Pen and paper are powerful healers, according to a fascinating British study. Researchers found writing about emotions and feelings helps wounds heal more quickly.
Pen and paper are powerful healers, according to a fascinating British study. Researchers found writing about emotions and feelings helps wounds heal more quickly.For 20 minutes for each of three days, 13 people wrote about how they felt after an upsetting life experience; another 13 wrote about banalities. Afterward, researchers created small skin punctures on participants’ arms.
Upon re-examination two weeks later, researchers found smaller wounds in the participants who wrote about their emotions. Participants in the second group not only had slower wound healing, they also suffered higher levels of stress and mental upset than those in the emotion-writing group.
When presenting at last September’s British Psychology Society conference, researchers postulated that writing about emotions reduces stress, speeds healing, and enables the immune system to work better.
Therapeutic benefit can be harnessed by anyone motivated to try journaling, which is a popular writing technique. For 20 minutes each day, allow yourself the freedom of literary self-expression. Journaling ideas can be found in two excellent books—The Many Faces of Journaling: Topics and Techniques for Personal Journal Writing by Linda C. Senn (Pen Central Press, 2001) and The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron (J.P. Tarcher, 1992).
DGL for acid reflux
Acid reflux disease (aka gastroesophogeal reflux disease or GERD) occurs when stomach acids backwash up into the esophagus, leading to heartburn, bloating, and nausea. If untreated, the condition can cause esophogeal damage, which, in turn, may be linked to esophogeal cancer.
Avoiding acidic or spicy foods, coffee, tea, and alcohol can help reduce the symptoms of GERD. Pharmaceuticals (antacids, H2 antagonists, and proton pump inhibitors) can only treat the symptoms—there is no permanent cure.
Natural-source relief is available in the form of chewable deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) tablets taken before meals. DGL coats the esophagus, decreases inflammation, and reduces discomfort. Don’t substitute regular licorice, which can increase blood pressure, and don’t take any licorice products if you’re pregnant or nursing.