Dr Judith M. Kocken, from the Daily Guardian
In most countries of the world, the majority of diseases are chronic instead of acute. Chronic diseases are called psychosomatic. A part of the cause is psychological this means that the cause is generated by thoughts and emotions, and is therefore every difficult to examine. The other part is physical, visible and can be measured.
The brain absorbs the energy of thoughts and emotions. The energy is transported to the hormone system and lymph system. Together they form the immune system, which protects the body. A child develops an immune system that starts in the womb of the mother. The physical, mental, and emotional health of the parents have an impact on the immune system of an unborn child. When a child grows up, it then encounters antigens in the form of viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms. In a healthy situation, the body makes antibodies so that the child does not become sick. The immune system develops through physical contact with other people, food, environment, and micro-organisms. A person deprived of this contact, say in situations of social isolation and/or excessive cleaning or no cleaning at all for a long period of time, may develop an unhealthy immune system. Thoughts and emotions have an impact on the functioning of the immune system. How to make thoughts and emotions so positive and strong so that they strengthen the immune system?
Stress is a physical reaction to something that is experienced as truth. A stress reaction can be acute or chronic. Most people experience one or more stressful events in their lives. There are several forms of stress:
- Universal: absence of information or fake news.
Every chronic or repetitive experience of not feeling I control, or helpless, gives stress.
- Physical: chronic disease, injury, operation.
- Chemical: food, viruses, bacteria, pesticides, Wi-Fi, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, soft drinks
- Emotional: family circumstances, secrets, debt, divorce, disease, death, trauma, abuse, manipulation, neglect, work problems.
Chronic stress suppresses the immune system. Scientific research shows that three in four people with heart problems, high blood pressure, Diabetes Type 2, gastric ulcers, rheumatic disease, skin problems, autoimmune diseases and cancer have a weakened immune system. Chronic stress symptoms, including extreme fatigue, anxiety, sleep disorders, chronic abdominal pain or palpitations may require a visit to a doctor in the first instance.
The immune system can be strengthened. The first step is to recognise and accept that you are in fact experiencing stress and it is uncomfortable. The next step is to acknowledge that you are not alone in this. Everyone feels stressed at one time or another. Then it is a matter of discovering what would be most helpful and being very kind to the self; wish peace for the self and be prepared for this state of peace to take a little time, and not search for a quick fix. Slow down, walk slower, speak less, do less instead of more—all this helps to reduce the feelings of stress in the immediate short term.
Before sleep each evening, there are some positive things you can reflect on or do to strengthen the immune system and write them down in a journal. Take a shower, listen to some music, listen to a guided meditation before you settle down to the reflections.
- This is what I liked about today
- This is what I did not like about today
- This is what made me laugh out loud today
- I feel grateful for…
- I was kind to myself in this situation today
- I practised taking a pause before reacting in this situation today
A human being has more than 70,000 thoughts a day, 90% of which we are not aware of. Meditation is a method to learn about who you are and what is going on in your mind. During meditation, we can create positive thoughts and create new neural pathways in the mind so that faith and trust in the self can become part of your life. Stress will diminish and the immune system will be strengthened.
Dr Judith M. Kocken MD, PhD is a paediatrician and a paediatric gastroenterologist. A pioneer in holistic healthcare, she studies and practises Raja Yoga with the Brahma Kumaris in The Netherlands