[MOL] Stress can slow healing of cuts and bruises-doctors [01376] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Stress can slow healing of cuts and bruises-doctors



Good Morning,\

Since I firmly believe that stress is a major contributory factor to
many conditions including cancer the following article was of interest
to me. HOpe it is to you as well.

Stress can slow healing of cuts and bruises-doctors

By Patricia Reaney


LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - Stress can slow the body's healing and
recovery
process by lowering levels of key immune system chemicals, American
researchers said on Thursday.

Professor Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, a psychologist at Ohio State University
of
Medicine, told a British Psychological Society conference in Winchester
that
wounds in stressed people can take as much as 24 percent longer to heal
than
other patients.

But relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery and visualisation, can
help
to relieve stress and boost the immune response.

``The line of research we are doing suggests that stress has large
effects on
wound healing,'' Kiecolt-Glaser told Reuters.

``It may be related to psychological literature that suggests that more
stress before surgery is associated with a lower and more troubled
recovery.''

Kiecolt-Glaser and her husband, immunologist Dr Ronald Glaser, compared
the
healing process and measured immune system chemicals called cytokines in
36
women who were given a small wound on their arm.

Half of the women were caring for relatives suffering from Alzheimer's
disease and had high scores on a standard stress test. The other women
had
average stress levels.

There were no differences between the two groups apart from the stress
levels, but Kiecolt-Glaser said the wound of the carers took nine days
longer
to heal than the other group.

The blood samples of the carers also had lower levels of cytokines,
which aid
the wound healing process by causing inflammation.

STRESS DELAYS STAGES OF HEALING

In other studies the researchers measured the body's immune response at
the
site of an open blister and the impact of relaxation techniques.

``The two subsequent studies were designed to examine response at a
wound
site as it evolves over 24 hours,'' Kiecolt-Glaser said.

By placing plastic plate with a special solution of blood serum and
saline to
mimic the body's response over an open blister they were able to watch
as
cytokines migrated to the serum and to determine if their levels
increased.

``Stress was associated with significantly slower secretion of cytokines
at
the wound site,'' she added.

The husband and wife team suspect that if stress reduces the level of
cytokines very early after wounding then all the stages that follow in
the
healing process are delayed, which explains the longer healing time.

Half of the participants in the third study were also given relaxation
sessions to determine if it could reverse the effects of stress.

``There were significantly more cells that migrated into the wound sites
among individuals who were given relaxation,'' Kiecolt-Glaser said.

God Bless You All,
marty auslander
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