Mind over Matter
"To be in relationship to what you are going through, to hold it, and, in some sense, to befriend it—that is where the healing or transformative power of the practice of mindfulness lies. When we can actually be where we are, not trying to find another state of mind, we discover deep internal resources we can make use of. Coming to terms with things as they are is my definition of healing"
Mindfulness is the practice of becoming more fully aware of the present moment--non-judgmentally and completely--rather than dwelling in the past or projecting into the future. It generally involves a heightened awareness of sensory stimuli (really noticing your breathing, feeling the sensations of your body, etc.) and being "in the now." While mindfulness has origins in Eastern philosophy and Buddhism, there is no necessary religious component to mindfulness -- anyone, with any belief system, can enjoy the benefits of mindfulness.
We now know that mindfulness practice:
Increases the brain waves associated with neural integration and well-being
Leads to an increased sense of well-being, not to mention greater stress resilience and deeper empathy in both professional and personal relationships.
Improves attention, learning, and memory
Reduces experiences of pain, including chronic pain
Correlates with reduced feelings of burnout and increased stress resilience
Decreases the frequency and severity of stress, and the symptoms that come with it, including IBS, insomnia, etc. Mindfulness can transform the brain
scientific evidence shows mindfulness to be helpful with: ms, cancer, IBS, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress disorders
What is Mind-Body Integrative Medicine? Paul Epstein, ND
Dis-ease tells a story not just of our cells but of ourselves and our life histories. Mind-body Integrative Medicine involves approaching our illnesses and pains with a comprehensive, total person-centered approach.
In Mind-Body Integrative Medicine, we listen to the symptoms and to the story behind them as our guide to treat the cell and the self. We work to cure the biology as we simultaneously heal the biography. Only when both the cell and the self are tended to, can we find authentic, deep healing.
Under the care and guidance of a skilled practitioner of Mind-Body Integrative Medicine a patient can come to understand their unique story and how it has brought them to this place in their lives and health. The role of a Mind-Body Integrative Physician is to bring together all the best therapies and treatments, from a variety of disciplines, to help each individual patient on their path of healing. As the patient gains understanding and compassion for their history and their current physical challenges they naturally invoke their inner healer and are able to unburden themselves: body, mind and spirit from the wounds of the past. This is the path to true healing. This is the power of Mind-Body Integrative Medicine.
Jon Kabat-Zinn: Actually, we don’t yet have a language for describing what mindfulness is. That’s one of the exciting parts of all the mindfulness research that’s happening. With so many different perspectives coming to bear on it, including neuroscience and clinical medicine, we will be able to describe it more richly. I’m fine with calling it a practice, but we have to distinguish it from many other kinds of practice. It’s not exactly like practicing the piano, for example. It does involve discipline in that way, but you’re not trying to become a virtuoso.
I prefer to call mindfulness a way of being. That gives people much more latitude in what they’re actually experiencing, because it’s not about trying to be in a special state, and if you’re not in that state, then you’re doing something wrong. It’s rather that you can bring awareness to any state you happen to be in. There’s nothing wrong with being caught up in difficult, stressful, agitated, or confusing moments.
That’s why characterizing mindfulness as a mind state can be problematic. If we’re talking about transforming health care or transforming any individual’s relationship to their own body—especially if they’re in pain or suffering with cancer or another life-threatening illness—the idea that mindfulness is a particular mind state can be misleading. When we’re experiencing these conditions, the mind might be very agitated and disturbed. There will be emotional reactions, as Susan mentioned. Therefore, the idea that there is a sought-after mind state, and that if you were really good enough you would find it and everything would be great for the rest of your life, would be a misapprehension of what mindfulness really is.
What is Narrative Medicine? Click on link below for more information
When the Body Says No - Dr Gabor Mate
Extraordinary Healing - Dr. Art Brownstein
Love, Medicine and Miracle - Dr Bernie Siegel