What is MindBody?
MindBody is a holistic philosophy that recognizes that mind and body are one and the same, thereby rejecting the current dogma that mind is a separate compartment of body. Above all, MindBody is a practical awareness that can be used to transform emotional, mental and physical health.
What is MindBody Not?
- MindBody does not recognize that our health is controlled by our brain. This idea requires an assumption that mind is located only in the brain. MindBody expressly rejects the assumption that mind is only in the head and sits on top of the rest of the body. Instead, MindBody assumes that mind and body are inseparable aspects of our personhood, much like matter and energy are inseparable qualities in the universe.
- MindBody is not a religious practice. It is a practical awareness that embraces a holistic view of personhood, as well as the meaning apparent in our interpersonal relationships and the world around us.
- MindBody is not a new-age fad, here today and gone tomorrow. Rather, the philosophy of MindBody dates back at least as far as the ancient Greeks.
- MindBody does not ignore science. On the contrary, MindBody philosophy is well aware of the assumptions that underpin the natural sciences. MindBody science embraces a path to knowledge that honors the senses, intuition and the dialectic of scientific enquiry.
- MindBody is not a theory. It is a practical awareness that can be used to transform emotional, mental and physical health.
Are You Medical Doctors? Do You Operate a Medical Clinic?
Although MindBody is often used synonymously with medicine (usually inappropriately), we have taken pains to avoid use of the word “medicine” in references to our MindBody practice. The MindBody Doc is not aligned with traditional medical practice nor does it use registered medical practitioners. In addition, The MindBody Doc and its coach-practitioners do not diagnose or treat medical conditions, nor are its coaches licensed to do so. Moreover, working with us on your health issue is not a substitute for the diagnosis and/or treatment of medical conditions by a licensed health care professional.
If you have a medical condition that has been diagnosed by a licensed health care professional, or you have an undiagnosed condition awaiting evaluation by a licensed health care professional, The MindBody Doc’s services should only be used in conjunction with your obtaining that care. You’ll be pleased to know that when you do use our services, you are not entering an online ‘clinic’, you’ll not be treated as a patient and made to wait for 15+ minutes, and your clothes will remain fully attached to your person!
How Do You Help People Then?
First and foremost, when you use The MindBody Doc’s services, you’ll be treated as a whole person, not as a patient who is required to leave some part of her or himself out of the picture only to be prescribed a mass-produced treatment to medicate, numb and suppress a ‘physical’ or ‘mental’ problem. MindBody does not distinguish between ‘mental’ and ‘physical’ suffering; rather, it regards these as inseparable aspects to which we’d further add ’emotional’ suffering. Thus, when you have a thought, there is always an accompanying embodied (physical) feeling, as well as an affect or emotion. At The MindBody Doc, our philosophy recognizes that our emotions, thoughts and feelings arise as a reaction or response to our subjective life experiences.
Ultimately, it is the recurrent pattern of negative emotions, thoughts and feelings arising from our subjective life experiences and the resulting core beliefs about ourselves that create our mental and physical distress. It therefore makes sense to use a relational approach to unlock the unconscious story of our distress and release the limiting beliefs and negative emotions to effect a change in our emotional, mental and physical health. The MindBody health and performance coach-practitioner works with you one-on-one or in a group setting to facilitate this process. This approach can be used in conjunction with conventional medical care.
You’re Saying You Can Coach Me to Health,
Even From a Physical Disease Like Cancer?
It’s natural for you to be stuck on the idea that thoughts (mind-mental) and things (body-physical) are separate, and that an immaterial thought is quite incapable of affecting a material body. It’s therefore natural that you would label a disease such as cancer as ‘physical’ simply because cancer is a measurable, observable ‘thing’ growing in your body. It’s also understandable that you would label all the fear, doubt, helplessness and anguish that arise from your having cancer as ‘mental’ distress.
But this act of labelling distress as ‘mental’ or ‘physical’ is based on an assumption that has been handed to you from the get-go as a worldview and reinforced in the classroom and in the media. Nevertheless, it is just an assumption and one that has never been substantiated in science.
