Aviva Directory » Health & Well-Being » Alternative Medicine » Mind-Body Interventions

Mind-body interventions (MBI) are therapies or techniques designed to positively affect mental and physical fitness.

Examples include the Alexander technique, Feldenkrais method, guided imagery, huna, hypnotherapy, meditation, mindfulness-oriented recovery enhancement, pilates, positive thinking, prayer, tai chi, and yoga. Acupuncture, Osteopathy, and Tai Chi also include elements of mind-body interventions, but they are listed elsewhere.

Mind and body techniques focus on interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior to use the mind to enhance physical function and promote health.

MBI techniques are generally considered safe, particularly when done properly by a trained professional, but not everyone considers them to be equally effective.

Mind-body interventions have become increasingly popular since the early 20th century, but MBIs date back to Ancient Greece, where strength, beauty, and mythology, used in combination, were used in activities designed to promote confidence. Yoga originated in Ancient India and has existed since at least 500 BC, possibly much earlier.

Due, at least in part, to visits from yoga gurus in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, various MBI techniques were integrated into therapies in Western countries, and yoga itself became increasingly popular.

Joseph Pilates, a German physical trainer, developed the techniques that were later named for him while interned in Lancaster Castle, along with other German citizens, during World War I. He referred to his program as Controlology.

All mind-body interventions focus on the interaction between the brain, body, and behavior, and are designed to use the mind to alter physical function and promote health and well-being.

While some MBI techniques enjoy favor within mainstream medicine, as complementary approaches, most are considered to be within the realm of alternative or complementary medicine. Mind-body interventions are the most commonly used form of complementary and alternative medicine in the United States, with yoga and meditation being the most popular.


Alexander Technique





Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Positive Thinking




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