Massage lowers stress and pain levels for children as well as adults. A growing body of evidence indicates that trauma experienced in childhood follows a person through life.
In recent months, MASSAGE Magazine has reported on various research studies showing that abuse and trauma experienced in childhood may lead to arthritis, headache and other pain conditions later in life, and that babies who receive lots of good attention grow up to be better-adjusted adults.
New research suggests childhood abuse and adversity may shorten lifespans and also weaken immune response when one is aged.
“What happens in childhood really matters when it comes to your immune response in the latter part of your life,” explained Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Ohio State University, in a press release.
The new study showed that children who experience serious abuse or adverse experiences could have their lifespans shortened by seven to 15 years.
Kiecolt-Glaser and colleagues surveyed 132 healthy older adults who averaged 70 years old, and used blood tests to check for stress markers.
Nearly one-third of the people in the study said they’d experience some form of physical, emotional or sexual abuse during childhood. Participants who said they’d either been abused or suffered adverse experiences as kids showed higher levels of stress markers than those who didn’t.
Participants who reported being abused showed greater levels of depression than those who weren’t; however, those who faced childhood adversity showed no significant increase in depression.
Kiecolt-Glaser presented on “How Stress Kills: Assessing the Damage and Various Remedies” at the American Psychological Association‘s 118th Annual Convention.
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