Your Brain The Healer
Healer heal thyself
Over the centuries, much attention has been given to the influence of the mental and emotional processes of health and disease and more so today.
Aristotle was among the first to suggest the connection between mood and health: Soul and body, he is credited with saying, react sympathetically upon each other.
In the 1920's and 30's pioneering Russian scientists did some studies showing that clasical Pavlovian conditioning could both suppress and enhanse the immune system this,after repeated trials with small animals trained to activate their immune systems without stimulus.
By giving guinea pigs and rabbits an injection that stimulated the immune system everytime they honked a horn. The animals then could activate their own immune system without the injection but as the horn was honked.
An American picked up on the trials and did more research on communication links between the brain and the immune system. Psychologist Robert Ader of the University of Rochester School of Medicine ( who later coined the term psychoneuroimmunology) and his colleague Nicholas Cohen did a series of ground breaking experiments in the 1970's. They trained rats to asscoiate certain stimulas with an event. Such as how Pavlov trained his dog to asscoiate the sound of a bell ringing with the approach of food. In the studies rats were given an immune -suppressing drug flavored with sweet tasting saccharin. Eventually they became so conditioned to this drug that the saccharin taste alone, divorced from the drug, caused a suppression of the immune system - demonstrating that mental cues alter physiology.
While the study showed that the immune system could be conditioned at the subconscious levels, or autonomic, level Howard Hall in 1990 showed that the immune system could be consciously controlled. Hall was the first to show that psychological factors, that is conscious intervention, could directly affected cellular function in the immune system.
Candace Pert PH.D. author of Molecules of Emotion
So now we know that the Mind, the consciousness can affect our physical health. In the 1940's Wilhelm Reich proposed the heretical idea that cancer is the result of failure to express emotions, especially sexual emotions. Reich was not only ridiculed by the medical and scientific establishment, he was actually persecuted. It was the only time in recent history that the United States government held an official book burning, calling for all available copies of Reich's work to be rounded up by the FDA and incinerated. Others did not let the work die in that bonfire, a German psychoanalyst Claus Bahnson among others continued the work up and to today which links with contemporary biology. In the 80's Lydia Temoshok, a psychologist then at UCSF showed that cancer patients who kept emotions such as anger under the surface, remaining ignorant of their exitence had slower recovery rates than those who expressed emotions. Another trait common to cancer patients was self denial, stemming from an awareness of their own basic emotional needs.The immune system was stronger and tumors smaller for those in touch with their emotions.
It is a fact that every one of us has a number of tiny cancerous tumors in our bodies growing every moment. The part of the immune system that is responsible for the destruction of the errant cells consists of natural killer cells who job it is to atttack these tumorss, destroy them, and rid the body of any cancerous growth.
In most of us most of the time, these cells do the job well, a job co-ordinated by various brain and body peptides and their receptors and these tiny tumors never grow large enough to cause us to be ill.
Is it possible we could learn to consciously intervene to make sure our natural killer cells keep doing their job? Is emotional health important to physical health?
Lets say as in truth itself all emotions are good and healthy. Emotions are what unite the mind and body. Anger, fear, and sadness, the so called negitive emotions, are as healthy as peace, courage, and joy. To repress these emotions and not let them flow freely is a set up to dis- integrity in the system, causing it to act at cross-purposes rather than as a unified whole. This stress takes on the form of blockages and insufficient flow of peptide signals to maintain function at the cellular level.
All honest emotions are positive emotions.
Health is not just a matter of thinking happy thoughts. Sometimes the biggest impetus to healing can come from jump starting the immune system with a bust of long suppressed anger. How you do it is up to you. Scream into the pillow or in a room by yourself, in group therapy, a long heart felt spontaneous exchange with a family member or friend for venting and expressing how you felt and how you feel. The key is to express it and let it go that it stops poisoning you and your cells.
Change your mind , change your life.