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What is Integrative Body-Mind Training?

By Malysa Stratton Louk
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Integrative body-mind training (IBMT) is an adult and child meditation technique developed in the 1990s by Yi-Yuan Tang, a professor at the Institute of Neuroinformatics and Laboratory for Body and Mind in Dalian, China, in collaboration with University of Oregon psychologist Michael Posner. The technique is based on traditional Chinese medicine, Taoism and Confucianism. Unlike other meditation techniques, which focus on thought control and require long-term training, integrative body-mind training focuses on body-mind awareness through short-term training. Gradual control of thought comes later — naturally, through posture, breathing, relaxation and body-mind harmony.

Integrative body-mind training is designed to show immediate results with students. After a short-term training of just five days — and just 20 minutes each of those days — participants show increased attention, relaxation and body-mind awareness. Most participants notice a significant decrease in daily stress, anxiety, depression, anger and fatigue. Additionally, tests groups show an overall improvement in emotional and cognitive performance, as well as improved social behavior. Training classes are guided, rather than taught, by highly qualified coaches.

Coaches are responsible for providing a relaxed atmosphere and guiding participants in breathing and posture exercises, mental imagery and soothing music to achieve body-mind harmony. They monitor the participants to ensure the techniques are practiced properly, and closely observe facial expressions and body cues for signs of struggle or stress. After each session, the coach gives participants individual feedback and answers questions. Coaches believe everyone has full potential for inner beauty, and it is their job to guide participants in reaching their full potential through individualized feedback.

Integrative body-mind training incorporates three levels of training for adults, and one level — health and wisdom — for children. The three levels of adult training include body-mind health (BMH), body-mind balance (BMB) and body-mind purification (BMP). Adults who master all three levels, as demonstrated by theoretical and practical testing, can apply to become a coach. Potential coaches must have experience and receive further training by working with experimental and control groups to ensure they understand the training exactly as it is intended.

Tang has personally trained thousands of Chinese children and adults, ranging in age from 4 to 90, to use integrative body-mind training techniques. While compact discs (CDs) are available, Tang has said it is difficult to teach from the CD without first having had coaching. As of early 2011, IBMT is only offered in China. It has not yet reached the United States, outside testing and research at the University of Oregon.

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Discussion Comments

By anon998102 — On Apr 10, 2017

Come on, there must be something, somewhere, that explains what to do? It seems every link is just singing praise without explaining how to do it.

No form of meditation requires you to have a coach physically present.

By anon995079 — On Mar 31, 2016

I wonder if this is something that can be be learned without formal instruction, but through web resources. Think I'll look into that.

By fify — On Aug 17, 2013

Has anyone else had this training and can tell us more about its benefits?

I came across integrated body and mind training when I was looking up information on Alzheimer's. My father has Alzheimer's and it was interesting to learn that people who meditate are less likely to develop Alzheimer's. Apparently, meditation constructs new passageways between nerves and improves the function of the brain.

I wonder if IBMT could be used to prevent and treat Alzheimer's and other cognitive problems?

By turquoise — On Aug 17, 2013

@anamur-- I received IBMT when I was in China and it really is a great meditation method. It's very easy to learn and do, and it makes a huge difference in terms of concentration and clarity. When I do IBMT, my memory is better and I'm more productive at work.

By serenesurface — On Aug 16, 2013

It's unfortunate that integrative body-mind training is not available in the US. It sounds great and I would love to be trained in it.

I've tried learning other mind and body meditation techniques before but controlling thoughts has always been a challenge for me. And most meditation techniques are very strict about achieving this. IBMT sounds more flexible, I like that.

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