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Words for the Wise

The very scientific methods championed by mainstream medicine in the testing of drugs have provided the greatest scientific support for the existence and power of the mind/body connection. In fact, the mechanisms involved are so formidable that the standard research procedure requires separating out their effects from those of the drug.

Hence the power of mind/body mechanisms has been examined and measured in virtually thousands of drug studies. It is in this sense that they have been verified and acknowledged by medical research to be a real and powerful phenomenon.

The term mind/body medicine encompasses a variety of techniques, including behavioral, social, psychological and spiritual practices. Whichever techniques you try, keep these considerations in mind:

  • Any mind/body technique should be used as a complement to your conventional medical care, not as a substitute. This may include making adjustments to your conventional care in response to your success with mind/body practices.

  • Approach your mind/body practice with optimism. Your belief in the practice may help make it effective. At the same time, don’t expect too much too soon. It often takes weeks or months of regular (in some cases, daily) practice for many mind/body techniques to work.

  • Mind/body medicine tends to be most effective in improving chronic physical problems, stress-related illnesses and, in some cases, mental health problems. It can also be helpful in dealing with the effects of chemotherapy or radiation and recovering from surgery.

  • Many medical professionals believe that some mind/body therapies have not undergone sufficient scientific testing to show whether (and under what circumstances) they are effective. But interest in these therapies is growing rapidly, and many relevant studies are underway. However, many of these techniques are considered harmless or low risk, so you may decide to try one despite no solid evidence of its effectiveness.

  • If any mind/body technique seems to improve a health condition that you have, ask your doctor whether other aspects of your treatment should be changed. For instance, if hypnotherapy helps relieve your chronic headaches, your doctor may suggest reducing the dosage of your medication. You and your doctor should make such decisions together, after weighing the risks and benefits.

Reference Source 59,63

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