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Psychosomatic medicine - your emotions affect your healthYou are here: Home> Articles> Psychosomatic medicine
This article is an excerpt from my course "PsychoNeuroRegulation - how through the mind affect the health"
PSYCHOSOMATIC MEDICINE - your emotions affect your health
Undoubtedly, psychoneuroimmunology would not exist without psychosomatic medicine, officially established in 1818. The term had been first used by a German doctor - Johann Christian Heinroth- later a professor of psychiatry at the University of Leipzig.
Read more about PsychoNeuroImmunology
The term 'psychosomatic disorder' had been acknowledged as scientific only in 1922. It was used by a psychoanalyst from Vienna -Feli Teutsch. He was one of the pioneers of psychosomatic medicine in United States.
Of course, it doesn't mean that before 1818 there was no interest in the influence that the mind has on the body. Such questions were raised as early as in antiquity.
For example in Chinese medicine and Indian ayurveda, the unity of body and mind has been acknowledged for approximately 5000 years now.
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Moreover, the view that the body cannot be separated from the mind can also be found in the Book of Job.
Plato (437 p.n.e -327 p.n.e), in 'Charmides' wrote: "Treatment of numerous diseases is not known to the doctors of Ellada, as they cannot see the whole, which should be studied; as a part of the whole cannot be healthy if the whole is not".
Cicero (106 p.n.e. - 43 p.n.e.), a Roman orator, politician and philosopher, wrote in his 'Tusculan Disputations' that specific psychological factors are probably a cause of certain diseases.
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Spinoza (1632-1677), a Dutch philosopher claimed that everything that happens in the body, originates in the mind.
In 1824, Gross wrote: "If we are looking for a primary cause of various diseases, then we an find it in the direct, harmful influence of emotion on the body" .
In 1876, Maudsiey wrote: "If an emotion does not find an outlet in the external activity of the body, then it will influence the internal organs, affecting their function" .
Read about the power of mind - courious case
Numerous physicians and psychiatrists notice, in their everyday practice, that certain diseases can develop in association with negative emotions felt by the patient. Appropriate psychological prophylaxis is therefore necessary to maintain the state of health and emotional rehabilitation supports the process of healing.
Read more about emotions and health
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PNI AND PSYCHOSOMATIC MEDICINEBoth domains: psychosomatic medicine and psychoneuroimmunology talk about ho the mind influences the body. Psychosomatic medicine is however a broader discipline. It does not study the interactions between the nervous and immune systems in detail. Psychosomatic medicine is rather a study of the link between certain psychological states and risk of developing a certain disease.
Psychoneuroimmunology, as indicated by the name, studies the interactions between human psychological experiences, the reaction of the nervous system and and consequences for the immune system. It specifically examines the body responses to stress and propagates supporting the process of healing through using methods that decrease it's level; examples being: autogenic training (developed by a German psychiatrist Johannes Schultz, Jacobson's relaxation technique and meditation. The element of visualization is an important theme.
The majority of practices recommended by psychoneuroimmunologists can be, after an appropriate training, used safely at home by the patient.
Psychosomatic medicine is the mother of PNI. PNI explains the influence of emotional states on human health in a scientific way. The two disciplines overlap and complement each other.