The Link between Religion and Health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the Faith Factor

By Harold G. Koenig; Harvey Jay Cohen | Go to book overview

2
The Development and History of
Psychoneuroimmunology
GEORGE F. SOLOMON

The history of the development of the field of psychoneuroimmunology, or PNI, begins several millennia ago and transcends many cultures. Indeed, long before Robert Ader first coined the term psychoneuroimmunology in 1975 to describe the study of the interrelationships among the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems, ancient mystics, philosophers, and healers mused about the impact of one's mental state on physical health and vice versa. Although this chapter cannot nearly do justice to all the people who have contributed to the development of this field, it does attempt to highlight some of the more critical milestones along the way.


Holism in Ancient and Medieval Times

It has been observed since ancient times that the state of mind and beliefs of sick people influence their recovery from illness and that it may even play a role in the de novo occurrence of an illness. In the Old Testament of the Bible, for example, Moses states, “Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you. …I will give you a full life span”(Exodus 23:25–26, NIV). Reflecting on this passage and Deuteronomy 28:21–22, Browne (2001) notes, “We have not yet learned what to think and how to feel to create health and happiness. Therefore, we create our own illness and unhappiness. When we learn that there are universal laws, which must be obeyed

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The Link between Religion and Health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the Faith Factor
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Foreword *
  • Contents ix
  • Contributors xi
  • The Link Between Religion and Health *
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - The Connection Between Psychoneuroimmunology and Religion 11
  • References *
  • 2 - The Development and History of Psychoneuroimmunology 31
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 3 - Understanding How Stress Affects the Physical Body 43
  • References 60
  • 4 - Stress, Natural Killer Cells, and Cancer 69
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 5 - Psychosocial Interventions and Prognosis in Cancer 84
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 6 - Psychosocial Stress, Social Networks, and Susceptibility to Infection 101
  • References 117
  • 7 - Psychosocial Factors, Immunity, and Wound Healing 124
  • References *
  • 8 - Psychosocial Factors, Spirituality/ Religiousness, and Immune Function in Hiv/aids Patients 139
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 9 - Hostility, Neuroendocrine Changes, and Health Outcomes 160
  • References *
  • 10 - Psychological Stress and Autoimmune Disease 174
  • References *
  • 11 - Immune, Neuroendocrine, and Religious Measures 197
  • References *
  • 12 - Psychoneuroimmunology and Eastern Religious Traditions 250
  • References *
  • 13 - Psychoneuroimmunology and Western Religious Traditions 262
  • References *
  • 14 - Psychoneuroimmunology and Religion: Implications for Society and Culture 275
  • References *
  • 15 - Avenues for Future Research 286
  • Conclusions 295
  • Index 297
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