Body-mind relationship and its impact on health. What does a person’s soul, thoughts, emotions, and behavior have to do with their immune system, this vital health guardian? Experts just recently ridiculed this issue. For decades, international efforts were concentrated on unraveling, step by step, the secrets of immune cells (those responsible for the defense of the organism, such as white blood cells).
In the end, experts concluded that, after the brain, the immune system is the most complicated in the body and has developed, in connection with thousands of hostile germs, a lethal precision. For the rest – so it was thought – he was autonomous. All cells understood their service so well that none needed advice.
Thoughts, emotions, and everything that happened in the head had nothing to do with the immune system – it seemed so. Body-mind relationship and its impact on health.
Such a concept was entirely in line with the paradigm of orthodox medicine. Until at least 400 years ago, body-soul dualism was an axiom, according to which illnesses arise only because of slips on the physical plane and have nothing to do with consciousness. Anyone who believed that a disease could be caused by psychological, social or, even mental influences could at most get smiles of disdain from orthodox doctors.
The change came from the cosmos. An explosion in the Apollo 13 mission endangered the return to Earth and, the astronauts were very stressed. NASA doctors noticed that their number of immune cells had decreased significantly, and two of the three astronauts had such low resistance that they caught the flu. Did stress reduce the number of immune cells? Is the immune system not autonomous?
Body-mind relationship and its impact on health
In the late 1970s, the hypothesis of immune system autonomy was abandoned altogether – and chance played a predominant role here. When starting an experiment with mice, psychologist Robert Ader, from the University of Rochester (United States), did not even dream that he was close to discovering the relationship between psyche and the immune system.
Since Ivan Pavlov’s dog research, this has been a standard experience in psychology. Ader taught animals to reject sugar water by adding cyclophosphamide, a sickening substance to water. After the first dose of the mixture, the mice associated one thing with the other and rejected the sugary liquid. Ader removed the cyclophosphamide, and, in time, the mice relied on sugar water again.
After a few weeks, however, many mice fell ill, and some died – which was unexpected because they were young and healthy animals. Had the substance also weakened their immune system? Unlikely, as they had only taken one dose of it, which could not have had such negative results. Body-mind relationship and its impact on health.
Ader then had a brilliant idea. Just as that single-dose caused an aversion to doses of water with sugar for so long, the immune system was weakened for a long time, which could only be caused by the psychological reaction to the medicine. The mice learned to associate the mixture with motion sickness; each time they drank the liquid, the mental state linked to the rejection led to a continuous weakening of the immune system until they became sick and died.
The conclusion was obvious: the immune system is conditional. Since it reacts to the power of habit, it must be influenced by the brain. With that, the myth of its autonomy was gone. But how does the mind control the body? For 3,000 years, medical literature in India has seen the body as a projection of consciousness. But how do our thoughts and emotions make us sick or heal? How does that immaterial consciousness influence biological processes?
Given this, orthodox medicine is silent. She doesn’t take conscience seriously! But if we address a naturopath, homeopath, acupuncturist, or spiritualist, we will receive four different responses. Everyone talks about energies, but each of them has a different power. And, deep down, nobody knows what “energy” means.