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Bodymind is an approach to understand the relationship between the human body and mind in which they are seen as a single integrated unit. It attempts to address the mind–body problem and resists the Western traditions of mind–body dualism and dualism. The term bodymind is also typically seen and encountered in disability studies, referring to the intricate and often times inseparable relationship between the body and the mind, and how these two units might act as one. The field of psychosomatic medicine investigates this concept.
Relevance to alternative medicineEdit
In the field of alternative medicine, bodymind implies that
- The body, mind, emotions, and spirit are dynamically interrelated.
- Experience, including physical stress, emotional injury, and pleasures are stored in the body's cells which in turn affects one's reactions to stimuli.
The term can be a number of disciplines, including:
- Psychoneuroimmunology, the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body.
- Body psychotherapy, a branch of psychotherapy which applies basic principles of somatic psychology. It originated in the work of Pierre Janet, Sigmund Freud and particularly Wilhelm Reich.
- Neurobiology, the study of the nervous system 
- Bodymind (in meditation traditions).
- Namarupa the concept of mind and body in Buddhism.
- Psychosomatic medicine, an interdisciplinary medical field exploring the relationships among social, psychological, and behavioral factors on bodily processes and quality of life in humans and animals. Clinical situations where mental processes act as a major factor affecting medical outcomes are areas where psychosomatic medicine .
- Postural Integration, a process-oriented, body psychotherapy originally developed in the late 1960s by Jack Painter  (1933-2010) in California, USA, after exploration in the fields of humanistic psychology and the human potential movement.  The method aims to support personal change and self development, through a particular form of manipulative holistic bodywork.
The term overlaps in significant ways, especially in its anti-dualist intention, with the philosophical term mindbody developed independently by philosopher William H. Poteat.
Relevance to disability studiesEdit
The term bodymind is most generally used in the academic field of disability studies. Disability scholars use the term bodymind to emphasize the interdependence and inseparability of the body and mind.
Prominent scholars who have written academically about the bodymind include Eli Clare, Margaret Price, Sami Schalk, Alyson Patsavas, and Alison Kafer. Clare and Price have proposed that the bodymind expresses the interrelatedness of mental and physical processes, and Schalk defines the boydmind similarly as it pertains to disability and race.
One of the first scholars to popularize the concept of bodymind is Eli Clare, a writer and activist for queer and disability studies. Clare uses bodymind in his work Brilliant Imperfection as a way to resist common Western assumptions that the body and mind are separate entities, or that the mind is “superior” to the body. Similarly, scholar Margaret Price writes that the combination of ‘body’ and ‘mind’ in one term acknowledges that “mental and physical processes not only affect each other but also give rise to each other—that is, because they tend to act as one, even though they are conventionally understood as two”.
Scholar Sami Schalk in her work Bodyminds Reimagined uses the term bodymind to recognize that “processes within our being impact one another in such a way that the notion of a physical versus mental process is difficult, if not impossible to clearly discern in most cases”. Schalk emphasizes the utility of the term bodymind as it relates to disability and race. In analyzing histories of race, gender, and disability, Schalk notes that it is important to recognize the non-physical impact of various oppressions. For Schalk, the term bodymind highlights the “psychic stress” of oppression. In relation to transgenerational trauma in people of color, bodymind is used to show how the psychological toll of oppression and its resulting stress has lasting mental and physical manifestations.
The connection between the body and mind is not merely theoretical; for example, the interrelation between mental and physical health is explored in the field of psychosomatic medicine, which investigates bodily processes in relation to social and psychological factors. For example, the psychiatric condition major depressive disorder often manifests physically in the forms of excessive sleeping, loss of appetite, weight gain or loss, back pain, and headaches.
- Disability Studies
- Developmental Disability
- Emotional or behavioral disability
- Invisible disability
- Inclusion (disability rights)
- List of disability studies journals
- Social model of disability
- Medical model of disability
- Society for Disability Studies
- Disability rights
- Services for the disabled
- Disability and religion
- Sexuality and disability
- Disability culture
- Disability in the United States
- Portal: Disability
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