Mindfulness

Mindfulness being integrated with a medical model approach to wellness

As I studied the research on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), I was amazed at the many mental health treatment modalities included meditation and mindfulness.  According to an article in the International Journal of Yoga, researchers are becoming more interested in understanding how yoga helps personal growth, health and overall well-being. Medical practitioners are recognizing that mind, body and spirit fitness programs are helping people in search of inner peace, mindfulness, and wholeness in life and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression (Woodyard, 2011). Common interventions for treatment of anxiety and depression are primarily limited psychological and pharmacological therapies. However, mind-body-spirit interventions such as yoga and meditation are in the forefront as a popular means to addressing anxiety and depression. According to West and associates, yoga has become the most popular complimentary treatment in health care (West, Liang, & Spinazzola, 2017). Some researchers believe yoga and meditation should be recommended as a supplemental therapy or alternative for treatment of stress, mood disorders, anxiety, and depression (Woodyard, 2011).

West and associates noted that research on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic childhood abuse shows that complicated symptoms are not fully impacted by traditional methods of trauma treatment.  The symptoms most likely to not respond are loss of awareness, somatic problems, self and body integration.  The team found that yoga demonstrates potential as a supplementary treatment that reduces symptoms and focuses on personal growth. Through physical movement, relaxation and breathing techniques, yoga has proven to be beneficial for chronic pain, insomnia, and heart disease. Yoga has been documented to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, schizophrenia and attention-deficit disorder. Personal growth is impacted in positive ways as well for yoga practitioners including self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-efficacy (West et al., 2017).

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