November 16, 2014 — By Dr. Ellyn L. Turer, Psy.D. — I obtained a doctorate in clinical psychology to work with individuals diagnosed with an illness or injury as well as their families to help cope with the emotional/mental ramifications of having an illness/injury or being involved with such an individual. Throughout the course of the six years it took to officially become “Dr. Turer,” the toxic effect that stress has on the human body became increasingly apparent.
In a hospital setting, it is not uncommon to receive a consult to see a patient reporting numerous physical symptoms (e.g., stomach pain, headache, difficulty sleeping, high blood pressure, etc.) for which all potential medical explanations/diagnoses have been explored.
I want to emphasize that I am in no way suggesting that the reported physical symptoms of such a patient are not real. On the contrary, these symptoms are quite real and frequently act to negatively infiltrate into every aspect of that individual’s life.
Several years ago during my residency, the chief psychologist would routinely make the following statement: “When the mind suffers, the body cries out.” This statement could not hold more truth when talking about the intricate connection between the mind and body. As such, it appears that both a direct as well as inverse relationship can exist between the two. The greater the mental/emotional burden one carries, the greater the physical/somatic burden one carries as well. In like manner, when the mind makes efforts to avoid/ignore felt emotions, the body may react through the manifestation of physical symptoms.
Studies indicate that those suffering from various painful conditions are likely to find a significant reduction in pain as well as the need for medication simply by attending just one 90-minute yoga class a week for three months. The regular practice of yoga has also been proven to decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and insomnia, improve heart health and fertility, and strengthen immune function.
*It is of great importance to get clearance from your primary care physician prior to engaging in the above-noted exercise.
Of course, yoga is not for everyone! As such, here are several additional effective mind-body healing techniques:
(1) Listen to relaxing/slow tempo music. Researchers suggest that tuning into approximately 30 minutes of classical music may serve to evoke soothing and relaxing effects equivalent to taking an anxiolytic/antianxiety agent.
(2) Write for approximately 10 minutes each day about stressful events and the feelings they elicit. You will be amazed at the cathartic effects of putting your thoughts and emotions onto paper.
(3) As mentioned in my April article on stress reduction…Don’t forget to breathe!
–Ellyn L. Turer, Psy.D.
As a Licensed Psychologist in Washington DC (District of Columbia), Dr. Ellyn L. Turer’s area of expertise is total mind and body health. She is particularly interested in working with individuals and their loved ones coping with the emotional and mental ramifications of physical illness and injury.
Throughout our website you’ll find additional information regarding her specialties as well as office location and contact information.
With an Office Location on DuPont Circle, Washington D.C.,
Dr. Ellyn L. Turer Specializes in:
- Stress Management
- Mind/Body Wellness
- Sleep Hygiene
- Anxiety Disorders
- Mourning and Loss
- Medical/Health Psychology
Psychology Articles & Other News
- Dr. Turer’s Non-Negotiables for Happiness & Balance (10/31/2018) - By Dr. Ellyn Turer -- October 22, 2018 -- There are 5 actionable & non-negotiable things I believe everyone can do to start feeling happier today. I call them non-negotiables because there is no negotiating out of doing them. I have been both actively pursuing and fascinated with happiness and balance for ...Read More
- A Three-Year-Old’s Wisdom (1/30/2015) - February 2015---Several weeks ago, I gave a talk to parents of obese children on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Approximately 25 minutes into the talk a sweet 3-year-old girl with medium-brown hair in pigtails quietly walked into the room and took a seat next to her mother. Moments prior ...Read More
- The Mind Body Minute with Dr. Ellyn L. Turer (1/14/2015) - January, 2015 -- STRESS. A word in which we are all too familiar. It seems as if the pace of our society becomes quicker with each passing moment, ultimately causing each of us to experience unnaturally high levels of stress on a regular basis. Routine exposure to such high levels ...Read More
- Soothe Your Mind to Heal Your Body (10/31/2014) - November 16, 2014 -- By Dr. Ellyn L. Turer, Psy.D. -- I obtained a doctorate in clinical psychology to work with individuals diagnosed with an illness or injury as well as their families to help cope with the emotional/mental ramifications of having an illness/injury or being involved with such an individual. ...Read More