Mind Body Complementary Integrative Modalities

Week 2 Discussion:

The authors refer to the concepts of health and the human spirit throughout the assigned reading. The concept of health is used to describe the whole being as it travels through a journey of personal growth and wellbeing (Dossey, Keegan & Barrere, 2016).The human spirit is the essence of our beings which not only reflects our character but the culmination of our thoughts, feelings, moral compass, relationship with a higher power/God, others, and nature (Dossey, Keegan & Barrere, 2016). Notably, human spirit has been difficult to articulate and to address in the nursing profession as well as the literature.Some attach meaning that is grounded in religiosity, but others express that it is our energy and life-force, the élan vital—as speculated by a French philosopher, Henri Bergson (1907), “the creative force within an organism that is responsible for growth, change, and necessary or desirable adaptations” (élan vital, 2018)

There are numerous forms of Mind Body Complementary Integrative Modalities (CIM) which direct the communication of the brain, body, and behaviors of an individual in order to influence physical function and support wellness (Dossey, Keegan & Barrere, 2016, p. 63).While support groups, psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy and stress management were once thought of as alternative or complementary, they are now considered unconventional practices.

In order to dig deeper into the modalities, two examples will be explored further. The first is mindfulness.It is a form of meditation that involves learning to become fully aware and pay attention to what is going on in the here and now.A common problem which people encounter occurs when there is persistent worry about the past and/or future events without fully being mentally in the present moment.Mindfulness is learned like most things through practice.It requires us to consciously notice all thoughts and feelings while intentionally recognizing them and responding without judgment.With practice and patience, these techniques help individuals understand thought patterns, perceptions, and subsequent neural pathways that the mind follows as a default mechanism which affects our reactions to people and things.This knowledge and understanding may allow us change of the dynamics of our relationships in the world around us.

The secondly addressed CIM is T’ai Chi. This originated as a martial art of the traditional Chinese culture.According to “The Health Benefits of Tai Chi” (2009), the practice includes gentle circular movements along with meditation, relaxation, and deep breathing which can be performed by all fitness levels as in may be practiced in lying, sitting, or standing positions. The thought is that the practice improves the flow of energy called Qi and brings harmony to the body. Overall fitness is addressed through muscle strengthening, flexibility, balance and aerobic conditioning. There are opportunities for the students improve through instruction offering gentle feedback on the activity. Often, there is a sense of belonging or community that develops. As a result, benefits are seen in the areas of perception of pain and psychosocial well- being.

For my personal wellness, I am most consistent with prayer.It is a part of my daily life. My spiritual background is Christianity.I listen to worship music, read the bible, and at times use a prayer journal. I find that keeping God at the center of my life keeps me well grounded. “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him.Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalms 62:1-2, New International Version).

I was also blessed to be part of an eight week “Mindful Life Coaching Series” at the university at which I work.It was great to begin learning about mindfulness practice. At the end of the series we had been charged with creating an intentional mindful life script which we recorded on our phones to listen to in future practice.

References:

Dossey, B. M., Keegan, L., & Barrere, C. (2016). Holistic nursing: A handbook for practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Élan vital. (n.d.). Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon. Retrieved May 22, 2018 from Dictionary.com website

The Health Benefits of Tai Chi. (May 2009). Harvard’s Women’s Health Watch. Retrieved May 22, 2018, from www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-health-benefits-of tai-chi.

Wang, C., Schmidt, C. H., & Fielding, R. A. (n.d.). Effect of Tai Chi versus Aerobic Exercise for Fibromyalgia: Comparative effectiveness randomized trial. BMJ. Doi: 10.1136/bmj.k851 | BMJ 2018;360:k851 | the bmj