Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is the study of the interaction between psychological processes, behaviour, neural, endocrine and immune system functions of the human body. The “Wired but tired” phenomenon or the gut brain axis in acne research are but two stress-related outcomes in a sea of complex imbalances in this relatively new field of research. Research on the “bidirectional” communication between the immune system and the nervous system is widely accepted.
Recognizing that the endocrine system is another key player in this whole-body regulatory system, we prefer to consider it as the PINE (psycho-immuno-neuro-endocrine) system. Most functional disorders are disorders of the PINE system, and can be thought of as a software problem. Kinesiologists who work with signatures are able to address software problems that modern medicine cannot. Most chronic diseases are software problems, not hardware problems, and it is for this reason that kinesiology represents a paradigm shift in healthcare.
The early work in psychoneuroimmunology by American molecular biologist Candace Pert (1946-2013) brought specific attention to the role of neuropeptides, created by brain neurons, and their receptors throughout the body. As a graduate student, Pert discovered opiate receptors in the brain. She completed a PhD in Pharmacology in 1974.
In her 1997 book, Molecules of Emotion: Why you feel the way you feel, Pert posited that neuropeptides like endorphins actually connect emotions in a constant and flowing brain-mind-body bidirectional information network.
In a 1985 article “The Wisdom of the Receptors: Neuropeptides, the Emotions and Bodymind,” Pert explains that neuropeptides -- of which “50 to 60 have been identified” -- are created by neurons in the brain and stored in the cell vesicles “waiting for the right electro-physical events that will release it.” Hormones like insulin, substance P, bombesin, cholecystokinin (CCK), neurotensin, transferrin and more are also neuropeptides, made and released by the brain in response to conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions.
Neuopeptide receptors, Pert suggests, are key to this biochemistry of emotion and its expression in the body. For example, human monocytes that circulate within the immune system have receptors for neuropeptides thereby responding to thought/emotion. These in turn are rooted in subconscious belief.
“The body is the outward manifestation of the mind. I would go further,” explains Pert. When we document the key role that the emotions expressed through neuropeptide molecules, play in affecting the body, it will become clear how emotions can be a key to the understanding of disease.”