Mind-Body Medicine: The New Science of Optimal Health

Course No. 1920
Professor Jason M. Satterfield, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
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Course No. 1920
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Course Overview

In recent decades, science has revealed that the mind and body are intimately connected in ways we haven’t previously realized—and this field of knowledge is now changing our understanding of health and disease. While it’s easy to see that stress affects health and well-being, or that your blood pressure rises when you’re angry, cutting-edge research shows that the mind-body connection goes much further.

Numerous studies on the brain’s interaction with the body demonstrate that health is directly affected by our social environments, socioeconomic status, culture, behaviors, relationships, psychological states, and habits of mind, among many factors.

Current mind-body science reveals facts such as these:

  • As few as eight weeks of mindfulness meditation can meaningfully boost your immune system.
  • Extreme stress and low social support increase the risk of breast cancer by a factor of 9.
  • Contact with nature is correlated with numerous positive health outcomes, including improved attention for children, reduced stress, and enhanced work performance.
  • Chronic hostility portends calcification of the coronary arteries, even in young people.
  • Expressive writing by patients is correlated with improved outcomes for both asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

Mind-body medicine—working in tandem with traditional medical practice—makes use of a large spectrum of psychological, physical, and behavioral treatments, drawn from many disciplines, in an approach to health care that aims to treat the whole person. It provides highly effective resources for preventing and treating a wide range of medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, stress, cancer, and depression—as well as for fostering the ultimate goals of health care: truly optimal and lasting physical health, and emotional and psychological well-being.

A knowledge of this exciting field offers you critical understanding of the state of the art of health care and a significant new direction in medicine. But beyond valuable knowledge, a grounding in mind-body medicine gives you numerous practical, empowering tools for your own health care, as well as that of your family—tools that can make a profound difference for healthful, vibrant living.

In Mind-Body Medicine: The New Science of Optimal Health, you’ll study this subject in compelling depth, with the expert guidance of Professor Jason M. Satterfield of the University of California, San Francisco. These 36 eye-opening lectures offer you a comprehensive overview of the field, providing rigorous answers to the questions of what makes us sick, what makes us well, and what we can do about it.

You’ll look closely at the anatomical and biological systems through which what is “outside” in the environment gets “inside” to affect our minds and bodies. You’ll also examine recent research on subjects ranging from the impact our emotions and psychology have on health to the crucial roles that social, cultural, and behavioral factors play. And you’ll learn about effective mind-body treatments for numerous common medical conditions and diseases.

Finally, you’ll finish the course with a toolbox of ideas and interventions for your personal wellness goals, empowering you to partner more effectively with your medical providers and maximize your own health.

A Remarkable New Context for Health Care

Professor Satterfield, a highly respected professor of clinical medicine and a specialist on the intersection of psychological factors and physical health, brings to the table his deep knowledge of mind-body science and extensive clinical experience in its application.

In the course’s opening, he introduces you to the model of “biopsychosocial medicine,” which looks at the relationship between biological, psychological, and social factors in health.

In studying how the biopsychosocial model is applied in modern medicine, you delve into these core subject areas:

Biological pathways:You first investigate the anatomy and physiology of four biological systems through which the “outside” gets “in.”

  • By reviewing a detailed study of the autonomic nervous system and the neuroendocrine system, discover how the brain activates the body’s two stress-response systems, and how these systems crucially affect health and well-being.
  • Learn also about the physiology of immune function and the effects of stress on immune response and healing.
  • Study the mechanisms of genetics as well as fascinating research indicating that your behavior can alter your genetic material, for better or worse—changes that can be passed on to future generations.

Psychological factors in health: In the course of nine lectures, you look in depth at the critical ways in which psychology affects the body.

  • Learn how negative emotional states such as anger and hostility can influence both the onset and progression of disease, and how positive emotions aid substantially in healing and wellness.
  • Study how cognition—the ways in which we think and process our experiences—affects emotional states and behavior. Drawing from cognitive and other behavioral therapies, learn effective techniques for reshaping thinking, emotions, and behavior.
  • Review evidence that certain personality types may be predisposed to conditions such as cardiovascular disease and depression, and learn how we can compensate for risk-carrying personality traits by working with cognitions and emotions.
  • Investigate the neuroscience of behavior and the important effects of our behaviors on both disease and disease prevention.
  • Look at stress as an integration of biological, cognitive, and social factors, and see how we can approach stress response and coping as a developmental skill.

Social and ecological factors: You also study the important effects on health of factors such as culture, identity, socioeconomic status, social support, communities, and public health policy.

  • Examine the studied correlations of income to health, education level to longevity, and ethnicity to susceptibility to disease, and consider how we can use this knowledge to benefit both individual and public health.
  • Review research linking social support to health in many medical conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and pregnancy; and do a detailed assessment to evaluate and strengthen your own social support network.
  • Investigate how spiritual affiliations and practices have distinct physical benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, cortisol, and inflammation; improving lipid profiles and cardiovascular health; and extending life expectancy.
  • Assess how physical environments affect health, how national and local culture impacts health-related behaviors, and how public initiatives can create healthier behaviors, environments, and communities.

Tools and Strategies for Optimal Wellness

Building on the biopsychosocial model, you study mind-body treatments for common conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stress, cancer, obesity, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Here, you learn about specific practices and interventions that you can use in your own health care program, such as these.

