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...happiness is what we feel when our biochemicals of emotion, the neuropeptides and their receptors, are open and flowing freely throughout the psychosomatic network, integrating and coordinating our systems, organs, and cells in a smooth and rhythmic movement. Health and happiness are often mentioned in the same breath, and maybe this is why: Physiology and emotions are inseparable. I believe that happiness is our natural state, that bliss is hardwired. Only when our systems get blocked, shut down, and disarrayed do we experience the mood disorders that add up to unhappiness in the extreme.
Viruses use the same receptors as neuropeptides to enter into a cell, and depending on how much of the natural peptide for a particular receptor is around and available to bind, the virus that fits that receptor will have an easier or harder time getting into the cell. Because the molecules of emotion are involved in the process of a virus entering the cell, it seems logical to assume that the state of our emotions will affect whether or not we succumb to viral infection.
The entire lining of the intestines, from the esophagus through the large intestine, and including each of the seven sphincters, is lined with cells—nerve cells and other kinds of cells—that contain neuropeptides and receptors. It seems entirely possible to me that the density of receptors in the intestines may be why we feel our emotions in that part of the anatomy, often referring to them as “gut feelings.
Neuropeptides, those chemicals secreted by the brain and known to mediate mood and behavior, were clearly signaling the cancer cells via their receptors and causing them to grow and travel, or metastasize, to different parts of the body.
The immune system was potentially capable of both sending information to the brain via immunopeptides and of receiving information from the brain via neuropeptides (which hooked up with receptors on the immune cell surfaces).
The superior colliculus in the midbrain, another nodal point of neuropeptide receptors, controls the muscles that direct the eyeball, and affects which images are permitted to fall on the retina and hence to be seen.
...neuropeptides can alter blood flow from one part of the body to another—the rate of blood flow is an important aspect of prioritizing and distributing the finite resources available to our body.
Emotional states or moods are produced by the various neuropeptide ligands, and what we experience as an emotion or a feeling is also a mechanism for activating a particular neuronal circuit—simultaneously throughout the brain and body—which generates a behavior involving the whole creature, with all the necessary physiological changes that behavior would require.