If you look back through medical history, you are essentially looking at the history of the placebo effect. From the early 20th century, back through time to ancient civilisation, the connection between mind and health has been at the forefront of Western medicine. But only now, have we decided to re-examine this area further.
A recent article in The Guardian reports on research into Schizophrenia and a connection with mental illness. It is a belief commonly held, that over-stressed people often have to take more sick days off work. And how many people go on leave or on holiday, only to get ill straight away? And why do depressed people, often have so many other illnesses too? There’s lots of anecdotal evidence for a connection between psychology and health, but it is an area in desperate need of research. The interaction between mind and body is simply too important to be left to the realms of alternative medicine. We need to make the most of it, and the most appropriate way to do this, is probably to engage academic scientific research in the area. But some academics in Harvard, Oxford, Turin and Southampton amongst others are working hard on doing just this – legitimising the field of psychoneuroimmunology so that we can really make a difference.