  • Stress management: For both personal and occupational stress, learn about a spectrum of stress management approaches, from cognitive restructuring and perspective shifting to meditation, breathing techniques, relaxation training, and the learnable skill of resilience.
  • Strategies for successful behavior change: With reference to concerns such as lifestyle change, weight management, and disease prevention, study the leading models of effective behavior change, as well as specific approaches such as the strategies of motivational interviewing, the four key elements of change, and the internal skills of self-regulation.
  • Heart disease—prevention and treatment: Survey psychosocial interventions for heart disease, including a range of behavior change approaches, stress and emotion management, somatic quieting, social connection, and dramatic evidence that cardiac disease can be reversed through lifestyle change.
  • Treatment of pain: Study mind-body factors in pain experience, and learn about treatments including cognitive and behavior change, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and biofeedback.
  • Fatigue, headaches, insomnia: Investigate the variety of medical conditions that show no clear organic cause, such as chronic fatigue, tension headaches, and sleep disorders; and review effective psychological, physical, and behavioral approaches to treatment.

Professor Satterfield’s teaching combines an extraordinary breadth of knowledge, clear and accessible explanations of the science involved, and a highly compassionate approach to patient care. He enriches the lectures with stories and case studies of patients in treatment for stress, heart conditions, insomnia, trauma, and other health challenges, showing you what mind-body medicine looks like in clinical practice and how you can integrate its lessons into your health program and daily life.

With the knowledge and tools you’ll learn in Mind-Body Medicine: The New Science of Optimal Health, you can begin your own biopsychosocial assessment, identify your strengths and challenges in partnership with your medical providers, and take authentic steps toward your fullest physical and mental wellness.


These lectures are not designed for use as medical references to diagnose, treat, or prevent medical illnesses or trauma. Neither The Great Courses nor Professor Jason Satterfield is responsible for your use of this educational material or its consequences. If you have questions about the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a medical condition or illness, you should consult a qualified physician.

