What is mind-body medicine?
Our mental and physical health are very deeply connected. In fact, it is impossible to comprehensively help a person to feel sustainably healthy and strong without effectively addressing both. The mind-body approach to medicine honors this deep connection and helps to resolve challenges that exist on all levels of our being: mind, body, and spirit.
Medical literature has confirmed what we have known for many years: stress plays a tremendous role in the initiation or progression of chronic disease. In fact, 80% of all healthcare visits are due to stress-related causes. Our daily thoughts, life experiences, and past traumas can play a tremendous role in how we feel today and into the future. At NYCIM, we understand the need to help each of our patients feel cared for and listened to.
What mind-body techniques are used at NYCIM?
Somatic Experiencing (SE)
SE is a trauma-resolution method that honors the body’s innate capacity for self-healing. This approach is based on the core idea that the body and brain are always doing their best to keep us safe. When we experience trauma or challenges in life, these impact us on the level of the physical body. As this can often manifest in physical, mental, or emotional symptoms, it is necessary for each of us to face difficult experiences to re-process and re-integrate them into our lives. This approach allows us to heal from these symptoms more comprehensively and sustainably. Notably, the SE approach is gentle and honors where each individual is on their journey. It offers a systematized way to face our traumas without being re-traumatized by them.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Similar to SE, ART is a trauma-focused methodology that helps each individual’s nervous system to face their previous challenges in a way that is safe and accessible. This unique approach, similar to EMDR, involves a series of bilateral eye movements that allow the brain to process past experiences in a way that will enable us to desensitize them and to reconsolidate them as memories that are more likely to allow us to heal. One session is often enough to work on a particular memory, but several sessions are sometimes required.
Acupuncture can be very helpful in supporting this connection between mind and body. It allows the autonomic nervous system to promote long-term healing while activating the parasympathetic part of the nervous system. Acupuncture is a wonderful and effective treatment for anxiety, depression, pain, sleep disorders, digestive disorders, and many other conditions.
Biofeedback is an essential tool to help you understand how your nervous system is functioning. In our clinic, we utilize a device that measures Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and provides real-time feedback about your nervous system. Biofeedback has been used in medicine for many years and is well supported in clinical research for conditions like anxiety, depression, insomnia, digestive challenges, and pain.
During your visit, you’ll be connected to a specialized sensor to see how your physiology is functioning. The entire process is quick and painless, and during it, you’ll get some amazing insights into how your body and brain work under different conditions. With biofeedback as our guide, we can teach you to understand how your nervous system is functioning and what techniques might help you gain better control of that nervous system.
Clinical hypnotherapy is a form of guided meditation that influences the deep subconscious parts of the mind. For many people, thought patterns and habits become so automatic that it is impossible to simply wish them away or to decide to change them consciously.
Our body and our brain are constantly in communication and what we are aware of is the conscious part of our mind. There is a little bit above the surface that we are aware of; however (almost like an iceberg), there is a larger subconscious part of our brain beneath the surface. Our subconscious mind is responsible for how we feel, respond to our environment, and respond to other people. The subconscious part of our brain is always on and can be contributing to things like anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and digestive issues. We can address this deeper, truer part of the subconscious brain through clinical hypnotherapy.
Clinical hypnotherapy is a tool with decades of medical research confirming its effectiveness for conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, and digestive disorders.
Dr. Kachko has had specialized training in many of these areas, including through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), Accelerated Resolution Therapy Institute, Somatic Experiencing Institute, and HeartMath Institute. He combines these tools to help people uncover the deepest, truest parts of what’s keeping them chronically sick.
Dr. Robert Kachko with an Introduction to Mind-Body Medicine
What is mind-body medicine?
This is Dr. Robert Kachko from New York and Stamford Centers for Integrative Medicine. I want to spend some time today discussing with you the role of mind-body medicine, in sustainable long-term healing.
At New York and Stamford Centers for Integrative Medicine, we consider three essential factors in your long-term health. Your biography means what happened to you, your biology, and your ecology, the environment in which you live your life.
What is the role of mind-body medicine?
The role of mind-body medicine has never been more important than it is today. We know through research that trauma and difficult experiences that have happened to us, especially adverse childhood events, deeply impact us on a physical and emotional level.
Certainly, if we feel anxiety or depression, we have to consider the role of the mind-body connection. But even for physical conditions like digestive symptoms, including irritable bowel syndrome, or chronic pain syndromes like arthritis.
When we consider the role of the mind-body, we have to understand that the body is always attempting to keep us safe and the physical symptoms that we experience can be a result of the body quite literally screaming out in pain.
What treatment options are available in the mind-body medicine approach?
We offer a comprehensive approach in our clinic. We use many different mind, body, and trauma focused modalities.
We use Somatic Experiencing and Accelerated Resolution Therapy, to help each individual process the experience they’ve dealt with on a body level.
We use other tools like acupuncture to help settle the nervous system and clinical hypnotherapy to help give a sense of what the subconscious mind is dealing with.
Treatments like biofeedback and neurofeedback help each individual process the events that have happened to them in the past.
Long-term sustainable healing requires addressing these difficult experiences gradually and in a safe way. We are here to help you reach optimal states of health on your journey to sustainable well-being.
Make an appointment with us today to experience the benefits of mind-body medicine.
Dr. Robert Kachko, Founder and Director of the NY Center for Integrative Medicine, is a pioneer in Naturopathic and Integrative Medicine and has developed an extensive bio-psychosocial methodology for people living with chronic diseases. As Immediate Past President of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Dr. Kachko advocates for healthcare reform to allow everyone accesses to the kind of care our clinic provides.