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PSYCHOLOGY NEWS BLOG - January 2015

by Dr. Lynn Margolies

 

JANUARY 2015

Good News on the Mind’s Impact on Physical Health.

...A recent large scale study found that social support and frequent hugs from trusted others protected people from the increased vulnerability to infection associated with being stressed, and reduced the severity of their symptoms. The more hugs, the greater the protection. This healing effect on the immune system was attributable to a possible combination of the physical contact, as well as the experience of feeling supported (which has previously found to be associated with enhanced immunity and recovery from psychological and medical conditions).

Reference:
​Carnegie Mellon University. (2014, December 17). Hugs help protect against stress, infection, say researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141217101316.htm

…A new study gives scientific evidence that trauma can damage DNA, but, also, that psychotherapy can heal the damage. This finding further supports other research on the positive effect of psychotherapy in changing the brain and the positive ways the mind can impact biology. Previous research has demonstrated a connection between traumatic stress and increased risk for many diseases, including cancer.

Reference:
Morath J., Moreno-Villanueva M., Hamuni G., Kolassa S., Ruf-Leuschner M., Schauer M., Elbert T., Bürkle A., Kolassa I.T. (2014). Effects of psychotherapy on DNA strand break accumulation originating from traumatic stress. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 83, 289-297.

...In a recent study subjects who were immobilized in a cast who regularly visualized contracting their muscles in a virtual strength building program lost 50% less muscle strength. This research demonstrates that the mind can impact the body at the cortical level through neurological mechanisms.

Reference:
​American Physiological Society (APS). (2014, December 31). Mind over matter: Can you think your way to strength?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141231154012.htm

Relevant Articles:

Psychotherapy

Executive Function Problem or Just a Lazy Kid (Part 1)

Executive Function Problem or Just a Lazy Kid (Part 2)

Trauma, PTSD

Getting Unhooked From Pain and Choosing Happiness

 

To see other similar articles, click on the following links: Psychology News Blog

 
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