Mind–body research moves towards the mainstream
Mind-Body Medicine: A Balanced Approach
Dr. Herbert Benson, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Massachusetts General Hospital Director Emeritus, Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) for Mind Body Medicine and colleagues talk about the Relaxation Response and the current role of mind-body techniques in wellness and medical care.
“My goal has always been to promote a healthy balance between self-care approaches and more traditional approaches—medical and surgical inter¬ventions that can be magnificent and lifesaving when appropriate. However, self-care is immensely powerful in its own right. The elicitation of the Relaxation Response, stress management, regular exercise, good nutrition, and the power of belief all have a tremendous role to play in our healing.” ~ Herbert Benson, MD
60 years earlier Harvard physiologist Walter B. Cannon discovered the “fight-or-flight” response, also known as the stress response. Human beings developed this primitive physiologic response as a mechanism for surviving stressful situations. As Benson explains, “Our bodies release hormones—adrenaline and noradrenaline, or epinephrine and norepinephrine—to increase heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, metabolic rate and blood flow to the muscles, gearing our bodies either to do battle with an opponent or to flee.” Benson’s own research showed that the polar opposite was also true: “The body is imbued with what I termed the Relaxation Response, an inducible, physiologic state of quietude.” Teaching people why that quietude is important and how to induce it has been a major focus of Dr. Benson’s work ever since.
Updated on 2018-05-19T06:53:00+00:00, by .