Bodymind Connection: Psychoneuroendoimmunology
Updated: Aug 9, 2021
Life in 2021 may not come with a map. Still, everyone will experience twists and turns from everyday challenges or traumatic events with a more lasting impact. Each change affects people differently, bringing a unique flood of thoughts, strong emotions, and uncertainty.
Many things can happen in our lives to disrupt our emotional balance and create thoughts and feelings of stress, anxiety, or sadness. Unresolved negative thoughts remain in the body and can affect every area of our lives; from sleepless nights, poor health, relationship, or financial challenges. Emotional stress is linked to chronic inflammation, lowered immune function, increased blood pressure, and altered brain chemistry.
Psychoneuroendoimmunology (PNI) is the study of the effect of the mind on health and resistance to disease. Psycho (mind/emotions), neuro (nervous system), endo (endocrine system), immunology (immune system).
PNI researchers have studied how emotions and thoughts impact the brain, hormones, nervous system, and the immune system’s ability to protect. Research has shown that people in stressful situations have measurable changes in physical responses to injury, whether it be slow wound healing, a higher incidence of infection, or a worse prognosis as in a debilitating illness. Emotional stress is linked to chronic inflammation, lowered immune function, increased blood pressure, and altered brain chemistry. These are promising scientific discoveries on the mind-body connection.
Being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is the first step toward maintaining emotional health. People who are emotionally healthy have learned the ways to cope with stress brought on by challenges that are part of life. A healthy routine of adequate rest, proper nutrition, exercise, and let go of adverse situations can be enhanced by the use of aromatherapy.
Essential oils can be applied in a variety of ways; including diffusion, a nasal inhaler, body oil, and in the bath. A drop or two in your palm with a teaspoon of jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) oil and rubbed on the back of your neck or the chest and abdomen as support at the end of a long day.
Here are a few essential oils that can be incorporated into your day to help manage the everyday emotions we experience.
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) – Soothes the mind, creating an atmosphere of peace by helping to eliminate anxiety, irritability, and nervousness. Chamaemelum nobile is a wonderful addition to the bath. Noted precaution: Not recommended for use with those that are allergic to ragweed.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – Promotes consciousness, love, peace, and a sense of well-being. Lavender aids verbal expression and helps address fears. Very nice in the bath.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) – As a very grounding oil, Vetiver assists an individual in becoming more rooted in life. It is profoundly relaxing and well-suited for depression, insomnia, and nervous tension. Can also be used in the bath.
Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) – Assists in the release of anger and sadness, and helps reconnect an individual with the child self. This oil promotes the freedom of anxieties and is helpful with insomnia.
Balancing Bath Blend
1 TBSP Dispersant- Solubol or Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) mix:
5 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
3 drops Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides)
2 drops Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)
Add the blend to the running bath water. Soak for 20 minutes or more. Focus your awareness on deep breathing, relaxing, and letting go of any tension.
Healing Deeper Emotions
There are times when emotional pain can be severe, inhibiting our ability to enjoy life. A divorce, the death of a loved one, physical abuse, or caring for someone very ill can trigger emotional reactions and create more significant problems in the form of physical pain or disease. To heal these lower emotions, one needs to access these into our conscious awareness, where they can be released.
Essential oils can provide us with the energy needed to enter the emotional realm and raise the vibration of the physical body. As the body lives in higher vibrations, lower energies, such as repressed emotions, become unbearable. These feelings want to release. Sadness, grief, stagnant anger, and low self-worth cannot exist in an environment of peace and balance, which essential oils help to create. They support the individual through their healing as feelings surface and are released.
A compassionate healer of the heart is Rose (Rosa damascena) essential oil which emulates a beautiful frequency. It is calming and supportive and is of benefit to reduce nervous anxiety and insomnia. The embrace of Rose (Rosa damascena) is revealed through its ability to heal emotional wounds by bringing soothing comfort and warmth to those wounded or abused. Rose touches the deepest of despair.
When we are overburdened or oppressed by the past and weighed down by over-attachments, Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara) essential oil can help us to break free. It can be used for states of agitation and worry, or when the mind is distracted and overwhelmed by thoughts. Balances both emotional and physical challenges.
Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) essential oil aids those with a history of challenging life circumstances, loss, or abuse and has the power to break through the most negative of emotions. Helichrysum can loosen the hardest of knots lying deep in the psyche, restoring compassion for others, and hope to the most discouraged. Following healing and transformation, it teaches an individual to have gratitude for their trials.
These essential oils may be diffused, carried in a nasal inhaler for use 3 to 4 times per day, or diluted (1 to 2 drops essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil) to and applied to the body to achieve their benefits.
Compassionate Healer Blend
1oz. amber glass bottle or roller bottle mix together:
Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) OR St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), which is photosensitive.
5 drops Rose (Rosa damascena)
5 drops Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
5 drops Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
Apply topically as need, particularly on the heart, upper chest, and abdomen.
Training your bodymind awareness on a daily basis will assist in developing healthy patterns, strengthen your immune system, overall radiance, and vitality in life.
Find yourself in a quiet space, you can be seated or lying down with your spine straight.
Choose your favorite relaxing essential oil and either put a couple of drops on a cotton pad or in a nasal inhaler. Breathe deeply allowing the essence to penetrate.
Close your eyes and bring your gaze to focus on your navel and feel the centering.
Next, bring your attention to the bottoms of your feet and feel the connection to the earth.
Continue to focus your awareness on your breath into the upper chest, abdomen, and back ribs; relaxing and letting go of the tension.
As you feel a sense of groundedness and more relaxed, then, slowly open your eyes and carry on in a relaxed and centered manner.
While essential oils foster an environment for healing, they will not do the work for us. We must release trapped negative emotions before we can receive positive feelings. Meditation, journaling, and being present with your feelings can facilitate the healing process.
~ A sense of gratitude for what we have makes us better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions and allows for a more joyful life.~
Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/TheDigitalArtist-202249/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1076850">Pete Linforth</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1076850">Pixabay</a>
Tisserand, Robert and Young, Rodney, Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
Lawless, Julia, The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Conari Press, San Francisco, CA, 1992, 2013.
Mojay, Gabriel, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Healing Arts Press, Rochester, VT, 1997
Research provided by Natalie Zalenka, Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy, Clinical Aromatherapy Mastery Program Graduate.