Lecture – Mind-Body Medicine in Clinical Practice

Available with English captions.

Presented by Gregory Fricchione, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital – Visiting Scholar Series

In this presentation, Fricchione offers a wide-ranging look at mind-body medicine. Promoting health and healing through varied, researched techniques, mind-body medicine combines relaxation exercises, mindfulness, meditation, acupuncture, biofeedback, guided imagery, hypnosis, yoga, tai chi, qigong, and autogenic training with behavioral medicine approaches.

Fricchione explains the science behind mind-body medicine. During the lecture, he reviews studies on how psychosocial stress can lead to cellular oxidative stress and the loss of mitochondrial reserve capacity. He also discusses how these changes can increase vulnerability to disease.

He examines how mind-body medicine can play a crucial role in addressing the world’s major health challenges. Toxic stress, separation, and other factors have a direct impact on chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, and diabetes. Mind-body techniques, he asserts, can do much to address these widespread and costly conditions.

Watch now to learn more about:

  • How the mind/body is a unity
  • Research into the ways that psychosocial stress affects the body
  • Studies on cellular oxidative stress and disease vulnerability
  • How a stress-to-resilience ratio can be used to estimate vulnerability to stress-related non-communicable diseases and viral illnesses and to guide the use of mind-body approaches to health

Fricchione explains that the knowledge base of psychosomatic medicine and neuropsychiatry usually focuses on acute illness and medical intervention. This focus is reactive, like other medical disciplines, and springs into action to treat depression, anxiety, pain, psychosis, delirium, and toxic effects of medications. He states that mind-body medicine takes the same knowledge base and brings it upstream to promote health and prevent illness.

Building on extensive research and practice, Fricchione calls on clinicians to incorporate mind-body techniques with typical prevention approaches. “It’s important for us to do it all,” he says, “and to use what we know about how the brain and body interact to help people live healthier lives.”