Question: Hello Prof. Nicolson: Are you familiar with the work of Candace Pert who wrote "Molecules of Emotion"; Dr. John Sarno who wrote "The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders"; and Dr Gabor Mate's book "When the Body Says No"? I found all three made for fascinating, thought-provoking reading. Candace Pert Quote “A feeling sparked in your mind will translate as a peptide being released somewhere. Peptides regulate every aspect of your body, from whether you're going to digest your food properly to whether you're going to destroy a tumor cell.” What are your views re psychological origins and manifestation as physical chronic pain? Eg., main factor, possible/probable contributing factor not to be dismissed, or utter nonsense ? With thanks, Jean Reply: There are certainly peptides and proteins that are released as a response to mental stress. In addition to the well-known flight/fight responses and secretion of adrenaline and other hormones and peptides, there are a host of other more subtle molecules and peptides that are released because of human emotional responses. That these could translate into chronic physical pain seems reasonable, although most of these are short-lived in our body and would not persist long-term. Peptides are usually destroyed rather quickly by proteases circulating in our blood and lymph, and this may be important in returning our systems to normal after an emotional episode. On the other hand, if these systems are stuck in the “on” position, then such proteins/peptides could be continually produced instead of intermittently produced in response to some emotional event.