Mindfulness and Relaxation
Your mind will influence how you feel. Sometimes our mind is our biggest obstacle when it comes to feeling better, making changes for health, or focusing on healing or positively adapting to that which we have. Your mind will influence how you feel with Parkinson’s.
In fact, many believe the “power of the mind” is one of our biggest strengths when it comes to healing. The “power of the mind” is so important that modern day scientific experiments are designed to eliminate the ‘power of the mind for healing.
For instance, drug studies are designed so that a drug effect is compared to the placebo or sugar pill. Simply wishing, expecting or believing that a treatment will work, will increase the likelihood of it working. (The opposite is true as well. Believing something will not work increases the likelihood that this will be so.)
What was once a philosophical discussion is now an emerging area of healthcare called, Mind Body Medicine. These specialists share the belief that our thoughts, beliefs, values and emotions can influence healing and wellbeing. Our mind, brain and body are not separate entities that exist in isolation but linked together to form our unique existence. Health and wellness is optimized when we give equal attention to each of these areas. All too often, modern-day western medicine focuses on our physical body and puts an emphasis on quick treatments with pills or surgery - ignoring the impact our emotions, mind and spirit have on the healing process.
Mindfulness based therapies improve outcomes in many diseases including cancer, pain, intestinal problems, heart disease and brain disease.
Many mindfulness based therapies used in Mind Body medicine have direct affects on our body’s physiology by eliciting a relaxation response. Examples of mindfulness techniques include breathing techniques, meditation and guided imagery, hypnosis, massage therapy, aromatherapy, relaxation techniques and stress reduction, and Yoga.
Author: Monique Giroux, MD