Cancer Recovery and Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)

For decades, the idea that our thoughts and emotions impact physical health was considered ridiculous. Yet in the last four decades, research has shown that prolonged stress and specific traumatic experiences can change the biochemistry of the brain and levels of hormones in the body. It can also work the opposite way meaning that changes in the immune and endocrine systems will create changes in the nervous system, which can lead to changes in emotions such as depression. 1alternative cancer specialist Boston

The term Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) was coined by Robert Ader and Nicholas Cohen back in 1975 at the University of Rochester NY. The main interests of PNI are the interactions between the nervous and immune systems and the relationships between mental processes and health.

Ader and Cohen successfully demonstrated the classic conditioning of immune function in rodents (in the sense of Pavlov’s conditioning of dogs to drool when they heard a bell ring). Their breakthrough work and finding provide the reasoning and foundation for my work in cancer recovery.

While Ader & Cohen were the first to reveal the immunological highways and byways connecting the brain and the immune system, and in doing so identified the paths through which the mind can affect an organic disease like cancer, they were certainly not alone.

According to David Spiegel MD, a psychiatrist and researcher at Stanford University “stress can adversely affect components of the immune system involved in fighting diseases like cancer”. This is a critical statement because based on the law of cause and effect, by resolving the cause of this disruption, these mental patterns of distress, we can neutralize their effect so the immune system can better engage in the elimination of cancer cells.

Considering that cancer kills about one American every minute of every day… this is a worthy goal.

Stressful emotions reduce the effectiveness of immune system cells, including:

  • T-cells that attack invaders and Natural Killer (NK) t-cells that rid the body of cancers
  • Macrophages (large white blood cells) that attack disease directly
  • The cells that fuel chronic inflammation in the body – a big risk factor for cardiovascular disease and cancer 1


There are myriad treatment options available on the conventional spectrum designed to address trauma and offer support. Anything from psychotherapy to medication to support group is offered, and, for the most part these treatment options are effective. Having said that, for those who do not benefit from these modalities, there are other means such as my work for example.

As a holistic practitioner, my work falls under the definition of alternative cancer treatment because it’s not medicine. I can argue that PNI, which is Mind-Body medicine is where my practice belongs, but it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that patients will find the support they need when they need it.

Imagine you could tap into the body’s operating system and turn-on or dial-up the immune response. Would that be beneficial? Of course, it will. After all, you’ve experienced many years of optimal health (before the diagnosis) mainly due to the proper functioning of the immune system. If restored, it is possible that health will be restored as well. That is what my work aims to do.

If you’d like to find out more about how my methods, and how they work in conjunction with your medical treatments, contact me today by email at or by phone 617.564.0707.