Recharge Your Mind and Body

5 min read
Ralf Kunze / Pixabay

Source: Ralf Kunze / Pixabay

It is widely accepted that the only constant in life is change. And its constant change in our external lives that impacts our internal mental and physical ecosystem. Being aware of and understanding viable options and integrative approaches to address health and wellness to cultivate homeostasis within, and recharge in a non-invasive complementary way is essential to health longevity, life, and living.

Homeostasis is the state of balance for a body to function properly and survive while continuously adjusting to surrounding conditions.

Jaden’s Story

Jaden is a young 42-year-old seasoned attorney at a prestigious DC law firm. He works long hours every day including weekends. Normally, he’s able to overlook how he feels and power through the many competing demands, but lately, he’s found himself taking more and more over-the-counter medications to dull the pain that’s consuming his life. The chronic tension headaches and low back pain he’s experiencing are debilitating at times and he’s not able to focus on his work the way he needs. And if that’s not enough, he’s sleep deprived, not rested in the morning, and has been contemplating options other than the OTC medications and even stronger prescribed medications he’s been taking, but he’s not really sure where to turn or what to do. It is a conundrum.

Jaden represents many of us in the world — flowing with the hustle and bustle of everyday life while trying to navigate common health concerns like stress, headaches, low back pain, and sleep deprivation, wanting to tap into different ways to manage health and recharge mentally and physically, but not fully aware of viable options outside of conventional medicine. The U.S. population is a melting pot of ethnic, cultural, gender, and age groups and the rapidly changing demographics from a less homogeneous to a more heterogeneous society has given rise to growing demands for different but comprehensive and effective health care options. Integrative, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has emerged as a relevant form of health care used to address a litany of common health issues and for whole-body wellness.

As defined by the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health, “integrative medicine and health focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing” (ACIMH, 2023). Furthermore, according to a 2017 National report by the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NCCIM), there was an increase in the use of yoga, meditation, and chiropractors between 2012 to 2017 which were identified as commonly used approaches to health and wellness (Clark, T. et al, 2018).

While traditional medicine is steeped in a system of treating symptoms, complementary and alternative medicine and integrative approaches focus on a system of treating the whole person; mind and body are one and affect each other physiologically. Integrative health emphasizes multimodal interventions, two or more, such as conventional health care approaches (e.g., medication, psychotherapy), and complementary health approaches (e.g., yoga, probiotics) in various combinations, with an emphasis on whole-body integrative treatment (NIH, NCCIH, 2021). National data from a 2000 study which included a sample of nearly 10,000 participants, when CAM was emerging, examined the relationship between mental disorders and the use of complementary and alternative medicine and found “relatively high rates of use of complementary and alternative medicine among respondents who met criteria for common mental disorders” (AJP, 2000). Under the parent organization, National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) divides CAM into five major domains:

  1. Whole Medical Systems (i.e., naturopathy, homeopathy, ayurveda, Chinese)
  2. Manipulative Body-Based Medicine (i.e., chiropractic and osteopathy)
  3. Mind-Body Techniques (i.e., yoga, tai chi, and meditation)
  4. Biologically Based Practices (i.e., therapeutic foods, diet, herbal supplements)
  5. Energy Therapy (i.e. reiki, qi gong, magnets, therapeutic touch)

5 CAM to Support Your Mind and Body

  • Naturopathy – an alternative medical system that uses natural methods to facilitate the body’s self-healing abilities and incorporates homeopathic medicine.
  • Chiropractic Medicine – a distinct, integrative healthcare specialty focused on the neuromusculoskeletal systems and the hallmark adjustment to help restore health.
  • Massage Therapy – involves specific movements and techniques to manipulate the soft tissues of the body for overall health and wellness.
  • Acupuncture – traditional Chinese medicine involving the placement of thin needles in acupoints on the skin thought to relieve pain and unblock and redirect the flow of energy.
  • Herbal Tinctures – phytotherapy which primarily includes the preparation of herbal materials and active ingredients of plants and related product parts for wellness.

In conjunction with conventional approaches, take time to explore viable non-invasive, complementary and alternative medicine and therapies that could be beneficial for general and specific mental and physical health conditions. Homeostasis is integral to optimal wellness and keeping the mind and body charged and balanced to help manage the daily stressors of life.

Your Supportive Sisters in Mental Health and Wellness,

Kisha & Malika

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