Psycho Neuro Immunology & Functional Nutrition

Pain Management
Mental Wellbeing
Immunity
Weight Management
Hormonal Imbalance
Digestive Health

Main benefits

Helps with immune system conditions and immune system support

Helps with hormone related weight issues

Helps with metabolic issues

Helps with endocrine imbalances

Helps with depression and overall mental health

Helps with stress and anxiety management

Helps with chronic fatigue

Helps with chronic pain management

Helps with overall wellness

What is and how it works

Psycho-neuro-immunology (PNI) is a health science focusing on how the mind, the nervous system and the immune system interact and communicate with each other via a complex series of biochemical and nervous system pathways.  Clinical psychoneuroimmunology (cPNI) is the application of this knowledge in a clinical setting and provides clients with a better understanding of their pathway to health.

Science

cPNI is a cutting-edge scientific therapeutic modality that is based on the latest developments in the fields of psychology, neurology, endocrinology, immunology and epigenetics and underpinned by human evolutionary biology.  Our genes have changed very little since Palaeolithic times, between 10,000 and 50,000 BC. But the changes to our lifestyles particularly over the last 50 years are unprecedented.  It is these changes, especially the over-abundance of simple carbohydrate foods coupled with sedentary behaviours, that cause changes in genetic expression that lead to the 35 or so chronic diseases in our society.

Approach

Stress is thought of as a psychological overload, however, there are different forms of stress that act as ‘stressors’ for our body such as poor diet, lack of exercise and mineral deficiency.  In addition, adverse events in childhood and traumas challenge our immune system and activate a ‘flight fight’ nervous system response. Theses stressors may induce electrical signals from the brain that can travel down the peripheral nerves causing the release of a neurotransmitter which can jump to the next organ and affect its function.  These same peripheral nerves can influence white blood cells of the immune system. Chronic systemic low-grade inflammation can be the result and is at the root of most chronic diseases.

 

Treatment is aimed at supporting the immune system through the following:

·      Food as medicine and the timing of meals in relation to exercise

·      Exercise as medicine – how different types of exercise produce metabolic flexibility

·      Psycho-social techniques such as cognitive behavioural therapy, expressive writing, creative psychotherapy

Deep learning

Clients learn about the interactions between the brain, metabolism and the immune system in a process known as deep learning.  Deep learning empowers the client with knowledge which enables them to take control of their health. The strength of treatment is in the application of the latest insights from various areas of science. A personal approach takes a central role, and all physiological aspects are considered.

Origins

Interest in the relationship between psychiatric symptoms and immune function has been a consistent theme since the beginning of modern medicine.

 

The French physiologist Claude Bernard formulated the concept of ‘Milieu Interieur’ in the mid 1800s, meaning that despite external variations, “All the vital mechanisms, however varied they may be, have always one goal, to maintain the uniformity of the conditions of life in the internal environment.”

 

Walter Cannon, physiology professor at Harvard University observed that any change of emotional state such as anxiety and stress was accompanied by total cessation of movements of the stomach. These studies investigated the relationship between the effects of emotions and perceptions on the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses and brought to light the ‘fight or flight’ response. His findings were published in professional journals, followed by a book The Mechanical Factors of Digestion, published in 1911.

 

In 1975, Robert Ader and Nicholas Cohen from theUniversity of Rochester advanced PNI, and subsequently coined the term "psychoneuroimmunology”

 

In 1981, David L. Felten and his colleague J.M. Williams at the Indiana University School of Medicine, discovered a network of nerves leading to blood vessels as well as cells of the immune system. This discovery provided one of the first indications of how neuro-immune interactions occur.

 

Ader, Cohen and Felten went on to edit the ground-breaking book Psychoneuroimmunology in 1981, which laid out the underlying premise that the brain and immune system represent a single, integrated system of defence.

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