What is psychoneuroimmunology?

Psychoneuroimmunology is still a relatively young science. She deals with the consequences of the mutual influence of body and soul on health. Even in ancient times, people were aware of the interaction between feelings and physical health. However, it is only in the last 25 years that the influence of feelings and thoughts on the body and especially the  immune system  has been examined more closely.

Psyche, nervous system and immune system

During evolution, humans have learned to fine-tune their biological reactions in order to create a well-balanced balance between the environment, psyche, hormone and immune systems.

Example of the immune system: The immune system is able to react to signals from the nervous and endocrine systems. Conversely, the immune system is able to influence the function of the nervous and endocrine systems. If this balance is disturbed, there are disturbances in the  metabolism  and diseases can occur as a result.

The immune system, nervous system and psyche influence each other

It has now been proven that mental and physical stress negatively affects the functions of the immune system and thus increases susceptibility to infections. Long-term stress in particular can lead to a sustained weakening of the immune system. Depression , fear of failure or  loneliness can also   weaken the immune system. Conversely, joie de vivre, serenity, happiness and love strengthen the immune functions.

The immune system is also influenced by our perception, feeling and thinking. This can be measured with different methods of brain, stress and hormone research. Paying attention to one’s mental balance is on the one hand health care and in the case of physical illnesses on the other hand an important contribution to recovery and quality of life. Chronically ill people in particular should pay attention to a balanced mental life.

Mind Body Medicine

Psychoneuroimmunology researchers have been able to scientifically prove that thinking and feeling influences our body. From this, a therapy option has developed – “mind-body medicine”. This type of therapy is a new term for an old form of therapy in which mind and body are treated equally. Sick people train to take their well-being into their own hands. Natural mechanisms that specifically support the self-healing powers are used and so-called healing blockages are released. Essential elements of mind-body medicine:

  • bring order to the rhythm of life.
  • Learning  relaxation responses . Suitable techniques are yoga,  meditation , breathing techniques, visualization or autogenic training.
  • Another therapeutic component of mind-body medicine is exercise and a conscious  diet . The basis of a healthy diet is Mediterranean whole foods with a high proportion of vegetables, fruit, cereals, fish and olive oil.


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