Immunity and the Mind Body Connection

Ayurveda - The Immune System

Ayurveda has understood the deep interconnection between the mind and body for thousands of years.  Whatever is happening in the physiology affects the mental and emotional state. Whatever is being experienced in the mental and emotional state affects the body. For example, if one has missed a night of sleep and the physiology experiences fatigue, the corresponding mental state is experienced as lack of mental acuteness. If an individual experiences fear, the physiology automatically reflects this in an increase in cortisone and rapid heartbeat.  Ayurveda views the body and mind as a single connected unit.

Modern scientific research has confirmed this connection and calls it Psychoneuroimmunity.  Dr. Candace Pert, of the National Institute of Health discovered that the immune system and emotions are interdependent.  Prolonged periods of anxiety and depression can weaken and suppress the immune system.

This is why Ayurveda emphasis the importance of having a balanced lifestyle.  Staying rested, fresh, energetic and enthusiastic are requirements to keep the immune system strong and averting illness.  If you are seeking to increase your immunity, Ayurveda has several approaches.  The first approach is to understand your outlook on life.   If there is a pessimistic perspective, then this is something that should be adjusted.  Reading of Vedic literature or other philosophies may be recommended to study in order to broaden one’s outlook.  One may even be recommended a trip or pilgrimage to gain a different viewpoint on life.  If there are emotional issues that have been suppressed, then counseling along with Ayurvedic therapies would be recommended.  If one has weak immunity due to an intake of antibiotics, then natural probiotics, herbs, and special diet will be recommended. Or, if one is under a lot of stress, then meditation and yoga would be advised as part of the daily routine.

Ayurveda gives modern medicine tools to integrate the mind and body through a multitude approach thereby offering the promise of a long healthy life, free from disease.