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Center for Mind Body Medicine

Empowering the Individual to Heal the Mind and Body

mind-bodyThe Center for Mind Body Medicine empowers patients with evidence-based, self-care tools for improving physical health and emotional well-being. Drawing on new theories in neuroscience, our treatment involves teaching you how to change long-stored memories in your brain’s neural pathways to help alleviate or significantly improve stress-related emotional and physical illnesses, chronic pain and hard-to-treat medical conditions.

The Center for Mind Body Medicine is located on the first floor of the Della Cava Family Medical Pavilion. For information, please call 303-415-8615.

NEW PATIENTS: Please take a moment to read the new Patient Welcome Letter as well as the information on Intro to Neural Pain Pathways. Viewing these materials and its additional resources before your first visit will help your experience be as positive as possible.

Help for Stress-Related Emotional and Physical Conditions

Studies show that psychological stress impacts our health—both emotionally and physically. For example, stress tends to exacerbate mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and drug addiction, while also playing a role in heart disease, high blood pressure, stomach and intestinal problems, insomnia and other serious health problems.

New theories in neuroscience explain how stress causes these very real changes in your physical and emotional health. Mind-body medicine brings together these theories to help you take charge of neural pathways within your brain and fight off stress-related illnesses, enrich mood, enhance resiliency and optimism, and improve overall health. We essentially help you “rewire” your brain’s stress centers.

Our services include:

  • Anxiety and stress-reduction groups, where you’ll learn in a group setting evidence-based tools and techniques that enable you to have more control over stress and chronic illness
  • Acupuncture-mindfulness program
  • Traditional Chinese acupuncture
  • Reiki
  • Mindfulness classes
  • Physician visits for diagnosis and treatment planning, if needed

Candidates for mind-body medicine treatment of stress-related conditions include:

  • If you have been diagnosed with stress, anxiety or mild depression and you want to explore an alternative to medication and traditional talk therapy
  • If you have a chronic illness that increases the stress or anxiety in your life
  • If you have a medical condition that sometimes flares when you are under more stress
  • If you are looking for more tools to manage your stress, perhaps because you want to be less reliant on doctors, therapists and medications

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Chronic Pain and Other Hard-to-Treat Medical Problems

The Center for Mind Body Medicine draws on emerging neuroscience theories to teach patients how to change their brain’s response to chronic and debilitating health problems—chronic back, neck or pelvic pain, migraines and other hard-to-treat medical conditions—that haven’t responded to traditional medical therapies.

New studies using functional MRI and other brain imaging techniques are beginning to unlock the puzzle, demonstrating that pain can occur in the absence of tissue damage or nerve irritation. In fact, emerging theories suggest that our brain creates all of our experiences, including pain.

Drawing on this research, we’ll empower you with tools to eliminate or significantly reduce the severity of your symptoms. Our goal is not pain management, but pain cure.

Services for chronic pain and other hard-to-treat medical problems include:

  • Medical evaluation and diagnosis by a board-certified internist
    Neuroscience education to help you understand why your symptoms have not responded to traditional medical therapies
    Pain Reprocessing Therapy, which uses the power of neuroplasticity to change the way your brain interprets and processes pain
    Acupuncture and Reiki
    Referrals, when needed, to psychotherapists, physical therapists or other somatic therapists who understand the mind-body connection

Candidates for mind-body medicine treatment of chronic pain and other hard-to-treat medical problems include:

  • If you’ve tried numerous interventions—shots, procedures, medications and maybe even surgery—and you are still living with unwanted symptoms
  • If different doctors have trouble agreeing on a diagnosis, or you have an unusual diagnosis that not all doctors understand
  • If you have a “syndrome” (Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Low Back Pain Syndrome, Restless Legs Syndrome, any Headache Syndrome including migraines, TMJ Syndrome, piriformis syndrome, patello-femoral syndrome, etc).

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What is Mind Body Medicine?

Relying on concepts in neuroplasticity—a term that refers to the brain’s ability to modify, change and adapt both in structure and function in response to experience—mind-body medicine uses the conscious mind to influence some of the seemingly “automatic” processes in your brain and body. Mind-body techniques effect changes in the circuits of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which is our involuntary nervous system, resulting in real neurohormonal and physiologic changes in our brains and bodies.

Symptoms that appear to be automatic and out of our control—heart palpitations, migraines, anxiety reactions, chronic pain to name a few — are frequently the result of an imbalance between the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) branches of the ANS and the parasympathetic (relax, restore, digest) branches of the ANS. Studies dating as far back as the 1960s have demonstrated the ability of mind-body techniques to address this imbalance.

