Immune System Can Be Controlled by Thought

immune system controlled by thought

Movies about psychics often show how they whisper a spell over a bleeding wound, and it skins over; or how they look closely at a terminally ill person, and he immediately gets better.

Physicians call such healers charlatans. However, recent studies have shown that some aspects of immunity indeed can be controlled by thought. In particular, our brain is able to influence the intensity of the allergic reaction. Such a fantastic conclusion was made by researchers from the University of South Australia.

In an experiment, several healthy volunteers were injected with histamine, which is produced in large quantities by our immune system in the case of allergic attacks. Histamine was injected in the arms of the volunteers, but the experiment was organized in such a way that they thought that the drug was injected in a rubber doll. At the same time, a real injection was made in their other arm.

Then the scientists compared the size of the allergic response on both arms of the participants, as well as the one of the control group that had no illusion. It turned out that when the volunteers thought that the histamine injection had been made to the doll, the effect of histamine on the arm that had been replaced by the rubber one was much stronger. It looked as if the brain ceased to follow the immune system because of the made injection. The illusion also provoked a decrease in blood flow and temperature in the allegedly replaced arm.

Such a finding is particularly relevant to the immune system because a primary role of the immune system is to discriminate self from non-self,” said Prof Lorimer Moseley, who led the study.

“In this instance, the innate immune system is being up regulated in a manner consistent with rejection of the replaced hand.”

“These findings strengthen the argument that the brain exerts some kind of control over specific body parts according to how strongly we own them,” he says.

So, it could mean that in many ways the immune system is influenced by the consciousness. This discovery could also shed light on autoimmune diseases such as schizophrenia, stroke, autism, epilepsy, anorexia and bulimia, which are associated with a distorted sense of ownership over a patient’s body and in which the immune system ‘attacks’ the body.

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Anna LeMind

Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.

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  1. Alan Santana June 4, 2014 at 2:05 am - Reply

    This is great. I always knew that the brain is directly related to your immune system, we see it way too often when we feel down or depressed how easy we get sick but when you are feeling great, and jumping around almost nothing can touch you.

    The body is indeed a unique machine.

    Think of all those doctors that tell patients that they are going to die or something like “you will have that for life”. That is the first hit the patient gets and automatically lowers his/her immune system.

    I know of some cases were people would be cured or highly improved just by telling them that they are being cured and a placebo.

  2. Christian Rath June 4, 2014 at 3:06 am - Reply

    Absolutely sensational article. Good Work !!!

  3. Aaron June 4, 2014 at 5:28 am - Reply

    It’s called the placebo effect… this is old news

  4. Alan Seletkovic June 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Well yes, this has been known for a very long time in the East, but West started catching up only in the past 50 odd years.

    In simple parlance, it is called “Placebo Effect”, but the only ones taking it seriously are Pharmaceuticals.

    Rather unfortunate really.

  5. Steef van Velzen June 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    This is proved with much harder data through ‘Wim Hof’ in the Netherlands. Here’s an article published in Nature:

  6. Bilaboa June 5, 2014 at 10:17 am - Reply

    This news is really good, that gives me being barrigud and with my positive monde thinking drinking less armaturas.

  7. G June 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    So…they identified the placebo effect, what’s new?

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