What is Mindful Movement

Mindful movement encompasses mind-body disciplines, such as tai chi and yoga. These disciplines are complementary health practices that incorporate mind relaxation techniques with physical movement. They enable you to modify your perception of stress and back pain.

Yoga is a popular way to relieve stress. This ancient tradition originated in India and was practiced for millennia on the sub-continent before being noticed by Western cultures. It incorporates a sequence of strengthening poses to enhance balance, flexibility and relaxation. This popular mindful movement also utilizes stretching, breathing and meditation exercises. Tai chi and qigong are Chinese mindful movement practices. Qigong consists of mediation, proper breathing, physical movements and positive statements. The goal is to reestablish harmony and improve the movement of life energy otherwise known as “qi.”

Although Tai chi incorporates more physical movement, it shares qigong’s principles. The exercises emphasize “yin” and “yang” by combining opposites, such as strength and softness, active and calm, and forward and backward.

There are programs within the mindful movement field that concentrate on specific elements of pain relief. Two of the most well-known practices are mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

 

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

As the name implies, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) uses ancient healing disciplines to minimize or eliminate your body’s response to stress. It combines yoga and meditation. MBSR is designed to heighten your awareness that there is a connection between your body and mind.  MBSR incorporates techniques that target negative subconscious behaviors, feelings and thoughts. These actions and emotions increase stress levels by undermining your overall health and wellbeing. Most people understand how the mind affects stress levels. The goal of MBSR is to help you modify the way that you think and your attitude in response to certain situations. This can alleviate stress and anxiety. The technique is proven to lower arousal and blood pressure. 

 

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

The goal of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is to help people who are depressed and experience chronic discontent. The therapy uses normal cognitive therapy to change unproductive thought patterns, behaviors and emotional responses. MBCT uses psychological techniques that help patients understand the correlation between various modes of the mind and mood disorders. When you recognize the connection, you can work toward an appropriate answer.

You can use the strong connection between the mind and pain to change the way that you think. The therapy will help you recover from the stress and depression associated with your back pain. MBCT can motivate you to take the steps required to control your symptoms.

 

Mindful Movement and Back Pain Relief

While it is uncertain whether mindful movement therapies can directly relieve back pain, there is sufficient evidence that it can support your overall recovery.

Research indicates that people can use their minds to reduce pain, and that negative thoughts intensify symptoms. The combination of psychological treatment and physical movements can help you change your perception and unproductive thoughts. Mindful movement therapy can motivate you to take the steps required to enjoy a pain-free life.


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