The scientific literature on these approaches is now rich and robust, supporting the emergence of mind-body medicine as a legitimate mainstream medical intervention. These techniques have been shown to create beneficial changes in many of the body’s physiological responses at a molecular and biochemical level, including changes in stress hormone levels, pain response, immune function and gene expression in white blood cells. Mind-body techniques have also been shown to provide significant clinical benefits for conditions as diverse as hypertension, heart disease, chronic pain and insomnia, as well as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Specific mind-body techniques employed at BCH Center for Mind Body Medicine—and used in conjunction with education–include mindfulness, meditation, movement therapies and movement meditations, breathing techniques, journaling and written dialogues, drawing exercises, body scans to identify where stress and trauma are being held in the body, self-compassion exercises, somatic tracking and guided imagery.

Many of these techniques are unique to mind-body medicine but can overlap with ideas in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and trauma therapy.

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Mission, Values and Focus

Our mission is to provide patients and their doctors with evidence-based, self-care techniques for stress management, pain management and healing that are grounded in neuroscience, and to promote self-care and self-empowerment as a central principle of health and wellness, all with the support of an integrative health care team.

Empowering the patient to take charge of their health and well-being is at the core of our values. We educate the patient with the use of tools that helps them connect to their mind and body. We support the patient with respect, compassion and listening – guiding them on their healing journey, as they become aware of their innate ability to heal themselves.

Our Focus is Not on Medications
We are happy to see patients who are already being treated with medications of any type. We recognize the importance of medications for many patients to help manage symptoms. But medications, while sometimes useful to alleviate symptoms, are not a part of our practice.

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Integrative Health Care for Mind-Body Treatment

The Center for Mind Body also provides integrative health care to support its patients, which include acupuncture and Reiki.


Acupuncture provides relief for chronic pain conditions and mental health imbalances, connecting the mind and body. Hair-thin needles are inserted into acupoints along pathways of energy throughout the body, accessing the body’s natural ability to heal. The stimulation of these points increases local blood flow, calms the nervous system and lessens pain sensitivity.

Studies indicate that acupuncture offers relief for a variety of diseases and conditions, including the following:

  • Lower back pain
  • Headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines
  • Osteoarthritis

We offer a 4-week program that includes both acupuncture and mindfulness. The patient receives a 1-hour session each week with acupuncture and a new mindfulness experience. This offering provides tools to the patient to empower them to take charge of their health and well-being (read more).

Research has shown its effectiveness at treating chronic pain, releasing neurotransmitters and promoting health and overall well-being:

Contemporary research is beginning to show how acupuncture works in the brain to affect both physical and mental health:

Acupuncture provides support for post-operative pain reduction and recovery:

Meet the Acupuncture Team

Teresa Doherty, LAc, DiplOM

teresa dohertyTeresa received her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Wyoming and her master’s degree in Oriental Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. She is also certified as a Massage Therapist, Qigong and Mindfulness Practitioner. She has been working in Holistic health care for over 20 years.

Teresa is passionate about creating a space of awareness for patients to heal on all levels, body, mind, and spirit. She incorporates mindfulness into her acupuncture sessions along with Shiatsu massage and reflexology. Teresa’s vision is to have integrative medicine offered in hospitals and clinics and excited that BCH is leading in this service.

Teresa loves being in nature, hiking, skiing, biking or meditating by a stream.


Reiki (pronounced ray-kee) is a healing therapy practiced originally in Japan. It can be used to facilitate the person's own healing response. Reiki is based on the belief that universal energy supports the body's innate healing abilities. Practitioners seek to access this energy, allowing it to flow to the body and facilitate healing. They place their hands lightly on or just above the person receiving treatment in order to support the body's innate healing energy.

Reiki can help provide the following benefits:

  • Deep relaxation
  • Stress reduction
  • Relief from chronic pain and anxiety
  • Improved overall health and well-being

The natural state of the mind-body connection is one of harmony and well-being. The principle that one can learn to create positive thoughts, influencing the body’s physical responses, thereby decreasing stress and illness. Reiki allows one to relax deeply to find this wholeness inside.

Meet the Reiki Team

carol hiestermanCarol Hiesterman, RN, Reiki Master

Carol graduated from nursing school with a diploma in nursing in 1964. She received a BSN and MSN from Colorado University School of Nursing in 1992. She has worked in hospitals since 1964 in a number of areas including Pediatrics, ICU, ER, float pool, education, and 20 plus years in oncology.

Carol currently sees patients for Reiki and wellness counseling at the Center for Integrative Care and the Center for Mind Body Medicine. She has completed three levels of Healing Touch, is a Reiki master teacher, and a certified Urban Zen Therapist.

Carol’s passion is seeking and learning and enjoys horses, motorcycle riding, walking, and spending time with family.

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Patient Resources

Please view the following resources for more information:

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Mind Body Meditation

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Contact the Center for Mind Body Medicine
The Center for Mind Body Medicine is located on the first floor of the Della Cava Family Medical Pavilion. For more information, please call 303-415-8615.