Clinical PNI (Psycho-Neuro-Immunology):
An integrated healing approach

By Nicki Edgell  


Do you have a complex or long-term health problem? Would you like to tackle chronic health issues, an auto-immune condition, allergies, joint problems, hormonal, digestive or metabolic problems?
Would you like to improve energy & sleep, relieve pain, reduce stress, anxiety or depression, or deal with emotional issues that affect your quality of life?

An Introduction to Clinical Psycho-Neuro-Immunology

Clinical PNI is a science-based and medically integrated approach to healing that helps individuals uncover the solutions to complex or long-term chronic health issues. It focuses on connections between the mind, the nervous system, immune system and our hormonal system, and the role that our modern environment plays in our health.

Clinical PNI uses the latest scientific knowledge of nutrition, immunology, endocrinology, neurology, psychology, evolutionary biology, sociology, epigenetics and exercise science and the interaction between all these systems to help find solutions to chronic health issues.

Nutrition in all its forms, together with physical exercise and psychosocial interventions (for stress, anxiety, low mood), deep learning (explaining what’s happening in your body) and the resolution of inflammation form the basis for therapy within clinical PNI.

Knowledge is power: Deep learning

The clinical PNI deep learning technique gives you the knowledge you need to understand the biochemical pathways that are involved in your condition. This is very empowering as you can begin to understand why you feel the way you do and the factors that have led you to where you are now and the symptoms you are experiencing today.

Through understanding the connections of your life’s ‘story’, the root cause of an issue can be addressed and not just the symptoms. This knowledge and understanding allows the healing process to begin.

The interaction between stress and the immune system (our ‘sixth’ sense for survival)

Stress of any sort (physical or psycho-emotional) activates the ‘fight/flight’ stress axis which in turn activates the immune system and produces inflammation in the body as part of this process. The immune system has to divert a great deal of energy to organs needed for ‘fight/flight’ survival. All other organs are temporarily closed down e.g. our digestive system is not needed when we are stressed. This stress system is very protective in an acute situation. However, when stress goes on too long, the result is chronic low-grade inflammation and the brain must now conserve all the energy it can for survival, resulting in symptoms such as: loss of appetite, no energy, memory changes, sleep disturbances, digestive issues and food intolerances, constipation, fertility problems, painful/heavy periods, circulatory problems, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression, muscle cramps, weakness, pain, increased weight around the middle, and exercise avoidance. Once the cause is identified, there are many interventions that can bring back energy to those ‘disposed of’ organs and calm an overactive sympathetic nervous system.

Psychological factors, including social isolation, early childhood trauma or abuse, work or emotional stresses all produce the same chronic stress response. There are many useful tools to help resolve mental stressors including narrative writing, EFT and mindfulness meditation helping us to re-wire our nervous system and unhelpful thought patterns.

Living as nature intended

We evolved in an environment very different from the one we live in today, but our genes and the mechanisms that protect us from danger remain virtually unchanged.

For example, we are programmed to move our bodies (originally in order to find food, keep warm, build shelters and fires, fight to defend ourselves or run away from danger). Exercise or physical activity have always been part of our evolution. Studies have shown that getting back into nature brings about changes in immune cells and stress levels and exercise puts our body into an anti-inflammatory state.

Our environment and lifestyle also have a big impact on our genes and have the ability to ‘switch’ our genes on or off – this is epigenetics and it can determine whether we are susceptible to a certain disease or not. Making changes to diet and lifestyle can be crucial to changing disease outcome.

Understanding the factors that reduce the stress and inflammatory responses can help us resolve chronic inflammation and allow our bodies to recover.

Who would benefit from clinical psychoneuroimmunology?

Clinical PNI is suitable for anyone looking for answers and solutions to their health conditions, both for children and for adults; people who want to improve their energy, sleep better, relieve pain, lose weight, reduce stress, anxiety or depression or deal with emotional issues, people with chronic health issues, chronic fatigue, autoimmune conditions, allergies, joint problems, people with digestive or metabolic problems, and women with hormonal issues.

Underpinned by the evolutionary origin of our diet and the interaction between our body, our mind and our social environment, clinical PNI provides the tools to make a genuine difference to your health and wellbeing. Using these tools you will be able to take your health from where it is now to where you want it to be, bringing about long-term health improvements and giving you a solution-focused positive outlook for your future.

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