Relationship Between Stress and HCV


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Typically, one of the most beneficial things a person with hepatitis can do is to avoid stress and get lots of rest. Stress does not merely mean only unpleasant experiences, but rather any biological stressors, physical or emotional, which prompt a protective reaction in the body. Failure to avoid stress often leads to short-term and long-term set-backs which may be serious.

High-stress events sometimes seem to "trigger" the flareups of the virus and they will usually worsen the symptoms if the virus is already active. Medical studies show that stress plays an important role in several immune-mediated illnesses.

Foul Liver, Foul Mood (an excerpt from Natural Health Magazine, April 1996)

Stress and the Immune System

Psychological Stress and Susceptibility to Infectious Diseases

Stress Management

Laughter and a positive spirit are good for the body. They provide interferon, the body's natural infection fighter, and produce endorphins to combat depression and anxiety.

Relaxation and Visualization Tips

Adjust the light in the room so it is soft and restful. If possible, use a quiet room and close the door so you will not be interrupted. However, a quiet room is not always necessary for relaxation. Familiar noises may actually be restful and give you a sense of peace and safety. You may find it helpful to play some gentle, soothing music at a low volume.

Make yourself comfortable in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor. You can also lay down on a couch or mat. The main point is to be as comfortable as possible.

Pay close attention to your breathing. Let your breaths come out in a natural rhythm; don't try to control the pace. After a few minutes of this, start to take a few calm, deep breaths, repeating the words "relax" to yourself as you exhale.

Next, focus your attention on your face, eyes, jaw - wherever you feel tension. Make a mental image of that tension, like a coiled spring, a rope tied in a knot. Then picture the tense object relaxing, uncoiling, coming out of the knot. Relax your facial features and feel the wave of peacefulness start to spread throughout your body.

You may experience a wave of heaviness, lightness, tingling, warmth, or coolness. Don't be alarmed. Accept each sensation as part of the relaxation process. Go with whatever you're feeling,being careful not to let your mind drift to unpleasant thought. If you find yourself unable to concentrate, start back with the deep breathing until the tension starts to flow out of you once more.

Move your mind now to each area of your body, working your way slowly down all the way to your feet and toes. Momentarily tense each part as you go, then let yourself relax. Go limp and enjoy the peaceful state for a few minutes. Sit still, concentrating on your breathing - deep cleansing breaths.

When you are ready to rejoin the rest of the world, simply let your mind focus on the sounds in the room. Gradually let your eyelids become lighter, then open your eyes. Slowly get up and notice how you can combine the feeling of relaxation with the alertness needed for your everyday activities.


To start your session, play some soothing music, such as ocean sounds, or anything that is soft and soothing to you. Just be sure to keep the volume low enough during the meditation so as not to distract you from the relaxing images that will begin to form in your head.

Make yourself as comfortable as possible. Usually, it's better to uncross the hands and feet, sothere is not pressure on them. Begin to become aware of your breathing, focusing on the motoin of yourchest and abdomen as you breathe in and out deeply. Some people find it helps to repeat a word such as"relax" or "peace" to themselves with each breath. Take nice deep breaths, letting go of all your tensionand stress, and let the peace and relaxing sounds of the music and your breathing come in to your mind.

When you feel ready, look upward and let your eyes gently close, or if you prefer, keep your eyes open. Thekey here is for you to find what works best for yourself. To find a way to unwind. As you start to relax, allow the sensation to move down through your body, relaxing the tense muscles. Start with the neck and shoulders, letting the wave of peace move down into your chest, abdomen, and eventually into your lower extremities. Your body may start to feel heavy or warm, or tingle. It may help to give the wave of peace a color, and let it color your body as it moves down, covering you in warmth and peace.

In your mind's eye, allow a pleasant scene to appear. This will be your special little corner of the world...maybe in the middle of nowhere. As you travel there, become aware of all the vivid colors that you know are there. Also become aware of the aromas, sounds, and textures of your special place. You will feel safe, this is your place. It feels just right for you. Go to your favorite area of your special place, and find a spot to sit or lie down. Open your arms wide and let the sun shine on your face. Laugh out loud and feel the freedom of being totally safe and secure. In your special place you are free from pain and sickness. If there is any illness in your body, see your treatment and your immune system eliminating the illness from your body. See yourself becoming well and becoming the person you'd like to be. If there is a tree in your special place, imagine the leaves on the tree are your illness. Pick the leaves off the tree and toss them into the wind, letting them soar far, far away. As the leaves of your illness begin to soar, you feel light and carefree also. Full of energy and good health.

Take as long as you want in this place of self-healing.

After you feel satisfied and content, look around for a pathway back to the room you were in. Start to become aware of the pressure your body is making in the chair or on the floor. Focus again on your breathing - breathe deeply in and out. Begin to wiggle your fingers and toes. You will become more aware of your surroundings, but will still have the happy, healthy peace of mind you had while you were in your special place. Before you arise and go about the rest of your day, pick a word to associate with this great feeling of happiness and healing you have just experienced. Then if you feel yourself becoming fretful or stressed, repeat the word to yourself until you begin to recapture some of the magic of your special place.

Also visit this site for information on self-hypnosis!

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