PNEI according to the ancient oriental vision


The ancient shamanic ‘long life practices’ are lost in the mists of time in Chinese history.

In a dangerous and mysterious world, ancient man sought ways to harmonise and survive in his environment. Through observation of the laws of nature, he sought to interpret the will of ‘Di’, the unknowable supreme deity.

Leading the tribes were shamans, often women, experts in herbal medicine, exorcism and spiritualism, who sought contact with the forces of nature-they were the first physicians in Chinese history.

Their healing techniques included physical movement and vocal emission protocols.

Through these sacred dances, they co-ordinated their body movements and breathing with the breaths of creation, removing perverse energies from the body.

According to the opinion of several scholars, these dances were merely an anticipation of what is now Chi Kung, which also includes the practice of Biospirals, whose fundamental purpose is precisely to bring the body’s Qi back into resonance with the breaths of nature.

Psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology in Traditional Chinese Medicine

“Traditional Chinese Medicine, to which these ancient practices belong, assigns to the Heart the functions that in the West are attributed to the Brain and the Central Nervous System: emotions, consciousness, memory and thought, indicated by the ideogram Shen.

The Heart produces hormones that act directly on the Brain. In practice, the Heart involves the entire organism in the variations of its wide electromagnetic field; it perceives, feels and influences all physiology, starting with the brain.

According to M.T.C., the Brain, the ‘Sea of Midolli’, is formed from Jin-Ye liquids, in particular from Ye, the substances of a Yin nature that feed the tissues. As these liquids thicken, they form the brain, which will then relate to the whole body.

Brain and marrow are an inseparable pair’. (a)

“The bone marrow originates the blood cells that transport nutrients, defence elements, oxygen and waste throughout the body. Thus, the abundance or scarcity of marrow will affect not only the brain and spine, but also the bones.

The Bone, like the Marrow, and therefore the Brain is a tissue connected to the Kidney and the original Essential Breaths. The hard bones contain and protect the soft marrow from which they originate.

For Chinese Medicine, the Kidneys store essential energy, the Jing, and govern the bones and thus the bone marrow enclosed therein, the spinal cord and the brain on which memory, concentration, thinking and the functioning of the sense organs depend.

From all this, one can deduce the presence of an important relationship between the Kidney and the Brain, stemming from the Jin-Ye liquids, which constitute the substance of the Midolli and the Brain and depend on the Kidney for their transformation and distribution, as well as their very close connection to the Heart.

Psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology: the Zang/Fu

During the embryonic development phase, the Shen unite with the forming body structures, generating the various Organs (Zang), true psychosomatic entities.

Chinese Medicine postulates a correspondence between the five Organs (Heart, Lung, Liver, Kidney and Spleen) and their Shen, i.e. the specific psychic aspects of life activity, the ‘Vegetative Souls’ of the individual organs.

The Liver is the seat of Hun, the Lung of Po, the Spleen-Pancreas of Yi, the Kidney of Zhi, while the Heart is the seat of Shen.

The Heart/Mind, also called the Emperor, as the seat of the Shen proper, stands at the absolute top of the hierarchy between internal organs. It is through the Blood that its messages reach all the cells of the various body districts. The strong emotions or difficulties of everyday life, manifested through particular moods, emotions and feelings, which characterise the psycho-physical structure of the individual, influence the functioning of the entire body/mind, of all the Zang/Fu.

For TCM, a balanced and healthy organism is the result of the proper functioning of all organs: there is therefore no concept of organic disease, or psychosomatic illness, as psyche and soma always express themselves simultaneously through each other’. (a)

‘Five emotions and seven feelings’

For M.T.C. there are:

(a) external causes of illness:

– wind;

– cold;

– warmth;

– humidity;

– dryness;

(b) food causes of illness;

c) Internal causes of illness: the Five Emotions and the Seven Feelings.

The Five Emotions are a consequence of the structure of the being, of its temperament. They are related to its congenital characteristics, its genotype.

Emotions, and especially their manifestations of imbalance, are associated with the organs according to the rhythm of the Five Movements.

Connections therefore occur between:

Wood (Liver) and Wrath;

Fire (Heart) and Joy;

Earth (Spleen/Pancreas) and Reflection;

Metal (Lung) and Sadness;

Water (Kidneys) and Fear.

The Seven Feelings, which in addition to the Five Emotions include Worry, which is connected to the Spleen/Lung organs, and Shock, which damages both the Heart and Kidneys, are the fusion of what is inside the individual with what is outside him, the result of the interaction of the genotype (Essence) with the phenotype (Personality). They are the concretisation of the intention, the passage to the act.

The reading of both psychic and physical imbalances, according to this view, is therefore set up in terms of disharmony of a sector of the Energetic Unity (organ/viscera), in relation to the external reality with which it is in resonance.”(a)

The Western view

“Every individual is the result of subtle, nervous, endocrine, hormonal work, as psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology also confirms.

