Dear Editor – An article published this week reported the results of a six year study by Chicago researchers who tracked more than 2000 people aged fifty and over and found that those suffering from loneliness were twice as likely to die prematurely than the least lonely. Loneliness has almost double the impact on premature death as obesity.
Lead researcher and psychologist John Cacioppo stated, “The consequences to health are dramatic, as feeling isolated from others can disrupt sleep, elevate blood pressure, increase morning rises in the stress hormone cortisol, alter gene expression in immune cells, increase depression and lower overall subjective well-being.”
Tackling the whole person when approaching disease is a vital element of healthcare often overlooked. Emotional disruption is often at the very core of illness and the resultant physiological effects can be dramatic. We talk of stress with the expectation that it is something most people experience on a daily basis, yet the effects of prolonged stress and the resultant high levels of cortisol, cause widespread damage throughout the body.
Humans are social creatures. We do not thrive in a social climate where personal achievements and gains are more highly valued than family and community networks. It is vital that we recognise and bring into balance all aspects of our being, physical, mental and emotional, to reach old age well equipped to face the challenges it will bring to us all.
At the Herbal Clinic we invest time and energy uncovering the cause of a problem and supporting patients’ progress towards a resolution by frequent communication throughout their treatment. This method has proved successful in over thirty years of practice.
The Herbal Clinic in Swansea provides natural healthcare with the use of organic herbs, acupuncture and iridology.