Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the relaxation response?
Relaxation response was defined by Herbert Benson, MD in 1974 when he found that there was an opposite state to the stress response (otherwise known as the fight or flight response). The relaxation response is a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress (e.g., decreases in heart rate, blood pressure, rate of breathing, and muscle tension). Methods to elicit the relaxation response include meditation, mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, tai chi, and yoga.
What is mind body medicine and how will it help me?
Mind body medicine is based upon the inseparable connection between the mind and the body. It incorporates:
- The relaxation response
- Positive coping strategies
- Physical activity
- Social support
Mind body medicine helps improve medical conditions caused by or exacerbated by stress. The end result for the patient is better self-care, leading to symptom reduction and enhanced well-being.
Is there evidence that mind body medicine works?
Receiving a new diagnosis or living with a chronic condition can be very stressful. As evidence that mind body medicine works, a study of patients in the Relaxation Response Resiliency Program (3RP) showed statistically-significant reductions in symptoms such as anxiety, pain, insomnia, and fatigue. Through more than 35 years of research and clinical practice, Herbert Benson, MD and his colleagues have proven the effectiveness of mind/body medicine in helping thousands of men and women with conditions such as anxiety, heart disease, depression, infertility, gastrointestinal disorders, and chronic pain.
Is this considered mental health?
Most visits are medical. However, some patients may be referred to one of our psychologists specifically for three to six visits of mind body skills building. Treatment with one of our psychologists is not a replacement for any long-term therapy a patient may already be receiving from another mental health provider.
What happens at the initial consultation appointment?
In most cases, patients have a one-hour initial consultation (billable to insurance) with an internal medicine specialist with expertise in mind body medicine. During this visit, the physician and patient discuss medical history, current symptoms, and the impact of stress on health. Our physician then provides a comprehensive treatment plan for each patient’s specific needs.
What are the benefits of a mind body group?
Groups meet weekly, focusing on learning and reinforcing mind body skills. Patients benefit from the social support of group members who have similar challenges.
Will insurance cover my care?
Individual office visits are generally covered by insurance; most groups are self-pay. For more details, go to Patient Services.
Do I need a referral?
The referring provider must complete a Benson-Henry Institute Patient Referral Form. Our office is available to assist with this. (This is NOT an insurance coverage referral.) In addition, patients enrolled in a managed care health plan are responsible for getting an insurance referral from their primary care physician.
Where is the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine located, and how do I get there?
The Institute has two locations. The main office is located on the 4th floor of 151 Merrimac Street, Boston MA. [directions] Our satellite office is located at MGH West, 40 Second Avenue, Suite 510, Waltham MA. [directions] Our Boston location is accessible by public transportation including the commuter rail and the “T” (subway).
Does the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine provide corporate training for employees?
We are available for corporate mind body trainings. Whether it's a one-time session or a multi-part series, we will work with your company to determine your needs and create a program suitable for your employees. Contact us to inquire about corporate training.