Mind – Body Connection and the Immune System

May 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

dealing with anxiety (14)Your Thoughts Produce Physical Outcomes

Can you stop the flow of stress hormones and ramp up your immune system with positive thinking? Absolutely!

In the past there has been an ongoing debate in the medical community as to whether cancer patients could really improve their chance of remission by staying positive and upbeat. Western scientific medical research has not embraced the Eastern healing concept of a mind-body connection because… well, it isn’t very scientific.

Eastern medicine has accepted the mind-body-soul connection for over 3000 years. Western medical methods depend upon empirical evidence and the validation of a theory by the scientific method.

We know today, as a result of groundbreaking research by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D., the brain communicates with every immune cell in your body in response to all of your thoughts. Dr. Pert discovered the neuropeptide opiate receptor site on immune cells. Dr. Pert’s research proves there is a mind-body connection. Researchers now have empirical evidence of this connection.

Scientifically, you can no longer be told, “it’s all in your head.” Your emotions actually control physical reactions in your body. Your thoughts are converted into chemical messengers that are “heard” by every cell in your body. If you feel your situation is hopeless, then every cell in your body will respond as if the situation is hopeless.

Aristotle, 2300 years ago, suggested there was a connection between mood and health when he wrote, “soul and body, I suggest, react sympathetically upon each other.”

There is a proven scientific cause and effect relationship between your emotions and your health. Today, researchers have directly linked emotions (mind) to physical diseases (body) such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diseases related to the immune system. Negative emotions such as fear and anxiety definitely suppress your immune system.

Knowing with certainty there is a direct link between the non-material nature of mind and emotions to the material world of molecules, cells and organs should change your approach to all of your health issues.

Dr. Pert’s research is the foundation of a scientific understanding that our thoughts and emotions are capable of creating good health or disease in our bodies.

The following is a synopsis of Dr. Pert’s research:

Neuropeptides are produced primarily in the brain.

A neuropeptide is a chemical messenger molecule.

A neuropeptide isn’t a thought but it moves with thought. It springs into existence at the suggestion of a thought.

For example, at the thought of fear, the brain produces the neuropeptide that causes the endocrine system to release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

The brain and immune cells communicate with each other – not only does the brain send messages to immune cells but immune cells send messages to the brain.

Take Away

Medical and scientific research has specifically linked chronic stress emotions such as anxiety, fear, anger, and depression to an increased risk of developing chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

On the positive side you can control these disease-causing emotions. You can stop the flow of disease causing stress hormones by following stress management techniques. It is possible to heal chronic diseases with positive thoughts. Positive thoughts, like negative thoughts, are converted to chemical messengers. It is these positive chemical messengers that counter depression.

By stopping the flow of stress hormones you restore the health of your immune system.

What stress management techniques do you use?


Research Reference:

Molecules of Emotion by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D.

Cover of "Molecules of Emotion"

Cover of Molecules of Emotion

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