The quality of life of the human being implies harmony between body and mind; Psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology (PNIE), studies the health-disease process through the interrelationships between: nervous system (SN), endocrine system (SE), immune system (SI) and the psychology of the individual. When investigating neuroimmune interactions in relation to behavior and its clinical consequences, one of its main objectives is to find ways to favorably modify neuroimmunoendocrinological responses through therapeutic interventions that seek the well-being of the subject from this integrative perspective.
- 1 Immune system: guardian of our health
- 2 Background of the PNIE
- 3 Stress as an object of study of the PNIE
- 4 PNIE and Neuroimmunodulatory Healing Therapies
Immune system: guardian of our health
The immune system (SI) protects our body by creating a defense shield: millions of cells function as an army of tireless vigilantes, they build a barrier against various environmental aggressions and potential health threats.
Our immunology is a highly specialized system, it has many types of "shields" to procure the homeotasis of the organism continuously, some of them are: phagocytes, which follow the chemical trail left by the bacteria and which authentic strategists in the war for health, surround and destroy the enemy host; the thymus gland, produces T cells which destroy virus infected cells; the bone marrow generate B cells releasing antibodies, who help us in the destruction of microorganisms that cause diseases or natural killer cells (NK), lymphocytes that eliminate cells infected by different pathogens and even tumor, that's right !: The immune system constantly fights against a potential 'cancer' or other inflammatory conditions that accompany the diseases.
How do they do that? Identifying specific molecules (antigens) and of course: discriminating the 'alien' from the 'own'. Therefore, when there are failures in this recognition system, instead of helping us, it can begin to attack us, this is the case with autoimmune diseases: type 1 diabetes, different types of arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and multiple sclerosis (MS) , to name a few.
In the central nervous system (CNS) neurotransmitters are produced such as: endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and histamine, among others, these are natural drugs that our body produces, they have direct effects on the immune system. On the other hand, the somatic nervous system (SNS) contains sensory neurons that act as messengers, carrying information through autonomous innervations, from sensory receptors on the surface of the body, but also located from our head to the extremities.
"Love, care, nourish and properly train your immune system ... Well, it is your ally in the fight to get relief or even well-being."
We can use these processes, take advantage of the information superhighways that are paths between all our systems to improve our quality of life, how? Training our body and our mind to generate favorable neuroimmunoendocrinological responses.
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Psychiatrist George Solomon is recognized as founder of the psychoimmunology, due to his important investigations. Later, in 1975, psychologist Robert Ader along with immunologist Nicholas Cohen coined the term psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Together, they conducted experimental studies trying to modify some immune responses through classical conditioning, identifying the close relationship between the immune system and the brain.
As science progressed, the intimate association between the immune system and the endocrine. J. E. Blalock identified a two-way circuit between the two (1985), this type of communication, occurs mainly through substances such as: neurotransmitters, hormones, neuropeptides and cytokines (or cytokines) among others, which They contribute to homeostasis of the body.
There is a close link between the etiology, development, maintenance of body diseases and common psychological problems such as anxiety, chronic fatigue, sleep problems, mood disorders, depression, lack of emotional regulation and excessive stress.
All emotions are important and fulfill specific functions; However, when there is not a good handling of them for a long time, we can get sick of the body, since they have a great impact on human physiology: “The way in which the individual faces an emotional situation produces significant variations in the immune response” ( Rosenkranz, 2003).
What we feel, think and are, is determined, to a large extent, by the state of our glands
Our immune system has intelligence and memory, which is registered in the cells of our body. The PNIE has carefully studied the psychosocial factors capable of modifying homeostatic balance, which can influence our body to get sick, some of them are:
- Personality type
- Anxiety problems
- Couple conflicts
- Duels not resolved.
- High levels of stress and excessive worry for long periods of time (distress or chronic stress).
Stress as an object of study of the PNIE
The integration of the nervous, immune and neuroendocrine systems are aimed at preserving health, making effective the fight for survival and controlling various functions to maintain the balance of the organism. In turn, the stress it is necessary In these processes, it helps to adapt psychophysiologically to face the demands of daily life, it impacts very specifically on our body, activating “alarm signals” neuroendocrines that influence the immune system.
The relationship between the brain and the immune system can be seen through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HHA), which triggers immunological behaviors. However, being an organism constantly exposed to the pernicious effects of distress, your homeostatic balance is disturbed. When our body suffers stress chronic, the continuous exposure to substances that the body naturally secretes when preparing for the action such as: cortisol, glucagon and prolactin, among others, which eventually are harmful, intoxicating the body.
Psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology states that when we accumulate fears, worries, anguish, anger, envies, sorrows for a long time or even when we bear resentment for not having forgiven someone who has harmed us in the past, this can contribute to the appearance of physical ailments and Psychological
Increasingly common health problems among the population and their complications are being associated with psychoneuroimmunoendocrinological responses to the stress chronicSome of them are: sleep problems, headaches, colitis, gastritis, allergies, complications of autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia and other diseases associated with chronic pain, skin, overweight, impaired blood glucose levels and blood pressure, diseases cardiovascular, such as coronary, is also linked to the process of atherosclerosis.
PNIE and Neuroimmunodulatory Healing Therapies
How can we help our immune system (SI) to regulate our health? In the first instance, through our conscious activity and through the will, there are simple decisions and actions that with perseverance we can perform to help our body achieve well-being.
In the particular case of the nervous and immune system it is possible condition some responses through cognitive training, at the conscious level, that is, in a waking state or you can even descend to deeper levels of consciousness where we are more suggestible, such as the alpha, beta, gamma, delta or theta state to 'implant' schedules, as it happens With hypnosis
The PNIE, relying on neurosciences and their desire to seek a better quality of life for patients, has investigated the effects on the body of some millenary and novel therapeutic practices for the same purposes, it has been observed that by reducing stress, they have the ability to promote an increase in neuroimmune and endocrine response, acting as complementary healing tools, some are: meditation, yoga, music therapy, Tai Chi, Qigong (Chi Kung), biofeedback, pulsed magnetic field therapy and homotoxicology, among others .
Through different studies, the multiple benefits of practicing breathing exercises, relaxation, the positive effects of certain musical rhythms in the body (music therapy), the importance of body movement, of exercising a healthy, free sexuality , responsible and satisfactory, love, play, laugh, take walks and be in touch with nature, as well as with people we appreciate and with whom we share, interests, dreams, share with others pleasant moments and enjoy them, even though Sometimes life circumstances can be difficult for a long time, we can always find reasons to have gratitude and smile, when we cannot achieve it, it is necessary to seek professional help.
Ader, Robert. Psychoneuroimmunology, Academic Press. 2007. ISBN 978-0-12-088576-3.Related tests
- Depression test
- Goldberg depression test
- Self-knowledge test
- how do others see you?
- Sensitivity test (PAS)
- Character test