What Is MindBody Therapy? | Concepts, Aims, and Modalities

Published: Apr 6, 2023 | Revised: May 21, 2023
Written by: Marce Ferreira

What Is MindBody Therapy? | Concepts, Aims, and Modalities

Mind-Body Therapy (or MindBody Therapy) — sometimes synonymously referred to as Somatic Therapy — is a general term for a variety of healing modalities and techniques that work on and with both the person’s physical and emotional i.e. mental level. Sometimes, Mind-Body Therapy is also called Body-Mind Therapy.

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The core premise of these types of therapies is that the mind and body are intimately connected and reflect or influence each other’s “state” or function. Although Psychosomatic healing approaches have become increasingly adopted in modern allopathic medicine (usually as a form of complementary medicine), Mind-Body therapies are generally in opposition to common Western medical concepts and approaches, which basically follow the premise that the mind and body are separate, and should or can be treated separately.

Typically, Mind-Body therapies focus on working with the body to release emotional trauma that has become “crystalized” or “stuck” in one’s body in the form of physical tensions and contractions, which on their part restrict or inhibit the affected person to function healthy or optimally on both a physical and emotional-mental level.

Mind, however, that a number of MindBody therapies may also work exactly the other way around, that is, they may primarily use the power of thoughts and emotions — the mind — to influence and restore emotional and physical health.

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Examples of Mind-Body therapies include modalities and practices such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Dearmoring Bodywork, Biofeedback, guided imagery, Breathwork, certain forms of massage, meditation, specific physical exercises, Body-Oriented Psychotherapy (also called Somatic Psychotherapy), and a range of other types of emotional-somatic treatment modalities.

As a whole, Mind-Body therapies may treat, alleviate, or heal physical and emotional symptoms of a broad variety of health conditions, or improve coping strategies for difficult or chronic conditions. Think of conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma, cancer, obesity, anxiety, stress, diabetes, insomnia, depression, chronic pains, sexual trauma or sexual dysfunctions, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal issues, menopausal symptoms, and autoimmune diseases.

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