Creative consulting: psychoneuroimmunology, the mindbody
Traditionally, medicine has kept the mind separate from the body. Now things are changing as people realise that the psyche and the soma are constantly interacting. In the sixth article in our series, David Reilly and Tansy Harrison look at the science of sewing the head back onto the body
The neat flat medical world that used to separate the body from the mind is turning out to be round. Yet on this separation we built a medical system organised into head doctors and body doctors, with some of them specialising in smaller bits. Thinking of the cardiac system and its diseases as unrelated to the emotions, or separate from the individual person, is proving to be unscientific. A new word to describe some aspects of this joined-up-ness is “psychoneuroimmunology” and the world will never be flat again. We should now speak of the “mindbody,” according to Candice Pert, a codiscoverer of endorphine.
In the good old days you caught an infection by chance and then bits of the body--called the immune system--fought it. The doctors diagnosed it and prescribed something to kill the bugs. It was nice to be nice to the patient, but the “real” medicine got on