Should your doctor be giving you books of poetry? Expressing your emotions via writing literally makes your body heal more quickly, a new University of Auckland study suggests. Via PubMed:
In this randomized controlled trial, 49 healthy older adults were assigned to write for 20 minutes a day either about upsetting life events (Expressive Writing) or about daily activities (Time Management) for 3 consecutive days.
Two weeks postwriting, 4-mm punch biopsy wounds were created on the inner, upper arm. Wounds were photographed routinely for 21 days to monitor wound reepithelialization.
Participants in the Expressive Writing group had a greater proportion of fully reepithelialized wounds at Day 11 postbiopsy compared with the Time Management group, with 76.2% versus 42.1% healed.
This study extends previous research by showing that expressive writing can improve wound healing in older adults and women. Future research is needed to better understand the underlying cognitive, psychosocial, and biological mechanisms contributing to improved wound healing from these simple, yet effective, writing exercises.