One Buffalo Facility Is Leading the Way

by Annette Pinder

Our bodies respond to how we think, feel and act. Called, “The Mind/Body Connection,” being stressed, anxious or upset affect us mentally and physically. For example, a headache or stomach ulcer might develop after a particularly stressful event.
In 1992 the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), at the National Institute of Health (NIH), began evaluating alternative methods of treatment. They found combining alternative methods of healing with traditional treatments has a positive effect on patients with a mental health diagnosis. A recent study by University of Massachusetts Medical School showed mindfulness meditation may cause measurable changes in the brain regions affecting memory, learning and emotion.
Here in Buffalo, BryLin Hospitals has been at the forefront in incorporating alternative therapies for mental health. Mark Nowak, BryLin’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, says, “It’s been exciting to incorporate therapies that were once considered fringe approaches. Self-help has become an integral part of mental health treatment at BryLin, and our patients are benefiting greatly from them.” BryLin’s programming includes:
Yoga/meditation: Practitioners of this ancient Indian system of health care use breathing exercises, posture, stretches, and meditation to balance the body’s energy centers. Yoga is used in combination with other treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders.
Massage therapy: The underlying principle of this approach is that rubbing, kneading, brushing, and tapping a person’s muscles can help release tension and pent emotions. It has been used to treat trauma-related depression and stress.
Tai Chi: Some people find that their spirits soar and experience a sense of release and inner peace from Eastern martial arts, such as Aikido and Tai Chi. Those who are recovering from physical, sexual, or emotional abuse may find these techniques especially helpful for gaining a sense of ease with their own bodies. The underlying premise to this movement therapy is that it can help a person integrate the emotional, physical, and cognitive facets of “self.”
Pastoral Counseling: Some people prefer to seek help for mental health problems from their pastor, rabbi, or priest, rather than from therapists who are not affiliated with a religious community. Counselors working within traditional faith communities increasingly are recognizing the need to incorporate psychotherapy and/or medication, along with prayer and spirituality, to effectively help some people with mental disorders.
When BryLin was founded in 1955 it was primarily known for substance abuse counseling. Today, in addition to treatment for substance abuse, BryLin is the only private facility in Western New York that offers inpatient psychiatric services for children, teens and adults of all ages. Now it is the only facility that has embraced new and innovative approaches to mental health that emphasize the interrelationship between mind, body and spirit in promoting healing and recovery.
To learn more about the integration of traditional medicine and alternative therapies in treating mental illness visit
WNY Resource:
BryLin Hospital                                                            BryLin Outpatient Center
1263 Delaware Avenue                                                Georgetown Square
Buffalo, NY 14209                                                       5225 Sheridan Drive
716-886-8200                                                              BryLin Leading the Way on Alternative Therapy for Mental Health Williamsville, NY 14221                                                           716-633-1927