While the term may be new to you, the concept is probably familiar. Psychoneuroimmunology is all that current medicine and nursing have to offer, as well an acceptance of the patient where he or she is and the development of an integrative life plan that creates a preventive pathway, from the origins of disease to the life-affirming mindful living within a body. It means that for every man and woman there is a pathway which works most deeply within his or her own spirit and body. It is the work of psychoneuroimmunology to use what is needed and to individualize the treatment plan to be inclusive of all that is available in all fields. This may mean for some patients that they learn about their disease processes or preventive techniques; others learn to journal, some learn sand play; there may be art, music, movement therapy, as well as meditations, qigong, diet consultations, supplements, exercise, and extraordinary psychotherapy.

It is impossible to “empower” others to enact their own lives. What develops emotional illness and dysfunctional behavior and lays the groundwork for physical illness is the maladaptive use of power. Each of us is already powerful, each having and manifesting that power in the daily “creation” of our lives. When that power is used in a maladaptive way, the patient demonstrates “symptoms” which are actually inappropriate coping mechanisms.

Symbolically speaking, the symptom is an effort of the body/mind to begin to heal itself. The individual’s attention must become focused on that part of the body’s functioning, the internal capacity for emotional balance, the external creation of relationships, and the further manifestation of our will as tangible reality in the world.

This is the remarkable quality of the human mind and spirit…we are all able to create! This is the miracle…we can create life…our world…the way we see our world…All is subject to the power of our own creative force. The responsibility of that gift is that we are equally capable of destruction and are able to choose. The cumulative action of those choices builds not only the person we are, but also impacts the functioning or dysfunctioning of our bodies, our relationships, and our communities. Everything hinges on our personal choices. Choosing health requires the integration of all of these aspects to bring the Self to wholeness…or healing.

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