A. The Problem
Researchers in the new field of psychoneuroimmunology are dedicated to unlocking the connection between our thoughts (and nervous systems) and our immune systems. Here are some of their key findings, chiefly focusing on what might be called "stress chemistry" and "depression chemistry":
- Adrenaline. When we are stressed, our bodies produce more adrenaline. And while it is true that adrenaline helps to mobilize the body's energy reserves, it is also true that adrenaline causes a decrease in available antibodies and a reduction in both the number and strength of lymphocytes.
- Immune system. The brain is directly wired to the organs of the immune system (the spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and bone marrow). Stress and depression affect the performance of these organs.
- Neuropeptides. Most interesting of all is the connection between the neuropeptides produced by brain cells, and the rest of the body. The brain uses the hormone-like neuropeptides to communicate with itself and the rest of the body, including the immune system. When we are happy, for example, the brain produces one kind of neuropeptide. The cells of the immune system have specific receptors for these "up" chemicals. Once received, these neuropeptides literally cause the immune system to strengthen and build. Correspondingly, when we are depressed, we produce a different set of neuropeptides. Immune cells also have receptors for these "down" communicators, whose net effect on the immune system is to shut it down.
B. Program for Dealing with the Problem
Any program for dealing with the problem therefore must directly work to reduce the causes of "stress chemistry" and "depression chemistry": stress and depression, of course.
- stress: Stress is your body's response to all the demands made on it. Your body responds to all stresses, both positive and negative, by trying to get back to normal. If a stressful situation goes on for too long without relief, you may feel tired, irritable, depressed, or anxious. You may have trouble sleeping or eating, or you might experience diseases and disorders, such as headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular and kidney diseases, colds, ulcers, asthma, heart attack, and/or stroke.
- depression: When you are depressed, the neuro-hormones your nody produces literally shut down your immune system. In effect, negative thoughts can actually kill you. Note that pharmaceutical "solutions" to depression can have a high cost. The SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) in Prozac, for example, cause mania and delusions of grandeur in 1 out of every 25 children taking them; 1 out of 16 Prozac users have a tendency to violence; in 70% of all murders/suicides involving women and children, the women were on SSRIs.
C. General Recommendations
If you want to make your mind your partner in health, you need to work at it. It takes work to move your mind out of stress and/or depression. Listed below are four exercises to help you begin the process.
- Learn to meditate. If nothing else, just try watching your breath. Sit down. Keep your back straight. Close your eyes and watch your breath. Watch as your breath goes in and your lungs fill. Watch as it goes out and your lungs empty.Dion't force; just watch.
- Learn to visualize. After you've meditated for a few minutes and calmed down, practice a visualization. See your body as made of healing light. Imagine the light penetrating and healing every cell of yor body. If you are sick, focus the light on the diseased area.
- Practice affirmation. What we say matters. People who use the word "afraid" all the time (as in: "I'm afraid I won't be able to go tonight") are afraid all the time! The bottom line is: instead of being controlled by the things we say, we should put words to work for us. Try repeating to yourself over and over again with each step you take on a walk, or while you're driving, something like: "I'm joy. I'm peace. I'm health. I'm light." Or make up your own affirmation. It really does work.
- Take an herbal break. Use an herbal nerve tonic formulation that contains herbs such as valerian root, kava kava, passionflower, hops, black kohosh, St. John's wort, and lobelia.
D. Recommended Products
- Warp Speed — Sometimes you just need a little help getting through the day without having to resort to junk food snacks. A couple of dropperfuls of this tincture swished around in the mouth for a half minute or so may give you an instant energy lift, help suppress your appetite, and just make you fell better about the world.
Essential Relief — This combination of essential oils works instantly to:
- Decrease the levels of the "pain" bio-chemicals.
- Block the release of Substance P, thus slowing down the transmission of the pain impulse along the nerves of pain, the C fibers.
- And slow down transmission of pain along the spinal cord.
- Glucotor-2 — Glucotor-2 is a natural supplement that not only helps manage most of the symptoms associated with bad diet (blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and weight), but also helps rebuild those very organs (such as the pancreas and liver) that have been damaged by poor diet. And finally, studies have shown that the ingredients in Glucotor-2 may mimic the effects of calorie restricted diets, thereby extending life itself. This is very exciting — calorie restriction is the only scientifically proven life extending dietary technique.