Monday, May 2, 2011

Body or Mind approach when dealing with depression?

Nowhere is the body - mind connection and it’s impact on wellness and illness more obvious then in depression. Depression affects the mind, which involves feelings of sadness and decreased energy having an impact on ones’s ability to perform everyday tasks. However, the major underlying cause to these matters of the mind is a biochemical imbalance due to a malfunctioning of the physiological stress response, thus making it a physical problem! 
So if it is a physical problem, would you then still think it logical that a talk therapy is the place to start your healing?
I’m not saying that talk therapy doesn’t help, it does and it has it rightful place in a treatment package that is suited to the individuals demands and path to recovery. But to start talk therapy when the underlying cause is on a physical level seems a bit odd. 
A brief description of the stress response might give us an ‘aha but of-course’ moment backing up the idea that a mind approach is maybe not the most efficient treatment to consider when suffering from depression and burnout.
A good functioning stress response will activate the fight and flight mechanism after a threat or challenge has been perceived and returns to normal when the threat or challenge is over. 
An activated fight and flight mechanism is associated with among other things the release of the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol and the physiological changes of heart rate, blood pressure, breath rate which increase and incoherence of the heart rate variability*. This in turn will have an effect on thoughts, actions, feelings and more: Heightens our alertness, gives focal vision, tenses certain muscles, digestion is halted,...  
Problems start when the stress response doesn’t return to a state of ease and thus continues pumping stress hormones into the bloodstream and therefore heart rate, blood pressure, breath rate stay elevated and heart rate variability remains incoherent. Short-term, this will have an impact on (job) performance, loss of general overview, misreading situations, short-temperedness, agitation,... Longterm, it effects - on top of all the previous - our immune system resulting in becoming more prone to bacterial and viral infections,  heart disease, mood and character changes,... 
In an early stage, a malfunctioning stress response can be facilitated back into balance by for example the Heartmath’s Quick Coherence® Technique: using heart focus, heart breathing and heart feeling. This exercise can also be applied in a daily practice as a preventive tool. 
However, when the stress response is out of balance for a longer time and physical side-effects are starting to show and have a negative impact on our general wellbeing - aches and pains, mood swings, insomnia,... - then a more comprehensive treatment that includes a physical and energetic approach is necessary.
BioMotions® Body-Coaching is such a health approach. It facilitates, by means of involuntary micro-movements, the self healing processes that have been perturbed by the effects of stress or trauma. Thus promoting physical, physiological and psychological wellbeing.

BioMotions® Body-Coaching is based on the single universal ‘tidal’ principle and can be applied as a stand-alone holistic approach or it can be integrated in an existing practice: Psychotherapy, coaching, massage, reiki,...
The benefits of BioMotions® Body-Coaching is - among other things - that:
  • It is based on a principle and not a technique and therefore very versatile to any given situation.
  • It can be applied any place and any time
  • It has no negative side-effects
  • It has an immediate positive effect on the physiology of stress
  • It is simple and straightforward
  • Anyone can learn it
BioMotions® Body-Coaching does not cure but it brings back the potential of healing through the regulation of the malfunctioning physiological stress response. 
When the biochemistry balance is restored and the individual needs extra support to steer his or her life into a new direction or needs help with putting a new perspective on a situation, psychotherapy or coaching for that matter can provide a great contribution. 
Love and Light


*HRV = a physiological phenomenon where the time interval between heart beats varies. It is measured by the variation in the beat-to-beat interval
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