Psychoneuroimmunology — The Study of How Your Thoughts and Behavior Affect Your Health
Some people ask me for “proof” when I tell them that I used the Law of Attraction and the mind/body connection to heal myself of chronic pain and several chronic illnesses. Beyond the fact that I now FEEL great, have no more symptoms and have not touched a pain pill in a year there is also a science that is the study of JUST how strong the mind/body connection is. The medical study of how behavior and thoughts affect you physically is called Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). There are numerous studies that you can find online that have “proof” and it is also interesting to read about how far psychoneuroimmunology has come. I believe the study of PNI will help medicine become more integrative and complementary as time moves forward.
The definition is as follows:
Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) investigates the relations between the psychophysiological and immunophysiological dimensions of living beings. PNI brings together researchers in a number of scientific and medical disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience, immunology, physiology, pharmacology, psychiatry, behavioral medicine, infectious diseases, and rheumatology. The profound interest of PNI is in interactions between the nervous and immune systems, and the relation between behavior and health. Despite the protean approach to research, the outcome common to all research endeavors is the discovery of new information, or novel evidence, which contributes to the continuing and cumulative generation of knowledge. It deals with, among other things, the physiological functioning of the neuroimmune system in states of both health and disease; malfunctions of the neuroimmune system in disorders (autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivities, immune deficiency), the physical, chemical and physiological characteristics of the components of the neuroimmune system in vitro, in situ, and in vivo. PNI also involves endocrinology and is sometimes referred as psychoendoneuroimmunology (PENI).
After watching “The Secret” the parts that resonated the most were on health and thought. The fact that the body is constantly recreating itself and (as the movie said and was reaffirmed by studying the mind/body connection) “you have a whole new body in less than a year”. Deepak Chopra in his book “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind” talks about exactly how long it takes for every organ and body part to recreate itself. For me, this meant the WAY I was thinking was contributing to the KIND of cells being made. When I was telling myself “I am so sick” and concentrating on my illness I was ensuring more “sick” cells were being made. When I started concentrating on the small parts of me that weren’t in pain and declaring myself healthy I believe I switched to healthy cells being produced which aided in my healing. Of course I believe outside influences come into play in health and healing. If I was smoking cigarettes, working in a toxic environment or eating poorly — these things would affect my health as well. I also don’t discount the advances in modern medicine. What I am trying to get across to people is HOW to maximize your health UTILIZING the powers of your mind. If I had not been made aware of all that I have learned in the last year there is no doubt that I would still be in pain. It probably would have gotten even worse since the doctors told me “the pain will only get worse” and that a few of my illnesses were progressive.
Exactly a year ago I set out to heal myself and I am so grateful for how good my body feels. If I get stressed I FEEL and am AWARE of it wanting to manifest into physical symptoms (headache, etc.). I can now use tools to stop it BEFORE the pain manifests or while it is slight. Every day I am becoming MORE and more mindful. I have not felt pain anywhere NEAR as bad as my daily pain was for over 5 years in almost 1 year. You can control a LOT of your health and your pain with your mind. Do the research, learn about techniques that you feel will work for you, set goals, set time aside for gratitude, listen to your self-talk, be mindful and practice consciousness. If you want to learn about the methods I used to heal myself after my studies, check out my e-book.
Read up on Psychoneuroimmunology to learn about some of the studies that have been done or to PROVE to yourself JUST how real and powerful the mind/body connection really is. I am grateful for PNI because I know it will help pave the way for our medical system becoming more integrative. Here are a few PNI resources below and you can always “google” it for TONS of useful info:
The “Bible on PNI” to purchase is “Psychoneuroimmunology, Two-Volume Set, Volume 1-2, Fourth Edition” by Dr. Robert Ader — Dr. Ader has been called the “father of pyschoneuroimmunology”.