New brain science shows that healing the mind plays a vital role in healing the rest of the body. Mind-body therapy makes use of two important facts: one, the thoughts we think are highly subjective, and two, they come from our unique set of beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. Healing can be complicated when we automatically believe that what we're thinking is fact, whether or not our thoughts are really true.
Based on the thoughts we have, the beliefs we hold, and the emotions we experience, the mind and body respond to each other with feedback that, over time, becomes patterns of the same old habits (ways of thinking and reacting), year after year, decade after decade. Therapies with a mind-body focus are geared toward healing outmoded mind-body conversations that stop us from resolving past traumas and upsets, and help us instead to make positive change possible.
Mind-body therapies help us to create change by drawing attention to the negative thoughts and beliefs we have, and encourage new ways of responding. For example, if we have to speak in public, we suddenly realize that we're holding stress in our chest which causes us to hold our breath. What’s more, it's difficult to change that fear of speaking in public until we become aware of how our mind (thoughts and beliefs) and body (how the stress feels physically and where we feel it) respond to the stress it creates. Once we're aware of it, we're empowered to change it. Mind-body therapies I might recommend during counseling include guided visualizations, body scan, EMDR, internal and external mindfulness, and energy therapies.