Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
Frequently Asked Questions
7. What is mind-body medicine?
Mind-body medicine focuses on how the mind, brain, body, and behavior interact. Examples are meditation, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, imagery, and creative outlets.
In meditation, people use certain techniques such as a specific posture, focused attention, and an open attitude toward distractions. This practice is believed to result in a state of greater physical relaxation, mental calmness, and psychological balance. Practicing meditation can change how a person relates to the flow of emotions and thoughts in the mind.
Yoga has its roots in ancient Indian philosophy. The various styles of yoga typically combine postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.
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People practice yoga as part of a general health regimen, and also for a variety of health conditions.
Tai chi is a practice that uses a series of slow, gentle movements coordinated with focused breathing and meditation. People use tai chi to enhance physical functioning, improve balance and flexibility, and help with sleep and overall well-being.
Qi gong is also a practice that combines movement, meditation, and controlled breathing.
In imagery, people imagine scenes, pictures, or experiences to achieve a desired physical response such as stress reduction. Creative outlets such as art, music, or dance are also sometimes used for health purposes.