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Immunological changes associated with clinical improvement of asthmatic children

14 Aug

A pilot study in Venezuela on 35 asthmatic children shows that 6 months of psychosocial intervention, teaching them relaxation, guided imagery and self esteem techniques, created impressive reduction in their asthmatic reactions. Nineteen children were assigned to the intervention group, and 16 to the control condition. Both groups received conventional treatment. During the 6 months of the study, the intervention group experienced significantly fewer asthmatic episodes, less use of bronchodilator medication and improved pulmonary function when compared with 6 months before the intervention. In addition, this group had a significant reduction in IgE responses against primary allergens, an increase in NK (natural killer) cells, along with other impressive changes in surface markers - in fact, these became similar to those of non-asthmatic kids from the same vicinity. None of these changes were seen in the controls.

Citation: Castes M, Hagel I, Palenque M, Canelones P, Corao A, Lynch N. Immunological Changes Associated with Clinical Improvement of Asthmatic Children Subjected to Psychological Invention. Brain, Behavior and Immunity; 13, 1-3, 1999.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award