So, yes! We can coach you to freedom from a chronic, life-limiting disease like cancer. But we would do so not by approaching your symptoms as a doctor would by prescribing drugs and surgery, but by looking for the story in your symptoms and helping you to make the connections you need to make between certain life events and the subsequent embodiment of your distress. The process is the same whether your principal complaint is ‘physical’ like cancer or atopic dermatitis, or ‘mental’ like anxiety or depression. But that’s the last time you’ll catch us using those labels, they’re unhelpful and not at all accurate.
And I Need a Coach for This?
Yes and no!
Our coach-practitioners are not coaches in the normal sense. That is to say someone who is better served at teaching others than being an athlete, or a former athlete turned to coaching because that’s better than being turned out to pasture. We’re not trying to be unkind to coaches here (our chief still coaches basketball), but we are trying to show a point of difference.
You see, to be a coach-practitioner at The MindBody Doc, you must first have overcome your own health challenges. Through following the methods he’s mapped out for the clients of The MindBody Doc, Dr. Howard Christian first overcame his own asthma, life-long allergies, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, and a 27-year struggle with trichotillomania! To be a coach-practitioner at The MindBody Doc, you also have to be committed to following a code of ethics, and maintaining stringent standards through ongoing professional development, professional supervision and personal care. In short, you have to be bodymind fit on the back of extensive personal experience of not being bodymind fit in order to be the best person you can be for our clients!
So, if you’re as dedicated as our chief, you probably don’t need us at all. Much of the information you need to transform your health you can find on this website. We say, “go for it, you’ve got what it takes!”
But the key ingredient a coach-practitioner can provide that you can’t get alone is the other side of the relationship. You see, as we are wounded in relationship, so too are we healed in relationship. Your coach-practitioner is trained to be present with you as, together, you explore the cause of your distress, which inevitably is related to human connection and its absence. At The MindBody Doc, we are coach-practitioners in the Way of Connection, which is all about love really.
Can MindBody Really Cure My Disease?
We do understand how attached to the idea of ‘cure’ you are and we honor this. But ‘cure’ is all about the destination, whereas MindBody – once embarked upon – is a lifelong journey of healing and personal growth. Unless you reach enlightenment, there’s no point at which you are truly free of ‘dis-ease’. And we’ll be completely up front with you, we’re not coaching enlightenment.
If you’re struggling with that idea, here’s another way of looking at cure. Imagine a person with cancer who undergoes a course of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to achieve the cure or ‘remission’ they’ve been led to believe they need for survival. They do absolutely everything the medical system asks of them and then some. But what is remission? It’s an objective, physiologically measurable state of well being imposed by the oncologist during review.
In other words, to get to this point of remission requires that the oncologist can no longer measure the cancer. It doesn’t mean that cancer cells are no longer present. And when this person reaches her or his remission, it feels nothing like they thought it would because they still feel dreadful from the fatigue, the hair loss, the bloating, the malnutrition and all the other toxic side effects of the therapies they’ve been receiving. And worse still, they’re ever fearful that someday the cancer will return.
So if we’re to talk about cure, we need to understand that it’s a self-imposed feeling and not some objective phenomenon that someone with expert credentials should impose on you. Instead, at The MindBody Doc, we journey with you to create a new vision, the highest vision of your well being. Once you’ve created this vision using your imagination, your bodymind can’t help but follow this new course. Can we meet you on the path of your creation and call this vision a holistic cure?
I’m a Doctor, Teacher, Nurse, Scientist, Skeptic,
Student of Life…and I Need More If I’m to be Convinced!
Fair enough! A healthy bit of skepticism never hurt anyone. So our chief has published a scientific, peer-reviewed article to challenge the very thinking that we at The MindBody Doc contend constrains our experience of health, abundance and happiness.
You might be surprised to learn that your own beliefs, as for MindBody, are underpinned by a philosophical assumption. For example, the assumption that everything can be explained in terms of matter. Problems arise with this assumption when it is maintained, as it is today, without question. But what is the cost? Certainly there is a cost to critical thinking, but what about the cost to our individual, family and community health? What about the cost to our planet and our spiritual path? We invite you to read this article because it might just change a life.