What We Do
Everything we do at MindBody Medical Center is based on our belief that all healing is about building and cleansing, which apply to both physical and non-physical processes. We become healthy by improving the integrity of our functioning in both body and mind. Improving integrity is a process of exposing and ridding those factors that compromise us, while introducing and incorporating those that support us. In all cases it is essential to determine what kind of intervention is appropriate at what point in time. One of the major aspects common to many illnesses is inflammation. The following examples illustrate the importance of addressing underlying conditions related to inflammation.
What do a 13-year-old girl with Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) and a 66-year-old woman with ulcerative colitis have in common? On the surface we see they both have illnesses that are inflammatory in nature with no known cause. The former was brought in by her mother who was convinced there may be a better solution than the mainstream anti-inflammatory treatment offered. The latter had been treated with both steroid and non-steroid anti-inflammatory agents without success. Another fact shared by these two patients is that they were both treated successfully with a program of non-prescription medicines that included an extract from the leaves of the olive tree. Olive leaf extract is well-known in botanical medicine for its anti-infectious properties. A reasonable conclusion is that in both cases there was an unidentified microbial agent playing a central role in the inflammation process.
A number of inflammatory illnesses are classified as autoimmune, meaning that the immune system is targeting the body’s own tissues. We may theorize that autoimmune inflammation is actually an immune response to an unidentified toxic or infectious condition. As with all illness, the fundamental need is to build and cleanse the system toward a state of greater functional integrity. One particular patient had not yet developed symptoms of an autoimmune illness. She showed only an abnormal result in a screening test, an anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) level of 417, where the normal range is 0-99. In this instance we employed a program of botanical and nutrient medicines, administered both by mouth and by intravenous infusion. Two months later we tested her ANA level again, and it came back at 49.
Autoimmune illnesses are known for their susceptibility to both physical and psychological influences. At times we utilize a technique we call Core Symbol Work. It is an exercise where the patient sits comfortably in a chair with her/his eyes closed. Guided breathing methods are used to encourage a state of relaxation, followed by guided attention to the spontaneously emerging mental images that carry valuable symbolic content. The images have personal meaning for the patient as revealed by the associated feelings that emerge, thus releasing hidden sources of tension. Such tension is related to the compromise in chemical integrity and electrical flow that are at the root of inflammation. Again, we are simply exposing and ridding those factors that compromise our integrity at whatever level they occur.
Although autoimmune illness is the category most known for mind-body influences, other chronic conditions are deserving of the same comprehensive considerations. In the case of cancer, we routinely recommend a book entitled Cancer Report by John R. Voell and Cynthia A. Chatfield. It is a work book published by Change Your World Press and talks about methods, both physical and psychological, that account for the recovery of thousands of cancer patients.
The complete picture of human health includes electrical flow, mechanical balance, chemical integrity, social functionality, and spiritual wholeness. Once again, the healing process is always one of building and cleansing on all levels. As well, we are always obliged to determine which aspects are currently open to change, and thus what form of intervention is appropriate. This is our guiding principle for approaching all health conditions.