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.
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. Fear, anxiety and stress are common responses among cancer patients and their families. Through research and practice, we have learned that these reactions have a negative effect on the immune system. At times, they even impair the body’s ability to behave normally.
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