Connection between the immune, endocrine and nervous system
Methods for reducing stress
Psychoneuroimmunology is a new discipline that studies the humoral effects of stress, and special attention is paid to the system of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. Physical and psychological integrity of the organism is based on maintaining dynamic balance, homeostasis, the action of a complex sum of reaction nervous, endocrine and immune systems. State of disturbed homeostasis we call stress and irritation that caused stress we call a stressor. Stressors can be internal or external, physical or psychological.
- External stressors are usually physically (effort, heat, cold, trauma, surgery);
- Internal stress can be psychological (fear, anxiety, uncertainty, disappointment, euphoria), social (humiliation, divorce, foster close relatives affected by severe / incurable diseases, loss of employment);
- Physiological stressors (inflammation, disease).
Reactions to stress, as they may be challenging due to increased activity of multiple systems of the body, can be useful because they allow the re-establishment of an imbalance. However, if the stress reactions are frequent or long-term, they are burden for the body. If the body fails to resist and restore homeostasis, comes into a state of distress that can make the body vulnerable to disease.
The autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system play the most important role in the effect of stress. Both systems are very closely associated with the bark of the brain, or brain areas where conscious experience emotional arousal under stress.
Scientific research of body-mind system
A pioneer in the field of research the mind body connection – psychoneuroimmunology, was the scientist Dr. Candace Pert phD, a professor-researcher at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington. Dr. Pert’s in her research manage to find convincing answers to questions about the connection between emotions and health / illness, which she described in her book Molecules of Emotion – the science behind the mind and body. Dr. Pert as a result of her research stopped talking about the body and mind as a separate entity and has introduced a new concept – Bodymind.
Researches of Miles Herkenhama, Candace Pert and many other researchers have shown that peptides and other informational substances biochemical of emotions and body is unconscious mind. Which means that the brain system resembles the endocrine system. Earlier in past it was thought that all the events in our body / psyche are under the control of brain function that are specific synaptic connections between billions of neurons. Synapses are shaped and defined neural network connections that are thought to determine every aspect of perception, integration and behavior. However, scientific research shows that most of the information circulating in the brain does not regulate the synaptic connections between brain cells, but the specific receptor – receptor’s ability to bind with only one ligand! In fact, less than 2% of neural communication actually takes place at the synapse. Peptides circulate in the body finding its target receptors in areas that are more distant than ever earlier in past thought.
Frances Schmitt introduced the term “information substances” to describe a series of transmitters, peptides, hormones and protein ligands that travel through the extracellular fluid in order to reach their specific target receptors. Neuropeptides are not found only among the ranks of the nerve ganglia on each side of the spine, but also the body organs. New groups of neuronal cell bodies which contain peptides in the brain are called nuclei, and they are the sources of most of the brain-body and body-brain connection.
Repressed trauma caused by hard emotions can be stored in various parts of the body, affecting our ability to feel that part or even mobility. There is an almost infinite number of ways for our unconscious mind to get in touch and modify the functioning of the body. In terms of physiology emotions can be seen as chemical ligands that bind to receptors in the body. Emotions act as internal ligands and re-trigger memories of the same condition as we have already experienced. Neuropeptides and their receptors are the biochemicals of brain. Emotions are information content that is exchanged via the psychosomatic network with many systems, organs and cells involved in the process. Emotions as information travel between the two levels of the mind and body – like peptides and their receptors on a physical level, as well as the feelings what we call emotions on intangible level.
What are the effective therapeutic methods for strengthening psychoimmunity?
Methods for strengthening psychoimmunity are all methods aimed for reducing stress. Scientists claim that the most beneficial methods are methods for relaxation and plenty of daily laughter!
Scientific research has proven that laughter is an effective remedy. Laughter therapy is a very powerful and easy process by which the person is released from accumulated stress and improves health. Some studies claim that daily laughter prolongs life for seven years!
Therapeutic effects of laughter on psychoimmunity are:
- Laughter affects positive thinking and attitude;< Laughter reduces levels of cortisol and adrenaline, which can occur in response to stress; During laughing immune system releases endorphins, substances that inhibit pain; Laughter reduces stress; Laughter has a beneficial effect on appetite and sleep; Laughter reduces the required dose of analgesics and length of stay in hospital for up to 50% in all patients, especially children. (Due to the therapeutic effects of laughter, 'clowns doctors' want to be mediators between the child and the staff at the hospital.) Laughter creates a positive physiological changes in the body; For prolonged laughter increases the heart rate, deepens breathing; Laughing activates many muscle groups - stomach muscles, intercostal, additional respiratory muscles and facial muscles and occasionally the arms, legs and back; With laughing we expend energy - in a few minutes laughing we expend as much energy as a 15-minute ride on an exercise bike; There are claims that six minutes of loud laughter is a much needed mental hygiene.
Founder of laughter therapy is an American doctor Patch Adams, who became famous by opening hospital in 1972. in West Virginia where sick kids entertained his jokes, believing in the healing powers of laughter. His life inspired the film Patch Adams with Robin Williams in the lead role.
Today, there are numerous methods to strengthen (psycho) immunity. We use some of them. More about them can be found here:
- Theta Healing – http://www.nebeska-harmonija.hr/theta
- Meditation – http://www.nebeska-harmonija.hr/meditacija
- Natural Methods – http://www.nebeska-harmonija.hr/prirodne
- Bioresonance therapy – http://www.nebeska-harmonija.hr/biorezonanca
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