The Term “Bodymind”
The term “bodymind” captures the need for modern psychology to resolve the mind-body split of Cartesian dualism. This idea is getting increased notice in the field, not just for academic and philosophic purposes, but because it relates a fundamental truth. Mind, body, and spirit may seem separate; but if we stop and reflect on them, all three levels exist as one inseparable whole in our everyday experience. For example, when we feel angry, our face turns red, thoughts of aggression may fill our minds, and we may become out of harmony with our higher cognitive capacities, unable to differentiate between blame and constructive critique, or between rage and constructive expression of anger. 3 Similarly, we may lose connection with our higher intention and spiritual purpose — to approach the offending person with a higher intention, to clear things, and to have things be different in the future.
The first use of the term “bodymind” in Western thought that I am aware of, came from Ken Dychtwald whose book, Bodymind, was written in 1977. Many people now use the term “mind-body” to describe this integration; but I prefer putting the body first in our overly mental culture, where cognitive therapy is perhaps the best-known form of therapy and the most recognized treatment of choice for many conditions. Joining the two words, “body” and “mind” into one word “bodymind” expresses the core philosophic belief of Eastern thought — that body, mind, and spirit are one inseparable whole. “Bodymind Healing” is a term that emphasizes the need to activate all aspects of ourselves to achieve optimal mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
My book, Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy, shows how this bodymind approach has important implications for how to deal with: anxiety, hypertension, chronic pain, insomnia, trauma and many other conditions. You can check out my book or get individual chapters as downloadable files.