Psychosomatic originates from the Greek language meaning mind (psyche) and body (soma). The term psychosomatic refers to real physical symptoms that arise from the mind and are influenced by emotions rather than a specific organic cause in the body. Psychosomatic illness originates from emotional stress or damaging thought patterns and manifests in the body as physical symptoms such as pain that are real and can harm you as much as symptoms that originate from other means. It’s been estimated that over 90 percent of doctor visits are due to health problems influenced at least in part by stress, so psychosomatic illness is more common than people realize (Rosch,1991; American Academy of Family Physicians Survey, 1988). For example, depression can contribute to psychosomatic illness, especially when the body’s immune system has been weakened by severe and/or chronic stress.
Quantum Biofeedback helps learn how to recognize the causes of your stress, to detect your stress, manage your stress, and reduce your stress and your psychosomatic symptoms. For each person, stress manifests in unique ways physically according to one’s biochemical individuality. Everyone handles stress in their own way. Two people in the same stressful situation will react very differently. Once you understand the unique way stress affects you (both emotionally and physically), you can work on developing healthy and effective ways to manage it with Quantum Biofeedback since 95% is the subconscious and only 5% is the conscious mind.
Common psychosomatic symptoms are
- Elevated heart rate
- Increased Palm perspiration
- Muscle Tension
- “Butterflies” or pain in the stomach
- Bowel symptoms
- Aches and pains
- Muscle spasms
- lower back pain and
- high blood pressure,
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- even the course of serious illnesses, such as cancer, can potentially be influenced by a person’s thoughts, feelings, and general state of mental health.
Another common example of psychosomatic symptoms is when children often display stress through their bodies because they have not yet developed the language they need to communicate how they feel. For example, a child who is having a hard time at school may have frequent stomach aches and may be sent home or ask to stay home.
When you are under stress, you may experience the above physical symptoms, possibly from unconsciously tensing your muscles for extended periods. Your nervous system is on edge from the fight-or-flight responses to stress. This affects your blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, and glucose levels. According to research, stress causes physical symptoms, and as a result, illness is caused by the release of certain chemicals in the body, including cortisol and adrenaline, which can lead to inflammation (Liu, Wang & Jiang, 2017).
Psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology (PNEI) is the scientific field of study investigating the interactions between psychological and mental processes and how it affects the nervous system, the endocrine (hormone) system, and the immune system and the implications of these linkages on systems of the human body. It considers the human organism as a structured and interconnected unity where the biological and psychological systems influence each other. PNEI takes into account that the body is a multidimensional approach, incorporating psychology, neuroscience, immunology, physiology, genetics, pharmacology, molecular biology, psychiatry, behavioral medicine, infectious diseases, endocrinology, and rheumatology.
PNEI studies the physiological functioning of the neuroimmune system in health and disease; disorders of the neuroimmune system (autoimmune diseases; hypersensitivities; immune deficiency); and the physical, chemical and physiological characteristics of the components of the neuroimmune system
The root of PNEI lies in stress research, pioneered by Hans Seyle, a student of Johns Hopkins University and McGill University, and a researcher at Université de Montréal, and by later psychological researchers Robert Ader and Nicholas Cohen, at the University of Rochester. It is now possible to unify the biological and psychological stress research to reconstruct the health/disease balance and the mechanisms that concern the individual seen in his/her entirety- Integrative Quantum Medicine. What is needed is a new science of health and disease a new paradigm that will break free from the narrowness of the twentieth-century scientific culture, with its roots in reductionism one diagnosis and dealing only with the symptoms and not with the causes.
(PNEI) was born about thirty years ago as a convergence of different scientific disciplines such as behavioral science, neuroscience, endocrinology and immunology (Ader &Kelley, 2007). The central nervous system is a huge array of connections throughout the body incorporating sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.
“Every thought, emotion, idea or belief has a neurochemical consequence” (Stibal, 2010).
These natural chemical messengers, called Neuropeptides, were at one time thought to be found in the brain alone. Pioneering research by neuropharmacologist, Dr. Candice Pert, 2007, revealed that these neuropeptides are present on both the cell walls of the brain and in the immune system. These information substances affect our emotions as well as our physiology.
Stress can make you sick. Stress can also compromise your immunity. Some people find that when they are stressed, they’re more likely to catch a cold or the flu. They may also get more infections such as cystitis, and with stress, it may take longer to get better.
Psychosomatic symptoms can lead you to see a doctor, who then may rule out any disease process that might be causing them. Without a diagnosis, you may only get treatment aimed at relieving the symptoms, but not the cause.
What can you do when psychosomatic illness and medically unexplained symptoms continue? How do you cope?
A Nonpharmacological solution that is effective for addressing psychosomatic issues is Quantum Biofeedback because it deals with the cause of mental and emotional stress. Quantum Biofeedback incorporates the Mind-Body Integrative Quantum Medicine approach.
“Psychosomatic.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psychosomatic.
Ader, R., & Cohen, N. (1993). Psychoneuroimmunology: conditioning and stress. PubMed, 44, 53-85. Abstract retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8434895
America’s Leading Adult Health Problem, by Paul J. Rosch, M.D., F.A.C.P., in USA Magazine, May 1991.
American Academy of Family Physicians Survey, 1988,U.S. News & World Report, December 11, 1995.
Besedovsky, Hugo & Rey, Adriana. (2007). Physiology of psychoneuroimmunology: A personal view. Brain, behavior, and immunity. 21. 34-44. 10.1016/j.bbi.2006.09.008.
Fritzsche, K., McDaniel, S. H., & Wirsching, M. (Eds.). (2014). What is Psychosomatic Medicine? Psychosomatic Medicine (pp. 3-9). http://dx.doi.org/https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4614-1022-5_1
González-Díaz, S. N., Cruz, A. A., Villarreal, B. E., & Monge-Ortega, O. P. (2017, June 6). Psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology: clinical implications. World Allergy Organizational Journal, 10. http://dx.doi.org/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5460476/
Liu, Y. Z., Wang, Y. X., & Jiang, C. L. (2017, June 20). Inflammation: The Common Pathway of Stress-Related Diseases. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, 16. http://dx.doi.org/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5476783/
Pert, C. B. (1999). Molecules of Emotion The Science Behind Mind Body Medicine (Ist ed.). New York, New York: Touchstone Rockefeller Center.
Salleh, M. R. (2008, October 15). Life Event, Stress and Illness. The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, 4, 9-18. http://dx.doi.org/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/