In 1998, Congress established the Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM), one of the institutes in the National Institute of Health. Mind-Body Medicine, one of the main health categories in the CAM Center, is also referred to as mind-body therapy. The basic premise of mind-body medicine and therapies is that there is a dynamic relationship between the mind and body and the ways in which the mental, emotional, spiritual and social aspects interact and affect behavior and health. Thus, to maximize the opportunity for health and healing, all aspects, or the “whole” of the person, need to be recognized and engaged in the therapeutic process.
Mind-body therapies recognize the individual’s capacity for self-awareness, self-knowledge, and ultimately the innate capacity for igniting self-healing mechanisms. The approach to mind-body therapy is psycho-educational, meaning, the therapist combines “therapeutics” with “practices” in the delivery of treatment. The therapist either guides the individual through practices or directly teaches mind-body skills and techniques. The client actively participates in the therapy process and assumes a co-creative role in creating health and wellness.