By Andrew Wilding
Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the connection between
- What you are thinking and feeling (psycho)
- Your brain and central nervous system function (neuro)
- And your body’s immune system (immunology)
In other words: your state of mind has a direct effect on your well-being.
This is by no means a new claim, it has long been the laughing stock of the medical world, much as the contemporaries of Copernicus mocked his attempts to present our present kindergarten level understanding of the solar system. But it may ease the disbelief to consider that your endocrine system, the system of hormones, is undoubtedly effected by your thoughts: Remember or think about something wonderful. You have to focus your thoughts on it… in just a few seconds you will have a wonderful feeling. Feelings are caused by hormones in your blood stream. It is impossible to have a wonderful feeling without certain hormones in your blood stream that are real molecules, they can be measured and named and they are released by messages from your brain. If you can accept that, then the concept of psychoneuroimmunology may be more sane than you think.
The science proves that your mind, nervous system, and immune system are connected, and that there is no specific sequence to the connections, each is interconnected. Therefore
- Your state of mind effects your neural processing and your physical well-being
- Your neural processing effects your state of mind and your physical well-being
- Your physical well-being effects your state of mind and your neural processing
If anything goes wrong in this system, it’s a vicious cycle. In order to heal anything in your life, you need a certain degree of control. To obtain control in a vicious cycle you need an entry point, so the question is: which of the three elements of psychoneuroimmunology is the only possible point of control?
Nervous system? … Immune system? … Mind?
I think you’ll agree, it’s your mind. Let’s see what happens when we lay the elements out as a sequence of cause and effect, beginning with Mind, which you CAN LEARN TO CONTROL.
What you think and feel (psycho) causes your nervous system (neuro) to function accordingly.
For example: stress and negative thoughts and emotions cause anxiety, abnormally fast neural processing resulting in mental overload that impedes normal functions like digestion and sleep, and this causes forgetfulness and exhaustion, resulting in a pendulum swing in neural processing to an abnormally slow rate – depression – slow reflexes, oversleeping, and dullness of intellectual ability.
Where as: positive thoughts and emotions cause optimal neural processing – quicker reflexes; good memory recall, and sharpened intellectual ability.
The state of your neural processing (neuro) causes your immune system (immunology) to function accordingly:
- Abnormal (fast or slow) neural processing impedes the normal functions of your immune system – cell repair and white blood cell count and function.
- Optimal neural processing stimulates the immune system – rapid cell repair; effective white blood cell count and function.
When we lay psychoneuroimmunology out, as a sequence of cause and effect beginning with MIND, there remains only one more question: How can you learn to focus your mind on what you want?
My hypnotherapy sessions are designed to give you the training you need to rehears a successful self-belief system, and focus your mind into the state that you choose to be in, every day.
Sessions are available on-line and in Cape Town.
Check availability here.