The Stress — Disease Connection
While not every expert agrees on which diseases are linked to stress and which to other factors such as bacteria or genetics, an increasing number of scientists and others believe that the interrelatedness of the body and mind means that stress can contribute to, if not cause, almost any physical problem. Conversely, physical illness and injury can contribute to stress.
The result is a whirlpool of stress — disease — more stress — more disease, which can ultimately cause serious damage to the body, mind, and spirit. The “which came first” question may be irrelevant, and quibbling about which conditions are caused by stress and which are not may be irrelevant as well.
Managing stress — whether it caused physical problems or resulted from them — will put the body into a more balanced state, and a body that is more balanced is in a better position to heal itself. It will also help the mind to deal with physical injury or illness, reducing suffering. Stress management may not heal you, but it will make your life more enjoyable. Then again, it may help to heal you, after all.
That being said, please remember that stress management techniques should never be used in place of competent medical care. Stress management is best used as a complement to the care you are already receiving — or should seek — for your physical illness or injury. Follow the advice of your doctor, and give your body's natural healing mechanisms an extra boost by getting debilitating stress out of the way.