IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care

Mind-Body Healing: Psycho-Neuro-Immunology (PNI)

At Indiana University Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care, we understand that a patient’s mental and emotional health can influence moods, general attitudes and one’s outlook on life. Ultimately, it affects the body’s ability to heal and survive cancer.

Lymphoma and blood cancer, in particular, presents many challenges. Not only does the disease attack your immune system and blood-forming cells, but its treatments may cause several side effects. Plus, some types of lymphoma and blood cancer can remain chronic, or go in and out of remission, forcing patients to battle the disease for years. Therefore, it’s perfectly normal to feel sad, angry, afraid or frustrated. But help is available.

Psycho-Neuro-Immunology (PNI) examines how a patient’s mental and emotional states interact with the endocrine, immune and nervous systems. It also looks at how that interaction affects the body. By better understanding this mind-body connection, we offer cancer patients effective methods that direct their energies toward healing.

At IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care, we work to heal the whole person, not just the cancer. Through our Mind-Body Connections Program, we teach you how to better cope with the rigors of diagnosis and treatment.

PNI goals include:

  • Develop coping skills
  • Restore control and reduce anxiety
  • Improve sleep
  • Make lifestyle changes that enhance therapy and reduce risk of recurrence
  • Improve immune function

Strategies to achieve these goals may include:

  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Support groups
  • Guided imagery
  • Laughter therapy