Shift of Neurotransmitter Profile
Much of the new science of psychoneuroimmunology is founded upon findings in the area of neurohormones, neuropeptides or neurotransmitters. It has already been mentioned that neurotransmitter receptor sites have been found on lymphocytes. A particular profile of neurotransmitters is present in a person who is experiencing pain, anxiety or depression. (59) In contrast joy, comfort or celebration produce unique neurotransmitter profiles as well. (60) In hypertension, pain and inflammation, which have been associated with the hyperactivity of the sympathetic aspect of the autonomic nervous system, a number of specific neurotransmitters are present in the blood. In patients suffering from pain, increased norepinephrine, reduced cholinesterase and depressed beta endorphine were found to be typical. (59) When methods are employed that regulate the sympathetic function through the hypothalamus a neurotransmitter profile characterized by decreased norepinephrine, elevated cholinesterase and elevated beta endorphine emerge. (59)
The neurotransmitter profile present in the parasympathetic and usually more anabolic (alkaline) environment is recognized as able to reduce pain and depression (59), reduce cravings for addictive substances (61) and promote healing. Chinese research has quantified neurotransmitter activity specific to Qigong exercise. It was found that the Qigong effect is associated with specific shifts in the monoamine neurotransmitter content of the blood. (62) 5HT and 5HE generally tend to be decreased by Qigong practice. Noradrenaline and dopamine tend to increase. The aspects of Qigong and Yoga that quiet the mind and relax the body induce a neurotransmitter profile that is conducive to healing.
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