Your Ultimate Glossary Guide for Mind Body Work

Getting familiar with holistic healing

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Meditating and healing
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Here you will find a glossary of keywords related to mind and body work. Mind body work is a powerful collection of practices and techniques to help you restore balance in your physical and mental health

Use this article to uncover unfamiliar terms and use it as a guide on your healing journey.

Pro Tip – bookmark this page and come back for a refresher, or to reference, whenever you’d like!

Nervous System Regulation

A process nervous system helps your body stay healthy. It can do things without you even knowing. It controls hormones, messages between cells, and the work of muscles, glands, and organs.


Dysregulation is when your mind and body are out of balance. It can make it hard to think, feel, and act like you usually do.


The process of managing and controlling the activity of physiological and psychological processes to maintain balance. It involves recognizing imbalances in the body and using various techniques to bring the body back into equilibrium through lifestyle changes, nutrition, exercise, relaxation practices, and other forms of intervention.

Dysbiosis (Gut)

A condition where the balance of good and bad bacteria in the intestine is off. It can be caused by a variety of factors such as poor diet, antibiotic use, and environmental toxins. Symptoms of dysbiosis include digestive issues, fatigue, skin problems, allergies, and immune system imbalances.

Vagus Nerve

The vagus nerve is a long nerve that travels from the brain to the chest and stomach. It helps control many parts of your body like your heart, digestion, and breathing.

Vagal Tone

Vagal tone measures how good your body is at changing between feeling calm and alert. This affects many aspects of your physical and mental health.

Polyvagal Theory

States that the ANS is composed of two different branches, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which are responsible for the regulation of different physiological states. This theory helps to explain how emotions such as fear and safety can have an effect on our physical and psychological well-being.

Integrative Nutrition

A holistic approach to health and wellness that focuses on achieving balanced nutrition through the combination of diet and lifestyle modifications. It considers the psychological, physical, and spiritual aspects of health, as well as environmental factors and social connections. It encourages individuals to be mindful of their food choices and to make informed decisions about what works best for their body.


An approach to service provision that is based on an understanding of how traumatic experiences can affect physical, mental, and emotional health. It is rooted in the belief that all individuals have the right to be treated with respect and dignity, and to receive care that is tailored to their unique needs.


The process by which the brain changes and adapts in response to experiences, injury, or neurological damage. It is a key factor in the healing process and allows the brain to rewire itself, creating new pathways and connections in order to restore function.

Habit Stacking

A technique that involves creating a series of small, achievable behaviors or “habits” that are connected to form a larger, more complex process. Through repetition and consistency, these habits can become second nature and lead to improved mental health and well-being.


A form of therapy that focuses on the connection between the mind and the body to help improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being by addressing how thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors affect physical health and vice versa.

Autonomic Nervous System

Regulates the functions of the body without conscious effort. It is responsible for controlling and regulating activities such as heartbeat, digestion, respiration, temperature regulation, and other bodily functions. It is important in helping to restore balance to the body by regulating physiological processes such as hormone levels and blood pressure.

Parasympathetic System

A branch of the ANS that is responsible for calming the body and restoring its equilibrium. It is often referred to as the “rest and digest” system, as its main functions are to slow the heart rate, increase digestive activity, and relax muscles.

Sympathetic System

A division of the ANS, which is responsible for preparing the body to deal with stressful situations, such as fight-or-flight responses. It is associated with the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which can help the body prepare for a difficult situation or heal from an injury.

Enteric Nervous System

A part of the ANS that is responsible for controlling the digestive system. It plays an important role by helping to regulate digestion, absorption, and secretion. It can also help modulate immune responses and inflammation, as well as play a role in stress management.


The unconscious process of assessing safety and danger in the environment, which allows us to respond appropriately in any given situation. This includes things like feeling pain, detecting light, hearing sound, and feeling temperature. It is a form of embodied knowing and is important for regulating your body’s response to stress and injury.


An interdisciplinary field of study that examines the complex relationship between psychological processes, the nervous system, and the immune system, and how these three systems interact to affect physical health and well-being.


The use of psychological techniques to promote physical health and well-being. It involves addressing psychological and emotional issues that may be contributing to physical symptoms or illnesses. It is based on the belief that the mind and body are connected and that psychological factors can influence physical health.


A form of therapy that works to heal the body through physical touch, movement, and awareness. It focuses on the connection between mind, body, and spirit and how this connection affects physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Health Coach

A professional who works with individuals to identify and address health-related concerns, set achievable goals, and develop healthy lifestyle habits in order to improve overall well-being. Health Coaches typically focus on aspects of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and provide resources, support, and accountability to assist their clients in achieving their health goals.

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