What in the Heck is Mind Body Medicine?


I think this is a question that many folks have. Today with so many catch words like Wellness, Mind/Body, Meditation, Mindfulness…. What does it all mean? Well the long and short of it is…They all mean something different to everyone. However, there are a few things that are standard. Wellness is a state of being in good health. It is any practice or set of techniques that brings a person to an elevated and/or healthier state of being. Encompassed within that are specific ways one can go about achieving this. For instance, Mindfulness is the practice of being aware and present to all that is around you and within you. It is a moment to moment practice. Some people find that this level of awareness helps them to have wellness, on the other hand, Meditation is a bit more complex and can be achieved through different modalities. Meditations can be active, or mindful, or concentrative.   Some people are able to meditate through sound, movement, or just in being still. Again, for some this contributes to their wellness. Mind Body Medicine is the practice of Self-Care. It is the heart of all health care. “Mind-body medicine is based on the scientific understanding of the inextricable connection among our thoughts, sensations and feelings, and our mind, body, and spirit – between ourselves and the social and natural world in which we live (cmbm).” As a practitioner of and on faculty for The Center for Mind Body medicine, I use CMBM’s approach to wellness, which is grounded in practical, evidence-based skills for self-care, nutrition, self-awareness, and group support. Mind-body skills (such as meditation, biofeedback, guided imagery, and self-expression in drawings, words, and pictures) are scientifically validated to reduce stress and restore physical and psychological health. The mind-body approach heals individual trauma and builds community-wide resilience.

So now that you have a little bit better understanding of what is what…. WHY should you care? Well the answer is simple…If we cannot be our best to ourselves, then we ultimately, will end up being no good to others. I continue to be amazed at how Mothers and Fathers will walk to the ends of the earth to make sure their children have their check up scheduled, proper lunches packed, homework completed, teeth brushed, projects done, etc.… Yet when asked if they have time to make their own appointments, or to even just sit for a few extra minutes to breathe, the answer is no. Somewhere between High School and our 30’s, the message gets skewed to only doing “just enough” for ourselves to get by so that we can tackle the world. The problem is that this catches up to all of us. As my husband likes to say…” Father time is undefeated.” Over time, late night meetings, Fast Food Lunches, Lack of sleep, unscheduled check ups, and pushing down feelings of stress and overwhelming anxiety, start to catch up with us. Even the best of us wakes up one day wondering what happened.

That’s where a Mind Body Medicine practitioner like myself can be helpful. I chose this work because in order to become a certified practitioner, I had to do my own work first. This model is different than the traditional Western model where your job is to help the patient through their challenge, trauma, disease, etc., without disclosing and/or working on your own challenges. Basically, you can be about your work, but not of your work. In Mind Body Medicine, not only is sharing and self exploration encouraged, but it is required that all practitioners do their own work first and simultaneously. This creates an environment of open communication, authenticity, and empathy that is so important and often lacking when working with patients in our healthcare system. As a Mind Body Medicine Practitioner, I teach Self Care Skills in a variety of settings, including, corporate, school, individual, and the hallmark of Mind Body Medicine, Mind Body Skills Group. The Center for Mind Body Medicines model is one that teaches that true healing is not in fixing others, but in sharing what is learned through self-discovery. We all possess the tools to be able to care for and help heal ourselves. Mind Body Medicine is not in opposition to traditional medicine, but rather works in concert with it. Below are just a few of the benefits of the self care techniques that are taught.

  • Reduced stress, self -regulation of the autonomic nervous system
  • Increased health and healing: physically, mentally, emotionally
  • Increased self-awareness, self-care and self-trust
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Creativity stimulation
  • Community and workplace connection
  • Resiliency
  • Clarity on life decisions

If you are interested in learning more, participating in a group, or booking a personal or work-based session, contact us today to see how we may help you.

Lindiwe F. Greenwood, MD, CMBM is a Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician with over 18 years of practice experience. She is Chief Innovator of Total Renaissance Wellness, LLC, a health and wellness consulting firm, which aims to “Inspire, Educate, and Transform,” by helping people, patients and their families to live their best lives, practice self-care, stay informed, and navigate the healthcare system and its challenges. Lindiwe is certified in Mind Body Medicine from the Center for Mind Body Medicine and serves on their faculty. She also has advanced coursework in Food as Medicine. Lindiwe earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and her medical degree at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. She completed her Family Medicine Residency at East Carolina University. She does motivational speaking and has written “The Insider’s Guide to Good Medical Care.” She has been a proud resident of Howard County since 1981.

Want to find out more or schedule an appointment, www.inspirehealthwellness.com, 443-718-9223

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