Although many chronic diseases such as cancer are apparently physical, they can lead to psychological distress. Chronic psychosocial stress may in turn affect the physical health negatively. Studies in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) have shown that the mind and the body are tightly interconnected.
Because stress is commonly seen together with chronic diseases, it needs to be addressed to promote the therapeutic effects and to improve the quality of life. The integrative mind-body methods for stress management such as meditation may be beneficial for the promotion of both physical and mental health. According to studies in PNI, mind-body interventions may help adjust the immune functions, lower inflammatory levels, improve the brain states, and promote positive mind conditions.
Discoveries in PNI are helpful for the better understanding and healing of various disorders including depression, skin diseases, cancer, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.