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36 lectures
 |  Average 31 minutes each
  • 1
    Weaving the Biopsychosocial Braid
    Begin by contemplating three of the course’s core questions: Why do people get sick? How do people get well? What can we do about it? As a guiding context for the lectures, learn about the biopsychosocial paradigm, which looks at the relationship between the biological, psychological, and social factors in human health. x
  • 2
    Vital Signs—Defining Health and Illness
    What does it mean to be healthy? Here, look at definitions of health, sickness, and disease as multidimensional constructs. Examine how we measure health, both individually and publicly. Review health determinants such as human behavior, geography, the environment, genetics, and economic factors in approaching a more holistic model of health. x
  • 3
    Fight or Flight vs. Rest and Digest
    Begin to look at the biological pathways whereby psychological and social phenomena affect the body. Study the autonomic nervous system, the biology of the “fight or flight” response, and its opposite, the relaxation response. Also learn about the body’s stress-response system and the medical consequences of chronic stress. x
  • 4
    Simmering Soup—The Neuroendocrine System
    Here, study the anatomy and function of the endocrine system as it affects the body’s stress response. Learn how the endocrine system releases cortisol, the “stress hormone,” into the bloodstream, and the physiologic changes that cortisol produces. Review the problems caused by cortisol imbalance and key approaches to controlling stress. x
  • 5
    Deploying the Troops—Basic Immunology
    What is the relation of the mind to the immune system? Study how the immune system fights foreign organisms, destroys altered cells, and heals wounds. Then examine studies showing the effects of stress on front-line immune response, susceptibility to disease, and wound healing. Learn also how meditation can boost immune function. x
  • 6
    Nature vs. Nurture—Genes, Health, and Disease
    Review the basic science of genetics and inheritance as a lead-in to the fascinating field of epigenetics. Grasp how genes are biologically expressed or “turned on” and how our behaviors and environment can alter our genetic material (for better or worse) within our lifetimes—alterations that can be passed on to subsequent generations. x
  • 7
    Forget Me Not—Cognitive Function
    In the first of two lectures on cognition, look at definitions of intelligence and whether intelligence can be changed. Consider the many factors affecting IQ and whether IQ correlates to achievement. Learn about “neurobics” and other ways to improve cognitive functioning, and study the nature of learning and memory. x
  • 8
    Mind over Matter—Cognition in Everyday Life
    Begin this lecture by studying the power of belief and how it can affect our health. Learn about the “dual process” model of thinking and how thinking affects behavior. With reference to cognitive therapy and positive psychology, study reflexive or “automatic” thinking and practical approaches to changing our thinking, emotions, and behavior. x
  • 9
    Emotions Revealed—Psychology of Emotions
    Consider the function of emotions—what they signal and communicate and how we express them, both verbally and in many nonverbal ways. Study their evolutionary purpose, including the role of positive emotions in problem solving and creativity. Review studies of happiness and the specific health effects of different emotional states. x
  • 10
    Agony and Ecstasy—Biology of Emotion
    Learn about the parts of the brain that correlate to emotional experience as they generate emotions and emotion-based memories and regulate our behavior. Note the physiologic “signature” of different emotions—the physical changes emotions produce—and track experiments indicating that altering physical posture and movement changes emotional experience. x
  • 11
    What’s Your EQ, and How Can You Improve It?
    This lecture introduces the concept of emotional intelligence: how we perceive, use, understand, and manage emotions. Explore different models of EQ and ways of testing it as they relate to health and the regulation of emotions. Study key strategies for managing negative emotions and for generating positive ones. x
  • 12
    What’s Your Type? Personality and Health
    How is personality related to health and disease? Learn about the history of personality testing and the identification of personality “types” based in behavioral traits. Study what these typologies may predict about health matters such as depression and cardiovascular disease, and consider ways to compensate for risk-carrying personality traits. x
  • 13
    An Apple a Day—Behavior and Disease Prevention
    Begin by investigating health-related behaviors, such as smoking, substance abuse, and overeating. In exploring why we behave as we do, look at biological factors, the neuroscience of addiction and habits, and also at psychological and social determinants of behavior such as socioeconomic status, culture, education, and societal pressures. x
  • 14
    Staying on the Wagon—Making Changes That Last
    Here, investigate leading models of behavioral change, including the “stages of change” model and “motivational interviewing,” a group of strategies to support people in action taking. In specific examples, study four key elements of successful behavior change, the nature of willpower, and the internal skills of self-regulation. x
  • 15
    Ease the Burn—Modern-Day Stress and Coping
    This lecture discusses stress as an integration of biology, cognition, behavior, and social and emotional factors. Look at stress response and coping as a developmental skill, and explore eight kinds of coping behavior. Then review a menu of stress-management options, both cognitive and behavioral, highlighting mindfulness meditation and the skill of resilience. x
  • 16
    The Iceberg—Visible and Hidden Identity
    Moving to social factors related to health, explore how health is affected by identity. Observe how personal identity is embedded in culture, and study the features of identity formation, using examples of race and gender. Look at the impact of stereotypes and labels as they affect both health and health care. x
  • 17
    Ties That Bind—Relationships and Health
    Now take an in-depth look at relationships and at the kinds of support that social connections can provide. Review the substantial research linking social support to health, in conditions from cardiovascular disease to breast cancer and pregnancy. Finally, use an assessment tool to evaluate the quality of your own social support network. x
  • 18
    Building Bridges—Intimacy and Relationships
    In deepening your look at social factors that affect health, refer to the assessment tool from Lecture 17 and consider ways to strengthen and improve your network of social support. Learn about therapeutic approaches to developing intimacy and resolving conflict in relationships. Also study strategies for managing anger and cultivating empathy. x
  • 19
    Touched by Grace—Spirituality and Health
