Psyche means the mind, humans’ deepest feelings, and attitudes. In Ayurveda, it means Maan, Chitta, Gahantam Bhavanayein, and Manovrattiyan.

Neuro means the brain. It is the study of the treatment of disorders of the brain. In Ayurveda, it is, Budhi, Vaisheshk, a type of Pitta, Sadhaka Pitta.

Immunology means the branch of biology that deals with the entire immune system within the body.

Psychoneuroimmunology is defined as the study of interaction among physiological processes, the nervous system, and the immune system of the body. It links the way people think and their health. Earlier it was thought that all these three systems work independently but later
it was explored that it acts as one entire system. It is the relationship of mind, body, and soul with each other which enforces all the secrets of psychoneuroimmunology.

It is beautifully explained in Ayurveda, “Sattvamatma Shariram Cha Traiymetat Tridandvat, Lokastishthati Sanyogatatra Sarvam Pratishthatam.”

This means, “The three pillars of life are mind, body, and soul; which hold life. These have to be united and work in harmony for a human to sustain.”

The nerves and the spinal cord together make up the CNS. The immune system comprises organs and cells that defend the body against infection and diseases. Both these systems are linked together by messengers which are small molecules and proteins. These messengers of CNS are known as neurotransmitters like dopamine, amino acids and hormones like estrogen, cortisol, etc., while the proteins called cytokines like interleukin, interferon, etc.; work as a communication system between the two. Thus, this explains the reason for the stress hormone cortisol in the immune system and causes inflammation within the body. Stress also
plays a major role for the onset of many diseases which are from cancer to colds, and HIV. On the other hand, the happy hormone dopamine promotes recovery and sleep. Dopamine also helps to regulate mood, appetite, learning, memory, and digestion.

In 1981 an aircraft crashed in Virginia. A businessman Morris Goodman was traveling in that aircraft. It was a fatal accident but Morris Goodman survived. But as his spinal cord crashed he got paralyzed. He received the top medical treatment for three months but all he could do was blink his eyes. He was unable to breathe without a tube. Doctors gave up all hope and the best they could think of was he could get a life in bed. Goodman wasn’t ready to give up; he was not able to move physically but mentally he made himself stronger to believe that he could walk again and started to practice positive affirmations. A few months later everyone saw a
miracle, Morris started walking again much like a normal person. This explained the role of mental power in physical healing.

Ayurveda is the Vedic science of health and healing that takes a holistic path to the cure. It explains the combined state of Sharira (body), Indriya (senses), Sattva (mind), and Atma (soul). Ayurveda explains that health is an intertwined concept of mind, body, and soul. The
connection of mind, body, and soul was started by Ayurveda, but there was no scientific knowledge regarding this for modern scientists. Ayurvedic healing cured mental and chronic conditions like epilepsy, erectile dysfunction, anxiety, chronic cough, and various pains.

It’s said that positivity keeps the illness miles away. The way in which the brain impacts the immune system is a complex one. But there is several pieces of evidence that show that the mind impacts health.

1. Broken heart: It’s commonly seen that an individual dies shortly after the partner’s death. This shows how the mind impacts the heart.

2.The gut: The gut can be influenced by the stress of the mind. This may result in symptoms like gastrointestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease.

3.Cancer : The patient’s view and their psychological support, hugely impacts the results of their treatment.

4.HIV: Many studies have shown that an increase in stress levels and diminished social support accelerates the progression of HIV infection.

5. Wound healing: The psychological conditions of fear, distress, depression, and anxiety, significantly delayed the process of healing. Whereas a positive outlook speeds up the process of healing.

Stress is the negative Outlook of a patient’s condition. Stress is stimulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines and is related to the endocrine system. During the time of stress, the hypothalamus which connects nuclei of the brain and endocrine system signals the pituitary gland to produce a hormone which in turn signals the adrenal glands. This situation provokes the basis of thyroid hormone-related disorders, growth hormone-related disorders, etc. Further, the stressed nervous system signals the adrenal glands to release the hormones like adrenaline and cortisol which impact emotional signs of stress like depression, anxiety, irritability, etc.

The above mechanism can be explained by Ayurveda when it comes to the explanation of Oja Kshaya i.e. overall weakness of the body. Aacharya Charaka says that ” to save Oja keep the mind away from sorrow and other negative emotions.” The negative emotions of fear, weakness, excessive working, dull look, low power, dryness, affected perception, and low energy levels were termed by Acharya Charaka.

Further, Sushruta describes three stages of Oja insufficiency i.e the reasons for anger, anxiety, injury, starvation, etc.

1.Visransa: In this stage, physical symptoms like laziness, and fatigue are seen.

2.Vyapada: In this stage, aggravation of symptoms of the first stage with additional stiffness and heaviness in the body is observed.

3.Kshaya: In this stage, the person undergoes symptoms like unconsciousness, non-differentiation, irrelevant speech, muscle atrophy, or even death.

Thus it is clear that the body, mind, and soul are interdependent on each other. The concept of psychoneuroimmunology works on this same principle. The concepts in Ayurveda can be explained in depth with the help of modern medicine in regard to biochemistry and the description of neurotransmitters.