Researchers have found that stress hormones are associated with particular unhealthy emotions. These hormones affect systems and organs throughout the body. For example, stress related to hostility and anxiety can result in disruptions in heart and immune function. Similarly, depression and distress may diminish the body’s natural capacity to heal. In contrast, emotional expression that encourages openness and active coping with problems helps stabilize the immune system.
High levels of stress hormones circulating in the body may actually increase one’s susceptibility to infection. How a person processes emotions also affects how long he or she may survive a chronic illness.
How does mind/body medicine help?
The goal of mind/body techniques such as those I use in my workshops and sessions, is to activate the relaxation response and reduce the stress response. When you are relaxed, the levels of hormones related to stress are reduced and your immune system is more efficient.