    Look first at statistics on the prevalence of spirituality, and consider how faith can affect wellness through fostering healthy behaviors, social support, and a sense of meaning. Review studies on the health effects of spirituality, encompassing the physiology of meditation and other faith-based practices, and the significant medical benefits of forgiveness. x
  • 20
    A Matter of Class—Socioeconomics and Health
    Socioeconomic status plays a multilayered role in health. Examine the marked correlation of income to health and the diverse factors that contribute to it. Study evidence on the relation of education level to longevity and to specific medical conditions. Finally, review studies showing surprising connections between social status and susceptibility to disease. x
  • 21
    A Cog in the Wheel—Occupational Stress
    Here, investigate stress in the workplace and the phenomenon of professional burnout. Study research on stress correlated with job category, and the common elements of work-related stress. Learn about ways of measuring individual and organizational stress, links to the onset of medical conditions, and cutting-edge strategies for treating stress. x
  • 22
    The Power of Place—Communities and Health
    Our living environment plays another significant role in health. Assess how neighborhoods affect health, from environmental exposures to the extraordinary benefits of green spaces and contact with nature. Track the effects of our social communities on health-related behaviors, and consider how we can alter our built environments to be healthier. x
  • 23
    The Master Plan—Public Health and Policy
    In a far-reaching look at public health, learn about the field of behavioral economics—its study of the realities of human behavior and how we might use our behavioral tendencies in new ways. Grasp the concept of “choice architecture” as it allows us to make public policy that authentically supports healthier communities. x
  • 24
    Heart and Soul—Cardiovascular Disease I
    Cardiovascular disease shows significant links to psychological and social factors. Study the anatomy and physiology of heart disease as well as the similar pathophysiology of strokes, and review studies revealing startling correlations of stress, personality type, hostility, and depression with cardiovascular function and dysfunction. x
  • 25
    Heart and Soul—Cardiovascular Disease II
    Now look at psychosocial interventions for treating heart disease. Survey the range of behavior change interventions, including diet and exercise, and dramatic evidence that cardiac disease can actually be reversed through lifestyle change. Also track the significant cardiac benefits of stress management, and evaluate the usefulness of treatments for anger and depression. x
  • 26
    The Big C—Cancer and Mind-Body Medicine
    Begin this lecture with a discussion of cancer biology and the range of risk factors for cancer, with emphasis on behavioral and lifestyle-related risk factors. Assess the use of stress management and social support in treating cancer, and investigate whether these and other psychosocial treatments affect cancer outcomes. x
  • 27
    Bugs, Drugs, and Buddha—Psychoneuroimmunology
    Consider the impact of psychosocial factors on the immune system, featuring the correlation of emotional states with wound healing and surgical recovery. Study the effects of behavioral factors and stress management in treating HIV/AIDS and the role of stress in asthma. Finally, look at interventions to improve or recalibrate our immune systems. x
  • 28
    Fire in the Belly—The GI System
    This lecture explores the important connection between the mind and digestion. Study the anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal system, highlighting the remarkable role of our intestinal flora. Learn how stress affects digestion in the examples of ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, and review effective behavioral and psychological interventions used in treatment. x
  • 29
    Obesity—America’s New Epidemic
    Can psychosocial interventions prevent or treat obesity? Investigate the phenomenon of obesity in the United States and the social, environmental, and biological factors that may explain its dramatic increase. From the range of approaches to weight loss and management, and parameters from our lecture on behavior change, consider realistic strategies for success. x
  • 30
    The Strain in Pain Lies Mainly in the Brain
    Mind-body factors play a critical role in both the cause and treatment of chronic pain. Study the physiology of pain and the variability of pain experience with respect to emotions, stress, and phenomena such as placebo and “phantom limb” pain. Review treatments including cognitive and behavioral strategies, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and biofeedback. v x
  • 31
    Catching Your Zs—Sleep and Health
    Learn about the science of sleep, sleep’s five stages, and how sleep changes as we age. Study sleep deprivation, with a focus on the widespread problem of insomnia. Track the diverse causes of insomnia and possible treatments, including stimulus control, sleep restriction, relaxation and cognitive therapies, and behavior change. x
  • 32
    Chasing Zebras—Somatoform Disorders
    Explore the intriguing phenomenon of medically unexplained symptoms—symptoms that show no discernible organic cause. Regarding conditions such as chronic fatigue, tension headaches, and lower back pain, look at causes ranging from cognition and emotions to cultural and social factors, and review both psychological and physical approaches to treatment. x
  • 33
    Seeing the Glass Half Empty—Depression
    The biopsychosocial model provides valuable interventions for this all-too-common condition. Define the hallmark symptoms of depression and current medical understanding of depressive disorders. Review a case study of depression, highlighting cognitive restructuring and behavior change treatments, as well as the usefulness of medications, supplements, and shock therapy. x
  • 34
    Silencing the Scream—Understanding Anxiety
    Investigate how fear and anxiety affect your mind and body, and explore the biology and symptoms of anxiety disorders with reference to simple phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Study effective treatments such as exposure therapy, reality testing, and relaxation therapies and their use in tandem with medications. x
  • 35
    Lingering Wounds—Trauma, Resilience, Growth
    This lecture discusses treatments for trauma, with a focus on post-traumatic stress disorder. Learn about the psychobiology of PTSD, and follow a case study featuring highly effective interventions based in emotional reprocessing and unlearning fear-based cognitions. Consider how to promote resilience, growth, and meaning following trauma. x
  • 36
    Tomorrow’s Biopsychosocial Medicine
    In concluding, reflect on the promise of new medical technologies, a more interdisciplinary and personalized approach to health care, and new directions in medical training. Contemplate changes in clinical practice between 1970 and what we may expect in 2030, and what the health care team of the future may look like. x

