Until recently mind body research was considered quackery in scientific circles. But with the advent of new technology the scientific fields of psychiatry, neuroscience, immunology, endocrinology and genetics are increasingly coming together to consider how the mind, brain and biological systems work together to affect health. It’s a field of research often called to as Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), which looks at the interaction between different processes in the body that have traditionally been studied separately.
Mind body research is now in a golden age with scientists around the world learning increasingly more about how the mind and body interact. They study things such as the physiology of the stress response and how we can counter its harmful effects with the relaxation response.
Researchers are looking at the biological mechanisms triggered during meditation which can influence the expression of genes, and even the rate at which we age. They’re starting to understand role of belief and the powerful placebo and nocebo responses, how emotions can impact the course of an illness, and ultimately how the mind can affect the outcome of disease.
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