Could stress be ruining your recovery?

Cheryl Cole was unlucky to have contracted Malaria while holidaying in Tanzania however it is her hectic lifestyle that is now harming her health, depressing her immune system and preventing her body from recovering.

A friend of the X Factor judge told the Daily Mail: “Doctors have been concerned that her immune system is weaker because she’s been working so hard. They believe this may make it harder for her to recover quickly.”

Most of us have experienced stress in one form or another –– overwork, worry about exams, money, job security, divorce, bereavement, sexual difficulties, marriage problems or poor living conditions. Stress is now recognised as being one of the major disabling effects of 21st century society with a flood of counselling techniques being developed, to help change our behaviour and help to change the way we think and live.

Nobody plans to get sick but when we do, the stress of daily living could be impeding recovery. Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of stress is its effect upon post-operative recovery.

Many more women are choosing to go under the knife in the pursuit of a better body or to look more beautiful but there is one thing that they can do to improve healing…and that is relax!

In recent years, a number of studies have shown that psychological stress slows down wound healing and impairs recovery from surgery.

Through his pioneering research health psychologist, Professor John Weinman from the Insititute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London, has identified causal links with stress after an operation, which can impede and even worsen patient recovery.

At a recent science conference, Professor Weinman presented The Psychology of Healing, offering a clear argument to support that psychological stress can have a detrimental effect upon the physiological state.

“These studies focused specifically on how the life stresses people experience can impact on their ability to recover from different types of wounds,” the professor told the conference. “’The least stressed healed at roughly twice the rate of the most stressed.”

Professor Weinman’s overall aim is to identify psychological interventions to help speed up the recovery and healing process.  But can self-help methods add to this?

Nowadays, alternative therapies and complementary medicines sit alongside conventional medicine as a means of relieving stress and, for the most part, without using medication. Treatments such as aromatherapy, acupuncture, reflexology, behavioural therapy, lifestyle changes and positive thinking are all readily available from registered practitioners.  How successful they are tends to depend on which treatment is chosen and whether the patient embraces them properly.

After any operation or major illness, reducing stress and anxiety is paramount to a quick recovery, and that includes managing a person’s expectations of recovery. Someone who tries to rush back to their busy life may actually end up suffering a set back. In the busy world that we women live in, learning to slow down and relax is an important lesson to be learnt. Let’s just hope Cheryl takes note and takes it at little easy.

For 10 quick stress busters… click here

By Sue Beardshaw
[picture credits: ITV; Digi_shot]
Miss B

Miss B

Miss B is a Belle About Town who likes to bring a little bit of style into every aspect of her life. An experienced journalist with over a decade in the industry she turned to the web to fill a gap for tech-savvy stylish women who want the best life has to offer at their fingertips. She loves a decadent cocktail bar, a beautifully cut dress, the perfect pair of heels, quality over quantity and is partial to Asian-fusion food, enjoys holidaying in the sun and shopping breaks to New York. But her first love is of course London!


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