Behavioral Medicine - The Plymouth Center for Behavioral Health |

In the late 19th century, psychosomatic medicine gave way to behavioral medicine. Psychoanalysis therapists recognized that behavioral habits are the root cause of the majority of medical conditions. This discovery led to the development of behavioral medicine. The first research facility for studying behavioral medicine was established in 1975. Behavioural Medicine’s contributions helped the field gain recognition in 1977 when it was formally established. Greater research expenditures started after 1982, which helped the development of systematic investigation in behavioral medicine.  


What is a type of behavioral medicine?



In order to prevent, identify, and treat patients with psychosomatic problems, the field of research known as “behavioral medicine” (BM) is still in its early stages of development. Behavioral medicine focuses on the interaction between how thoughts and actions might impact one’s physical and emotional well-being. 

Behavioral medicine is an interdisciplinary field that applies behavioral health therapies to treat a variety of physical and mental health conditions. These therapies include CBT, DBT, relaxation, hypnosis, biofeedback, mindfulness meditation, motivational interviewing, and others. Behavioral medicine examples include “Mind-Body Medicine.” But behavioral medicine also considers the other aspects of health that go beyond the “mind” and the “body,” such as social and lifestyle factors.

There are various behavioral medications that are used to treat various disorders, including Xanax for anxiety, Adderall for ADHD, Klonopin for panic attacks, Valium for alcohol withdrawal, seizures, muscle spasms, or twitching, and Ativan for insomnia anxiety-related.

What is behavioral medicine used for?

Behavioral Medicine is used for different types of behavioral or lifestyle disorders like insomnia, obesity, or smoking. And mostly it is also used in the majority of other mental health cases like substance use disorder, stress, anger issues, emotional regulation problem, depression, ADHD(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and anxiety disorders such as panic, generalized anxiety, phobias, and OCD).

Behavioral medicine also focuses on treating illnesses that are made worse by psychological factors and stress, including chronic pain, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), migraines, skin diseases, and sexual dysfunction, among others.

A variety of physical and mental health problems have been successfully treated using a variety of behavioral medicine treatments. A few of the methods are:

  • Relaxation training (progressive muscular relaxation, diaphragmatic breathing, autogenic training, visualization, and so on)
  • Cognitive behavioral treatment, or CBT
  • Hypnosis                                                                                                                     
  • Biofeedback                                                                                                     
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Integrative psychotherapy
  • ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy)                 

What are the principles of Behavioral Medicine?

To deal with patients’ physical and/or emotional-behavioral issues, behavioral medicine employs a unique kind of working concept. These ideas serve as an outline for knowing how behavioral medicine works and how behavior and health are interrelated. Consequently, the following are some basic principles of behavior medicine: 

  • Biopsychosocial perspective: Behavioural medicine takes a biopsychosocial approach to health, acknowledging that social, psychological, and biological aspects all influence how well people are able to maintain or regain their health.
  • Health-related behavior: Health-related behaviors like nutrition, exercise, tobacco usage, and alcohol intake are also emphasized by behavioral medicine.
  • Mind-body connection: By treating psychological variables including stress, feelings, opinions, and beliefs as well as the links between the mind and body, it aids in and encourages general health and mental wellness.
  • Prevention with health promotion: It promotes healthy behaviors, encourages risk-reduction methods, and educates people on the impact of behavior on health outcomes.
  • Patient-focused treatment: Behavioural medicine empowers people by giving them the information, encouragement, and resources they need to make wise decisions, take charge of their health, and use self-management techniques.
  • Evidence-based practice: Behavioural medicine uses this approach to make sure that therapies are valid and successful.     

What are the evidence-based practices in behavioral health?

With a range of physical and mental health disorders, a number of behavioral medicine treatments have proven useful. Some of the experimentally supported strategies are:

  • Cognitive behavioral treatment or CBT
  • Hypnotherapy                                                                                                               
  • Biofeedback                                                                                                     
  • Dialectic behavioral treatment (DBT)
  • Mindfulness training
  • Relaxation training (including periodic muscle relaxation, diaphragm breathing, autogenic training, visualization, and other techniques).
  • Integrative psychotherapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT                                                                          

Who’s a good candidate for Behavioral Medicine treatment?

Behavioral medicine treatments can be helpful for a variety of people. People who might be ideal candidates for behavioral medicine include the following:

  • People who desire to change their behavior: In order to improve their health, such as those who want to manage their weight, increase their physical activity, stop smoking, or cut back on alcohol intake.
  • People who struggle with sticking to treatment: People who have trouble sticking to medical treatments, drug schedules, or lifestyle changes can benefit from behavioral medicine.
  • People looking for preventive care: Behavioural medicine places a strong emphasis on health promotion and preventative interventions. Behavioral medicine can be useful for people who want to stay healthy, prevent diseases, and improve their general well-being.
  • People with chronic conditions: People with persistent medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and chronic pain can benefit greatly from behavioral medicine. 
  • People with mental disorders: Treatment for mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and substance abuse problems is successful when done using behavioral medicine. 
  • People with behavioral risk factors: People who smoke, drink too much alcohol, lead sedentary lives, eat poorly, engage in dangerous sexual behavior or battle with substance misuse are good candidates for behavioral medicine.
  • People facing stress-related problems: People going through life transitions, dealing with stress at work, or having relationship challenges.

It’s crucial to remember that the applicability of behavioral medicine treatments varies based on personal needs and situations. An expert in behavioral medicine, such as a doctor, psychologist, or therapist, can evaluate a person’s particular circumstances and decide whether behavioral medicine measures are necessary.