The endocrine system or hormonal system consists of a collection of glands and cells, which secrete substances called hormones.

The endocrine system administers the functioning of the human organism in competition with the nervous system.

The functioning of the endocrine system is characterised by a complex control aimed at precisely meeting the body’s needs. The following are part of the endocrine system: the pituitary gland, epiphysis, thyroid gland, parathyroids, adrenal glands, pancreas. Other organs also have an endocrine function: the ovaries and testicles, the myocardium (part of the heart muscle), the kidney, the thymus, the liver.

The glands are all connected to the pituitary gland. It is through it that the modulation of hormones in the bloodstream takes place.

The pituitary gland itself is then cadenced by the hypothalamus which, by a complex mechanism, regulates multiple functions of the body such as circadian rhythms(1), reproductive activity, blood pressure and body temperature, as well as the autonomic nervous system.

The balanced functioning of the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, therefore, is crucial for the management of the entire body/mind system.

An optimistic and positive outlook will induce a good functioning of this axis and thus a correct calibration of the main hormones. Conversely, a vision

pessimistic will produce imbalances that will have repercussions at different levels, which suggests how much one’s view of the world is connected to one’s state of health and how much it influences it.” (a)


Psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology (PNEI) delineates that field of research that encompasses several scientific-humanistic disciplines, apparently disconnected from each other, such as psychology, biology, neurology, immunology and endocrinology; in other words, the links that unite mind and body.

This science investigates the relationships between the psyche, the nervous system, the endocrine system and the immune system, which, through the transmission in the body of molecules called neuropeptides, interact seamlessly with each other.

Neuropeptides are called ‘psychic molecules’, as they do not only transmit hormonal and metabolic information, but emotions and psychophysical signals.

Every emotional state such as love, fear, pleasure, pain, anxiety, anger, etc., with its complex nuances, called feelings, is conveyed in the body by specific neuropeptides.

The latter, with their receptors, have been found in every part of the body, especially in the blood,(2) the immune system and the intestine, as well as in the nervous system.

We can therefore safely say that emotions and feelings not only participate in the memorisation of experiences, but are the guarantors of most of the neurophysiological processes that regulate or block the functioning of the entire body-mind system.


The cells that enable ‘self-consciousness’ are located in the brain; in particular, the structure involved in the integration of emotional stimuli is the limbic system.

Multiple researches indicate that the amygdala and the hypothalamus, which constitute the central part of the limbic (emotional) brain and are delegated to the government of emotions and memories, are the brain sectors where most information and emotions flow. In the middle of the same area is the pituitary gland, the gland that guides and modulates the functions of all the other glands in the body.

The limbic system establishes deep interconnections with the rest of the brain and with the body’s major apparatuses, such as the endocrine and immune systems, through the diffusion of neuropeptides, in which it is particularly rich.

Many neuropeptides are hormones and perform their task through the Blood(2): it is'(a)through the white blood cells of the Blood, for example, that the immune system is activated to receive and transmit the messages of the neurotransmitters that will carry their messages of health or disease. In the thymus, the gland located just above the heart, is, in fact, located the main seat of the complex T-lymphocyte generation mechanism. (3)

Science has now amply proven that in the mammalian brain, positive emotions facilitate the activation of a series of reactions that trigger immune system functions, while depressive states cause an inhibition of immune resistance. And from the Heart, through a complex mechanism, neurotransmitters go to influence the Hypothalamus.

Each neuropeptide is likely to recall a precise ’emotional tone’ corresponding to a specific psychic situation.'(a)


We can therefore safely say that a correct practice of the so-called ‘medical gymnastics’, to which Biospirals also belong, by helping to increase the production and circulation of Qi in the body, simultaneously stimulates the circulation of Blood and emotions. Qi (Yang) is, in fact, but the most immaterial aspect of Blood (Yin), Blood that, in TCM, is charged with carrying the wills of the Emperor Heart to all bodily districts.

A serene Heart calms all its ‘functionaries’ (Zang/Fu), reducing stress, allowing us to grow as conscious individuals who do not unconsciously burn off the Jing, the ancestral energy, which was given to us at conception and which determines the quality and duration of our existence.

1) Circadian rhythm: a cycle occurring roughly every 24 hours, by which certain physiological processes are regularly repeated. They are regulated by internal factors (the so-called biological clock) and external factors (e.g. light and temperature). In plants, examples of r.c. are the opening and closing movements of stomata, as well as the opening and closing of certain flowers. In animals, a r.c. follows the sleep-wake cycle and the production of certain hormones (e.g. melatonin secreted by the epiphysis)-
2) Crf: Blood in TCM
3) T lymphocytes: blood cells with antibody function, playing a very important role in the immune system.

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