MindBody medicine, also known as Psychosomatic medicine refers to a field of physical disorders of the body, that appear to be purely physical, but originate in unconscious emotions. For more information, please see the following documentary, https://vimeo.com/ondemand/alltherage
My first Exposure to psychosomatic medicine was as an acupuncture student in graduate school. The most eclectic of my clinical supervisors at that time, was Professor Jim Dowling, L.Ac. He had a seemingly bizarre approach to pain management with acupuncture. With around 90% of the patients we saw, he instructed us to treat them with acupuncture techniques designed to clear emotional pain. What was more bizarre, was that most of these patients saw great improvement in their physical pains! He often lectured that the number one causative factor of illness in America is emotional, and encouraged us to read books by Dr. John Sarno M.D, an NYU professor specializing in psychosomatic pain.
After I graduated and developed a private practice, I would occasionally find patients unresponsive to typical approaches and would fall back on Dr. Dowling’s mysterious treatments, often with great success. It was in 2018, that I finally read Dr. Sarno’s four books and started to understand the science and clinical studies behind this commonly overlooked cause of pain.
It was around this time that we had a patient with debilitating sciatica. She would limp into the clinic, but responded well to the acupuncture and danced her way out. A few days later though, she would limp her way back in and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the effect of treatment to stick. Finally, she came in with a pain she rated at 9/10 in intensity and I tried a new tactic. I used the knowledge I had gained from Dr. Sarno’s books to guide her into exploring and releasing her unconscious emotions. She spoke about her daughter’s disrespect to her and got very angry. She was practically yelling from the table. I asked her to try walking. To our surprise, she had no pain at all! From this experience, I knew that to treat chronic pain effectively, one must learn about MindBody medicine.
I then began a search and corresponded with various therapists and experts in psychology to learn more about how to treat psychosomatic disorders. The system I found the most clinically effective is called “Intense Feeling Process” (IFP). IFP is a process developed by psychotherapist Armand Dimele that involves guiding patients through the experience of feeling their repressed emotions. After gaining personal experience in the methods and process of IFP, I enrolled in a seminar to formally learn and incorporated IFP into Azamra Acupuncture and Natural Medicine in 2019.
An IFP treatment consists of a 45 minute conversation in person, on skype, or even by phone. In this process, the practitioner uses specific methods to guide the patient through a depth in their emotions they may not have been aware existed. Through the process of feeling these emotions, physical symptoms such as back pain, migraines, IBS, and chronic fatigue can be completely resolved if their cause is psychogenic.
If you believe you have chronic pain, headaches, or other conditions due to a psychosomatic disorder, I invite you to try IFP at the Azamra Acupuncture Clinic.
Daniel Rose, L.Ac, Clinical Director, Azamra Acupuncture.