Medicine / Psychiatry
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Live life happy, live life healthy.

April 14, 2007

Matthew Vasey, MD

Rene Descartes was a famous Frenchman for a multitude of reasons. One of Mr. Descartes famous contributions to the world was his medical-psychiatric theory of a separation between mind and body. Modern medicine, however, as deviated from this approach to an accepted unification of mind and body.

A Harvard Professor by the name of Oliver Wendell Holmes observed during the American Civil War that seemingly identical wounds obtained by soldiers during battle assumed a course of healing reflective of whether you were the defeater or the defeated. This was just one of many observations that helped set the stage for this acceptance of the mind and body functioning as one.

Everyday life stress is believed to impact the effectiveness of our immune system. By way of nerves and hormones stress can effectively weaken our immune system. (1,2) A study of 154 male and 266 female residents of Great Britain answered a bunch of questions about their recent life experiences and essentially, sneeze on one another(3). Stress questions for these people were selected from a couple of well accepted questionnaires to review the results.

Conclusions from this study confirm what our grandparents have been telling us all our lives. Live life happy, live life healthy.


1. Felton DL, Olshowka JA. Noradrenergic sympathetic innervation of the spleen. II. Tyrosine hydroxylase-positive nerve terminals from synaptic-like contacts on lymphocytes in the splenic white pulp. J Neurosci Res 1987;18:37-48.
2. Shavit Y, Lewis JW, Terman GS, Gale RP, Liebeskind JC. Opiod peptides mediate the suppressive effect of stress on natural killer cell cytotoxicity. Science 1984;223:188-90.
3. Cohen S, Tyrrell D, Smith AP. Psychological stress and susceptibility to the common cold. New England J Med 1991;325:606-12. on Social Media