Life stress held in your body

In my Karuna Institute trauma training as a psychotherapist I was taught that all of our life trauma is held at a cellular level, this was hard to accept but it’s official. Thanks to information shared on the BBC Radio 4 Program Unhappy Child, Unhealthy Adult.

Research results from a study

Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study.

by the Department of Preventive Medicine, Southern California Permanente Medical Group (Kaiser Permanente), San Diego 92111, USA. Which looked at ACE scores (Adverse Childhood Experience) their conclusion was

We found a strong graded relationship between the breadth of exposure to abuse or household dysfunction during childhood and multiple risk factors for several of the leading causes of death in adults.

Professor Mark Bellis used the ACE scoring in his report on 2000 people called Adverse Childhood Experiences and their impact on health-harming behaviours in the Welsh adult population  in a Landmark Study in Wales.

A paper given by Elissa S. Epel for The National Academy of Science of the United States of America stated in a study on Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress concluded that

although the exact pathway of events from perception of stress in the brain to somatic cell longevity is unclear, the results reported here now implicate shorter telomeres in the adverse health sequelae of prolonged psychological stress.

Telomeres are associated with the chromosome cell regeneration and repair. On the Radio 4 program Elissa spoke of

problems with having shorter telomeres in our immune system making us unable to fight infections and systemic inflammation in our blood …. a major driver of the diseases of aging …. short telomere in tissues of other organs limiting cell renewal. Length of the telomere are a good predictor of “life span”.

Some good news Life Style Changes may lengthen telomeres so it’s not all bad.