The Brain and Immunity
In a stunning discovery made by the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, researchers have overturned decades of textbook teaching by determining that there is a direct correlation between the brain and the immune system. For years scientists have been trying to correlate the relationship between the two, yet they lacked the evidence to show how our thoughts and feelings (or neurochemistry) could affect our overall health.
In meditation, as our students move into elevated states of being by embracing feelings of love, joy, gratitude, etc., these feelings drive new modes of thinking. This in turn creates new brain chemistry, brings our brains into coherence, and engenders new synaptic connections—which then influence our bodies in very immediate and direct ways.
As people begin to overcome emotional states that keep them connected to past experiences—as they break out of redundant habits and automatic programs, as well as change certain self-destructive attitudes and beliefs— aspects of their immune system up-regulate genes. This means that their thoughts and feelings are signaling cells within the body’s internal defense system to turn on healthy genes to make better proteins (otherwise known as healthy antibodies), as well as a host of other beneficial chemicals, to balance and regulate the body. This process in turn reduces inflammation, suppresses tumors, mobilizes enzymes, and so on.
So the next time you sit down to create a better life, a healthier body, or a new experience, just remember that your brain and body have never been separate and the bridge between them is your immune system. You see, your body has always been spying on your brain. So why not use your nervous system—the greatest pharmacist ever—to activate your body’s internal army to create order for you every day? You don’t even need a prescription.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #52.
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