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Your professor

Jason M. Satterfield

About Your Professor

Jason M. Satterfield, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Professor Jason M. Satterfield is Professor of Clinical Medicine, Director of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Director of Behavioral Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He earned his B.S. in Brain Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently directs the...
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Mind-Body Medicine: The New Science of Optimal Health is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 45.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Need to update audio download Listeners should have the option of having lectures play one at a time. Now lectures will continue for hours. Not good if one falls asleep.
Date published: 2017-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mind- Body Medicine "The Future of Evidence Medici I am Orthopaedic Surgeon and Senior Medical Editor of Evidence Based ODG Guide. This review is the best I have found and is the answer for Chronic Pain. I have bought a copy for my grandson who will be entering Med School fall2018 and for his girl friend in nursing program. CW Kennedy MD
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great I haven't had the opportunity to watch all of the 36 lectures but what I have seen is wonderful. It affirms what I have been teaching my Tai Chi and Chi Kung classes for the past 10 years
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All courses are great. This one is exceptional! All courses are great. This one is exceptional! I learned a lot from this course. This one is highly recommended. Very well done!
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Misses key info While a great technical exposition, it missed the seminal work of Dr John Sarno, whose books discuss how to eliminate the physical pain associated with psychosomatic illnesses.
Date published: 2016-10-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Much Good Information My wife and I watched this course together and discussed the lectures after we viewed them. There was so much excellent information presented. In fact there was so much that it probably would be beneficial to watch more than once. This course is not material just to watch but requires thought and discussion to comprehend all of it. Enjoyed course very much and may very well watch again or read the course book to think more about the material.
Date published: 2016-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best I've purchased a number of courses through The Teaching Company and I'd say that Dr. Satterfield is one of the most dynamic lecturers. The material is fascinating and well researched, always supported with source citations, and he translates scientific jargon into understandable analogies.
Date published: 2016-03-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Eduacational and Practical As a physician, I found this broadened my base of knowledge on a subject that had a good base to begin with. The information given would be easily understood by anyone regardless of a health care background. Each course had lots of examples and practical application. I would recommend reading each of the lecture titles to get a better idea of the subjects that will be covered. This course would be great as a required college course to teach people how to take care of themselves and to create a broader view of healthcare as lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, a large percentage of people today think they are doomed by their DNA and just let their bodies fall apart, ending up with multiple serious degenerative diseases. I would recommend this course to anyone willing to become educated and apply what they learn.
Date published: 2015-10-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good complement A great complement to The Science of Natural Healing course. I liked very much the course. There are some lectures in common with the Natural healing course, which I prefer more on the natural healing. It covers a lot of topics and it is very complete to understand all the areas of health.
Date published: 2015-05-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Useful advice on one's state of mind and health Video Review: Professor Satterfield provides a comprehensive review of how our mind/brain affects our health. His conclusions are based on what is the best known science. He provides an overview of how our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems turn on (and off) our circulatory and other bodily systems. He gives not only a description of the myriad of ways that chronic stress can negatively affect our health, but shows lots of options on how to manage stress including interventions by or with professionals, family, and friends. He shows how the biopsychosocial medicine model combining biological, psychological and social factors is an important approach to health management Professor Satterfield bases his conclusions on science, his statements about how all of these factors impact our health risk and how they point to this integrated approach to medicine and treatment, Since he references the latest research studies behind the science, his theses are very credible. However, the actual data from these research studies is seldom displayed. Since this is course is in the "Better Living" category and not the "Science" category, my expectations for such data are more limited. But since the course includes the title "The New Science of Optimal Health", one would expect that at least a few simple graphs and tables which demonstrate the results of some of the scientific studies would be included. On the rare occasion that some statistical data from a meta-analysis were included, there was no reference to the source of the data. I think it is fair to expect to see some of the actual data behind the study in a science related video course. Had more of the data been displayed, I would have given this course 5 stars. The illustrations of the brain and the bodily systems are worthwhile and there are a number of photos, some of which don't add very much to the content. So this is one case where an audio course is probably sufficient. In fact, had I taken this as an audio course, knowing that I'd need to check reference material to see the supporting data, I probably would have given the course 5 stars (and saved a bit of money in the process). Though Dr. Satterfield is clearly reading from a teleprompter, he speaks in a very clear and highly organized fashion. His vocal inflection and body language clearly help emphasize his points and their context. The healthful suggestions from the course are excellent. Dr. Satterfield shows us many ways to improve our odds of healthy living and to assist the healing process. What separates this course from some of the "pseudoscience" health programs is that the biological science is always an underlying part of the equation. What Dr. Satterfield shows is more a matter of how psychological and social factors affect our biological systems, than presenting them as health related entities on to themselves. The accompanying guidebook provides very complete lecture summaries (so complete that a transcript is not really necessary). The book provides a bibliography which includes some relevant websites. Given the number of technical terms used in this course, a glossary certainly would have been a welcome addition. The lessons learned from this course are useful to anyone. The course does not require a science background, and for those non-scientists who take this course, you may be less concerned about the lack of displays of graphs or other forms of data to support the research conclusions. In any case, an audio only version of this course is probably nearly as good as the video version. For the more scientifically inclined, I recommend Dr. Robert Sapolsky's Stress and Your Body, per below.
