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Anger slows healing process after injury: Study

    Fri, 2008-02-22 00:05 — Bevois

    PARIS (AFP) - The adage that laughter is the best medicine has been backed by an unusual investigation which says that people who seethe with anger take longer to recover from injury.

    Previous studies have linked ill tempered behaviour, whether brow-beating or road rage, with higher incidence of coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke, especially among men.

    But the new study, published on Wednesday in the British journal Brain, Behaviour, Immunity, is the first controlled experiment that directly measures the impact of ire on the healing process.

    Researchers at the University of Ohio inflicted minor burns on the forearms of 98 volunteers who were then monitored over eight days to see how quickly the skin repaired itself.

    The subjects had each taken a battery of psychological tests beforehand to assess how easily and often they felt and expressed wrath, and were then ranked on an "anger scale."

    Persons who took certain pharmaceutical drugs, smoked cigarettes or drank excessive quantities of caffeine-laden coffee were excluded, along with individuals who were extremely over- or under-weight.

    The results were startlingly clear: individuals who had trouble controlling expressions of anger were four times likelier to need more than four days for their wounds to heal, compared with counterparts who could master their anger.

    But the researchers were also surprised to find that anger has its nuances, too.

    Subjects described as showing "anger out" (regular outbursts of aggression or hostility) or "anger in" (repressed rage) healed almost as quickly as individuals who ranked low on all anger scales.

    Only those who tried but failed to hold in their feelings of upset and distemper took longer to heal.

    This same group also showed a higher secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, which could at least partly explain the difference in healing time, the study noted.

    Earlier research has shown a clear link between cortisol and anger. Hostile men who yelled at spouses during marital spats secreted more of the endocrine modulator within minutes, as did teachers experiencing high levels of stress in the classroom.

    High levels of cortisol appears to decrease the production at the point of injury of two cytokines crucial to the repair process, suggests the study.

    Cytokines are proteins released by immune-system cells. They act as signallers to generate a wider immune response.

    "The ability to regulate the expression of one's anger has a clinically relevant impact on wound healing," concludes lead author Jean-Philippe Gouin, a psychologist at the University of Ohio.

    Anger-control therapy could help patients recovering from surgery or injury heal more quickly, the paper says.

    Anger slows healing process after injury: Study

    Tagged: On The Mat

    lorenzodamarith's picture

    hello,

    that is very interesting bevois. you always deliver!!!! gonna have to read the entire study a bit later. sometimes it seems like bevois is a member of the AMA (american medical association).

    "dr. bevois, we presume?"

    hahahahahaha!!!

    thanks

    Your rating: None
    TapperOuter's picture

    i call bs on this one. if it were true how could people like Detective Mason Storm or Beatrix Kiddo exact their revenge so quickly?? just doesn't make sense!!!

    Your rating: None
    lorenzodamarith's picture

    TapperOuter;19543 wrote:
    i call bs on this one. if it were true how could people like Detective Mason Storm or Beatrix Kiddo exact their revenge so quickly?? just doesn't make sense!!!

    hello,

    they must be cyborgs.

    thanks

    Your rating: None
    dr.kimura's picture

    Hmmm, judging by the look in his eyes sparring today Paul's wrist is going to be sore for a while.

    Your rating: None
    lorenzodamarith's picture

    hello,

    paul's wrist must be the victim of some "good natured" sparring, neh?

    agreed, good state of mind certainly makes it easier to relax and lowers general stress. doctors have said this helps recover from illness and injury for a long time. used to think it was just a way to keep patients from complaining!

    still, positive attitude is conducive to a better life, recovery speed or not.

    thanks

    Your rating: None
    dr.kimura's picture

    lorenzodamarith;19607 wrote:
    hello,
    paul's wrist must be the victim of some "good natured" sparring, neh?

    It always feels good to catch your instructor with something he taught you.

    Your rating: None
    lorenzodamarith's picture

    dr.kimura;19618 wrote:
    It always feels good to catch your instructor with something he taught you.

    hello,

    "turnabout is fair play"... isn't that how the saying goes?!

    hahahahahahaha!!

    thanks

    Your rating: None
    LovatoJr's picture

    Positive thinking can solve anything.

    Your rating: None
    KibunInc's picture

    No wonder I heal slowly, I am always pissed off when I am injured. :cool:

    I do believe in the power of positive thinking. Anyone into martial arts just about has to be into their body and healing.

    Your rating: None
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