Creativity and the immune system

Penny Brohn Cancer Care (previously Bristol Cancer Help Centre) offers complementary support for people living with cancer. Evidence shows that changes in our thoughts, emotions and beliefs can bring about changes in our physical health and well-being. The Charity bases its approach on research into Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), the study of the connections between our mind (psycho), nervous system (neuro) and immune system (immunology). PNI shows that emotions such as fear, anger or shock can result in increased levels of the cortisol, the stress hormone, which can prevent the immune system from working at its best.  It uses a range of therapies – including arts activities – to help people to manage these emotions: “Emerging evidence indicates that relaxation, meditation, creative pursuits or the experience of a massage provides an immediate way to reduce stress levels which helps to strengthen the body’s immune system, our first line of defence against fighting cancer…Creative therapies such as art and music therapy are designed to be fun, non-invasive and beneficial, as they are thought to be uplifting to moods and improve immune function.”

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Originally posted: September 24th, 2010


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