Date published: 2015-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Optimal health—optimal course Mind-Body Medicine is a wonderful new addition to the Health & Wellness listings. I enjoyed it very much and plan to re-watch it again in whole or in part. It was everything I expected from TGC (except for the lousy guidebook): very well researched, interesting data, relevant, tightly edited and organized, outstanding graphics, charismatic presenter. Usually we think of optimum health as blood pressure and cholesterol numbers within a specified “normal” range and our bodily organs are running efficiently, again as determined by a battery of tests. But this course upsets that paradigm by stating the obvious, that health is not simply an aggregate of numbers spit out by a computer and it’s not based on a blood test and urine sample. Wellness is much more, and I heartily recommend this course—quick before it’s too late! And don't worry. Biopsychosocial medicine isn't some kind of "feel good" alternative medicine. It's simply includes the relationship among biology, pschology, and sociocultural dynamics. Here’s why this is a great course: It’s backed up by gads of research. Just about every anecdote and factoid is given a trial or research project or book or journal reference. Many of these are worth looking up and remembering. Some of the books I’ve ordered for further reading #thanks so much for the recommendations#. And the referenced New York Times article #Life at the Top# was also great. Overall, very well researched compared with many other courses. Didn’t lack for science. I found it sufficiently academic, particularly the sections on physiology and the HPA axis. I learned something new in most of the lectures. Practical. Throughout the course, Professor Satterfield recommends quite a few biopsychsocial assessment tools, most available online with the help of your pal Google. These are invaluable and practical. The presenter was charismatic and likeable and obviously committed to the profession. I really hope he returns for more. He is very passionate about his job and his patients. You can tell because he often gets choked up and emotional when recounting incidents with patients. Well done. Apologies for complaining, but there is one aspect of the course that I’m sorry to say was a huge let down. I’m one of those people who tend to read guidebooks. Of all the guidebooks I’ve read, this was THE WORST because no one proofed it before printing. I don’t want to say it’s littered with mistakes, but I was disappointed repeatedly. I’ll just say there were way too many for a professional/commercial organization. And when credits rolled by at the end of the course, I thought to myself, how shameful. But the course itself was great.
Date published: 2015-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Course and Engaging Professor! This was an excellent course! “Mind-Body Medicine" is one of the best and most engaging I've watched on the Great Courses. Professor Satterfield was poised, charismatic, dynamic, passionate, and extremely knowledgeable about the topic. He covered a wide range of issues within the subset of mind/body medicine, including relatively new and cutting-edge stuff. On a personal note, I suffer from chronic pain issues from being a high-level competitive athlete as a teenager, and I learned a lot that applies to my own situation. But he also covered a plethora of disorders and public health issues that I would classify as “broad problems in our society,” ranging from obesity, to cancer, to depression issues, which do not directly apply to me but were nonetheless extremely important topics. I'm a PhD student in the Social Sciences, and I enjoyed the fact that this course gave me insight into a field different than my own. I began listening to the Great Courses in Graduate School to brush up on some of the classic works in my own discipline when I first entered my doctoral program, which was an extremely useful idea. But now that I'm an advanced grad student and working on my dissertation, I've adopted the practice of picking a few courses each semester in fields that I simply want to learn more about (i.e. ranging from history, to medicine, to the natural sciences). I primarily watch or listen to these courses when I'm on the treadmill or exercise bike. This helps me learn about a range of fields and topics, and gets me out of the myopia of my own discipline. I'm very happy I picked this as one of my courses last semester... Great Course. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2015-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the Very Best Courses I've Taken I'm increasingly persuaded that the mind affects the body as well as the body affects the mind, so I was eager to purchase this course when it first became available and was not disappointed. To me, it was a winner on content, presentation, and likability of the lecturer. The course emphasizes an integrated, holistic approach to healthcare in that the all-embracing model for mind-body medicine is what Dr. Satterfield calls the "biopsychosocial model" where the biology of the human body, psychological attributes and behavioral tendencies, and the social environment of the individual are all assessed to evaluate and enhance human well-being. Within the psychological mode, much attention is given to the interaction, and potentially mutually-reinforcing effects, of thinking #cognitions#, feelings #emotions#, and behavior #our physical actions#. Dr. Satterfield would appear to be an ideal lecturer for this course; he has a BS in Brain Sciences from MIT, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Penn #whose psychology department has pioneered both cognitive psychotherapy and positive psychology, i.e., an emphasis on mental well-being rather than, say, neuroses#, and a professorship, as well as clinical experience, at the UCSF Medical School. In the latter capacity, he focuses on the links between psychological factors and physical health. In broad outline the course introduces the biopsychosocial model, and then proceeds to cover human physiology, e.g., endocrine system, immune system, and then to human psychology, e.g., emotions, personality type, and then to our social environment and how our income status, our occupation, or where we live may affect our health. The biopsychosocial model is then applied to various illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, GI problems, pain, anxiety and depression. A pervading item in this course that we learn #or have reinforced# is the impact of chronic stress on so many health conditions. Dr. Satterfield is a scientist, and not a "new-age" advocate, and continually stresses that all forms of medicine be evidence-based. It's no surprise, as a student of Dr. Aaron Beck of Penn, that he believes there's many applications for behavioral-cognitive therapy. If we can manage to control our thinking and avoid "personalizing" things, or magnifying problems, or especially "catastrophizing" #thinking catastrophic thoughts#, we can lower our emotional reactivity and improve our physical well-being. As mentioned, Dr. Satterfield comes off as likable and articulate, and speaks very well. He begins each lecture with clinical cases and ends each lecture with a concise summary of the preceding 30-minute material, usually with a resolution of the earlier clinical case. Dr. Satterfield is apparently riding the crest of a health care revolution; in his last lecture he says that beginning in 2015 almost 50% of the "core concept" questions on the Medical College Admission Test will come from the social and behavioral sciences. An easy 5 stars for me.
Date published: 2015-01-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing I was hoping to get some tips for a college class that I'm teaching in stress management. This material was too basic even for an elementary course for young adults. The instructor is stiff, and appears not to be someone who has personally practiced mindfulness, compared to the 'Science of Mindfulness' course in which the instructor clearly has years of meditation and mindfulness experience. Satterfield states that nothing special is required to practice mindfulness, and then for the demonstrations, he changes into an Indian style shirt, and sits cross legged on a cushion so stiffly that it's clear that he doesn't practice what he is recommending. I returned this series, but highly recommend 'Science of Mindfulness'.
Date published: 2015-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from enjoy the program Enjoy the program, the presenter is engaging and the segments are just the right length. The materials were sent quickly. I have purchased several courses over the years and have always been treated well. Ordering online is convenient but I really like to call is as the customer service is so knowledgable and very able to help me select the most appropriate course for my needs.
Date published: 2015-01-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Mind-body medicine If you are interested in rats behavior this is your course. If you want practical suggestions, it is useless Patrick
