It has long been recognized that attitude, beliefs, faith, and emotions play a crucial role in health and healing. Even with the great advances in Western medicine in pharmacology, surgery and other interventional therapies there is no doubt that we must better incorporate Mind-Body interactions in order to optimize health and promote recovery from illness. This is especially true for complex and chronic illnesses such as chronic pain, inflammatory diseases, and problems related to aging. Patients have in fact led the way by seeking out Alternative and Mind-Body approaches such as Yoga, Meditation, Psychotherapy, and spirituality in great numbers despite little interest from the medical establishment.
A very exciting development in the last few years is the rapid advancement of neuroscience approaches that can be used to study the mechanisms involved in Mind-Body interactions and therefore both validate and help target Mind-Body based interventions for specific problems. As a lead Center in the development of the scientific study of Mind-Brain-Body interactions the Center for Neurobiology of Stress has begun to focus on this important area of medical science. Through funding from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at NIH as well as private foundations, especially the Oppenheimer Family Foundation, the Center is using its clinical and neuroscience expertise to both promote and carry out ground breaking studies in Mind-Body medicine. Example studies include brain imaging studies of Mindful Awareness Meditation, physiological underpinnings of Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnoses, and symptom and physiological outcomes from Iyengar Yoga treatment of pain.
To develop a broad based research and training program in Mind Body and integrative medicine with emphasis on both clinical and neurobiological studies of health, healing and resilience to disease. To bring together multidisciplinary groups of scientists and clinicians with expertise in Mind-Body and alternative medicine as well as neuroscience to advance our understanding of potentially beneficial practices such as Yoga, Mindful Awareness Meditation and Cognitive Therapy.
Disease areas: Chronic pain, Functional gastrointestinal disorders, Mood disorders, and PTSD
Director: Bruce D. Naliboff
Co-Directors: Kirsten Tillisch; Suzanne Smith