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In recent decades, science has revealed that the mind and body are intimately connected in ways we haven't previously realized—and this field of knowledge is now changing our understanding of health and disease. While it's easy to see that stress affects health and well-being, or that your blood pressure rises when you're angry, cutting-edge research shows that the mind-body connection goes much further.
Numerous studies on the brain's interaction with the body demonstrate that health is directly affected by our social environments, socioeconomic status, culture, behaviors, relationships, psychological states, and habits of mind, among many factors.
Current mind-body science reveals facts such as these:
Mind-body medicine—working in tandem with traditional medical practice—makes use of a large spectrum of psychological, physical, and behavioral treatments, drawn from many disciplines, in an approach to health care that aims to treat the whole person. It provides highly effective resources for preventing and treating a wide range of medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, stress, cancer, and depression—as well as for fostering the ultimate goals of health care: truly optimal and lasting physical health, and emotional and psychological well-being.
A knowledge of this exciting field offers you critical understanding of the state of the art of health care and a significant new direction in medicine. But beyond valuable knowledge, a grounding in mind-body medicine gives you numerous practical, empowering tools for your own health care, as well as that of your family—tools that can make a profound difference for healthful, vibrant living.
In Mind-Body Medicine: The New Science of Optimal Health, you'll study this subject in compelling depth, with the expert guidance of Professor Jason M. Satterfield of the University of California, San Francisco. These 36 eye-opening lectures offer you a comprehensive overview of the field, providing rigorous answers to the questions of what makes us sick, what makes us well, and what we can do about it.
You'll look closely at the anatomical and biological systems through which what is “outside” in the environment gets “inside” to affect our minds and bodies. You'll also examine recent research on subjects ranging from the impact our emotions and psychology have on health to the crucial roles that social, cultural, and behavioral factors play. And you'll learn about effective mind-body treatments for numerous common medical conditions and diseases.
Finally, you'll finish the course with a toolbox of ideas and interventions for your personal wellness goals, empowering you to partner more effectively with your medical providers and maximize your own health.
A Remarkable New Context for Health Care
Professor Satterfield, a highly respected professor of clinical medicine and a specialist on the intersection of psychological factors and physical health, brings to the table his deep knowledge of mind-body science and extensive clinical experience in its application.
In the course's opening, he introduces you to the model of “biopsychosocial medicine,” which looks at the relationship between biological, psychological, and social factors in health.
In studying how the biopsychosocial model is applied in modern medicine, you delve into these core subject areas:
Biological pathways:You first investigate the anatomy and physiology of four biological systems through which the “outside” gets “in.”
Psychological factors in health: In the course of nine lectures, you look in depth at the critical ways in which psychology affects the body.
Social and ecological factors: You also study the important effects on health of factors such as culture, identity, socioeconomic status, social support, communities, and public health policy.
Tools and Strategies for Optimal Wellness
Building on the biopsychosocial model, you study mind-body treatments for common conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stress, cancer, obesity, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Here, you learn about specific practices and interventions that you can use in your own health care program, such as these.
Professor Satterfield's teaching combines an extraordinary breadth of knowledge, clear and accessible explanations of the science involved, and a highly compassionate approach to patient care. He enriches the lectures with stories and case studies of patients in treatment for stress, heart conditions, insomnia, trauma, and other health challenges, showing you what mind-body medicine looks like in clinical practice and how you can integrate its lessons into your health program and daily life.
With the knowledge and tools you'll learn in Mind-Body Medicine: The New Science of Optimal Health, you can begin your own biopsychosocial assessment, identify your strengths and challenges in partnership with your medical providers, and take authentic steps toward your fullest physical and mental wellness.
These lectures are not designed for use as medical references to diagnose, treat, or prevent medical illnesses or trauma. Neither The Great Courses nor Professor Jason Satterfield is responsible for your use of this educational material or its consequences. If you have questions about the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a medical condition or illness, you should consult a qualified physician.
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