Health Watch - Mind and Body: Mindfulness

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the link between mind and body. Previously, we discussed the way pain affects mind and body and how learning to be mindful can help remove the mental anguish from pain. There are five aspects to achieving mindfulness.

Mindfulness requires intent – choosing to be in the moment. It also involves wakeful energy – a relaxed alertness. It requires attention – the ability to focus on some present experience instead of mental wandering. Mindfulness also involves awareness and perception of all current experiences. And it requires acceptance – not judging or resisting whatever arises in experiences. Mindfulness can be achieved through a form of meditation that focuses on something such as breathing while also being open to sights, sounds, thoughts or feelings that arise in the moment. Dr. Martin Lumpkin, a clinical psychologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says mindfulness keeps patients from contracting around the pain experience.

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March 2010


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