditioned into whatever has become the dis-ease of the person that we see now.
When the practice of mindfulness and intention is applied with body affecting skills and therapies such as biofeedback, autogenics, acupuncture, or even guided somatic massage, a person can begin to have a conscious effect on both their mind and their body because they are now mastering both.
Mind-Body Medicine Programs
Center of Health
At Rebel Med NW, the Mind-Body connection is at the center of everything that we do. Whether you’re coming in for Primary Care, Digestive Health, or Pain and physical Medicine, our providers are assessing how your current Mind-Body response is serving or not serving your needs and goals. Then we help provide the education, tools, and skills to help you transform that response so that you can maintain and sustain that healthier you.
The MindBody connection can be addressed through several programs at Rebel Med NW utilizing different tools and with different providers. We’ll help you determine what will best fit your current needs and lifestyle now and into the future.
Mind Body Medicine Services
At its heart, Naturopathic Medicine is about foundations and nothing is more foundational than the connection between the Mind and the Body. At Rebel Med NW it becomes even more of a focus. First of all, nutrition and digestion play a major role when it comes to providing the building blocks that the body needs to create the neurotransmitters and hormones important to maintaining psychological as well as physical. Already you have your first mind and body relationship.
However, it goes even deeper than that. Utilizing counseling and motivational interviewing principles coupled with tools like Biofeedback and skills such as Mindfulness Training, Autogenics, and Therapeutic Breathing and Posture work, you can learn to affect your nervous system to improve function and support resiliency during stressful situations.
Biofeedback training provides to unique ability to capture your physiologic response to stress and display it in easier to understand observations by monitoring heart rate, sweat response, temperature, muscle tension, and breathing. Paired with other Mind-Body medicine exercises, biofeedback training can improve your stress awareness and resiliency.
Guided Visualization - Virtual Reality
Visualization techniques help develop a way to retrace past memories that provided compassion, safety, warmth, and an overall sense of well-being. Additionally, visualization can provide the opportunity to address fears, worries, difficult emotions, or major events that we don’t feel we are ready to address yet such as public speaking or traveling on a plane. Practicing visualization techniques can be a great way to practice your performance.
The introduction of higher quality Virtual Reality augments the effect significantly. This is incredibly helpful for applying a safe application of exposure type therapy and testing out real-world situations in the safe and structured confines of an office visit.
Autogenics training is a type of self-hypnosis to help address symptoms like migraines, Raynaud’s syndrome, and IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. A series of autogenics training can help reduce overall stress-related symptoms like decreased blood supply to the digestive organs and even improve one’s ability to fall asleep at night.
Posture is key to how we see the world. How often do we find ourselves looking downward at the ground or on our phones? It has a significant impact on mental and emotional well-being. Posture can be improved with in-office spinal manipulation, Kinesio taping, and exercise training.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a systematic approach to meditation and focuses without judgment. Exploring ways to incorporate mindfulness into the day is a way to help support a more balanced nervous system, and increased focus and attention in work, life, and social situations. Can be helpful for the treatment of ADD/ADHD, general stress, improving overall motivation, and fostering improved interpersonal relationships.
Your breath reflects your personal narrative: the stories and attitudes you hold about yourself and others. It becomes your habitual physical patterns and fixations and how you engage with the world around you. Are you in a state of contraction and tension, or are you engaged and comfortable? With breath work you can immediately begin feeling the results of using a mind body medicine technique to calm the nervous system, lower blood pressure, and encourage improved relaxation.
Acupuncture and Energetic Medicine
The National Institute of Health (NIH) currently recognizes acupuncture as a safe and effective form of Mind-Body medicine. Based on physiology alone, acupuncture can help reduce feelings of anxiety and dysregulation in the nervous system while also addressing physical inflammation, which is a prominent mechanism of many conditions. But there are several other methods from this ancient Asian medicine system that addresses the Mind and Body relationship.
Acupuncture is a powerful therapy for decreasing inflammation and settling the nervous system. There are specific techniques and points within acupuncture medicine that addresses psychological and mental needs specifically.
When coupled with counseling and mental health therapies as delivered by qualified mental health professionals in conjunction, acupuncture can be a powerful force to help people process traumas or trying to move through grief and transitions in life.
Qi Gong is a practice of breathing and meditation. Rather than clearing the mind, however, one focuses on specific breathing movements and how that breath can travel through the body. The practice involves body movements that focus breath and energy into different meridians and organs within the body. The practice settles the mind and the body leading to centeredness and clarity.
5 Needle Protocol
The 5 Needle Protocol from the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association is utilized in many treatment and rehabilitation facilities as a way to calm the nervous system and regulate the physical responses when someone is undergoing drug withdrawals. It has an amazing history originating with Lincoln Hospital and the Black Panthers movement. The 5 Needle Protocol is also utilized in treating veterans for PTSD. You don’t have to be detoxing from drug use or suffering from PTSD for this treatment to be helpful for both your MindBody
A very specific philosophy in acupuncture medicine, 5-Elements acupuncture is a school of thought developed in the United States to specifically address psychological needs utilizing the acupuncture and meridians system.
However, the 5 Elements or 5 Spirits themselves are an ancient organization of psychological understanding that describes different aspects of human nature and how those dynamics play out in the individual to create harmony or dis-ease in life.
8 Extraordinary Vessels
According to the Meridian systems of acupuncture and ancient Chinese medicine, the Eight Extraordinary Vessels (8EVs) are the deepest vessels and parents of the 12 regular meridians. The 8EVs developed in utero as our cells were dividing into a fetus.
Points associated with the Extraordinary Vessels can be utilized to help break old patterns and support movement into new phases of life and growth.
There are several styles of “balance methods” and all acupuncture seeks to balance in some way. The main focus of Balance Method systems is to use pulse assessment, channel palpation, and/or constitutional assessment to determine the best points to place acupuncture needles in order to affect the blockages most contributing to disharmony in the body. The beauty of this method is that it checks in regularly with the pulse or other body systems to ensure that it is creating change. Change in the physical body leads to mental ease.
Somatic & Energetic Massage Therapy
Maria-Sofia Mascarinas Paco “Sofi” is a different kind of massage therapist. She not only has an incredible repertoire of bodywork skills due to her high level of massage training, but she has a decades-long background in mental health therapy as well. Sofi additionally pairs her somatic work with her deep intuition and empathic skills.
Our experiences get encoded into our bodies. Emotions activate our muscles. It is a deep response stemming back to the fight or flight response – emotions, especially fear, tighten up our muscles to ready them for movement. When not processed or processed incompletely, the muscles stay activated or are prone to over-activation leading to chronic and recurring pain, injury, and even fatigue because chronic muscle contraction wastes energy.
When it’s time to go deeper.
Some thoughts and feelings are locked so deeply within our bodies that working with a specialist to guide your way back to them is the best way to access them. Working with a trained specialist who has the experience to help you through the pain and confusion once these deep thoughts and feelings are unlocked can be a comforting and empowering experience.