The relief of symptoms in the body may lie in the brain.
Somatic (which means “relating to the body”) symptoms and related disorders can manifest in a number of physical problems with or without pain. These problems can be quite distressful and sometimes evade a medical explanation, creating significant anxiety in the patient. Sometimes the symptoms can present themselves as:
- seizure-like / stroke-like symptoms
- a loss of sensation of feeling in the body
- physical weakness
- chronic fatigue
- unexplained dizziness
- chronic pain
- psychological and stress factors affecting medical and surgical conditions
- other physical symptoms
Many patients have found physical relief from working with providers who specialize in the science of mind, brain, and body connection.
Mindpath Health’s Mind-Brain-Body Center (MBBC) specializes in treating psychiatric aspects of medical and surgical disorders, including stress associated with a number of medical illnesses such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes or heart disease. Our skilled and compassionate providers also treat somatic symptoms and related disorders, also called functional neurological somatic disorders, which consist of disorders in which deep brain circuits are not functioning correctly.
Some of the symptoms and impairments from these disorders overlap with central sensitizing disorders, which occur when the nervous system turns up body sensory signals leading to problems such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel disorders, and many others.
What can I expect during a visit to the Mind-Brain-Body Center?
Patients receive an initial individual diagnostic evaluation and treatment plan by an MD (psychiatrist), and a LCSW (social worker therapist). In most cases, this will include specific medications aimed at addressing the symptoms and may also include individual therapy and recommendations to join a Mind-Brain-Body Skills Group.
At first, in addition to the skills group, the psychiatrist and psychotherapist will usually see the patient about once a week for an ongoing evaluation and to establish a workable medication and therapeutic regimen. In addition to these treatments, if indicated, sometimes the patient is referred for other consultations within Mindpath Health such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) or neuropsychiatric testing.
What are Mind-Brain-Body Skills Groups?
Our Mind-Brain-Body Skills Groups teach participants about these problems and what can be done to help. Visual images of brain circuits are used to explain the challenges and how MBB skills along with medications can improve function.
After an initial evaluation by our psychiatrist, people are recommended to attend the groups and can enter at any starting point. In addition to significant education about their difficulties, patients learn skills such as relaxation response, mindfulness, cognitive reframing, and increased body awareness. The primary goal is increased capacity to modulate the abnormal activation of these deep circuits. This often results in improved quality of life and reduction in physical symptoms.
Group sessions are currently held at 4:00pm on Mondays.
How do I know if the Mind-Brain-Body Center is right for me or a loved one?
Although patients can self-refer, often patients are referred through a physician who is helping to treat a health problem. These kinds of conditions occur along a spectrum and so some patients with different levels of anxiety, stomach troubles, muscle tension and pain might come to our clinic for an evaluation even if they might not meet full criteria for a disorder. Some patients might seek care at the center because they have physical illness and recognize that stress exacerbates the illness. Or conversely, they recognize that their illness causes stress which feeds back and worsens their physical illness in a perpetual loop.
Contact Mindpath Health at 877-876-3783 to schedule a screening and find out if you are a good candidate for MBBC services.