Scientists have shown that the stress caused by key life events such as divorce, bereavement, unemployment and other life changing events end up making the body's genetic material age prematurely. Sadly, it has also been shown that this may then raise the risk of serious illness including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Tiny structures called telomeres which are the biological caps at the ends of chromosomes which protect the DNA are key to this scientific discovery. They naturally shorten with age, however for the first time it has been found that stress can also shorten them. The more stressful the life events the faster they shorten.
The study at the University Medical Centre Groningen in the Netherlands, examined the telomere length of 1,094 adults at intervals of 4 and 6 years whilst noting their key life events during this time span.
Dr van Ockenburg discovered that the effect of stress was greater than age itself. The link between neuroticism and and faster telomere decay was also noted - 'If people tend to worry more or are more irritable, their telomeres decrease faster', she said.
On a positive note, if the individual exercised or dealt with the problem with a more positive mindset then the telomeres tend to suffer less.
This brings me to the role hypnotherapy can play in the health and wellbeing of an individual going through a stressful life event:
I have helped clients from all walks of life deal with major emotional events for almost 20 years now and the combination of therapeutic interventions that I specialise in are particularly helpful in this pursuit.
Please call or email if you want to discuss your situation with me.
John Plester is Principal Tutor of the East Anglian Institute of Hypnotherapy and runs his private clinic in the heart of Norwich.