Mind/Body Techniques When we were in medical school, we were told treatments for certain illnesses were lifestyle changes. Those changes were usually summed up as eating a good diet, exercising, and reducing stress. Ask most physicians, and they can't explain what lifestyle changes truly means because, the truth is, we aren't taught how to make those lifestyle changes in medical school. We know that sleep is important but weren't taught how to aid sleep. We know that exercise is important but weren't taught what exercises to give our patients. And we certainly were not taught techniques for reducing stress in medical school. We have learned these tools from personal experience, and then we started going back to the data. We now teach our patients how to decrease stress. It is a way of letting the world see the strength inside. Daily meditation has a wonderful effect on the ability to become more self-disciplined. Meditation leads to a clear mind, a relaxed heart. It improves physical and mental health. A few minutes of meditation daily leads the body to sync up better with the mind. It is much easier to create good habits that will lead to self-discipline if the mind is relaxed and ready to receive good thoughts. It is important to set specific goals by writing them down. Once a goal is committed to paper it becomes an active thing, something that can be Goals that are kept in the mind do not have the same strength as goals that are written down. Goals in the mind can be forgotten or pushed aside. We go to movies, we go to the mall, we have coffee, and we spend a lot of that time laughing.

I don't live all bound up in other people's expectations--my husband's, my family's, or my culture. I have come to a place in my recovery where I love myself. I nurture my body, my spirit, and our relationship. As difficult as reality can be and as frightening as honesty sometimes is, living in truth has been so freeing. As for what happens in my marriage, for now we each practice our recovery. Learning to communicate has been vital and at times still awkward. I think I sometimes overwhelm my husband with my openness. I'm sure that it's shocking, given that early in our marriage I learned to be very silent. There is no hiding from each other. These tools are often called mind/body techniques, and they encompass yoga, exercise postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Studies show how such techniques help suppress sympathetic overdrive and increase the rest and recovery function of the parasympathetic nervous system. What is Yoga? While many people think of yoga as just a series of postures, it is actually a combination of breathing exercises (pranayama), postures (asanas), and meditation together. The movement from one pose to another can provide a terrific cardiovascular workout. Pranayama breathing utilizes diaphragmatic (big belly) breathing while varying the speed and duration of respiration and the lengths of inhalations and exhalations. The breath, especially while exhaling, is a very powerful tool for activating the parasympathetic nervous system. It can slow down both the heart and respiration rate. Yogic meditation retrains the mind to achieve a state of calm using focused attention, mindfulness, and compassion meditation. Focused attention allows for a concentration on breathing cycles, sound, or chants; Goals written on paper are seen every time the paper is seen--and when they are written down, it is impossible to ignore them.

They want attention. They want direction and planning. They want to be considered, cared for and loved. They want attention. Start small and work on them daily. Remember to eat healthily and sleep well and regularly. The body cannot process new habits if it is undernourished. Good healthy food is crucial to giving the body enough energy to work on new and better habits. This is especially necessary when trying to break bad habits. I trust that whatever it is, if we talk about it, it will be okay. When I feel like I just want to attack him, I ask myself, What are my intentions? Healthy intention is not to make him feel bad, not to control or manipulate, but to seek the truth. The truth is the path to healing. Living in reality is necessary. He is a mirror of my reality; I am not preoccupied with his recovery, but I know he has to be in recovery for us to be a couple. We love each other no matter how sick we are, but we need to heal this sickness. We are not the perfect family; The fairy tale is not there. Mindfulness observes the current moment's experience, such as the breath, the sounds around us, and our thoughts, but noticing them without emotion.

Guided meditation, when someone provides verbal instructions or suggestions, is also a form of mindfulness. Many people have found this form of practice to be a good way to begin. Guided meditation trains our minds to be more in the moment. Compassion meditation cultivates feelings of benevolence toward other people. You always have one tool with you all of the time to calm down your stress response: your breathing rate and the timing of inhalation and exhalation. Try inhaling through your nose for a count of four and exhaling by mouth for a count of eight. Do this five times. Do you feel calmer? CASE 3: Dr R: I used to see 25 people per day. Bad habits require extra energy to put aside. Sleep is especially important too. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Play around with these numbers until the correct amount is determined, and then stick to that number. Make every attempt to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each day. This is a good habit that will lead to self-discipline of personal habits. Of course, things happen, and sometime people fall off the schedule. But get back on it as soon as possible and do not regret one or two small slips. They happen. Exercise is another good habit that must be settled into the daily routine. Today we are a family--a family with a lot of love and a lot of good communication.

After years of seeking the help of multiple therapists who basically told her the problem was in her head, Maite challenged the gender and cultural teachings that had been so strongly ingrained into her being: your needs are not important, discount your perceptions, defer to the man, don't question, look good at all costs, never complain. This was quite a fight for her, but while waging it she found a path that led to self-love, self-care, and true joy by living in the truth. And in that process, her husband joined her in the journey. When my husband and I finally named what was happening in our lives, I wanted to know everything there was to know about sex addiction and what to do about it. I wanted it all tied up in a neat little box so I could have control of my life again. I wanted a promise that we would work it out. I wanted recovery for us, not so much for me. Little did I know that what I really needed was to let go completely and give it all up to see what would come back to me. I would ultimately need to walk through my life with a sifter to bring the fine and delicate pieces of my life back together and to toss away the chunks that really didn't work for me (the control, resentment, anger, fear, lack of trust, and misplaced trust) no matter how much I hung on to them. Halfway through the day, I was completely wiped out, trying to give my patients full attention and empathy. I would have to force myself to take 20 minutes and meditate. I would come back feeling recharged and ready for the rest of the day. It has always amazed me how relaxing the mind can recharge the whole body. History of Yoga Yoga originated in the East. Yoga postures can be seen on artifacts dating back 5,000 years, and yoga is commented on in some of the earliest religious texts. In these references, yoga was seen as a tool to create harmony. Initially, it was meant for community wellness before it became an individual regimen. Highly spiritual leaders would guide people in ritual and ceremony to overcome the limitations of the mind. Regular exercise is important in keeping the body healthy.