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Molecules of Emotion Mind/Body Health RRCC Holistic Health Spring 2011
Psychoneuroimmunology • “The study of the intricate interaction of consciousness (psycho), brain and central nervous system (neuro), and the body’s defense against external invasion and internal aberrant cell division (immunology)” • Immune function can be classically conditioned • Just about every illness is influenced by how we think and feel- at least, if not caused by it • Psychological factors can modulate the stress response and trigger it
Anatomy • CNS linked to bone marrow, thymus, spleen, lymph nodes- immune tissues laced with nerve fibers • Changes in the brain and spinal cord affect immune response, and vice versa • WBC’s respond to neurochemicals and produce them • Emotions trigger hormone release • Epi, norepi, endorphins, GC’s, prolactin, growth hormone • Active immune cells send signals to CNS
Candace Pert • Receptors on the cell surface to pick up signals • Signal brought into cell • Cell division, growth, migration, metabolism, etc. • Ligands- the signal- cell to cell communication • Hormones, neurotransmitters, peptides • 98% of data transfer in the body and brain • 2% at synapses • Present in many species- evolutionarily conserved • Opiate receptors in all vertebrates, also insects, other invertebrates • Molecules of emotion • Present throughout body and brain • Including the limbic system- the emotional brain (p. 134) • Including physical functions • Sensations (pleasure, pain), drive states (hunger, thirst) • Facial expressions for anger, fear, sadness, enjoyment, and disgust common across cultures
Molecules of Emotion • Vibratory attraction- receptor and ligand vibrate • Entrainment and resonance • Emotion is this vibration • The peptide-receptor connection is the physical manifestation of the feeling • Receptor complexes form ion channels • Electric current- ionic flux- affects neuronal circuitry • Emotions change the physical body • Stress and health • “Bright, colorful clouds of vibrating, singing energy surrounding each cell… a chorus of resonating voices soaring in the background” • The body as the subconscious mind • Biography- memories, traumas, etc.
Psychosomatic Network • Brain one of many nodal points • Neuropeptide receptors concentrated in dorsal horn and other ganglia • Locations where information from the five senses enters • Accessed and modulated by neuropeptides • Emotions and bodily sensations intertwined- bidirectional • Can be unconscious or conscious • Dynamic communication network linking all systems • The brain filters, stores, and makes associations • Emotions involved in memory, learning- state-dependent recall • Body and mind not separate • What happens in one happens in the other • Neurons in brain replaced throughout life • Emotional experience molds brain architecture • Neurons made in bone marrow- our bones make our brains • Emotions shape our experience of reality • “Every change in the physiological state is accompanied by an appropriate change in the mental emotional state, conscious or unconscious, and conversely, every change in the mental emotional state, conscious or unconscious, is accompanied by an appropriate change in the physiological state.” • “Neuropeptides bring us to states of consciousness and to alterations in those states” • The bodymind as an integrated web