Scientific Studies Concerning Mind/Body Medicine
Updated: Aug 25, 2019
HEALTH AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM “Current estimates show that between 70 and 80 percent of all visits to physicians are for stress-related disorders. Chronic stress results in a suppression of the immune system, which in turn creates increased susceptibility to illness-especially to immune-related disorders and cancer.”--Dr. C. B. Bahnson, and Dr. M. B. Bahnson, Psychosomatic Aspects of Neoplastic Disease, Philadelphia, 1964
A MIND/BODY CONNECTION In the 1970s, researchers found that naturally occurring substances known as neuropeptides (messenger molecules made up of amino acids) could cause alterations of mood, pain, and pleasure. In the 1980s, the National Institute of Health discovered that these messenger proteins were created in the brain by the process of thinking.
Dr. Candice Pert, then director of the National Institutes of Health said: “It took 15 years before we dared make the connection, but we have come to realize that these neuropeptides and their receptors are the biochemical correlates of emotions.”--Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide (1995), p. 347.
CAPACITY TO LEARN What has become clear in study after study is, just like the mind, not only can the body learn, but parts of the body, and even the very cells themselves. “With every thought, the mind manages to move the atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and the other particles in the brain’s cells. Neurotransmitters touch the life of every cell. To think is to practice brain chemistry, promoting a cascade of responses throughout the body.”--Dr. Deepak Chopra, Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers ofMind/Body Medicine, 1990
“The immune system, like the central nervous system, has a memory and the capacity to learn. Thus, it could be said that intelligence is located in literally every cell of the body, and that the traditional separation of mind and body no longer applies.”--Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, Washington, 1995.
CONSCIOUS CONTROL What philosophers and sages believed all through the ages, scientists have come to discover-that we are not automatons, but that we can learn to take our autonomic nervous system off automatic pilot, and intervene for the better.
“This extension of conscious control over voluntary systems has far-reaching implications for psychology and medicine. It suggests that human beings are not biological robots, controlled entirely by genes and the conditioning of life experiences.”--Dr. Elmer Green, Menninger Clinic.
HEALING IMPLICATIONS The profound implications of literally thousands of scientific studies over the last three decades especially, have not been lost on professionals with skills in various areas of complementary alternative medicine. Neither has it been lost on health consumers.
“Mind/Body Medicine may soon revolutionize modern health care. Reorganizing the profound interconnection of mind and body, the body’s innate healing capabilities, and the role of self-responsibility in the healing process, mind/body medicine utilizes a wide range of modalities, including biofeedback, imagery, hypnotherapy, meditation, and yoga.”--Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, Washington, 1995.
THE WHITE HOUSE COMMISSION ON COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE GUIDING PRINCIPLES Stillpoint Institute supports and employs the ten Guiding Principles promulgated by the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). The special focus of the Commission is on improving the quality of care for those with chronic conditions, by increasing access to safe and effective CAM systems, approaches, and products. Below are the ten principles in slightly abbreviated form.A wholeness orientation. Health involves all aspects of life-mind, body, spirit, and environment
Evidence of safety and efficacy. Safe and effective CAM services should be identified through use of science and the scientific method.
The healing capability of the person. Humans have a remarkable capacity for recovery and self-healing, and a major focus of health care is to support and promote this capacity.
Respect for individuality. Each person is unique, and has the right to health care that is appropriately responsive to him or her.
The right to choose treatment. Every person has the right to choose freely among safe and effective CAM approaches, as well as among qualified practitioners.
Good CAM health care will emphasize self-care, and early intervention.
Good health care requires respect and teamwork. There should be respect for all health care traditions, and collaboration among patients, health care providers (both conventional and CAM practitioners), and researchers committed to creating optimal healing environments.
Education as a fundamental health care service. Education about prevention, healthful lifestyles, and the power of self-healing should be made an integral part of the curricula of all health care professionals, and should be made available to the public at all ages.
The dissemination of comprehensive and timely information. Health care quality can be enhanced by thoroughly thoughtful efforts to examine the evidence on which CAM systems, practices, and products are based, and make this evidence widely, rapidly, and easily available.
Integral public involvement. The input of informed consumers and other members of the public must be incorporated in setting priorities for CAM health care, health care research, and in reaching policy decisions.In keeping with these standards, it is the intention of Stillpoint Institutepractitioners to provide health care consumers, whether self or professionally referred, with current research and education regarding prevention and self-healing, as well as Stillpoint care specialties.
From The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Policy website. Final Report: March 2002. [On-line], http://www.whccamp.hhs.gov/