For quite a long time, people believed that stress can make you sick. But we had no way of scientific evidence. With the evolution and advancement of biomedical science we are now able to prove that there’s a clear link between the frame of mind and the condition of health. The bridge which connects your mind and mind with the body and its general health is the immune system.
A properly functioning immune system protects the body from disease and when the immune system is malfunctioning, we get ill. This research paper will explore the mind-body relationship and how it affects the immune system and general health and the life coaching implications. The purpose of the immune system is to protect our body from infection and disease.
The immune system accomplishes this by recognizing “self” from “nonself” cells. These “nonself” cells may be from the external world (viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi) or abnormal cells from inside our own body (cancer). These “nonself” cells are generally called antigens. Our immune system consists of bone marrow, spleen, tonsils, thymus, lymph nodes and lymph vessels. All these organs and cells are involved in production, maturation and regeneration of our white blood cells. White blood cells, also referred to as the lymphocytes, are “soldiers” that fight infection and disease.
There are three main forms of white blood cells: T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes and natural killer lymphocytes. There’s a constant communication happening between lymphocytes – they chatter about antigens they struck; stimulate or suppress each other and govern how our immune system works. This communication is facilitated by little bio-molecules created by the cells of the immune system. T and B-lymphocytes will need to be sensitized by an antigen so as to have the ability to destroy it.
To put it differently, the immune system must recognize the presence of an antigen, transmit the comprehensive information regarding the antigen to a certain T cell known as”helper” that in turn will stimulate either a creation of an antibody or sensitize the B or T lymphocyte directly. Once sensitized, the lymphocytes have”knowledge” about the antigen they are seeking. They know what it looks like and they seek it out and ruin it by engulfing it bursting it with its biochemical warfare accessible.
Antibodies have a similar purpose. They also know the detailed information about the antigen and make anti-sequence on their surface which will fit only with the arrangement of the antigen they are searching for – such as your car key which will fit just the lock of your vehicle. Once antibodies bind to the antigenthey neutralize it with its own biochemical group, or they become beacons for another lymphocyte, telling them where the enemy is and assisting them home in on it and engulf it.
Imagine a missile that’s obtained coordinates and is on its way to destroy the target. Natural killer cells don’t have to “understand” an antigen so as to find it and destroy it. They have an innate understanding, a library so to speak, of what’s”self” i.e. ordinary in our body. Natural killer cells patrol our own body and examine cells they encounter. When they find a mobile that doesn’t fit their library, they ruin it.
How do we get sick?
We get ill when the immune system is defeated by the challenger. This may happen either because of being challenged by a novel antigen which our body has never encountered before, or when the immune system isn’t functioning properly. In our lifetime we encounter several novel antigens and because our body doesn’t have “knowledge” of its presence, it defeats the immune system. However, this success is only temporary, and the immune system will determine the publication antigen and mount an immune response against it. A great example would be influenza.
Every number of years there’s a new flu strain that will cause an outbreak. By getting a flu shot we provide our immune system a jump-start. We inoculate using a tiny particle of a influenza antigen giving our body the knowledge it needs to mount an immune reaction to this novel flu strain and by doing this to protect us from it.
Our immune system has turned off and on by a intricate system and if this system malfunctions and does not turn resistance on or off, it manifests as illness. Stress is the psychological and physical strain due to our response to environmental needs.
The evidence is overwhelming that anxiety and our frame of mind greatly affect the immune system and through this connection, general wellbeing. Life coaching methods and tools help manage life and minimize the effects of stress while at the same time that it enables clients to assume a realistically optimistic mindset. Coach-client partnership provides a strong support system that’s most needed for effective stress management. For mentally healthy individuals that are trying to improve their physical health and wellbeing, life coaching is a key to achievement. Life coaching is also cheap, works quickly and it’s very efficient. Boost your immune system – get a life coach!