Emotional Disclosure Can Help Those Living With RA

Unhurry®️ founder, Rachna Chhachhi is a rheumatoid arthritis warrior. Her healing became enhanced when she began emotional disclosure for past traumas. Subsequently, in 2009, she began treating autoimmune patients across the world and found that empirical evidence pointed to positive clinical outcomes when along with medicines, nutrition, breathwork, counselling was added to help release suppressed emotions and experiences. This research article is the first step by clinicians to recognise the connection between emotional disclosures and recovery in autoimmune. We hope more such researches are conducted and evidence of emotions and recovery for autoimmune patients is accepted as an integrative treatment methodology.

The efficacy of emotional disclosure in alleviating psychological and physical stress has been well documented in controlled laboratory studies. A next step is to evaluate its clinical utility in ‘real world’ settings. A group of Dutch investigators adapted the emotional disclosure intervention for use in home-based settings by stimulating the suggested effective ingredients of cognitive-emotional processing, and evaluated its psychological and clinical effectiveness.

Reviews indicated the need to examine the physiological changes brought about by emotional disclosure, which may be particularly relevant in immune-mediated diseases. This study was the first to examine neuroendocrine and immune changes after emotional disclosure in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Sixty-eight patients were randomly assigned to four weekly oral emotional disclosure or time management sessions.

At baseline and 1 week and 3 months after the sessions, depressed and cheerful mood, joint scores, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, cortisol, noradrenaline, interleukin-6 (IL-6), interferon- (IFN- ), and IL-10 were evaluated. Repeated measures analyses of variance were performed. At the end of the investigation, no effect on psychological well-being and clinical outcome was found (p 0.10). Cortisol (p = 0.01) and the serum level of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IFN- (p = 0.05) were differentially affected by the two conditions.

The change of IL-6 nearly reached significance (p = 0.07). The physiological changes are in agreement with theories on the mechanisms underlying emotional disclosure benefits and are suggestive of better disease control after emotional disclosure. General and study-specific reasons for the absence of psychological and clinical effects are discussed. The findings warn against widespread implementation of this home-based emotional disclosure intervention in unselected rheumatoid arthritis samples.

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Materials provided by Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

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