Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Balance

Font Size

The Heart Speaks (Are You Listening?)

Loneliness, anger, and grief can break hearts as easily as high blood pressure. To heal the heart, feel the love.

Consumers Driving the Movement

Health consumers and frustrated patients are pulling the nation's medical community into arenas of spirituality and alternative medicine, says Guarneri. "People are dissatisfied with conventional treatments. They're moving to treatments that are more conducive to their belief systems… and they believe that stress and their environment affect their health," she tells WebMD.

One government study showed that Americans were making twice as many visits to alternative and complementary providers, compared with primacy care doctors. The practices ranged from deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation to hypnosis, guided imagery, and meditation.

Michael Irwin, MD, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine, is also director of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology. It's a research center named for the late Norman Cousins, a journalist who, in the late 1970s, introduced Americans to the concept of holistic healing -- that positive emotions can impact one's health.

"There has been increased interest in how the body communicates -- specifically, how the immune system communicates -- with the brain," Irwin tells WebMD. He is investigating the link between emotions and immunity. As scientists have found with many diseases including heart disease, the process of inflammation is a central player.

"People who are depressed -- and who have heart disease -- are more likely to have higher levels of cytokines, molecules that are linked with immunity and with inflammation," he explains. "There's good evidence from animal studies that increased levels of cytokines put people at risk for depression, which becomes a vicious cycle that leads to greater heart disease."

Through functional MRI, researchers "can examine very precisely how people respond to a change… exactly how their brain activity is altered when they relax or if they have higher cytokine levels," explains Irwin. "As a medical doctor, I want to know how these findings affect my patients -- and people with heart disease may be more sensitive to stressors. Depressed people are more sensitive to stressors. Until we understand that, we can't develop new treatments."

Irwin's studies have looked at the effects of tai chi on the immune system, he says. A new grant from the National Institute on Aging will be used to study effects of tai chi in improving insomnia by improving inflammation and cytokine levels.

Today on WebMD

woman in yoga class
6 health benefits of yoga.
beautiful girl lying down of grass
10 relaxation techniques to try.
mature woman with glass of water
Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
coffee beans in shape of mug
Get the facts.
Take your medication
Hand appearing to hold the sun
Hungover man
Welcome mat and wellington boots
Woman worn out on couch
Happy and sad faces
Fingertip with string tied in a bow
laughing family