Date published: 2014-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent course with a lot of information I have listened to a lot of the Great Courses - and I would rank this one up at the top. The measured perspective the instructor brings is both accepting of the many things medicine is still exploring and doesn't understand clearly, but also very disciplined in debunking popular myths. He presents a very robust framework of biopsychosocial health that is easy to understand but very comprehensive. i find it one of the most "dense" of any courses I have listened to in the amount of information delivered. it takes concentration to follow - but the information is very well organized and connected - so it"s very satisfying. The presenter is clear, easy to listen to and very knowledgeable. It is also important to listen carefully as there is a lot of information given verbally that is not in the guidebook. i would recommend this course to anyone.
Date published: 2014-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mind body medicine by a real expert Excelente course, about mind body medicine, one can learn a lot with this course.
Date published: 2014-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb course, of value to everyone, a real winner This course was not what I expected --- it was SO MUCH MORE! A brilliant lecture series... an inspired addition to the impressive catalogue from Great Courses. Wonderful use of graphics too! Dr. Satterfield has a very likeable, friendly manner which assists him greatly in getting his points across, and which helps us students to absorb his teaching more readily. He has organised these lectures with expert care and a huge wealth of knowledge & experience. The many case histories he uses are so important, illustrating and highlighting his topics perfectly. Socio-economic considerations are especially illuminating. On the minus side, I found that his accent, voice emphases and occasional odd pronunciations led to easy misunderstandings, e.g. "place", "taxes". Several times I had to go back and listen again to confirm a word used. I often found myself thinking "Hmm, I wasn't aware of that", or "That's useful to know", or "Wow, what a surprise that is". There are lots of aspects of his lectures that I can beneficially apply to my own life, and I'm sure every student will do likewise. This series, therefore, is not only interesting and fascinating, but also tremendously valuable -- and it is up-to-date. In my instance I've just been through difficult major surgery and found several lectures directly applicable to my situation. Thank you, Dr. Satterfield and Great Courses, for this inspiring and remarkable course. Hearty recommendation.
Date published: 2014-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The course was what I expected and much more Naturally I have preconceived notions of what mind/body medicine is about, and at first it was that, done in an interesting and informative way; but there is so much more to it, and more details I didn't know, and some things I assumed to be true that weren't. I enjoyed returning to the course to watch each lecture, and there was so much I found interesting plus he provided access to additional information - web links to take tests and evaluations (for free); I wished I was taking notes, but had already decided that I'm going to watch these again sometime. It was informative, thought provoking, and in some cases, I decided to change (improve) my ways once I realized how influential some areas of our lives are. I'm the type that crams for tests at the last minute and focuses on one area of my life at the expense of all others. One thing I got out of this course is that you pay for that. A more holistic way of living is the best way to health and happiness.
Date published: 2014-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely Practical It took me a little while to warm up to Professor Satterfield's delivery, but I soon realized he is an extremely well organized, intelligent, knowledgable, articulate, passionate and considerate teacher.The integrated body/mind model of medicine he is advocating is an inclusive open-ended approach rooted in experimental science and clinical practice. And this course is a great fast-paced mix of hard science and pop psychology, not dumbed down for us lay students, but one encouraging us to have "great compassion and great concentration", while always staying grounded in practical application. I appreciated the way he returns again and again to some of the more technical terms and physiological processes and yet doesn't let those technicalities obscure his lessons. On the other hand some of the lectures are a bit jargon filled and some kind of fluffy, but most are packed with useful and interesting information. He also makes it clear how an integrated approach is whats needed to optimize our health, one which may be hard to find today, but is going to become the norm probably sooner than later. By integrated I mean a life-style based approach that comes from a basis of body-mind (and not the widely separate disciplines and healing modalities for "body doctors" and "mind doctors" that is currently the norm), which includes bio-chemical science and pharmacology as well as a balance of nutritional, exercise, attitudinal, artistic and meditational healing modalities. Perhaps the best aspect of this course is Prof. Satterfield's optimism and how he gives links to specific resources to encourage our independent and ongoing followup, including further studies, written materials and online access to in-depth assessment tools that we can use to see how a (good, holistic) doctor might approach understanding our picture of health. I got the feeling he really cared about MY health, and quality of life, and that this healing attitude nurtured a great learning environment. I've enjoyed many Great Courses lectures, but this is the first I've actively encouraged family members to listen to and even bought for someone else as a gift.
Date published: 2014-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ever so highly recommended I'm a psychology doctoral student and have been using The Great Courses as a resource to bolster my learning. I've watched over a dozen courses, and found this to be among the best. Actually, I consider it the second best (behind Dr. Sapolsky's stress course). Dr Satterfield is extremely knowledgeable and a very good presenter. Additionally, this is a very new course (recorded 2013, I think). This is good because it is very up-to-date. As an example, I was recently talking to my wife about how I found it surprising that none of the courses had discussed the microbiome (including Dr. Sapolsky's). She figured that it was too new of a discovery to be included in the courses. As such, I was pleased to hear it discussed by Dr Satterfield in this course. This is an excellent course that is very heavily focused on the biopsychosocial model, the course ends on a very interesting note - he does a theoretical case study of a depressed patient visiting a doctor in 1970 vs 2030. It really brought home the importance and value of personalizing medicine to the individual.
Date published: 2014-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Authoritative, Comprehensive, Up to date I recently changed jobs and now have a 40-minute commute. So I began to get some of the Great Courses to listen to while I am driving, which, especially the ones with 30-minute lectures, work great. One of the ones I bought was MInd-Body Medicine. I have been enjoying it greatly! I actually look forward to my commute. Dr. Satterfield explains his approach at the beginning, and then covers many health issues in great detail, with a strong focus on research findings and what they reveal about our health. One of the things I like is that he also is clear about where the science is inconclusive at this time. I bought the video version of the course, and have enjoyed seeing the videos, but, of course, when I am driving, I can only listen to the streaming audio on my iPhone, which works fine. In addition to the descriptions of each of the health problems he covers, the relevant epidemiological data, and the up-to-date research studies that are relevant, I like the use of case presentations, brief exercises, and even some Shakespearean quotes! Dr. Satterfield has clearly crafted his course with great care. And his lectures are given with great energy and with passion for his topic.
