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Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Psychosomatic

DEFINITION:
A combination of two Greek words, psyche, the mind, and somatic, of the body. A psychosomatic disorder (now technically called a psychophysiologic illness) means a physical disease caused by or aggravated by some mental cause ranging from stress and mental conflicts to internal or external suggestions. It is often used to describe an illness when no physical cause can be found.

Although the cause may be mental, the manifestation is physical and should not be confused with either faking illness or an imaginary disease. Often, physical treatment is enough to resolve a psychosomatic problem, at least temporarily, however it is likely to either reoccur or remanifest in another form. Therefore, some form of psychological, hypnotherapeutic, or other work that focuses on the mind can help.

Often ignored in this is the understanding that the mind can also heal the body resulting in a psychosomatic cure. This may explain the positive results for the use of placebos, miracle cures, religious healings, etc.
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