Mind/Body Integration Model

My use of a mind / body Integration model  is a holistic approach that will provide you a measurable improvement in the quality of your life. The "Treatment" section identifies and defines a selection of treatments that I provide to optimize achieving your mental, emotional and physical wellness. The integrity of the mind / body connection becomes compromised when mental, emotional, and physical components of a person is under duress in response to stress. If your symptoms are not attended to, they can result in serious emotional and physical conditions. 

When you have good emotional health, you’re aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You can manage stress and problems that are a normal part of life. You experience life events as challenges rather than problems. You don’t become overly anxious or worried by anticipating potential negative outcomes: the stress of “what if?” You experience inner security that affords you to be confident in your competence to remain calm and to manage life events. You accept yourself for who you are.

However, many events that happen in a person’s life can disrupt physical and emotional health with the consequence of sadness, depression and/ or anxiety i.e. “fight, flight or freeze response.” Stress can be experienced regardless of whether the life event is perceived as positive or negative. A few examples of typical negative stressors are: becoming unemployed, the death of a loved one, an illness or injury, a divorce, financial issues.

A few examples of typical positive events that cause or exaggerate the stress response are: a job promotion, the birth of a baby, looking for and purchasing a home.

Symptoms of Stress that compromise mind-body balance:

Physical Symptoms: Although seemingly independent, these symptoms are more likely to coexist or be the byproduct of psychological conflicts. In addition, many physical conditions are worsened by stress (e.g. asthma, psoriasis, migraine and other medical conditions). Mental and emotional distress can cause physical symptoms. Therefore mind -body psychotherapy with additional approaches can have positive effects on physical and emotional conditions.

Physical Symptoms:

  • Headache                                                                                          
  • Indigestion
  • Palpitations
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Aches and pains
  • Sweating
  • Muscle tension
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Insomnia

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Worry
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Hopelessness
  • Gloomy thoughts
  • Feeling unable to cope
  • Fearfulness
  • Withdrawal

Behavioral Problems:

  • Agitation
  • Forgetfulness
  • Poor concentration
  • Anger
  • Shouting
  • Irritability
  • Violent outbursts
  • Inability to cope
  • Increase substance abuse
  • Eating too much or too little    

Stress and the Mind / Body Integration Model: Rationale

The mind/body model integrates many approaches to provide a holistic treatment approach. It looks at the whole person by recognizing that the mind and body are inextricably woven together. So, when you feel happy, sad, angry, or fearful, there are changes taking place in your brain that effect your physical and mental well-being. When mind-body integrity breaks down owing to mental and emotional stress they can become concerned about possible health problems. This can take a physical toll. When chronic it can manifest as body conditions( as notated in the symptoms section of stressors).

An example that illustrates the stress and mind/body connection is: that suppression of grief, and suppression of anger increases the risk of breast cancer in women. Numerous holistic programs, that have been established for women to express their grief and anger, report that the women live, on the average, two times longer than those not afforded the opportunity decrease stress by expressing their thoughts and emotions.

When the stress response is chronically triggered, such as during childhood maltreatment and compromised attachment, key Mind-body biological systems become altered and dysregulated.  People who suffer trauma, of any type, have higher rates of serious psychological and physical illnesses than the general population. Also,  the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study reported that adults who experienced trauma and chronic stress at anytime have higher rates of emotional problems, of cancer, heart disease, bronchitis, diabetes, stroke, and gastrointestinal disorders, than non-traumatized/stressed adults.

Similar outcomes have been found in other studies: women maltreated as children had a nine fold increase in emotional stress, and heart disease. Sixty percent of women treated for gastrointestinal illness had an abuse history. Significantly higher rates of chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia occurred when there was a history of trauma and PTSD diagnosis.

When the mind and body are in balance there is neither over or under arousal of mental, emotional and physical components. It is typically accepted that many of the mental, emotional and physical symptoms we experience represent a mind/body imbalance that is caused by, or aggravated by "stress". It is not unusual to hear persons speaking of "being stressed, overwhelmed by stress, stressed out, under stress, stress management etc. ." Although there are many definitions of stress, the following definition provides an simplified understanding: stress is a condition in which there is excessively high levels of toxic chemicals being released from the brain/mind and the body.  This  maladaptive response results in a range of unpleasant physical, psychological and behavioral problems. 

The longer stress continues, the more serious the effects can become. A person may experience exhaustion, chronic fatigue and be unable to sleep. If these symptoms are left unaddressed they can contribute to a number of physical and psychological problems. These conditions include heart disease, hypertension, insomnia, muscle pains, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, panic disorder, and other medical conditions. These conditions can coexist with an inability to cope with chronic stress, anxiety or depression.

So it is of utmost importance for you to manage your mind-body/ mental -physical balance in order to decrease stress and the risk of causing or aggravating existing symptoms ( as noted above in the symptom section of stressors.

We will work together to identify and treat the issues that are diminishing the quality of your life.