Psychophysiology in Action

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Mind-body connection is a term that has become much more main-stream recently. Psychophysiology is an application of the mind-body concept. In Naturopathy, we sit down with the patient for an hour to an hour and a half to listen to the person’s story and how it has affected his/her health. Many times, we use an emotion, a traumatic event, or word choice help to guide us to the underlying mental/emotional cause of the symptoms. It is the application of mind-body medicine.

One of my favorite examples of psychophysiology is the story of a lady who was, at heart a singer. She had sung in her church choir for many years. She had recently moved and had discontinued singing. Not an especially out-going person, she had trouble reaching out to make new friends and acquaintances. She had been invited to join the choir at her new church, but being a shy person, had hesitated on the invitation. About a month later, she started to get a feeling of a lump in her throat. She could not swallow it, could not cough it out. It was stuck. She came in and we discussed her various health complaints, with the lump in her throat, known as globus hystericus, being one of her chief complaints.

What had happened to her throat is she had suppressed her singing voice. It had lodged itself in her larynx and was her body’s way of asking her to sing. Her treatment, in part, along with a few other treatments, was to join the choir and let herself sing. The singing was being suppressed by her shyness and it was harming her health.

She came back in, 4 weeks later, with no symptoms of the lump any longer! Singing was her medicine. This is such a poetic and touching story, I had to share it. Medicine is a part of our everyday lives. It is self, family, blue skies, and what we do with our time. It isn’t merely the drugs or supplements that make us better.

We sometimes hold ourselves back, put ourselves down, and use words that subconsciously can in the long run cause an inner dis-ease. Through psychophysiology, we work to uncover what emotional or mental connection we hold in the body. Homeopathy is often given along with other treatments to treat the whole person, mind-body-spirit.

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