Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Mind–body interventions

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

Mind–body interventions are medical and pseudomedical interventions based on the idea of the mind influencing the physical body. The category was introduced in September 2000 by the United States National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), so encompasses primarily complementary and alternative medicine interventions, but also includes scientifically validated practices such as cognitive behavioural therapy.


NCCIH definition

The NCCIH defines mind-body interventions as those practices that "employ a variety of techniques designed to facilitate the mind's capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms", and include guided imagery, guided meditation and forms of meditative praxis, hypnosis and hypnotherapy, prayer, as well as art therapy, music therapy, and dance therapy.

In conventional medicine

All mind-body interventions focus on the interaction between the brain, body, and behavior and are practiced with intention to use the mind to alter physical function and promote overall health and well-being.

However, the NCCIH does not consider mind-body interventions as within the purview of complementary and alternative medicine when there is sufficient scientific evidence for the benefit of such practices along with their professional application in conventional medicine. One such practice that the NCCIH defines as a mind-body intervention because it utilizes the mind's capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms, but for which there is sufficient scientific evidence and mainstream application for it to fall outside the purview of complementary and alternative medicine is cognitive behavioral therapy.

Alternative terms

Since 2008, authors documenting research conducted on behalf of the NCCIH have used terms "mind and body practices" and "mind-body medicine" interchangeably with "mind-body interventions" to denote both therapeutic as well as physical and mental rehabilitative practices that "focus on the relationships between the brain, mind, body, and behavior, and their effect on health and disease." and have furthermore attested requisite professional competence among those administering such practices, stating that "mind and body practices include a large and diverse group of procedures or techniques administered or taught by a trained practitioner or teacher".


The current list of example mind-body interventions provided by the NCCIH is as follows:


Mind-body Interventions are the most commonly used form of complementary and alternative medicine in the United States, with yoga and meditation being the most popular forms.

Evidence for efficacy

There are documented benefits of several mind-body interventions derived from scientific research firstly into their use in contributing to the treatment a range of conditions including headaches, coronary artery disease and chronic pain; secondly in ameliorating disease and the symptoms of chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting, and localized physical pain in patients with cancer; thirdly in increasing the perceived capacity to cope with significant problems and challenges; and fourthly in improving the reported overall quality of life. In addition, there is evidence supporting the brain and central nervous system's influence on the immune system and the capacity for mind-body interventions to enhance immune function outcomes, including defense against and recovery from infection and disease.


Mind–body interventions Wikipedia

Similar Topics
Lenin in Paris
Huub Oosterhuis
Vladimir García