Bringing stress under control, both nutritionally and with technique can improve a variety of health problems—including severe ones like cancer and AIDS. An article appearing in the Medical Tribune (February 10, 1994;28) stated that stress reduction can even help with AIDS and cancer. A study of 800 AIDS patients found that a pessimistic view about health had dire consequences. Those who felt pessimistic about being HIV positive became sick sooner and died earlier than patients with a more positive attitude.
Another study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (April 6, 2005;293(13):1626-1634) found that a combination of exercise and stress management was beneficial to patients with ischemic heart disease. In other research appearing in the Archives of Internal Medicine ( October 27, 1997;157:2213-2223) looked at 121 men and 15 women with coronary artery disease and ischemia during mental stress testing or ambulatory EKG monitoring. The subjects were given an exercise program or a stess management program. The program lasted 16 weeks. Subjects were monitored for 38 weeks after the study. During the follow-up period 21% of the subjects had at least one cardiac event. Statistically the stress management group fared better than the controls and the exercise group, with a relative risk of 0.26 for a cardiac event (when compared to the control group). The relative risk in the exercise group was lower than that of the control group, but not nearly as good as the stress-reduction group.
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) respond to stress management. Research appearing in the journal Digestion (1991;50:36-42) divided a group of 35 patients with IBS, giving one group traditional therapy and the other stress management. The stress management included sessions explaining the symptoms with relation to stress, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. More than 60% of those receiving the stress management had fewer episodes of irritable bowel and the symptoms during those episodes were less severe. Other research appearing in The American Journal of Gastroenterology (1994;89(8):1219-1225) found a connection between psychological stress and the severity of the mucosal abnormalities and the symptoms in ulcerative colitis patients.
Other health problems that respond to stress reduction include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, eczema, allergies and asthma. The hormonal changes of stress affect white blood cell activity and immunity. No matter what the health problem, bringing stress under control will improve it.