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What exactly is mind-body exercise?

Joanne Duncan-Carnesciali, CPT,NASM Elite Trainer
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines mind-body interventions as "interventions that employ a variety of techniques designed to facilitate the mind's capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms."

In the textbook, Complementary Therapies and Wellness written by Jodi Carlson, mind-body interventions refer to "interventions that can be taught to clients to affect themselves, as opposed to interventions directed by the intention of another person such as energy therapies."

Mind-body exercises include Pilates, yoga and tai-chi.

I am of the opinion that it is possible for anyone participating in physical activity or exercise to become more aware of how they move in space thus being able to connect with their body's movement on a deeper level.

Moving with conscious effort can only improve the quality of the activity.
This is a physical activity or exercise that is performed with an added internal awareness or focus. Along with the usual benefits of exercise, including building strength, muscle, and endurance, the added mindful focus can also benefit your coordination and concentration levels and bring about a peaceful, clear mind, often leading to better stress management. This approach to exercise continues to evolve, and has become increasingly popular due to the realization that states of mind and body are interconnected. Focusing on any given object, such as a part of your body or your breath, brings your mind into the present moment where you let go of any thoughts of the past or future. Learning this focus as you link it with movement allows you to feel, observe, and be present with everything as a whole and is what distinguishes mind-body exercise from any other exercise system.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.