Several years back, someone discovered that the nervous system had direct inputs into the immune cells surrounding the gut. It was the first time direct connections had been discretely identified. Thus was born the field of psychoneuroimmunology (great for Scrabble…). We’ve always known that the way we think and feel effects our health, but now those scientists wanting the hard connections had it.
I can tell you from strong experience that, if someone does not think they are going to get better, they won’t. If they are under high levels of stress and feel that their lives are out of their control, these patients will be plagued with varied health concerns. Sometimes, healing the body begins with the mind. Many times, healing the body encompasses healing of the mind. It is a shift in mindset that brings about a whole new set of awareness and ability to live a better live.
Maybe this sounds a little esoteric and non-concrete, but researchers in this study found that those patients infected with HIV who were able to forgive those in the past that had wronged them had improvements in immune function. So, even in a very compromised immune system we saw improvements in those who chose to put the past behind them. Think what can happen to those of us not so compromised. Add to this positive lifestyle changes to include dietary improvements, exercise and stress management (mediation, prayer, biofeedback).
Many patients ask me how to boost their immune systems. What they really are asking is can I take something like echinacea or goldenseal or Vitamin C to overcome the rest of the bad things I do to my body that are destroying my immune system. Of course the answer is NO!!