Mind Body Approach

Strong immune systems are formed by the
foods we eat and the attitudes we keep.

The immune system is extremely vulnerable to stress, emotional and mental upset, as it is to changes in the environment, to radiation, chemical and heavy metal exposure, as well as to cold and damp. However, it is our inner levels of emotional and mental conflicts that inflicts constant damage and challenges to our immune system.

Thus changes in breathing can have interesting positive consequences on immune function because such changes help us calm and center ourselves bringing harmony and balance back to our inner worlds. Meditation, prayer and the use of affirmations is also helpful as well as getting in touch with the vulnerable feelings hidden in the heart.

One of the gurus of in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is US psychologist Dr. Lydia Temoshok, who has identified a set of personality traits that, she claims, predisposes people to cancer. The two main ones are difficulty in expressing emotions, and a tendency towards helplessness/hopelessness. These add up to what she calls a ‘type C’ personality.[1]

Dr. Temoshok argues that these personality traits prevent people from 'resolving stressors', thus forcing the body into chronic stress-reaction mode which, in turn, overloads the immune system with stress chemicals, leaving an individual vulnerable to cancer.[2]

It is no secret that the psycho-social state of a person has a direct impact on the immune system. Stress has many different effects on the endocrine systems, including the fight or flight response with its activation of the sympathetic adrenal-medullary (SAM) system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPAC) system, and other endocrine systems.

[1] (Cancer Surv, 1987; 6: 545-67)

[2] Ann NY Acad Sci, 2000; 917: 446-5