It sounds like a mouthful – psycho – immu-neurology, but the concept has been around since the beginning of time. It has its roots back to ancient cultures and philosophies including Hinduism and Buddhism.
It describes the mind-body connection, the link between how we feel in our mind and the rest of our physical body.
Stress is a naturally occurring response and in normal situations is not harmful to us, and rather is beneficial. We have all experienced “flight or flight” response. This is the sudden increase in the heart rate, respiration, dry mouth, sweaty palms. What is happening is hormones are being released to prepare the body to either “fight or flight” against whatever pending threat. Hormone including adrenaline is entering into the system. The heart is pumping harder in order to get more oxygen and blood to our muscles to allow us to flee to safety. In the past, if we were faced with a sabre toothed tiger, then this was a relevant automatic bodily response to keep us safe.
The problem comes when busy lives and modern stresses and lifestyles, negative thinking or perceptions cause low levels of continuous stress hormone production on a regular basis. The brain cannot tell whether the threat is real or imagined, and therefore this switches on the negative hormone release. This over time then becomes chronic. Over time this causes inflammatory response within the body which negatively affects our physical health or psychoimmuneurology. There are many studies that have demonstrated this.
Studies have shown that exercise, optimistic thinking, meditation and hypnotherapy all promote the release of beneficial hormone which helps to reduce stress hormone levels in the body, and boost immune system.
Most acute medical care services have strained budgets and mental health services have always been an underserved segment. if we want to take responsibility of improving our mental health then it is largely in our own hands. public healthcare is always going to be reactive in nature, ie when things get really bad. my work resides in the preventative space.