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Psychological stress and psychosomatic treatment: major impact on serious blood disorders?

Objective: To demonstrate evidence of possible major impacts of psychological stress and psychosomatic interventions on myeloproliferative blood disorders and develop new approaches for the unification and quantified analysis of stress and psychosomatic treatments. Methods: This 3.5- year longitudinal study was based upon the regular blood tests of a person with myelofibrosis who experienced severe and repeated work-related psychological stress and was subjected to psychosomatic treatment in the form of regular (~4 h per day) self-hypnosis sessions. Statistical data analysis was conducted on the basis of an introduced concept of generalized stress that mathematically unifies psychological stress and psychosomatic treatment. Results: Severe stress and psychosomatic treatment were statistically shown to have a major (dominant) impact on blood platelet counts well described by an exponential dependence on cumulative levels of generalized stress. The typical relaxation time for the impacts of both stress and treatment was shown to be ~2 months. Only ~12% of the total variation in platelet counts could be attributed to factors other than psychological stress and psychosomatic treatment. The psychosomatic intervention resulted in a consistent reduction of high platelet counts from ~1,400 × 10(9) l(-1) to approximately the middle of the normal range, with other blood parameters being either approximately stable or showing indications of a strengthening immune system. Conclusions: Our findings give hope for a possible development of psychosomatic treatments of at least some blood disorders. They also indicate a highly instrumental role of platelets in the quantified analysis of stress, psychosomatic interventions, and their neuroimmunological pathways.

Neuroimmunomodulation. 2011;18(3):171-83. Epub 2011 Feb 9. Gramotnev DK, Gramotnev G. Centre for Psychosomatic Treatment, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld., Australia.

Posted: 05/27/2011

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