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Mind and Immunity
This year, perhaps more than ever, many of us are thinking about the health and function of our immune systems. Our immunity is built upon that which is innate, inborn, and that which we have learned over time from our various exposures. Scientists have thought that the immune system was a self-contained unit, which responded automatically to the stimulus of antigens. The nervous and endocrine systems were regarded as separate structures, having no part to play in the intricacies of immunity. More recently, a new understanding has arisen, a realization grounded in the field of psychoneuroimmunology. In alignment with the beliefs of ancient healers, mystics, and philosophers, disease is now defined as “any persistent harmful disturbance of the body/mind equilibrium. This equilibrium is maintained by the inter-relatedness of the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.” According to the American Psychoneuroimmunologist Dr. Michael Weiner, “ It is now evident that our attitudes, beliefs, and emotions can influence immunity, and that the immune system can even be conditioned – tricked into responding by psychological devices.” The psychological devices he offers include “relaxation and deep-breathing exercises.”

So, breathe deep, relax and everything will be fine? … if only so simple. Many of us have nervous systems that feel taxed after this past year, with sustained holding and carrying of various stresses and life imbalances. No amount of relaxation and deep breathing could have prepared us for what has come, nor may it prevent an encounter with this serious pathogen. However many people are feeling the need to fortify, strengthen and rebuild their resiliency. Aromatherapy can deeply enhance and compliment relaxation practices both physiologically and psychologically. Botanical support is an important consideration on our paths towards homeostasis…