Our thoughts and mental images (psyche-), through such organs as the hypothalamus and the adrenal gland (neuro-), can have a profound effect on the activity of the immune system (immunology). Psychoneuroimmunology is the field that examines the mechanism by which this works, and devises mind-body approaches which involve the use of mental imagery, autosuggestion, self-affirmation, emotional balancing, etc., to improve immune functioning. In some cases, the desire might be to diminish the activity of the immune system (autoimmune diseases and allergies), and in other situations to increase its activity (cancer, chronic infection).
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