Body, Mind, and Spirit: Good Practice, and Good Science

Psychoneuroimmunology and spiritual healing . . . I think they share common ground. For psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) researchers, it’s important to work with the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and not just a single biological system. Here’s some research that shows the connection between PNI and spiritual health. Ruth Tanyi, DrPH and her research team in California investigated the effect of what they referred to as a PNI-based lifestyle intervention on depression. The intervention included spiritual guided imagery, muscle relaxation, and humorous videos. After conducting pre-intervention tests using the Beck Depression Inventory, researchers randomized the participants into two…

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Can Meditation Lengthen Your Life (or Just Your Telomeres)?

I’m going to share a not-so-secret secret with you: I love telomeres. If you follow my blogs, you may remember me mentioning telomeres in the past, because, well…they just fascinate me. Telomeres reside at the end of chromosomes in order to protect them from deterioration. When cells replicate, telomeres are cut and become increasingly shorter. If the telomere becomes too short, it dies or at the very least becomes dormant. Many researchers now use telomere length to determine cell age – and with it, brain deterioration. I’ve reported on the recent research findings that exercise has been shown to maintain…

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How Environment Affects Neurogenesis

Which room would you prefer… I imagine that many of you have children or grandchildren. Perhaps nieces or nephews? If you had to picture the nursery that you would want for them, would it look more like this: Or this: Did you cringe at the thought of putting a child in the sterile room at the top? There’s nothing to interest or excite them in such a sterile environment. Every child rearing book will tell you that babies need increasing levels of visual and mental stimulation so that they can grow and develop. Why then do we not expect that…

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Take the Adrenal Fatigue Quiz

Do you know the symptoms of adrenal fatigue? Do your patients report any of the following: Tired for no reason? Trouble getting up in the morning? Need coffee or colas to keep going? Feel run down and stressed? Crave salty or sweet snacks? Struggling to keep up with life’s daily demands? Can’t bounce back from stress or illness? Not having fun anymore? Decreased sex drive? If they answer “yes” to at least one of these questions, then they may be suffering from adrenal fatigue (reprinted with permission from http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/). And what is adrenal fatigue? It is a syndrome that occurs…

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Thyroid Disorders, Environmental Toxins and Pregnancy: The Alarming Connection

Thyroid disorders were rarely discussed by lay people until Oprah spoke out about the topic in 2007, shedding light on a critically important issue. And why is the thyroid so important? The thyroid produces hormones that regulate many of the body’s metabolic functions. More and more research is surfacing that connects them to various conditions and diseases. For instance, thyroid disorders can disrupt sleep, mood and mental sharpness, and cause weight gain or loss. The problem is that thyroid disorders are often undiagnosed. There are a variety of reasons for that, but one problem is that environmental toxins disguise it’s…

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Stress, Obesity and Our Children: What Mind-Body Research Says

Our lifestyle choices can create direct routes to conditions like inflammation. Even more recently, information linking psychoneuroimmunology and depression with stress and obesity has surfaced.