Mind–body medicine uses the power of the mind to promote healing in the body. Some forms of mind–body medicine—specifically, affirmation and visualization—are active, using mental exercises to change one’s physical health. Other more indirect forms of mind–body medicine acknowledge that stress and traumatic events have a negative impact on both the immune system and the body in general. These approaches work to control mental and emotional stress. For example, helping people deal with the stress of being HIV positive may benefit their immune function and reduce their risk of illness. Meditation, Tai Chi, yoga and mindfulness practices are indirect forms of mind–body medicine. An emerging field of conventional medicine, psychoneuroimmunology, studies the links between stress and immune function.
Mind–body medicine includes: