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Your Brain and Your Immune System Talk to Each Other

By HERWriter
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Wellness related image Photo: ThinkStock

Previously I've talked about the constant communications between the brain and nervous system and the immune system. How does this work? And what difference does it make for you?

Let's take this field of psychoneuroimmunology and begin simplifying right here. Let's call it mind-body medicine. There! That's better.

It's a huge area. Let's take a small piece for now.

The nervous system has a direct effect on the immune system. Its neurons (nerve cells) talk to white blood cells in places like the lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen, and thymus (parts of the immune system).

Nerves interact with the immune system's T (thymus) cells and macrophages (white blood cells that eat infectious microorganisms, bacteria, protozoa and tumor cells).

Nerve endings touch the immune system's T cells, B (bone marrow) cells and NK (natural killer) cells. NK cells kill tumors and cells infected by viruses.

This all sounds like it's probably good. But if you're like me you've read the above and grasp, really, no more than you did before. In fact, I'm lucky if you have not already wandered away due to translation difficulties and relevancy issues.

If you're not like me perhaps you've learned something new and I am happy for you. Maybe you already knew all this. But I feel the need to make this research accessible to the countless non-science brains like mine out there, who would use this information if only they could understand it.

So let's summarize these facts and pull out the significance.

These two systems talk to each other, in an amazing mind-body communication. But more results from this than just a conversation.

In the process, immune system cells, like T cells, in the thymus, and macrophages, eating toxins and intruders, are stimulated by the messages sent out by your dear old brain. Where you think. Natural killer cells (I love the name, it makes me feel safer knowing I have these) are on patrol and work extra hard because of these neural (brain) messages that YOU are emitting.

You can consciously decide to send out healing messages, positive messages ... hopeful messages. Your immune system's cells consider these fighting words. And your body will respond by sending in more killers and paid assassins to get rid of the bad guys.

To really oversimplify, just to bring home the point fully, you are central command sending in the troops, every time you so choose.



Psychoneuroimmunology: Bi-directional Interactions Between the Brain and the Nervous System

Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/content/full/64/5/847

Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

Add a Comment5 Comments



Well that makes me especially glad to know that you liked my article. :-)

Thanks for letting me know.. :-)

August 29, 2009 - 7:30am
EmpowHER Guest

nice article and very well written!! I like your style.

August 28, 2009 - 10:35pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

oh this was from your daughter-in-law, sorry I forgot to say. :)

August 28, 2009 - 10:36pm

Hi Gwendolyn,

I'm glad you liked the article.

And that's wonderful that you have recovered from colon cancer.

It sounds like you used some of what this article is about, in order to help your healing along.

Kudos to you for your bravery and persistence.

August 28, 2009 - 6:16pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Jody,
I like this article a lot. I've been helped a lot by the book, The Heart's Code by Paul Pearsall. Ph.D.;
tapping the wisdom and power of our heart energy. He writes about the communication of the heart with the brain and the rest of the body with the heart. I also have a condensed version on audio tape. It helped me a lot when I was recovering from the colon cancer.
Dr Jim Richards of www.impactministries.com reccomends it highly. Thank you, Gwendolyn

August 28, 2009 - 5:47am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.