That the thoughts in your mind have an enormous effect on your body has become well accepted. There’s even a tongue-twisting name for a new field of scientific investigation of the mind-body connection: psychoneuro-immunology or PNI. PNI studies the interaction between the mind, nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system and acknowledges the unity of our complex interacting parts.
Early mind-body studies showed that people were more likely to become ill after suffering severe emotional trauma; recent studies have been able to actually measure the dip in immune defenses. In one study the immune cells of students dropped significantly during exam week, presumably because of the extra stress. In another, rats were taught to shut down their own immune systems by conditioning alone. In 1990 a Stanford University Medical Center psychiatrist who set out to disprove the mind-body link provided strong evidence that it does exist. In the study, women with advanced breast cancer attended support groups in which they shared feelings and information and learned simple re-laxation techniques. When compared with women who did not attend the groups, the supported women were less depressed, felt less pain, had a more positive outlook and lived twice as long. Two of the women were still alive and disease-free ten years later, but none of the unsupported women survived. Many scientists suspect that the mind-body connection is involved in the documented spontaneous The goal of Ayurveda is to get in touch with the interac-tions of your doshas, with other people, and with the rhythms of the universe. When you bring your mind and awareness to that, and feel the universe flowing through you twenty-four hours a day, you are experiencing wholeness. This is why, as Deepak Chopra points out, there is no wear and tear in the universe-only rest, activity, and endless cycles of renewal and transformation. As you read this, your mind-body is busily renewing itself. You know from experience that you constantly need to cut your hair and clip your nails. As Dr. Deepak Chopra points out, what you may not know is that…
* Ninety-eight percent of the atoms in your body are replaced each year.
* The bones in your skeleton regenerate every three months.
* The cells of your liver are made new every six weeks.
* You generate a whole new skin once a month.
* Your stomach lining is replaced every five days.
What this indicates is that if you feed yourself with the right “foods,” you can influence the regeneration process. In the computer world there is a saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” It’s the same with your mind-body. remissions from cancer and many other diseases that appear to be otherwise inexplicable.
As a result of these and other experiments, modern immunobiologists routinely refer to the immune system as a circulating nervous system. Needless to say, this has immense significance in our daily lives. Press your fingertips to your lymph glands. Do they feel hard and tender? If so, your nervous system is communicating to you that it is tired. One system is expressing the state of another, seemingly separate system.
In Ayurveda restoring and revitalizing the stress-prone nervous system is the key to preventing and treating all disease. This approach offers tools and technology to reach the underlying sources of illness stress in its many forms: from bacteria, viruses, and parasites to toxic pollution and toxic emotions.