In critically reviewing the sources of evidence connecting psyche and brain with the immune system, the authors include a brief review of current knowledge of the immune system, its interactions with the neuroendocrine system, and other factors influencing its regulation. These include developmental stages, aging, rhythmicity, and a variety of exogenous influences. The need for developing further information about normal base lines is emphasized.
In recent years our knowledge of the immune system and the pathogenesis of immune disorders has increased. There has been much research on the complex connections between the psyche, the central nervous system and the immune system and the effect of mood on disease processes. This paper reviews the evidence on the effects of hypnosis on the allergic skin test reaction, on allergies, particularly respiratory allergies and hayfever, and on bronchial hyperreactivity and asthma.
Health Psychology: Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
This article reviews evidence for the hypothesis that psychological interventions can modulate the immune response in humans and presents a series of models depicting the psychobiological pathways through which this might occur. Although more than 85 trials have been conducted, meta-analyses reveal only modest evidence that interventions can reliably alter immune parameters. The most consistent evidence emerges from hypnosis and conditioning trials. Disclosure and stress management show scattered evidence of success. Relaxation demonstrates little capacity to elicit immune change.
This review considers psychological interventions involving relaxation and guided imagery targeting immune functions. The review provides evidence of immune control accompanied by reports of enhanced mood and well-being. Three recent investigations of the author and his colleagues with self-hypnosis training incorporating imagery of the immune system are outlined.
Epidemiological and clinical researches in the borderline domain between psychology and cancer have produced consequent results, despite the large variety of employed approaches and aimed goals: these results permit to define domains where new investigations still appear promising.
Fear of death, pain, or the recurrence of the illness of tumor patients can narrow their attention to a point where a spontaneous altered state of consciousness occurs. In these cases hypnosis either in formal psychotherapy or embedded into the everyday communication with the physician can effectively complement other already known medical and psychological techniques. Although numerous studies have reported the beneficial physical and mental changes induced by hypnosis, for a long time there were not enough research to affect evidence-based medicine.
Despite aromatherapy's popularity, efficacy data are scant, and potential mechanisms are controversial. This randomized controlled trial examined the psychological, autonomic, endocrine, and immune consequences of one purported relaxant odor (lavender), one stimulant odor (lemon), and a no-odor control (water), before and after a stressor (cold pressor); 56 healthy men and women were exposed to each of the odors during three separate visits.