Mind-Body Medicine

This is way more than talk therapy

Image of a woman sitting outside near a tree practicing yoga. This image represents the healing that can take place with a holistic therapist during mind-body medicine in Baltimore, MD. 21117

Photo by bodybendyoga on Nappy.co

At Revitalizing Inner Self Essence, I specialize in providing therapy to trauma survivors. And not just talk therapy, but holistic, trauma-informed, and liberation-focused therapy. While talking is a part of the therapy, it is not the sole ingredient. As a trauma therapist, I know that talk therapy alone will only take you so far on your journey to healing.

To foster healing, it is important that trauma therapy includes body and brain-based techniques. What am I saying? To put it frankly, trauma impacts our words, thoughts, feelings, heart, and spirit. Therefore, trauma therapy must include aspects for each of these areas. Think of trauma therapy like a recipe. There are multiple ingredients needed to reach the end result. This is where Mind-Body Medicine Techniques come into your healing.

What is Mind-Body Medicine?

Image of a two-sided brain with one half black and white and the other very colorful. This image illustrates how the brain heals in mind-body medicine in Pikesville, MD. Working with a holistic therapist in Pikesville, MD can help you heal from trauma. | 21136

Illustration by Troy Howard for exclusive use at R.I.S.E MD LLC

As explained by the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, Mind-Body approaches use the conscious mind to impact the work of the brain and the rest of the body. These techniques exert their effects on the hypothalamus or the “switching station” in the brain. The hypothalamus controls the autonomic nervous system, which controls heart rate, and blood pressure. Additionally, it controls the endocrine gland and the nervous system. But what am I saying here?

So, your brain tells your body how to react. What your brain tells your body to do in situations is based on its assessment of danger. And when you’ve experienced trauma, sometimes your brain thinks many things are dangerous. Because of this your body is always preparing for an attack which creates strain on your mind, body and spirit.¬†Mind-Body techniques target the parts of your body and brain where you experience this strain to help you heal and assess danger more accurately and experience relief.

What are some examples of Mind-Body Medicine techniques?

Here are some of the common techniques used at R.I.S.E.:

  • Guided Meditation
  • Deep breathing
  • Sound Healing
  • Visualization
  • Art
  • Movement

How can Mind-Body Medicine techniques help?

Image of a purple poster of a woman with the words "trauma may show up as: insomnia, heart disease, leaky gut, diabetes, low sex drive." This image illustrates the many health impacts of trauma. A holistic therapist in Baltimore, MD can help you process trauma. Using mind-body medicine in Baltimore, MD can help you heal your body and mind from trauma. | 21208

Illustration by Troy Howard for exclusive use at R.I.S.E MD LLC

Body Responses

When you experience trauma, your sympathetic nervous system becomes activated. This is the part of your brain that tells your body to react when you feel threatened. When this gets switched “on,” your brain sends signals to your body to protect it from the potential threat.

Further, when you’ve experienced trauma, you constantly feel threatened. So, your body is repeatedly using its energy to protect you. This means that your body is not using its energy to make sure you fall asleep, have sex with your partner, or eat a meal. As a result of this constant state of activation, your body has a physiological response. This response may feel like sharp pains in your chest, difficulty shutting your mind off, or snapping at those closest to you.

Slowing Down Body Responses

Mind-Body Medicine techniques help you access your parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of your brain that helps you calm down. Due to their calming effect, Mind-Body Medicine techniques can create beneficial changes in many of the body’s physiological responses.

These changes include lower blood pressure, decreased stress hormone levels, less pain response, and better immune functioning. And Mind-Body techniques have helped people make significant changes in conditions such as hypertension, HIV, cancer, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Before you say this doesn’t apply, consider for a moment the fact that you can name at least one Black person diagnosed with either high blood pressure or diabetes.

What does all of this mean?

Whether it feels natural or not, your mind and your body are intended for connection. But experiencing trauma disconnects your mind, body, feelings, and spirit. So no, you are not broken. Instead, this is a sign that a different type of healing needs to occur.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking that you’ve never experienced leaky gut. That’s fine. But maybe you’re reading this and realizing that you have difficulty sleeping, believing in yourself, or a lack an interest in sex. All of these things are ways that trauma disconnects your mind from your body. However, using Mind-Body Medicine techniques can help you restore the mind-body connection. And it will be a connection that will be lifelong.

Before you say Mind-Body Medicine is some hippie stuff for white folk…

Many Mind-Body Medicine techniques have roots in traditional African practices. Our ancestors used Mind-Body Medicine techniques for healing. Y’all we, as in Black folk, have used dancing, breathing, drawing, and sound as healing methods for centuries. What does this look like in our community? Eating a plant-based diet, having a prayer circle, using drums, beatboxing, stepping, making raps in school during your lunch period. We are not new to this, we are true¬†to this!

Curious about beginning therapy using mind-body skills but not quite ready to start? Check out some of our blog posts.

Mind-Body Medicine Group Services

Mind-Body medicine techniques are incorporated during individual therapy sessions. They are also offered as a structured 8-week group for women.

When is the next Mind-Body Medicine Group?

Our next group begins May 1, 2022. See the flyer below for details. We hope to see you there!

What is a Mind-Body Medicine Group?

Mind-Body Medicine groups at my Baltimore-area therapy practice are available to women and girls ages 16 and up. The groups are primarily education and skill-based. Further, the groups are not a substitute for individual therapy services. But they serve to provide a healing environment that fosters resiliency. This group helps participants build resilience by teaching and modeling self-help skills.

The Mind-Body Medicine group model is based on the model developed by Dr. James Gordon, founder of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. Each group session focuses on a different set of skills designed to use your lived experiences as a teacher.

Mind-Body Medicine groups provide an opportunity for you to connect with other women that look like you and struggle like you. We are not alone in our struggles. And when we connect with others, we realize our similarities.

What is the time commitment for a Mind-Body Medicine group?

Mind-Body Medicine groups are offered in weekly 2-hour long sessions. Groups run for a minimum of 8 consecutive weeks. Participation at each group is required for completion.

Can I use my insurance to attend a Mind-Body Medicine group?

Insurance companies require many things in order to cover the cost of mental health services. One of those things is a diagnosis. During this group, no participant will be given a diagnosis. The cost of the group is paid in cash, card, or health savings accounts. The financial commitment is $600 per person. A reduced fee is offered to up to 2 participants that are BIPOC members of the LGTBQ community.

Begin Healing with Mind-Body Medicine in Pikesville, MD

I believe that recentering the body, mind, and soul allows for holistic healing. And that is just what I hope to do with my clients during trauma therapy at my Pikesville, MD therapy practice. If you are all-in and ready to begin finding healing yourself, follow the steps below.

  1. Reach out to me with questions or interest in getting started.
  2. Meet with me, Christina, for a consultation call to discuss your goals.
  3. Find true healing in the natural connectedness of body, mind, and soul.

Other Services at Revilatizing Inner Self Essence in Pikesville, MD

Due to extensive and ongoing training, I have many skills to help women overcome trauma and thrive in their lives today. While I offer trauma therapy at my Baltimore, MD-area practice, I specialize in working with domestic violence and homicide survivors. And along with Mind-Body Medicine, I am trained in EMDR as a trauma therapy approach. If you are interested in getting to know more about my practice and my methods for helping domestic violence and homicide survivors, reach out to me.