Mind-body practices are so deeply embedded in our lives, like taking a deep breath under stress, feeling relieved after a big yawn and stretch or taking a walk when feeling gloomy, that we often don’t perceive their intrinsic therapeutic value.
Recently there has been an emergence of new evidence associated with the therapeutic effects of mind-body practice on trauma-induced symptoms. This is good news. It means there is the possibility to reverse the deleterious impacts of trauma through self-directed practice.
Last year, my colleagues and I published an article that reviews the current scientific evidence for mind-body practice as a way of coping with the effects of trauma. Our analysis of 16 original scientific research papers suggested that mind-body practices are associated with positive impacts on trauma-related symptoms such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
To summarize, mind-body practices can have numerous therapeutic effects on stress responses, including reductions in anxiety, depression, and anger, and increases in pain tolerance, self-esteem, energy levels, ability to relax, and ability to cope with stressful situations. Knowledge about the diverse modalities of mind-body practices can not only serve effectively for those who suffer from post-traumatic symptoms, but also present healthcare providers with the opportunity to explore an individualized and effective treatment plan enhanced by mind-body interventions as part of ongoing self-care.
To read the article, download a pdf version (Kim, SH et al_Mind Body Practices for PTSD).