Blog Sophie McGrath

How Sophrology Helps Treat Psychosomatic Stress

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In France Sophrology is increasingly being used in the medical world as an integrative approach alongside conventional medicine to assist patients to better manage their condition.  It is quite common that general practitioners will recommend Sophrology to expecting mothers or during rehabilitation from injury. BeSophro is proud to be holding Sophrology consultations at Medicare, a well-known French medical centre in London, and starting to bring this integrative approach to conventional medicine in the UK.

Sophrology is not a cure but a useful support for a specific condition and more and more hospitals and medical centres are working together with Sophrology practitioners to help people find some relief with their symptoms and better deal with their health journey to achieve a more positive outcome. Let’s not forget Sophrology’s roots – Professor Alfonso Caycedo a neuro-psychiatrist travelled the world in search of new answers to provide better mental health care for his patients.

The fields of application of Sophrology in the medical environment are wide-ranging from sleeping disorders to chronic pain, birth preparation, tinnitus, food/weight problems, addictions, sports medicine and so on. In several hospitals in Continental Europe, Cancer Care Units also work with Sophrologists to help people cope better with the illness, feel more confident and positive and better manage possible side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Clinical studies in France found that Sophrology helped patients feel calmer and less anxious while undergoing chemotherapy.

Sophrology can help in different ways:

MANAGING BETTER PSYCHOSOMATIC SYMPTOMS

When all organic causes of a condition have been evaluated and ruled out by doctors, patients are often then left with the possibility that their symptoms could be psychosomatic.

Psychosomatic conditions are the result of the interaction between the nervous system and the immune system. The nervous system is a beautiful and complex machine, a motorway of constant information being sent and received between the brain and the rest of the body.

When under stress, we produce stress hormones and it can affect the general balance of the body: the body keeps on trying to adjust in accordance to the signals it receives, but it’s like the signals are all scrambled. This results in physical symptoms, which are the manifestation of the imbalance.

Such symptoms are sometimes disregarded, with people often saying “it’s all in my head!”. However, they’re very real and they can be very disruptive! This can affect the quality of life so it is worth finding ways of dealing with these symptoms.

In such cases, the aim of using Sophrology within a medical context is to calm the mind and relax the body, in order to get them to work together in harmony again. In other words, it’s clearing the clutter and getting the traffic flowing again.

Sophrology could help with various symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty to deal with stress, anxiety, emotions
  • Insomnia, sleep disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Some skin conditions
  • Fatigue, chronic fatigue, burn-out
  • Psychosomatic symptoms

MANAGING AN ILLNESS BETTER

Helping people to deal better with an illness is another field of application of Sophrology.

In this case, clients have already been diagnosed with a specific illness and may have to undergo medical treatments and procedures.

In France, some common uses of Sophrology can be found in helping people with cancer, but also with neurobiological conditions (such as Parkinson disease), hypertension, diabetes, or weight issues for instance. Sophrology can also be a great support to anyone who has to prepare for a medical procedure.

In such situations more than ever, Sophrology will not come as a cure nor replace any medical treatment. It will come as a support to help the patient to:

  • Accept the diagnosis
  • Lower stress and anxiety
  • Find the resources to better cope with medical treatments and procedures
  • Deal better with pain, sleep and eating
  • Rest, recuperate, and find ways to implement well-being solutions
  • Prepare for a medical intervention with confidence
  • Maintain confidence, motivation and project positively into the future
  • Deal with mood swings, emotional turmoil or lack of concentration
  • Manage change positively

While Sophrology has only started to become better known in the UK and the US, it is a great step forward in the right direction that Medicare in London will be making Sophrology consultations available as an integrative approach.

For more information on Sophrology and its applications, please visit www.be-sophro.com

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