Cells, strokes & stress

We used to be worlds apart……medical science and hypnotherapy. 

The placebo effect while well documented was unexplainable…..How could just believing something would work actually affect a physiological change. And not just for the little stuff either, the placebo effect has been seen in cancer remission, fertility, heart and lung disease recovery rates to name but a few.
Research in this area is now managing to bring our worlds a lot closer. Changing how you think affects the cellular environment, which affects the development of genetic markers in your DNA.

So research published this week has shown that when Mum and Dad got together and created a little single celled you, not only did you get a unique blend of their DNA you also got a map of instructions overlaid onto that DNA that manipulates how much those genes get to affect you. They can be silenced or boosted but most importantly the map is termed 'epigenetic.' Which means that ultimately environment is the deciding factor in how those cells develop. 

So……no longer single celled obviously, that epigenetic map is inside of every single cell in your body, all the new ones being created daily to replace the worn out ones and all with the ability to develop a little differently to whats gone before as the environment in which they flourish is changed by you.

So with that bit of background what's to be done.

Well in another paper an 11 year multiethnic study has too been published this week. It has studied the effects of negative emotions, particularly stress on the incidence of strokes and cardiovascular disease in a sample of 6700 people. 

Higher levels of stress, hostility and depressive symptoms are associated with significantly increased risk of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) in middle-age and older adults, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

A TIA is a stroke caused by a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain.

Researchers measured chronic stress in five domains: personal health problems, health problems of others close to the participant, job or ability to work, relationships and finances.

In follow-up for an additional 8.5 to 11 years, 147 strokes and 48 TIAs occurred.
Compared to people with the lowest psychological scores, those with highest scores were

• 86 percent more likely to have a stroke or TIA for high depressive symptoms.
• 59 percent more likely to have a stroke or TIA for the highest chronic stress scores.
• More than twice as likely to have a stroke or TIA for the highest hostility scores.
• No significant increased risk was linked to anger.

"There's such a focus on traditional risk factors - cholesterol levels, blood pressure, smoking and so forth - and those are all very important, but studies like this one show that psychological characteristics are equally important," said Susan Everson-Rose, Ph.D., M.P.H., study lead author and associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

These associations noted in the study were significant even when researchers accounted for age, race, sex, health behaviors and other known risk factors of stroke.
APA American Heart Association. (2014, July 15). "Increased stroke risk linked to high stress, hostility, depression." Medical News Today. Retrieved from

The FAST recognise stroke picture

Just maybe you can act even faster and change your psychological environment now.