Dr. James Gordon on the Future of Mind Body Medicine

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The modern challenges in health are closely associated with a disconnection between the mind and body. James S. Gordon, MD, founder of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, professes a clear understanding of how the mind and body work together to create wellness within humans. According to Dr. Gordon, in order to know the future of mind-body medicine, it is best to look at the past and make note of the exact period in time where the science was lost.

“The problem is that we lost sight of it. We began to separate the mind from the body and to see and believe that they were different.” –Dr. James Gordon

Gordon puts the time around the 1960s, when the mind was thought to be one with the spirit and the body, a completely separate entity. This was when treating people became more difficult and was the beginning of an enormous dependence on prescription medication.

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“The body became the concern of doctors and the mind and spirit was the concern of the priests and the clergy and different faiths.” –Dr. James Gordon

Leaning towards the future, Dr. Gordon finds that a focus on self-care can reverse the issues that come along with practitioner-administered care. Stating that, “we’ve been drugging the whole population,” Gordon believes that many of the prescription remedies are not helpful and cause other health problems. So for the future, Dr. Gordon wants the responsibility of care to move out of the hands of practitioners and into the hands of the patients themselves. Through mind-body therapies, self-care is rather simple for patients and limits the need for doctor visits.

“The next step for us as a society is to make self-care the true primary care.”

Promoting self-care doesn’t mean excluding practitioners altogether, but in the future, as seen through Dr. Gordon’s eyes, practitioners assist patients in practicing self-care. This form of doctoring is based on “the understanding that we have a very great capacity to do things on our own behalf.” Based on Dr. James Gordon’s insightful interview, the future of mind-body medicine is in your own hands.


Samueli Institute recently launched the mind-body website brainmindhealing.org to materialize the evidence behind mind-body medicine, encourage the implementation of mind-body practices in standard care and discuss how mind-body medicine can positively impact the future of our healthcare system. Be sure to visit the site