This program is modeled after the Cardiac Wellness program
pioneered at Harvard Medical School’s Mind Body Institute. The main
· Elicitation of the relaxation response
· Cognitive behavioral strategies
The Mind/Body Medicine Cardiac Wellness Program provides a
range of interventions through individual and group sessions and is the
basis of a relative new discipline called Cardiac Psychology.
This Cardiac Psychology program addresses psychosocial
factors such as stress, relationships, behavior patterns etc. Management of
these in conjunction with medical treatments have shown to improve cardiac
health by 85%.
How You’ll Benefit from Cardiac Psychology Interventions
You’ll learn strategies to:
· Reduce physical symptoms
· Increase coping skills
· Modify adverse lifestyle behaviors
· Take an active role in managing your health care and
improving quality of life
The Mind/Body Medical Institute's work is based on the
inseparable connection between the mind and body - the complicated
interactions that take place between thoughts, body, and the outside world.
Mind/body medicine integrates modern scientific medicine, psychology,
nursing, nutrition, exercise physiology and belief to enhance the natural
healing capacities of body and mind.
During his 30 years of extensive research Herbert Benson,
M.D., a cardiologist and founder of the Mind/Body Medical Institute of
Harvard Medical School found that there was a counterbalancing mechanism to
the fight-or-flight response. Just as stimulating an area of the
hypothalamus can cause the stress response, so activating other areas of the
brain results in its reduction.
The relaxation response is a physical state of deep rest
that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress (e.g., decrease
in heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension). If practiced regularly,
it can have lasting effects when encountering stress throughout the day and
can improve health. Elicitation of the relaxation response is at the heart
of the M/BMI's research and clinical mind/body programs.
Two of the numerous Mind/Body Medical Institute’s clinical
· Open-heart surgery patients have fewer post-operative
complications. Behavioral Medicine, Volume 5, pages 111-117, 1989
· Eighty percent of hypertensive patients have lowered
blood pressure and decreased medications - 16% are able to discontinue all
of their medications. These results lasted at least three years. Journal of
Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Volume 9, pages 316-324, 1989
Research also demonstrates that after completing a Cardiac
Wellness Program, ongoing lifestyle management decreases progression of
Reduce Your Risks Of Future Cardiac Events
Mind/body approaches work because they go beyond the
physical to address the framework of attitudes and behaviors that surround
health. They deal with the cycle of stress, anxiety, physical tension,
symptoms, and disease. They teach individuals to break old harmful patterns
and develop positive attitudes and healthy behaviors.
How Patients Have Benefited
A 68 year old female patient with chronic high blood
pressure, was unable to get it stabilized despite increased dosages of
medications. Her cardiologist referred her to Dr. Rao ( clinical cardiac
psychologist), Within a matter of 6-weeks the patient was able to take
control of her acute anxiety issues through relaxation and guided imagery
techniques. Not only did her BP stabilize but also her medications were
A 52-year old delivery-truck driver suffered a heart
attack on the job. Doctors performed angioplasty and prescribed a regiment
of drug therapy, which stabilized his condition. However, despite his
excellent prognosis he was devastated, anxious and depressed about his
future. His wife called and made an appointment with Dr. Rao. Within 8
weeks of mind-body interventions he has undergone a significant
transformation and is willing and able to take on life's challenges.