Date published: 2014-03-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The Conscience of a Vegan I wish I could have given this course and Professor Satterfield five stars. With a major exception that I’ll explain below, the course material was informative and useful, and Professor Satterfield is a very talented speaker who presents the material in a manner that keeps the listener engaged. The major exception to the course material being informative and useful was the occasional reference in the first half of the course, and the frequent reference in the second half of the course, to useless and unethical -- often appallingly unethical -- animal experiments. There is sad irony in the contrast between Professor Satterfield’s emphasis on “great compassion” in the beginning and end of the course, versus the unapologetic reference to extremely painful and lethal experiments on nonhuman animals in so-called “scientific studies” that -- by Professor Satterfield’s own admission several times throughout the course -- tell us very little, if anything, about human health or disease. Perhaps in future versions of this course, and in other courses, TTC and its professors will edit out the bad science, and in doing so, produce excellent material. In addition, TTC should consider having Sherry Colb, Professor of Law at Cornell; Gary Francione, Professor of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers; or Gary Steiner, Professor of Philosophy at Bucknell, develop a Great Course on animal ethics for the 21st century, especially since in this area of ethics, we seem to be centuries behind our ethical development in most other areas.
Date published: 2014-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Information, Great Professor Professor Satterfield is a masterful instructor who presents a wealth of information with empirical studies and good examples. His description of PTSD is especially good because he puts the student into the shoes of someone who has this condition so that it can be better understood. The effects of various types of stressors are explored and I received much practical information that I can apply in my own life. Before taking this class, I had very little understanding of various mental disorders and this course has provided me with practical knowledge about them. The professor provides the names of various evaluation instruments, which are available at no charge, on the internet. I appreciated Dr. Satterfield's presentation style very much.
Date published: 2013-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Latest in Mind-Body Relationship!! The Mind-Body Medicine course is a very thorough discussion of BioPsychoSocial topics which impact how things from outside the body creep inside. Dr. Satterfield is outstanding in his presentation style, knowledge, and method for delivering the information. This course was a great followup to "What Science knows about Cancer' (Dr. Sadava) and added to the understanding of worldly impacts on the human body. I found the DVD version excellent in visual graphics. As usual The Great Courses come through with an awesome professor on the leading edge of Mind/Body influences. I am glad I purchased this course and look forward to future topics by DR. Satterfield! OUTSTANDING!!!!
Date published: 2013-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Information intense Very comprehensive, overview of the topic referencing latest studies on what influences our mind from biome of bacteria in our gut to social epidemiology. Great use of graphic media.
Date published: 2013-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Stress, hope and placebos Video download. As we grow older, the health we took for granted in youth gets dinged by unforeseen events, bad habits and stress. Some of us, unfortunately, drive genetic lemons from Day One. How can we make do with what we have? Dr Satterfield's MIND-BODY MEDICINE attempts to explain how my "car analogy" is all wrong. "Health" is an ambiguous concept that goes far beyond the body we carry around, or the aches and pains that monopolize our attention short-term. He introduces a whole bunch of things. Some you don't control. Some you do, but poorly. Some you could, but do nothing through sheer ignorance. Satterfield is mostly concerned with the last two. But first some basics. PHYSIOLOGY — How does the outside world dent the body we pilot around every day? We get short overviews of our genetics, immune system, nervous system, and hormones. MIND — This physical bedrock reacts to a perceived, filtered reality created by the brain, as influenced by past experience, intelligence, education, habits and personality. SOCIETY — Our health is further influenced by many things beyond our bodies: jobs, financial independence, social class, medical infrastructure, social stability, etc., etc. ________________ Blah - blah - blah, you may wonder. A large part of MIND-BODY is taken up with these crucially-important-yet-already-well-known factors. He is establishing a common point of departure, that is true. But many of his observations, especially at the social level, are more relevant to health professionals and health policy advocates than to individuals with no influence in these matters. __________________ So where is the meat? The conveyor belt connecting physiology, mind and society is STRESS, a very individualized reaction because our minds and bodies are unique combinations. And stress is a hall of mirrors. It exacerbates unhealthy conditions, which cause more stress, which then ...... you get the point. The first line of defence is "fix the body" through surgery and drugs. And this is especially so when dealing with the two main causes of mortality — cancer and cardiovascular disease, the "big Cs". For the rest of us, and survivors of the big Cs, there is a range of chronic conditions we encounter sooner or later where mental factors play a much larger role, both as cause and potential agent in treatment — chronic pain, anxiety, depression, obesity, insomnia, and psychosomatic ills. This is where the MIND-BODY "meat" is mostly found. The focus at that level is stress reduction through preventative measures — exercise, habit changes, meditation, etc. — and various forms of cognitive behavioural therapy #CBT# to correct faulty, stress-causing beliefs. _______________ Implicit in this approach, we face 3 boundaries at various points in life. 3) Ultimately, of course, there is death, the final leap into the unknown. 2) Months or days prior to death, there is a pharmacological solution when pain becomes too great. The price, however, is a clear mind. Some lapse into this stage years before death when they are institutionalized or through the negligent overuse of various drugs. 1) Prior to the pharmacological line, however, is the intended audience for MIND-BODY — people worried by stress or various chronic "half-physical, half-mental" ailments. Ironically, the MIND-BODY stage may also require that you sacrifice some clear thinking. In his lesson on spirituality, for example, he states that "Many religions encourage us to cultivate an attitude of non-judgment. They tell us, though, that acceptance is not resignation; it’s a realization and appreciation of the inherent imperfections of life." #Guidebook p. 124# That is weird. Religion as I have experienced it, always involved judgments. And for many people who take it seriously, life changes are required that cause plenty of stress. But in the MIND-BODY universe, every idea, every philosophy or religion is processed through a stress-reduction-CBT blender. What you end up with — call it religion or what you will — is as close to the original as baby food is to fried steak. When peace of mind becomes the be-all-and-end-all, a rose-tinted, alternative universe is created where all the sharp edges are rubbed away. If that is what you seek, MIND-BODY is a good first step. _________________ CONCLUSION Dr Satterfield is an excellent speaker. Despite the many interesting images, however, audio-only platforms should be sufficient. Once again, TTC chose to omit a glossary in the Guidebook, a tool that could have been useful in this multi-disciplinary field. A big hole in MIND-BODY was the whole field of "positive thinking." I'm thinking of Dr Bernie Siegel and his best-seller "Love, Medicine and Miracles" as a good example. Many cancer sufferers find hope in such books and go on to die horribly nevertheless. At what point does such "hope," however stress-reducing it may be for patients in the short-run, become a cruel, unethical joke? What about other placebos? Siegel's book is not listed in the bibliography. Maybe that's my answer.
Date published: 2013-10-04
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